Dictionary of Medieval Names
from European Sources

Viola f. Latin viola 'violet'.

Cf. also Violet and Yolanda.

While some claim that Shakespeare invented the name for his play 'Twelfth Night', the name was already in use before then, and its inclusion in the play follows his common practice of adopting Italian or Italianate names. The name was also moderately popular in Hungary.

1321 wyola (nom) Slíz p. 502, s.n. Wyola; 1324 Viola (nom) CDH-VIII-II CCLXX, Violae (gen) ibid. CCLXX; 1340 Iwola (abl) Jakubovich p. 366; 1341 yuola (acc) ibid. p. 366; 1344 Viola (nom) AO-vol4 p. 442; 1346 Wyola (nom) Jakubovich p. 426; 1355 vyola (acc) ibid. p. 426; 16thC viola (acc) ibid. p. 426
1304 Viola (nom) AnnMin6 XII; 1522x1532 Viola (nom) DSF p. 56, 9
1479 Volya (unc) AGZ-18 CVIII-1307, Vyolya (abl) ibid. CVIII-1306, Wolya (unc) ibid. CVIII-1306, Wyola (abl) ibid. CVIII-1307
Cite as: S.L. Uckelman. "Viola". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2016, no. 4. http://dmnes.org/2016/4/name/Viola.