In Ireland, it was also used as a translation of the name , which is derived from , the Gaelic name of the tree, and by extension sometimes of the similar-sounding surname of Ulster.
The masculine names Holly, Hollie were derived from the surname, but have mostly fallen out of use since the mid 20th century due to the rise in popularity of the feminine name.
The name of this character is stated to be short for Holiday rather than a reference to the plant.
The name peaked in popularity in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, and has declined since, ranking at 380 in the United States as of 2009.
While the feminine name is on record in the United States since the 1930s, its surge in popularity was due to Holly Golightly, the protagonist in 's 1958 , which was starring in 1961.