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Yolanda is a common female given name, pronounced yoh-LAHN-dah. It comes from the from Latin viola, coming in turn from the Greek Ion or Io, both meaning violet (the flower, not the color).

Forms of Yolanda are used all over the world. The modern Greek form of the name is Yola, but various forms appear in many languages: in French it is Yolande; in Italian, Violetta, Iolanda, or Jolanda; in Welsh Iola; in Portuguese Iolanda; in Hungarian Jolanda; in Czech and Slovak Jolantha; in Romani Violca; in Polish Jolanta. The Latin Viola has also remained popular. The English names Ione and Iolanthe comes from the same root, as does the boy's name Ion.

It has been used in various forms for centuries, although it did not become popular in America until the early 1900s, finally breaking into the top 1000 in 1905. In North America it is currently most popular in areas with large Latino populations; in these populations its usage peaked in the sixties, and particularly in the south-western states. It is also very popular in African-American populations, probably in large part because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. named his daughter Yolanda.

Overall, Yolanda most recently reached peak popularity in America in 1972; it remained popular until 1982, but has been in decline ever since, finally dropping off the top 1000 in 2002. Of course, this means that Yolanda is still a common name in the 9-year-old and above crowd.

The words iodine and violet share the same root as Yolanda. Sadly, Ion, and the musical instruments Viola and Violin, do not. The former comes from the Greek ienai, meaning 'go', and the later two from the Latin vitulari meaning 'to exult'.

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