The origin of the name Ava is uncertain.
It is thought to have Germanic roots, and possibly came about as a shortened form of various female names containing the element 'Avi' or 'Ave', which are believed to mean 'desired.'
It may also be related to the Latin word avis, which means bird or birdlike, or the Persian word for voice and sound. Another possibility is that it is the Anglicised form of the Celtic name Aoife, which means radiant.
Yet another theory is that the name Ava is a variant of Eva - the Latin form of the Hebrew name Eve, which is derived from the words chawah and chayaj, meaning 'to breathe' and 'to live.'
In the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, Eve is the name given to the first woman created by God. Eve was cast out of Eden after tempting her partner Adam to try forbidden fruit.
Despite this potentially negative association, the name gained some popularity in the Middle Ages, possibly in honour of a 9th century saint, St Ava, who was said to have been miraculously cured of blindness.
The name Ava really began to gain favour in Britain in the 19th century and rose to be the sixth most popular name given to baby girls in 2012.
Famous people called Ava:
Ava Gardner (actor)
Can be shortened to: Ave, Avi
Surnames to avoid pairing Ava with:
Anything you wouldn't want preceded by the words: 'Have a...' Surnames beginning with an 'A' 'V' might cause problems too, as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.
English variants: Avah, Avalee, Avalei, Avangeline Evaleen, Evalina, Evaline, Evalyn, Evan, Evanee, Evania, Evanna, Eve, Evelin, Evelina, Eveline, Evelyn, Evelyne, Evelynn, Evelynne, Evin
Foreign variants include: Avaapya, Avani, Avanija, Avanti, Avantika, Avasa, Avatara (Indian), Avagail, Eviana, Evie, Evika, Evike, Evita (Hebrew), Avalon, Avaron, Avarona (Arthurian), Avasa, Avathara (Hindi), Eva, Evetta, Evette, Evia (Latin), Evacska (Hungarian), Evadne, Evangela, Evangelia, Evangellina, Evangeline, Evangelyn, Evanth, Evanthe, Evgenia, Eua (Greek) Ewa (Polish), Hawa (Arabic), Evgenia, Yeva (Russian) Evina (Scottish), Evon, Evonna (French), Aoife (Irish) Eeva, Eevi (Finnish), Evelia, Evita (Spanish), Efa (Welsh)
Avadhesh, Avaneesh, Avanish, Avaldamon, Avang, Avalloc, Avaro, Evald, Evan, Evans, Ever, Everard , Everet, Everett, Everhard, Everlid, Everitt, Everleigh, Everley, Everly, Evert, Everton, Evian, Evander, Evarado, Everhardt, Everhart
Celebrities who named their baby Ava:
Heather Locklear, actor
Reese Witherspoon, actor
Myleene Klass, singer
Hugh Jackman, actor
Fred Astaire, dancer