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BellaOnline's Baby Names Editor

Ava - Girl Name

Ava is more popular now than it's ever been -- not just here in the U.S., but in Canada, in the UK, in Ireland and in Australia. Where does this name come from? What does it mean?

Those are tricky questions, actually. Ava has several possible origins and several possible meanings.

1. Ava could be based on the Germanic word avi, possibly meaning "desired."

2. Ava (via Eva) could be based on the Hebrew name Eve, which means "living."

3. Ava could be based on a Persian word meaning "sound."

4. Ava could simply be a modern invention.

The answer will vary from baby to baby, depending on how the parents first heard of the name. And the pronunciation might vary as well -- many people (English-speakers especially) pronounce this name AY-va, but others pronounce it AH-va.

Just how popular is the name Ava? In the U.S., it's been given to well over ten thousand baby girls per year since jumping into the top 10 in 2005:Pretty amazing that a name that was barely making the top 1,000 list 20 years ago is now a regular in the top 10, isn't it? (And this after being off the list entirely in the late '70s and early '80s.)

The most famous Ava in recent history would have to be American actress Ava Gardner (1922 - 1990). Other notable Avas include:

10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names 10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names

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