The USA network is now advertising a Tiva marathon for Sunday 10 February: a day’s worth of episodes of the tv series NCIS featuring the relationship between the characters Anthony DiNozzo and Ziva David.  Tiva is a portmanteau of Tony (supplying the t) and Ziva (supplying the iva) — Zony, Tova, Ziny, Tozi, and Zito would have been other possibilities, less satisfactory to my mind — and is in fact an established label (in the world of NCIS fandom) for

the possibility of a romantic relationship between Agents Anthony DiNozzo [played by Michael Weatherly] and Ziva David [played by Cote de Pablo] on NCIS. (link)

This is from an NCIS wiki on Tiva, which describes the word as a “shipper term” and notes that “It is one of the most popular ships associated with the show in general.”

Ah, shipper and ship, new to me in this context. From Wikipedia:

Shipping, derived from the word relationship [by clipping], is the belief that two characters, fictional or non-fictional, are (or will be, or should be) in a romantic relationship. It is considered a general term for fans’ emotional involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction. Though technically applicable to any such involvement, it refers chiefly to various related social dynamics observable on the Internet, and is seldom used outside of that context.

Shipping can involve virtually any kind of relationship – from the well-known and established, to the ambiguous or those undergoing development, and even to the highly improbable and the blatantly impossible. People involved in shipping (called shippers) variously assert that the relationship does exist, will exist, or simply that they would like it to exist.

The Tiva wiki has an extensive account of the Tiva ship, from Tony and Ziva’s first meeting on.

(David, by the way, is accented on its second syllable.)

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