Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Ada

Ada is the short form of Adelaide. Adelaide has Germanic roots derived from the elements “adal” meaning “noble” and “heid” meaning ‘kind, sort’. The name was borne by one of the most prominent women of the 10th century, Saint Adelaide of Italy (although she was born in present day Switzerland). Her first marriage was a strategic political union during a time of great chaos in Italy; however, her husband soon died and his usurper tried to force the young Adelaide (then barely 20) to marry his son. When she refused, she was forced to flee and threw herself at the mercy of Otto the Great of Germany. Otto had other plans – taking advantage of this precarious situation, he went ahead and conquered Italy and then married Adelaide himself. Husband and wife were soon crowned Emperor and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope John XII. Adelaide is the patron saint of some pretty interesting things: besides empresses, princesses, brides and widows, she is also the patron of exiles, second marriages and in-law problems. In any case, she was a much admired woman during medieval times and so her name was embraced throughout Europe. Adelaide didn’t make its way over to England until the 19th century owing to the German-born wife of King William IV, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (1792–1849). In fact, Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is named after this pious woman. Queen Consort Adelaide was beloved by the British people for her modesty and charity – and they sympathized with her greatly due to her many failed childbirths and early deaths of children. It was her inability to produce an heir that led to the crowning of her niece-by-marriage, Queen Victoria. Adelaide is also the French spelling (rendered as Adélaïde and pronounced a-day-la-EED). Ada, Addie and Della developed as pet forms and in this case, Ada has been an independently given name for quite some time (dating back to the Middle Ages).

All About the Baby Name – Ada



Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.



We would classify Ada as a turn-of-the-century charmer. Back in the year 1880, Ada was the 33rd most popular female name in America. As the decades progressed into the 20th century, Ada experienced a steady decline as she slowly fell from fashion. By the mid-1980s, Ada was no longer bestowed upon American baby girls except in very rare instances. Thanks to a new naming trend that favors old-fashioned girl names with vintage appeal, little ole Ada has returned triumphantly to the charts. She reemerged in 2004 and has been growing in usage ever since. It isn’t to say that Ada has achieved the same success as her other “old lady” friends like Ava, Ella or Chloe; she is nonetheless squarely back on the American radar. One of the things that reminded future American parents of Ada was the 2003 critically acclaimed movie “Cold Mountain” starring Nicole Kidman as Ada Monroe struggling against hardships created by the American Civil War. Ada is a simple and quirky three-letter, two-syllable name. It’s easy to say and easy to spell. It’s low-key and unpretentious yet darling and “noble”.

Quick Facts











AH-dah or A-da












Cultural References to the Baby Name – Ada

Literary Characters


Ada Monroe is the heroine of Charles Frazier’s first novel, Cold Mountain, published in 1997, and made into a major motion picture in 2003, starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law. Ada is a preacher’s daughter, newly transported to a rural farm in North Carolina, and the love of W. P. Inman, a wounded, Confederate deserter, who makes his way back to her in an Odysseyan voyage. City bred, highly educated and orphaned by her father’s death, Ada is hit hard by the harshness and deprivation of war. A wandering, illiterate young woman, Ruby, comes to her rescue, and teaches her how to work and save the farm. Waiting patiently and hopefully for Inman’s return, Ada grows and matures in immeasurable ways during this extraordinary schism in American life, and finds herself able to rise to whatever occasion Fate has in store for her. And it is not a pretty one. At novel’s end, we are left with a most elevated admiration for this genteel, yet steely, young woman.

Ada Clare is a relatively minor character in Charles Dickens’ novel, Bleak House, serialized between 1852 and 1853. It has been adapted to other media on numerous occasions over the years – our favorite is the BBC version of 2005, with Carey Mulligan as Ada. Ada is the young ward of John Jarndyce, and the cousin of Richard Carstone, with whom she is in love. A long and drawn out inheritance suit, Jarndyce v. Jarndyce is being carried out in the courts; against this background most of the characters are intertwined in their individual interests in the case. Young Ada is lovely and good-natured; the character of the object of her love, Richard, is somewhat less sterling, although a very likeable young man. He attempts several careers before settling on the military, and after he and Ada are secretly married, he squanders her money in the pursuit of winning the case. Unfortunately, litigation costs have eaten away at all the principal, and there is nothing left for Ada and her child, Richard. Richard senior also has the bad grace to die just around this time, so Ada is penniless. Luckily all that virtue does not go unnoticed by people who matter; John Jarndyce invites her and her infant back into his home, after having forgiven a repentant Richard on his deathbed. We sincerely hope that things look up for Ada after this.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Ada

Popular Songs


a song by The National

Famous People


St. Ada (saint)
Ada Lovelace(Countess of Lovelace, mathematician, first computer programmer)
Ada de Warenne (French-English royalty)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Ada

Historic Figures


Ada, Countess of Lovelace, helped to popularize the usage of her name starting in the 19th century. She was actually the only legitimate daughter of Victorian romantic poet Lord Byron and born Augusta Ada Byron on December 10, 1815 (her parents had separated when she was young and her father died before she was ten so they were never close). Ada Byron took an early interest in the study of mathematics and demonstrated a remarkable talent for the discipline. She worked with Charles Babbage on his “analytical machine” (regarded as a crude version of an early computer). Part of her work includes notations on an algorithm she wrote intended for the machine to process, and so she is often credited as the world’s first computer geek (i.e., programmer). Ada Lovelace Day is an annual event intended to "raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and math".