Looking for an unusual nature name for a boy? Here’s one that fits the bill.
Thanks to SJ for suggesting Cove as our Baby Name of the Day.
Boys answer to River and both genders have some claim to Ocean and Bay. Suddenly other bodies of water and related terms seem like possibilities. Sea, maybe? Harbor?
Or how about Cove? A cove is an inlet, more sheltered than a bay, and sometimes little more than a protected recess. Even a small creek can be considered a cove. There’s a second use of the term, to describe a small valley, used primarily along the Appalachian Trail, presumably evolved from the original sense.
As for the origins of cove, it comes from the Old English cofa – chamber – via an older word meaning tent or hut. Meet someone with the surname, and he’s likely someone who lived near a cofa.
Of course, cove has a second meaning – like bloke or dude or fellow or chap, he’s also slang used to refer to a man. The story is that it comes from a Gypsy word. I can’t find the word, but then, Romani languages are rich and varied. Perhaps it was misunderstand or whispered down the alley, but in any case, cove is a sort of English slang to refer to a guy.
All that is fine and well, but should you name a child Cove?
It would be easy to argue that he’d fit right in. From the current US Top 100:
- He shares the long -o sound of Noah, Logan, Owen, Colton, and Brody.
- Then there’s that high-Scrabble-value letter v, huge in the girl ‘verse, but no slouch in the sons department, as in Evan and Levi.
- And, of course, he’s just one letter removed from the stylish Cole, currently ranked #89.
Like Cole, Cove would be a member of the single-syllable club, a category that feels quite powerful these days. From traditional appellations like Luke and Jack to twenty-first centuries innovations like Chase, it is a deep pool, with additions at a rapid rate, from Roc to Cree.
Is anyone actually using Cove? Sixteen newborn boys received the name in 2010, which is rare – but not completely unknown. Men called Cove appear in the US Census records, too, suggesting that the name had some appeal long before we all turned to Mother Nature and the dictionary for baby name inspiration.
If you’re looking for a daring nature name and are frustrated that everyone else is using River, he’s a sharp, masculine option that could wear well.
Jade Deem-Breedlove says
We named our son Cove in 2011
I had that name picked out for years 🙂
I just stumbled onto this site, I have two boys. Rivers born in 2009 and Cove born in 2012.
We are naming our son Cove. He will be here early December 2018!
What a great name, Mandi! And congrats on your son. 🙂
Nancy O. says
How dare you steal my son’s name!! lol. He is 20 yrs. old, so I feel like I started it’s bit of popularity. My second son’s name is also unusual. He is named Colter. They share my husband’s middle name, Sean, which sounds great with both nmes.
Melissa Noe says
I never knew this name was so popular… I guess I should have googled this 12 years ago when we named our daughter Cove Taylor Noe. We gave here a more common middle name in case she didn’t like as she got older but she loves her name. We live in a small town in Iowa and have never came across anyone with a name even similar to hers. Very interesting to read that boys seem have “cove” as their name than girls.
My 3rd son’s name is Covington, and we call him Cove;)
I love the name Cove. We named our son Coveyn (Cove-en) My older son always loved the name and we let him name his brother. So happy to see there are others 😀
I love this name, it is also on my top 5 list for boys (along with Brighton). I also like the name Koven. I’m not one for crazy/weird spellings, but I think Coven might be over the top.
My Coveyn was born on august 18 2015 😀
WOW…I had no idea that there were so many other people who had named their child Cove! My son was born in 1998 and I named him Cove Ryan. I loved Maine so much that I wanted a word that captured the beauty and the way that place makes me feel. For me, “Cove” was it. Watching the water crash against the rocks is so peaceful and perfect…coincidentally just like a sleeping newborn baby. My son is now 16 and although I purposefully gave him a very average middle name in the event that he did not like his first name he could go by Ryan, it turns out I worried needlessly. Not so long ago he informed me that he did not like his middle name because it was so boring and ordinary which prompted me to ask, “Well, if you could have named yourself, what would you have wanted?” His reply was “Cove” 🙂
My sons name is Cove, middle name is Avery. I named him after Cove Reber the frontman for a band called Saosin. My son was born in 2012.
What a fabulous name – thanks for sharing, Trent!
Samantha Woraley says
My little girl is 2 and half and her name is Cove, i never heard of it before and only after id had her did i realise that it was more used as a boys name! My daughter really suits her name and although i do get the odd look when people ask me her name, i love it just as much as the day i choose to name her it!
I named my son Cove in 2008. I thought he was the only one until I read this! I just love the name. My daughter is named Ever. Cove and Ever. They go really well together and they really suit my children as they both have fantastic and quirky personalities.
