Viola

Viola comes from the Latin word viola meaning “violet (flower)”, related to Ancient Greek íon (violet) which seems to be derived from a pre-Indo-European Mediterranean source. In Italian, viola is the Italian word for violet.

Viola is also the name of a musical instrument though in this case the word comes from Italian viola< Old Occitan viola< Medieval Latin vitula (stringed instrument) which ultimately derives from a PIE root word.

Viola is the name of the heroine in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1601-02), the twin sister of Sebastian, who dresses up as a man and becomes entangled in a somewhat humorous love triangle that all works out in the end.

Viola is also the name of a genus of flowering plants that includes violets and pansies.

Viola is also an Italian and Catalan surname; in the case of the former it derives from the female given name; the latter is likely an occupational name for a viol player.

Origin: uncertain, perhaps from a Mediterranean source; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “violet (flower”); also the name of a musical instrument as well as the color violet

Usage: Latin, Italian, English, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak

Pronunciation: vye-o-lah or vee-o-lah.

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Variants:

  • Violet (English)
  • Violette (French)
  • Violetta (Italian, Russian)
  • Violeta (Bulgarian, Romanian, Spanish, Macedonian, Serbian, Lithuanian)
  • Wioletta (Polish)
  • Wioleta (Polish)
  • Wiola (Polish)
  • Viorela (Romanian)
  • Viorica (Romanian)

Male forms

  • Viorel (Romanian)