"On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two turtle doves".
Yes, it's a little obvious to go with Dove on this one, but it's a pretty sounding, current feeling name that I've been thinking about profiling for a while anyway, so why mess with it.
Dove is a name that I feel like people are talking about more than they actually are. And definitely more than they are using it. It's been in and out of the U.S. SSA charts (for girls) since they started keeping records in 1880, occasionally popping up for boys too, but not getting very far. Bird names in general have been getting some attention lately which helps to make Dove feel current. But there are a few factors preventing it from living up to its' potential.
Part of Dove's strengths as it names are probably also the weaknesses that have prevented this name from gaining much ground. The bird itself has long been associated with peace, love, pacifism, innocence, honor and friendship. These are all positive attributes, however they also carry connotations of purity and gentleness, making Dove feel like a somewhat passive name. It can be hard to imagine a soft, peaceful image on most children, and therefore Dove possibly lacks some of the spunkiness that many look for in a name. The fact that there is a skincare brand with this name, or that as a word name it could also be confused with the verb dove (as in I just did a dive) also doesn't help.
That doesn't mean that it is unwearable though. Young actress Dove Cameron is one of the 7 baby girls to be named Dove in 1996. Her pale hair, delicate features and clear skin give her a somewhat angelic look that works well with her name. And she's set to become a Disney starlet, which means she currently has a squeaky clean image. She's playing dual roles of twins Liv and Maddie on the creatively named TV show 'Liv and Maddie'. Which presents another slight problem with using Dove - as it's a rare name, if she becomes a star people will immediately associate the name with her. Which is fine if she remains a good role model, but not so great if she were to become the next Lindsay Lohan.
On the upside, if you like what this bird represents but aren't too keen on using it, there are plenty of other names to choose from that mean dove instead, such as:
- Aloma, Columba, Jemima, Jemma, Jonati, Paloma, Yona, Yonina and Zurita for girls; and
- Callum, Coleman, Colm, Culver, Jonah, Jonas, Palomo and Tor for boys.
I really like the sentiment behind this name, and although I think it is a sweet and pretty name it's probably better suited to a middle position as a sweet, quirky, unexpected choice. And of course, one with a subtle Christmas connection, great for a December born baby.