Our daughter's name is Violet EvaLee. This would be EVA in the traditional sense, spelled with an e, but pronounced AY-VUH. Like Eva Gabor. There were 3 Gabor sisters--Eva, Magda and Zsa Zsa. Eva's name was pronounced just as we are using it and there have been many others. The U.S. is apparently, (according to my research), the only place that Eva is pronounced with a long EE sound. Ava is a completely different name. Let me break it down...
We were going to use the currently disgustingly popular spelling A-V-A, just so we didn't get this question constantly or have people looking at her name and saying, "WHY would they name their child EVILLY???" But we decided on the spelling E-V-A because of this: Ava means "bird-like" and Eva means "giver of life."
Where did we get her name?? Lee is Allan's sister's middle name. My sister's middle name is LeAnne. We definitely wanted to use a family name of some sort, because Violet was our own personal preference. (Ever read a Series of Unfortunate Events?? That's where I found it and decided I loved it. Allan agreed.) GraceAnne's first name is all family and her middle name (Rayne), is just our personal preference. We were going to use just Lee for her middle name, but Allan pointed out that Violet Lee sounds too much like, "violently" so we threw out Lee for a while. After 8 months of being stuck, we decided we both liked Aurora or Eva/Ava but we still wanted her to have a family name SOMEWHERE that would stick with her forever, (since she probably will not always be a Doyle), so Lee came back. Aurora-Lee just doesn't have the nice sound to it that AY-VUH LEE does. So here we are. Yes, we argued about the spelling, too, but it boils down to the meaning of the name and DANGIT, she's our kid, so we'll call her what we full-well please!
I don't even wanna hear it, (though I'm sure we will!!), about her getting teased about her name. Every kid on this planet gets teased about their name and if that causes her to have a breakdown, then we have not instilled a strong enough personal character in our daughter. Allan was teased for being a III, (I even teased him about it when I met him!), and I was teased because my name spelled backwards is "A Rat." Whoopie! I knew a girl in high school, (NO JOKE!!), named Marijuana PepsiCola. We called her Mary-Jane. She was COOL, too! Very smart, funny as all get-out, incredibly athletic and got offered full-ride scholarships to some top schools. I guess your name doesn't make you, eh?
**this post was spawned by a phone call from my neighbor who was settling an argument with someone...obviously she KNEW our daughter's name because she was with us after Violet was born, but someone (probably, and maybe I shouldn't speculate), wanted to argue with her about the pronunciation being EE-VUH. I've heard it so much already I just had to clear it up on my public blog. Thanks for defending our name, Candice! ;)
Here's some info from BabyNamesWorld.com for anyone interested...
(EE vah); (AY vah); (EV ah); (EE fah)
Latinate form of Eve, Eva was also used to Anglicize Aoife in Ireland, an old name believed to be derived from aoibh (beauty). Eabha is the Gaelic form of Eva. Eva Braun was the companion and later the wife of Adolf Hitler. Eva Perón (also known as Evita) was the wife of Argentine President Juan Perón. The announcement of her death left Argentina at a standstill. Other famous bearers include actresses Eva Mendes, Eva Green, Eva Longoria, Eva Marie Saint and Eva Gabor. Eva Cassidy was an American singer.