The English, German, Scottish and Welsh surname Oliver is derived from the Old French personal name Olivier. This Old French name was introduced to England by the Normans. During the Middle Ages, it was a popular name throughout Europe. It was borne by one of Charlemagne's paladins, and friend of Roland. Ostensibly, the name is said to derive from the Latin olivarius, meaning "olive tree". However, all of Charlemagne's paladins bore Germanic names; and the Latin derivation of the name may be a result of folk etymology working on an unidentified Germanic personal name, possibly a cognate of Alvaro; or possibly distantly connected with the Old Norse Óleifr, meaning "ancestral relic".
The surname Oliver is also used by Jews.
The Catalan and (Occitan) French surname is topographic name. It is derived from oliver, meaning "olive tree". It may also be related to the homonymous name listed above.
See the etymology of English, German, Scottish and Welsh surname Oliver, above. The name as remained in use since the Middle Ages. It has become more common since the 1980s. Pet forms of the given name include Ollie and Noll.