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!
Do you have any other name suggestions?