Saturday, July 21, 2012


Jove, meaning "to shine" in Latin, is the English name of Jupiter, Roman "King of the Gods," the god of sky and thunder, equivalent to the Greek god Zeus. He was an incredibly important figure for the Romans during the Republican and Imperial eras before Christianity. Romans would swear "by Jove" as some modern day people swear "to God." His symbol was the eagle, featured on many Roman military emblems. (Side note: Aquilina means "eagle.") The Roman government looked to him as a witness of oaths which they would be held accountable for. Those who protected the emperor, his personal guard, were known as Jovians. He has been important in many aspects, even being a recurring part of C.S. Lewis's work, and Lewis loved to use the word jovial, a word that means joyful, of which the name Jove is strongly connected.

I like that this name feels familiar, fitting right in with one syllable popular names like Jack, Jace, James, John or Joel. It is also connected to Jovan and Jovani in sound, though Jovani is a form of John and Jovan can be interpreted as such. In 2011 there were only 9 baby boys named Jove. In 2013 it went down to 5 births for the year. If you're looking for a rare mythological gem, I say claim this one.


  1. I did, my son is called Jove. He's 6 now. Not too strange but always gets a raised eyebrow, in a good way I think. Love the history behind it and so does he, even though I had to tell him not to refer to himself as the King of the Gods when other kids asked him about his name!

  2. We've decided to name our son, due in a few months, Jove also. Very happy with this choice. I'm glad it's rarely used, but I do hope people actually hear the v, rather than mistake him for a Joe. It was a sealed deal when we learned that he will be born under a period of influence of Jupiter, astrologically speaking.