Origins of Ava as a Baby Girl's Name

The pretty girl's name has been extremely popular in recent years

Mother and daughter
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The name Ava has been a solid top-ten baby name for the past decade, likely influenced by some celebrity parents choosing it for their daughters. Short, sweet and feminine, for grandparents the name likely conjures up images of the 1940s and 1950s actress Ava Gardner, probably the most famous woman to bear the moniker.
There are a few variations on the roots of the name Ava, depending on the language. It could be a variation of Eve, which means "to breathe" or "to live" in Hebrew; it may come from the Latin avis, meaning bird, it could come from a German root meaning "desired," and in Iranian, it has its roots in Persian, and means "voice" or "sound."

Whatever the origin of the name, there's no denying that Ava has staked her claim as one of the most popular baby names among millennial parents.


In just the past 10 years, Ava rose to top five status even though it was not that long ago, mainly the 1970s and 1980s, that she wasn't even clearing the top 1000 baby name lists.

Something happened around the turn of the millennium, to bolster the popularity of this previously underused "Old Hollywood" name. It may have been "new Hollywood" couples, who started choosing Ava for their babies. In 1999, actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe named their firstborn daughter, Ava Elizabeth. Two years earlier, actress Heather Locklear and singer Richie Sambora also had a daughter named Ava Elizabeth.​

Middle Names 

It's short, but it has two syllables and starts and ends with a long "A" sound. In other words, not every middle name will sound good paired with Ava. A few suggestions include Ava Marie, Ava Jean, Ava Louise, or Ava Rose. Classic names seem to fit the bill nicely for Ava's middle name. 

What to Name Ava's Brother or Sister

For a sibling, there are a few different approaches parents could take; names that start with "A," or names that have a similar Old Hollywood feel. For a sister, Audrey, Sophia, Isabella or Vivian would be good picks. For Ava's brother, Clark, Noah, William, and Jack are possibilities.

Famous People Named Ava (OK, Famous Person Named Ava)

To say Ava Lavinia Gardner was a famous American actress is putting it mildly. The North Carolina-born Gardner wowed audiences with her on-screen magnetism and startling good looks. She appeared in movies such as The Killers, Mogambo and The Night of the Iguana. She had three high-profile marriages, to actor Mickey Rooney, musician Artie Shaw, and singer Frank Sinatra.

Celebrity Babies 

Ava sure has been wildly popular with celebrity parents in recent years, which probably resulted in the name's growing appeal. Some celeb babies include:

  • Ava Eliot Jackman (2005), daughter of actor Hugh Jackman
  • Ava Rose Kathleen McBride (2005), daughter of singer Martina McBride
  • Ava Dillon (2006), daughter of actor Kevin Dillon
  • Ava Veronica Priestly (2007), daughter of actor Jason Priestly
  • Ava Caroline Garciaparra (2007), daughter of retired soccer player Mia Hamm and retired baseball player Nomar Garciaparra.
  • Ava Frances Manning (2011), daughter of football player Eli Manning
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