What does Ava mean?
Ava /ava/ as a girls' name (also used less widely as boys' name Ava) is pronounced AY-vah. Of uncertain origin, probably German. Other possible sources are the Hebrew name Chava meaning "life" or "serpent", or from Latin "avis" meaning "bird". Also possibly a variant of Avis or Aveline, medieval given names. Saint Ava or Avia was a ninth-century abbess of Dinart in Hainault and a member of the Frankish royal family. In contemporary usage, some forms may be intended as phonetic variants of Eva and Evelyn. Made popular since the 1950s due to film actress Ava Gardner.
How popular is Ava?
Ava is a very prominent first name for females (#742 out of 4276, Top 17%) but an unusual last name for both adults and children. (2000 U.S. Census)
Charted below is the birth name popularity of Ava for girls. Ava reached its peak position of #4 in the U.S. in the year 2007, and is currently at #5. (Top 1000 Baby Names Records, 2014)
Popular variation forms of Ava (#5 from current records) are Evelyn (#16 from current records), Eva (#82), Eve (#460), Evie (#501), Avah (#708), Eileen (#711), Aviana (#802), Avalynn (#948), Ayva (#950), Avis and Avalyn. Other forms, like Eeva, are uncommon. Adoption of these relations of Ava was widespread in 2014 (average #598), except for the versions Avis and Eileen which have become less fashionable. Evelyn is a perennial favorite, although Evie seems to be gaining favor too. Below is a charted analysis of the usage of the girl name Ava and related names. (Top 1000 Baby Names Records, 2014)
Ava▲ is pronounced similarly to Avie, Evey, Evvy, Evy, Iva▼, Ivee, Ivey, Ivie, Ivy▲, Wava and Yeva. Other suggested similar baby names are Abba, Abi, Abia, Afia, Afua, Ahava, Ahuva and Ave. These names tend to be less commonly used than Ava.