English: A mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), t...

She’s a lovely, mysterious name with a very current sound.

Thanks to Megalady for suggesting Doveva as our Baby Name of the Day.

Doveva is a contender for rarest names ever profiled on AppMtn.  She’s almost entirely absent from US census records, and has never cracked the US Top 1000.  The avian Dove and lovey Dovie have fared slightly better.

Doves, after all, are highly symbolic birds, standing in for such weighty concepts as the holy spirit and world peace.  Plus there’s Paloma, a Spanish word for dove with great style as a girl’s name, as well as plenty of other avian-inspired appellations.

As it happens, Doveva is almost certainly unrelated to the bird.

Think of the relatively well-known Hebrew masculine moniker Dov and Doveva goes in another direction.  There’s a case to be made for Doveva as a Hebrew name – actually, more than one case:

  • Dov is a Hebrew masculine name meaning bear.
  • Many sources indicate that Doveva means graceful – and a few include phrases like “graceful as a bear.”  (I tend to think of bears as lumbering, but maybe that’s a negative perspective on ursine potential.)
  • Others claim it means talker.
  • Lastly, it could link to an Old Testament name, Tobiah.  While the sounds are distinct today, the original Hebrew sounds more like Toviyah – closer to Doveva, though still something of a stretch.

Regardless, Doveva is part of a cluster of names – Dova, Dovit – likely from the same Hebrew roots, though I did find a Dova with a fantastically unique name story.

More importantly, Doveva would be right at home with sounds in vogue right now.  The emphasis falls on Doveva’s second syllable – doh VEH vah.  Can’ you just hear her fitting right in with:

As sounds go, ev- is big these days, with choices like Everly and Reverie picking up steam, as well as some of the more vintage possibilities.  While sometimes a Hebrew name will feel almost reserved for families of Jewish faith or lineage – Hadassah is difficult to picture without some ties to Judaism –  Doveva isn’t in that category.

There’s also a quirky twist to Doveva – Italian speakers are already thinking that doveva is a form of the verb dovere.  The simplest translation is “to owe,” but it implies a duty more than a debt, along the lines of “you owe it to yourself.”  Or the phrase “doveva succedere” – it had to happen.  There’s no evidence that the verb has inspired a given name, but it is tempting to twist this coincidence into a new meaning for Doveva.

File Doveva under true rarities for parents seeking something their daughter will never share.  She’s a strong possibility for parents seeking a quietly Hebrew name that would work in modern Israel – the only place you’re likely to meet another.  Some might assume you’ve invented Doveva, but there’s just enough history here to keep her on the right side of genuine.

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.

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