What does Sylvia mean?
Sylvia \s(y)-lvia, syl-via\ as a girls' name is pronounced SIL-vee-ah. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Sylvia is "woods, forest". The Latin form Silvia was more popular for centuries until recently. Rhea Silvia was an ancient nature goddess, mother to the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Shakespeare used the name Silvia for the love interest in his play "Two Gentlemen of Verona", probably intending to give the impression of a typical Italian girl though the name has come to be regarded as an English name.
Sylvia▼ has 23 variants: Silva, Silvaine, Silvana, Silvania, Silvanna, Silvia▼, Silviana, Silvianne, Silvie, Sylva, Sylvana, Sylvanna, Sylvee, Sylvette, Sylviana, Sylvianne, Sylvie, Sylvina, Sylvine, Sylvonna, Sylwia, Zilvia and Zylvia.
For more information, see also the related girl name Xylia.
Sylvia is a very prominent first name for females (#120 out of 4276, Top 3%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#5480 out of 150436, Top 4%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of Sylvia for girls. Sylvia reached its peak rank of #73 in the U.S. during the years 1910-1919, and is presently at #493. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)
Below is a charted comparison of the popularity of the girl name Sylvia and associated names. The only other popular variation form of Sylvia (#493 the previous year) is Silvia. Adoption of these girl names was at its apex during 1950-1959 (usage of 0.6755%) and has become significantly lower since (usage 0.2535%, down 62.5%), with the versions Silvia and Sylvia becoming less stylish. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)