Aviva: Baby Name of the DayAviva shares sounds with favorites like Ava, Evelyn, and Amelia. But it’s much less common.

Thanks to Christy and Photoquilty for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.

Aviva: Spring

In Hebrew, this name means spring.

That makes it a great name for parents expecting a baby in May. But while Mae and June are stylish, Aviva has never cracked the US Top 1000.

It’s also almost a place name. Tel Aviv was established in 1909 – a modern city in an ancient land.

Many ideas were considered for the new city’s name, but it was ultimately inspired by a work called Altneuland by Theodor Herzl, an early Zionist. When it was translated from German to Hebrew, the translator, Nahum Sokolow, titled the work Tel Aviv.

The name came from Tel Abib, a Mesopotamian settlement mentioned in Ezekiel. It caught on because the idea of spring suggested renewal, a powerful concept for the fledgling settlement.

So while this seems like a simple nature name, there are layers of meaning.

Aviva: Pop Culture

A handful of pop culture uses have given this name a tiny boost. An early season of Charmed included a character by the name. So did 2007’s monster-croc movie Primeval. There’s an animated Aviva on The Wild Kratts and a real one on The Real Housewives of New York.

2007’s Superbad made a starlet out of Aviva Farber. She’s acted steadily in television guest spots ever since.

But none of those uses were enough to make the name catch on, despite a very on-trend sound.

Aviva: Palindrome

One more reason this name fascinates? Like Hannah, Otto, and a handful of other words, it is spelled the same forwards and backwards – it’s a palindrome.

While that’s a fun fact, it’s probably not reason enough for parents to consider a name.

Aviva: Rarity on the Rise

Why is this name so rare in the US? Plenty of names big in Israel have never caught on in the US. Think of tailored Tamar and -et girl Ayelet. But that doesn’t mean they can’t. Rachel and Rebecca were the darlings of another generation, and now Naomi and Hannah are playground staples.

And yet, it’s sort of astonishing that Aviva remains under the radar. It shares sounds with Top Ten favorites Ava and Olivia, rising picks Evelyn and Avery, as well as all of the Vivi names.

Maybe that’s because few parents are really hearing the name – and you can’t consider a name if you don’t know that it exists. One good fictional character by the name, and this could be the next big thing.

Or maybe it’s slowly happening now. Because while the name remains rare, usage has increased steadily. From the 1970s through the early 2000s, around three or four dozen girls received the name every year. It’s slowly inched up over the last few years, though, and in 2014 there were 94 newborn Avivas.

Overall, the name remains a great options for parents interested in a rare name with an appealing meaning and an on-trend sound.

What do you think of Aviva?

This post was originally published on April 1, 2010. It was substantially revised and re-posted on May 9, 2016.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. On the Wild Kratts, Aviva is Hispanic, which doesn’t preclude her from being Jewish as well, of course. But I assumed it was an Hispanic name, rather than a Hebrew one. Learned something today!

  2. Love this name! Definitely on my short list. However, this is definitely one of those Hebrew names that I might give the side-eye to someone not Jewish using… It’s not offensive or anything, it’s just that it’s popular within the halls of Jewish day schools and Hebrew schools and summer camps. I would be very surprised to meet a non-Jewish Aviva.

    1. I am a non-Jewish Aviva, although it was my father’s Israeli friends who gave me my name.

  3. This is one of my top names for a girl. The biggest drawback is that I work in a pharmacy and wouldn’t want my coworkers to think we named our child after diabetic testing supplies (AccuCheck Aviva is a common brand)

  4. I think Aviva has a beautiful sound, but in my city it is the name of a insurance company which employees a large number of the population. I can’t separate the association enough for me to consider it, but others should definitely bring this name onto the map!

  5. Love love LOVE. We considered it as a different way to get to the nickname Vivi, but ultimately other names won out.

  6. I came across this page as I was searching to decide on my business name. My Hebrew name is Aviva and I’ve always loved it. Might be too branded as a business name already though. Funny that Sebastiane said she could see it being a redhead’s name, because I am indeed one 🙂