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Ava Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Ava including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Ava Overview

  • Meaning: The meaning of Ava varies, depending on the translation. Ava has ancient Germanic or Latin origins, likely meaning island, water, or bird. In the Middle East, Ava means voice or sound.
  • Gender: Ava is typically assigned as a girl’s name.
  • Origin: The origin of Ava is medieval, from Latin or German roots.
  • Pronunciation: Ava is pronounced eh-VAH.
  • Popularity: Ava is a very popular name in the United States, regularly ranking in the top five.
  • Nicknames: Nicknames for Ava include, Ave, Avie, Avis, or Ay. These add variety to this already concise first name.
  • Variations: Many variations for Ava exist in several languages, mainly throughout Europe. Similar names include Avah, Avery, Aveline, Eden, Evelyn, Ada, Amelia, Anna, Aria, and Aurora.
  • Namesakes: Ava Duvernay, director.

What Does Ava Mean?

The name Ava has several natural meanings to this beautifully classic name. Ava can mean bird, life, water, or island. Other languages translate Ava into words, voice, or sound.

What Is the Origin of the Name Ava?

The name Ava has ancient origins, most likely from Germanic or Latin roots. Ava could have proto-Germanic beginnings, from the words for island or water. This name was popular in medieval times as the nickname for the trendy name, “Aveline.”

The Latin word for bird is “avis,” which some experts believe is the origin of Ava. In the Middle East, Ava has connections to the Persian language. Ava has unique roots to the word in these languages that mean “voice” or “sound.”

How Popular Is the Name Ava?

While the origins of the name Ava may be ancient, its contemporary popularity is hotter than ever. More kids than ever are adorned with this medieval name, far removed from the notable St. Ava from the 8th century (1).

The name Ava is very popular in the United States, sitting on the list of the top 10 baby names in America throughout the 2000s. This name started to grow in popularity in the late 1980s and has soared since then.

Ava is not just popular in the United States. This baby girl’s name is also just as popular in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Scotland.

How Do I Pronounce Ava?

Ava is a straightforward, two-syllable name to pronounce: eh-VAH. Unlike its similar-sounding name, “Eva,” there is no alternate pronunciation for Ava.

Is Ava a Boy or Girl Name?

Typically, the name Ava is chosen for baby girls. It is not unheard of for boys to have the name or nickname of Ava, but it is much more common for females.

Variations of Ava

Since its medieval days, Ava has racked up several variations on this classic yet modern name.

Nicknames for Ava

Ava is already a short name, but some nicknames still exist to add variety to this pretty moniker:

  • Ave
  • Avie
  • Avis
  • Ay

Similar Names to Ava

Ava’s simplicity shines through in how much it inspires other popular names. Or, if you like the natural meaning behind the name Ava, there are many names inspired by our natural environment to choose from.

Middle Names for Ava

Such a short and sweet name like Ava means you can run wild with the middle name trends (2). Whether you choose something traditional to unorthodox or multi-syllabic, anything goes for a middle name when you choose the first name, Ava.

Sibling Names for Ava

A timeless name like Ava provides a beautiful addition to a family of siblings. There are so many classic and unique names that go with the name Ava.

Famous People Named Ava

Ava has celebrity inspiration in the past and present. Both old Hollywood glamor and contemporary pop culture are often personified by famous Avas.

  • Ava Alice Muriel Astor: American socialite.
  • Ava Duvernay: American movie director.
  • Ava Gardner: American singer and actor.
  • Ava Kolker: American TV and movie star.
  • Ava Max: American pop singer.

Ava in Popular Culture

The name Ava consistently appears in soap operas and other media throughout generations. As you will see from the list below, Avas can be dramatic leading ladies or powerful super characters.

  • Ava: robot character in the film Ex Machina.
  • Ava Ayala, aka White Tiger: Marvel comics character.
  • Ava Benton: American soap opera character, All My Children.
  • Ava Gregory: The main character on the television series Summerland.
  • Ava Hartman: British soap opera character, EastEnders.
  • Ava Jerome: American soap opera character, General Hospital.
  • Ava Lord: A character in the film Sin City.
  • Ava Morgenstern: character on television series Girl Meets World.
  • Ava Peralta: American soap opera character, Guiding Light.

Ava FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the name “Ava.”

Is Ava an Old-Fashioned Name?

Ava is a name that has successfully spanned several years of popularity. Starting with Old Hollywood’s Ava Gardner and transitioning to the trends of recent years, Ava still endures.

Is Ava a Unisex Name?

Ava is typically a name assigned to baby girls. However, in various global cultures, the name Ava does appear for boys as well. As with any name, all that matters is if you love it!

Is Ava a Rare Name?

Ava reigns near the top five most popular baby names in the United States since 2005. Ava ranked third most popular baby name in America in both 2020 and 2021.

Is Ava in the Bible?

There is an Assyrian city in the Bible named Ava (or Ivah). There are no characters named Ava in the Bible.

What Does Ava Mean in Irish?

Ava retains its meanings of bird, water, and island for the Irish. However, a Gaelic name that sounds very similar to Ava may interest you.

The name Aoife, pronounced EH-fa, is described as quintessentially Irish (3). The name Aoife means radiance and beauty. This name is a sound-alike to Ava but highly unique with precious meaning.

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