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:
- 2009 - ranked 5th (15,000+ baby girls named Ava)
- 2008 - 5th (16,000+)
- 2007 - 4th (17,000+)
- 2006 - 5th (16,000+)
- 2005 - 9th (13,000+)
- 2004 - 25th
- 2003 - 39th
- 2002 - 81st
- 2001 - 132nd
- 2000 - 180th
- 1999 - 259th
- 1998 - 350th
- 1997 - 618th
- 1996 - 739th
- 1995 - 737th
- 1994 - 751st
- 1993 - 739th
- 1992 - 833rd
- 1991 - 847th
- 1990 - 953rd
The most famous Ava in recent history would have to be American actress Ava Gardner (1922 - 1990). Other notable Avas include:
- Ava (c. 1060 - 1127), German poet
- St. Ava (9th century), Frankish saint
- Ava Alice Muriel Astor (1902 - 1956), American socialite
- Ava Barber (b. 1954), American country singer
- Ava Lowle Willing (1868 - 1958), American socialite
- Ava Ohlgren (b. 1988), American collegiate swimmer
|10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names|
Want more than the top 100 or top 1,000 baby girl names? Here's a complete list of the 10,000 most popular baby girl names in the nation! Click to learn more.