Lavinia: Meaning, origin, and popularity of the name. Lavinia is a flowing, gorgeous Victorian choice that just begs us to dot its "i"s with tiny hearts. This name is besties with Olivia but has experienced none of her success. And Lavinia has a surprising history with namesakes from Roman mythology, Shakespeare, and even Downton Abbey. For those turned off by the nickname Vinnie, Linnie is another possibility.