My son’s name is Cove, he was born in 2011, his full name is Cove Linden Lockhart. We call him Covey most of the time. My husband is Australian, and we loved that his name had ties to his childhood growing up on the ocean. We were inspired when we met another boy about 5 years ago called “Covell” but they called him Cove for short. By absolute chance, and friend of a friend of my husband’s had a baby boy in Australia within 24 hours of my sons birth, and named him Cove as well. It was pretty crazy, and they have many mutual friends, but have never met, and we did not let anyone know our name choices before he was born.
I love his name, and I will always love it, it just fits him so well, and it’s calming and mystical all at once. The only downside is the ugly face old people make when they hear it (stupid old people…) and I have to spell it for people otherwise they think I’m saying Cobe (Cobe… that’s a dumb name) or Cole, or Cody.
GREAT name, Karalyn! And having to repeat is one of the downsides of unusual names – but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth the occasional hassle.
Christina E. says
Our son was born Oct. 2006 and we named him Cove Robert Allen (two middle names in honor of family member.) When we shared his name prior to his birth people either loved it or hated it. I usually get “Wow. I love that name!” i’m glad our son is not alone in his unique name. 🙂
My first son is named Cove and we absolutely love the name. It suits him very well, was easy for him to learn to write, and is distinct without being weird.
Coming to this a bit late, but my 7 month old son is called Cobh (Irish for “Cove”). It is also a place name here in Ireland and happens to be the last port of call of the Titanic. Since my husband’s dad worked in the shipyard where the Titanic was built it seemed a fitting choice in this centenary year! We’ve had positive reactions to the name. He really suits it. There is also an Irish name Cobhan (pronounced cov-ann) meaning dweller of the hillside hollow.
Cool story – and what a great name! Thanks for sharing, JCB.
I like the name Cove but not sure my husband would go for it. I know a little girl named Harbor and my cousin (boy) is named Bay. Love both those names!
Cove is cool and fresh!
Cove (boy) and Harbor (girl) would be an amazing sibset. Maybe too matchy-matchy, but somehow I still love it.
Thank you for doing this pleasant review on Cove. It was a name suggestion from my sister and made the short list for our son that came two days before this review. Since I was partial to more than one name for our selection, it was my husbands true love for Elwood that won for first name. We named him Elwood Cove Nelson, brother to Oakley Scott and Georgia Lea. He has both an old and new nature name that I hope he will like. We are in the early days of getting used to our final selection, receiving mostly positive, intrigued or neutral feedback. He’s beautiful, healthy and we are thrilled to have him join our family.
I have enjoyed reading this blog for the last several months and think I have formed a new name fascination and slight addiction…thank you, you’re writing is that good : ). Looking forward to reading more in the days and months to come.
Anna Bliss Kessie says
I love the name of your son!!! I have been keeping my eye on the name Elwood for a while and after I read about Cove it was one of my new favorite names too. Congrats!!
Thank you! I wonder how many other things we would have in common based on our name preferences?!
Your children have beautiful names 🙂
Anna Bliss Kessie says
Wow!!! I really like it. This will go on my future list. 🙂
My grandpa’s name was Cova, nn Covy. Everyone called him Covy. I kind of love Cove, but we’re not doing honor names.
I think Cove makes an intriguing choice for a boy or a girl. I’d prefer to hear it on a boy, as so many nature names tend to find their way to the girls’ side.
Charlotte Vera says
Hmmm, I’m having a really, really hard time reading this as a name, not a word.
We have a girls name here in Ireland “Cobhlaith”, which is pronounced “COVE-la”. I’ve always loved it, but I’d never thought of “Cove” for a boy… Now that it’s been suggested though, I love it. Short, strong and sweet – what a beautiful name!
It makes me think of covert. Combining that with allusions to pirates and treasure coves, it’s quite a mysterious little name.
Lou @ Mer de Noms says
Well, Konnie Huq and Charlie Brooker had a son named Covey recently, which was a name I certainly wasn’t expecting from them. Between Cove and Covey, I think I do prefer Cove, though.
I know a women named Covey, so to my thinking Cove/Covey should be a girl’s name. It’s not really my taste, but I’d prefer Cove for a boy and Covey for a girl… probably because Cove makes me think of pirates, while with Covey I think of birds. Cove is different, but with the popularity of Crew and Kai it makes sense.
Cove intrigues me. Growing up in the foothills of the Appalachians, I am quite familiar with the second definition you gave. In fact, Cade’s Cove in Tennessee is one of my favorite places on this earth. Still, I don’t know that I would use it for a son. There is something in the sound that doesn’t quite appeal. A lovely thought, though.
That should read “Cades Cove” without the apostrophe.
Meh. The baseball stadium here is call “The Cove”, so I can’t picture it on a person at all.
Raquel Somatra says
Wow, I’m surprised at how much I love Cove. I really love it.