Today’s feature is either a new spin on current favorites, or a medieval rarity ready for a comeback.
Thanks to Kayleigh for suggesting Aveline as our Baby Name of the Day.
Aveline: Ava & Adeline’s Cousin
If Aveline didn’t exist, someone would have invented the name by now. We just plain love the sound!
- Ava ranked #5 in 2014, with Avery at #13.
- Ends-in-line options include the Top 100 Madeline and Caroline, as well as up-and-comers like Adeline and Evangeline.
- Don’t forget Ev- choices like Evelyn, Eva, and Everly.
Smoosh name Avalynn debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2014 at #947.
58 girls were named Aveline in 2014 – a new high, but still a far cry from the 262 required to break into the charts.
Aveline: History Galore
Let’s step into our time machine and visit medieval England.
Avice was a given name. It could come from the Germanic Aveza, or possibly the Latin word avis – bird. In our age of Lark and Wren, it is likely that some parents will find those fine-feathered associations pleasing. Daniel Baldwin has a little Avis Ann.
Aveline could be a diminutive form of any of the Av- names.
Then there’s Saint Teresa of Ávila, a sixteenth-century mystic.
Ávila is a day trip from Madrid. Back in Teresa’s day – the sixteenth century – it was an imposing fortress, a walled medieval city. Ávila was established by the Vettones, a Celtic tribe, probably by the fifth century BC. They called the place Obila – high mountain.
The pronunciation isn’t intuitive for an American English speaker. It’s AH vee lah. Odds are that you’d hear ah VEE lah in the US.
It’s easy to imagine Aveline being chosen as an honor name for the saint, too.
There’s one more possible origin for Aveline: the French word for hazelnut.
This puts her in the company of other edible appellations, like Pomeline and Clementine.
But the word typically used in French for hazelnut is noisette. A nineteenth century French-English dictionary lists avellana as the English word, and aveline and noisette as the French.
It’s a bit tangled, but it makes sense: corylus avellana is the scientific name of the common hazel, derived from avellana nux sylvestris – wild nut of Avella – a term used to describe hazelnuts dating to a sixteenth century botanical guide, and referenced by writers as far back as Virgil.
Avella, if you’re wondering, is located in Italy, near Naples. That’s the city’s seal in the illustration above. The Roman name was Abella, of uncertain origin. Over the years, the region and it’s most important crop came to share the same name.
The Spanish word for hazelnut? Avellana.
Aveline: Circa 2015
The challenge: it’s easy to imagine an Aveline today being mistaken for Adeline and Evelyn and so on.
And yet, this name is undeniably attractive. It’s culture-spanning and meaning-rich. I love the story of this family who named their daughter Avalene, after a great-aunt Avallina. There’s a lovely Aveline on this blog, written by a globe-trotting mama.
If you don’t mind repeating your child’s name, Aveline might be the perfect just-a-little-different option.
What do you think of Aveline? Is it a fresh spin on current trends, or likely to be confused with Ava and Evelyn?
Aveline’s Dad says
We named our Daughter Aveline Willow. It’s such a beautiful name; unique, feminine and yet classic all rolled into one. We occasionally shorten it to Avey. We also call her Avelinska or Linsky for fun. Yes you do have to explain it some times but that’s the price for unique names.
Of Norman descent, brought over to England as Avelina shortly after William the Conqueror
My baby girl is Everly Aveline. So obs I love it!!!
I think I’m going to use it. Avie or Ava for nn. Maybe Aveline Marie or Aveline Hannah
I love this name, and I love its convoluted history. It’s ties to the Irish Aibhilin (pr. AYV-leen), meaning “wished for,” or “longed for child,” are what sold me on this name for my daughter. I don’t care so much for the avian connections.
I think the spelling and pronunciation of Aveline is fairly clear, and the confusion over “leen” or “line” is easily remedied by a quick and simple explanation. In our quest for uncommon and unique names, I think we’ve been overcompensating on the pronunciation issue. If you spell your name Melissa and want to pronounce it “Bob,” that’s one thing. But a mispronunciation or simple correction here and there is par for the course of Life! ::steps off soapbox::
I’m personally choosing the Anglicized spelling, Eveline, as I love the inclusion of “Eve” and potential nickname “Evie.” However, I’ll likely pronounce her name as “EV-eh-leen.” AYV-leen is still a contender as I want to maintain its link to Aibhilin and her treasured meaning, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Thanks for adding this beautiful name to the site!
I kinda like her, but my family would be like, “Wait. What? Javelina? Likes the pig-like animal in Arizona?”
Lady Gwyn says
It looks pretty, and I would pronounce it to rhyme with -line. (I also pronounce Ada-line and Emma-line that way.) I do think it would lead to a lot of confusion because of the Evelyn/Adaline/Madeline connection, and that is turn-off for me. Although I like it in theory, I don’t know if it would work in practice. Maybe in a novel, where pronunciation isn’t an issue!
