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Names That Mean Life

AvaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Latin or Germanic
  • Meaning:

    "life; bird; water, island"
  • Description:

    In medieval times, Ava was a diminutive of Germanic names beginning in Av-, in particular Aveline, from which the name Evelyn would eventually arise. It may derive from a Proto-Germanic root meaning "island" or "water". However, the medieval name eventually fell out of use entirely, only to resurface in contemporary times. This suggests that today’s Ava may be a modern variation of Eva. Alternatively, Ava could also derive from the Latin avis, meaning "bird." Ava has separate Persian roots as a name meaning "voice" or "sound."

EvaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin form of Eve, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Eva is found in many different languages as a variation of Eve—the Old Testament name recognizable as the first woman in Abrahamic religions. Short forms of the name include Evie and Evita. The diminutive Evita is still strongly associated with Evita Peron, wife of the Argentine President Juan Peron.

EvieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Eve or Eva
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Evie was derived from Eve, which in turn comes from Chawwah, a Hebrew name related to the concept of life. Evie can be used as a nickname for any name that starts with Ev-, including Eva, Evelyn, and Evangeline, but also for names such as Genevieve and Maeve. Evie is typically pronounced with a long E sound, but a short E is also valid.

VivienneHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Vivian
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Vivienne is an elaborated Gallic version of the name Vivian, chosen first by Rosie O'Donnell for her daughter and then catapulted to superstardom when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie used it for their twin daughter. An adult namesake is the British designer Vivienne Westwood. Rosie O'Donnell also has a daughter named Vivienne, known as Vivi.

EveHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Eve, the oldest name in the Book, is now coming back into style, having the virtues of simplicity and purity, yet with more strength and resonance than other single-syllable names like Ann. British actor Clive Owen chose Eve for his daughter, as did Jessica Capshaw.

VivianHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Vivian, once an elderly lady name, is on the rise, along with all form of girl names that mean life -- from Zoe to Eva to those who share the vivid Viv syllable.

ZoeyHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Zoe
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Zoey is a modern spelling variation of Zoe, the Greek Jewish translation of Eve. Despite its Jewish origins, Zoe was historically more popular among Christians. Two early saints were named Zoe—Saint Zoe of Rome and Saint Zoe of Pamphylia.

ZoeHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    The history of Zoe begins in the third century when the Alexandrian Jews translated Eve, which means 'life,' to the Greek equivalent Zoe. Zoe was in use as far back as the Roman classical period, and was popular with the early Christians, who bestowed it with hopes of eternal life, but it didn't migrate to the English-speaking world until the mid-nineteenth century. Alternate spellings include Zoey, Zoie, and Zooey.

LivHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    The fame of actress and Aerosmith daughter Liv Tyler helped to infuse life into this short but solid Scandinavian name that was chosen for her daughter by Julianne Moore.

AshaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit; Swahili
  • Meaning:

    "hope; life"
  • Description:

    Asha is an Indian name that comes from the Sanskrit word for hope or desire, but it is also a Swahili name derived from Aisha, meaning life. Since the ascendance of Ashley through the 1980s and 90s, all baby names Ash-related have been used in the U.S. for both girls and boys, from Ashlyn to Ashby, Ashton to Asher. Despite its separate roots, Asha is part of this group. Asha is finding new life through its Game of Thrones connections.

VivianaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Lively and rhythmic version of Vivian heard in Italy and Spain. A vivid choice.

VitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Vital and vivacious, Vita is stirring back to life along with many of her V-themed sisters -- Vivian, Vivica -- and is becoming a new celebrity baby favorite.

VitoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "alive, life"
  • Description:

    Old World Italian name that might become fashionable in a so-far-out-it's-in way, like Enzo and Rocco. Main recommendation: It's among the rare boy names that mean life.

VidaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Like Vita and Viva, one of several similar life-affirming names, this one was chosen by Matthew McConaughey and his Portuguese-born wife Camila. Vida may also be a diminutive of Davida. Australian suffragette and human rights campainer Vida Goldstein is an notable bearer of this name.

ViviHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Viv- names
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Vivi is a short form of all the Vivian and Viveca forms that is sure to get a lot more attention now that a little Jolie-Pitt girl has been named Vivienne.

EabhaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish form of Eve
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Eabha, along with Aoife and Aoibhe and even the Anglo Ava, are all Eve sisters or soundalikes in the Irish Top 100. Outside of Ireland, though, this Gaelic spelling would prove difficult. Confusingly for English speakers, this name beginning with E is pronounced as Ava, while the A-beginning Aoibhe is like Eva.

ChavaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    The Biblical form of Eve. English speakers may find the forms Ava or Eve easier in everyday life, but Chava is a lovely variation for a family that speaks Hebrew or Yiddish.

ChayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, feminine version of Chayyim meaning "life"
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    A life-affirming choice—just beware pronunciation issues among the goyim in your neighborhood.

VivienHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Vivien (Scarlett O'Hara) Leigh was born Vivian. Some sources give Vivien as a relative of the Irish goddess name Bebinn and a literary name invented by Tennyson. Others say it's related to the Latin-based Viviana, meaning life. This spelling of the name is as legitimate as many others.

ZoltanHeart

  • Origin:

    Hungarian
  • Meaning:

    "sultan"
  • Description:

    Though a common name in Hungary, the relatively rare Z sound is striking to English speakers. Penn Gillette used the Zolten spelling for his son; it was also the name of Dracula's dog, and was also a robotic character in Dude, Where's My Car?. But its main recommending feature is that it's one of the