How popular is the baby name Ove in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Ove.
Comic actress ZaSu Pitts may be best remembered these days for her curious name.
How was it pronounced? Say-zoo.
This pronunciation may seem illogical given the placement of the consonants, and yet it’s what ZaSu herself said in her cookbook Candy Hits published in 1963 (the year she passed away).
The name ZaSu was invented by her mother. It was based upon the names of Zasu’s maternal aunts Eliza and Susan.
Many sources claim that ZaSu’s birth name was actually “Eliza Susan,” but all the records I’ve seen (going back to the 1900 U.S. Census) call her “Zasu” — or something pretty close. This makes me think that ZaSu wasn’t merely a nickname, but her actual legal name.
When she was a child, her peers (predictably) teased her about her unusual name, calling her things like “Zoo-Zoo,” “Zoo-Loo,” “Zay-Zoo,” “Jazz-Su,” “Hey You,” and “ZuZu Gingersnaps.”
Incidentally, her daughter (b. 1922) was legally named “ZaSu Ann,” but always called Ann.
Source: Stumpf, Charles. ZaSu Pitts: The Life and Career. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010.
[Other posts about pronunciation: Risë, Ove, Jacqueline, Caelum.]
A reader from Sweden is expecting a baby. If the baby’s a boy, she’s thinking of naming him Ove. Here’s what she’d like to know:
I want the name to be internationally viable and wonder how an American would pronounce it. Does it look strange to you or is it common?
[Before reading on: Please leave a comment with the way you pronounced Ove when you read it in the title of this post. Thanks!]
Ove is a very rare name in the States. I’ve never met anyone here with the name, and I’d imagine most other Americans are also unfamiliar with it.
My first instinct was to pronounce it OH-vay, with a long o (as in old) and a long a (as in day) — almost like a Spanish olé, but with the stresses swapped. I also think OHV (rhyming with stove) would come to mind for a lot of Americans, as we’re accustomed to silent e endings.
According to the Swedish pronunciation I found online, though, neither guess is correct. Ove is more like OH-veh. I don’t know how many Americans would get that right on the first try. (Then again, maybe I’m underestimating our ability to pronounce Swedish names…?)
This reader is also looking for a few name suggestions:
If you have suggestions for names that work in both Swedish and English, feel free to help!
Many of the top girl names and boy names in Sweden right now are also popular in the U.S., and elsewhere. I think these would be great options. Some examples:
I’ve also written a few posts (here, here, here) about Swedish names that work well in English. These might be helpful as well.
Do you have any other name suggestions?