Thursday, October 16, 2008

How we named Dova

Baby girl Dova
Baby girl Dova at two days old.

After naming our son Adam with a fairly common name, people wonder where we came up with Dova (it sure as heck wasn't going to be Eve). Here's the story. When Doug and I became engaged in 1998, we went to a custom jewelry shop to pick out a ring in Cambridge Massachusetts. I had been cutting out pictures of gorgeous rings in the Boston Globe magazine and they always came from this place. The jeweler, Daniel Spirer now has his own shop. So after we picked out a ring and stones, Daniel scrawled out the order. He must have written out Doug's name something like this:

After we got the ring, we started getting mail from the jewelry shop. Except it wasn't addressed to Doug, it was addressed to Dova. They also mangled his last name. So we figured out that someone must have transcribed Doug's name wrong from the order. They got the D and the O of Doug right. The U became a V and the G became an A. Doug became Dova. We thought, hmm, that's pretty, it might be nice as a girl's name someday, so we kept it in the back of our minds.

When I was pregnant in 2003, we checked on the internet and found only one person with the first name Dova, a "B" movie actress (i.e. p0rn), so it probably was a stage name. There was a company with that name, as well a few last names (although Ben Dova would not be a real name smile_eyeroll). But it was unique as far as we could tell. Now when you search online, you can find other real Dova's out there that are older than our daughter, but chances are that she will never meet one. Here's a funny post and a serious article about unique names, as well as Julie's post that got me started on this whole thing (you can see how long this draft has been kicking around).

Before our baby girl was born, we had a few girls names in the bucket. It was down to Sarah, Sophia or Dova. I didn't want Sarah, because there was another Sara in our family daycare. This is totally a ridiculous reason not to name a child, but it concerned me that she wouldn't be unique. So a week before she was due, we asked Adam which of the three names he liked. He picked Dova. Hmm, it's so different. Would people think it was weird? We waited and asked Adam again and he consistently answered Dova. So this time, it stuck and we actually had a name before we headed to the hospital. When she was born, we were so proud that she had a name, but they tagged her "Baby Girl (my last name)". Which was a disappointment because we had a name this time, and Adam's hospital tag said "Baby Boy (Dad's last name)" so their tags don't even seem related!

For Dova's middle name, we wanted to honor Doug's late cousin Beatrice who always went by Bea.  Dova Beatrice sounded too long and formal, so we just used the shortened name, Dova Bea.  Often times people hear us call her Dova Bea and think that we are just using a pet name like Dova bee, but we are actually using her real name.  She does have a lot of bee accessories because of the name, bee stuffed animals and a bee purse.  And sometimes we call her Dova beans or "the B".  She also shares her middle name with her cousin Lyla Bea(trice), who was named after the same person, her late grandmother.  They were born 2 months apart but are separated by a generation.

And true to form, I mulled over the letters of Dova and found that it also had an D and an A in it for Doug and Angela, just like Adam does. And both their names have four letters, so they are a matched set. So glad that our kid's names appeal to my sense of order!

The only downside to having this name in New England, is that we always have to spell it out. Whenever we introduce her, people inevitably ask, "Dover?" because if you had an accent, you would say Dova and Dover in the same way. But the overwhelming response has been positive and I'm pretty sure she likes it as well.

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