Until the novel is adapted for the screen, and becomes a big hit with Burger King tie-ins and lunchboxes and EVERYONE is naming their kid Avleline …
What? It could happen! 🙂
Nook of Names says
Interesting how most are going with the pronunciation av-?-LEEN or ay-v?-LEEN (and variations thereof). The traditional pronunciation in the UK is AV-?-line (line rhyming with wine). Over here it would probably still be mostly associated with the brash, Scouse character of Aveline on Bread!
Not sure about Aveline, but Pomeline seems great! I like it better than Apple!
I like the idea of Aveline, but with the popularity of Ava, Evelyn and Avery, (plus Adalyn, Caroline, Madalyn…) I think enforcing a preferred pronunciation could be a challenge. av-?-LINE, ?-v?-LEEN, AYV-?-leen, a-vah-LEE-nah, AH-vah-lin, AYV-?-linn. I could keep going…
It’s like Princess Eugenie…her family calls her YOO-jen-nee (I think), the French pronunciation is uu-zhay-NEE, but American newscasters say it YOOG-en-ee and yoo-JEEN-ey.
what is her first name, please? Just want to know
We gave our daughter, born May 2011, the middle name Aveline (pronounced Ah-vuh-leen). She has a very casual first name, so Aveline comes as an elegant and feminine contrast. It makes a perfect middle name.
A few years ago when one of my daughters was looking for a name for her expected baby girl — possibly an Irish name because of their Irish surname and older brother with an Irish name — I came across Aibhilin on Baby Names of Ireland:
“Aibhlinn, Aibhilin (pronunciation: “ave + leen”) (English: Eveleen, Eveline, Evelyn) A name thought to have Norman roots that means “wished-for” or “longed-for child.” I found the sound of the name appealing, although I wasn’t sure what spelling I’d recommend.
Here a little “Ava” whose full name is Aibhilin Gladys, a very much “longed-for child”:
(Parents must be pronouncing the name as ava-LEEN?)
And another Aibhilin whose “nickname is “Aibhi” (pronounced ayv-ee)”:
According to behindthename:
Usage: English (Rare)
Pronounced: av-?-LEEN [key]
From the Norman French form of the Germanic name Avelina, a diminutive of AVILA. This name was introduced to Britain by the Normans. After the Middle Ages it became rare as an English name, though it persisted in America until the 19th century.
The correct pronunciation appears to start out like ‘avenue’ with stressed ‘LEEN’ as the third syllable. However, Aveline pronounced as “Ava-LEEN” would have the appealing short form “Ava” and nn “Ayv-ee” (which would probably sometimes be confused with Avery).
“Aibhilin whose “nickname is “Aibhi” (pronounced ayv-ee)” <–This is my daughter :0) Her nick name is Aibhi (ayv-ee) but we pronounce her full name AY'v-LEEn (the 'ay' as in pay) not ayv-ee-leen. I was worried the pronunciation of her nick name might cause confusion when it came to pronouncing her full name, but surprisingly it hasn't! Often her siblings just call her Aibh (ayv)
I just adore this. Boyfriend and I are looking for an approachable Gaelic name that Americans can say. Aibhi is so perfect. Great name!
I really like Aveline, more than Adeline. I pronounce it with -leen at the end, and the -line pronunciation doesn’t appeal to me at all (same with Adeline and Emmeline). Not sure if I would ever use it, because of the Evelyn/Adeline/Adalyn/Madeline factor, but it makes a really nice middle name, I think.
I just love Aveline! I know that it can be confused for other names, but it’s just so pretty that I can’t help but love it. I have an Evelyn and an Alvina in my family tree and I’ve always felt that Aveline is a nice mash up of those two names. I love bird names!
Sarah A says
Even though she’s not a noble character, I fell in love with the name Adaleen on Big Love. I prefer the Adeline spelling but that’s the only similar name I like.
I do think that if I were introduced to a little Aveline, I’d be hard pressed not to think it was a variation of Evelyn. But her history is nice.
Gina (Mama to Aveline) says
Oops, the Texas city is spelled “Abilene”…sorry about the typo!
Gina (Mama to Aveline) says
Thank you so much for mentioning my blog!
My husband and I just love the name Aveline (obviously), although we chose it as the Anglicized version of the Irish “Aibhil
Avellana is the Spanish word for hazelnut, actually, pronounced ah-vay-ah-na, which I’ve always thought is a pretty word
I like Aveline, in theory. I say Av-eh-leen, like Josephine, not like Caroline. Is that even right? I like her French roots and her nod to food ( I’m a sucker for food names). But I’d hate to have everyone & their third Uncle mishear her name, repeatedly. It would drive me mad, literally. But she looks so very pretty!
One of my favorites! I like the it’s-not-Ava spin and the Ye Olde French roots. Lovely and unique.
I considered calling my daughter Adeline. Ay-deh-leen, we would have pronounced it. It was current in the sense that vintage names were back in. Retro chic. But in the end it sounded too much like Ava for us, and much as the name is beautiful there were also too many for our liking. I do like Aveline. But it sounds a bit too familiar again, and I don’t think I’d ever use it.
Ashley Skaggs Parker says
Hmmmm. There is a song by Nickel Creek called “Aveline” and they pronounce it “Ah-vuh-LEEN”, like Kathleen or Maureen. I would probably prefer Aveline to rhyme with Madeline.