Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Nola

Nola is a diminutive name most commonly associated with Finola, Enola or Magnolia. It is generally accepted as the anglicized form of Nuala, the Irish diminutive of Fionnuala (the Gaelic form of Finola), derived from the Irish-Gaelic elements “fionn” meaning “white, fair” and “guala” meaning “shoulder” (translation: exceptionally pretty). Fionnuala factors into one of the most memorable of Irish legends known as the “Children of Lír”. King Lír (an Irish sea god) and his wife Aoibh had four children, a daughter Fionnuala and three sons Aodh (fire), Fiachra (raven) and Conn (chief). When Aoibh died, Lír and his children were so grief-stricken that Aoibh’s father, Bodb Derg (elected King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a mythological early race of Irish people), sent another one of his daughters (Aoife) as a replacement wife/mother. When Aoife came onto the scene as wifey #2, she was insanely jealous of her husband’s deep love and affection for his children (her step-children), so she sent for a sorcerer and ordered their death. Only hiccup? The sorcerer refused to carry out her diabolical plan; he just couldn’t harm the four innocent and beautiful children. Instead, Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn were transformed into four lovely white swans fated to swim various waters for 900 years (300 years in the North Channel, 300 years in the Irish Sea and 300 years in the Atlantic). After the children’s long sentence at sea, they were given sanctuary on a pond at a monastery, although they had to be tied to one another with a silver chain. Spying the lovely swans, the Queen of Leinster demanded that her husband storm the monastery and retrieve them for her possession. However, once the silver chain was broken, the swans immediately transformed into old people and withered away to their deaths (before being sent to heaven). So goes the legend of the “fair-shouldered” Fionnuala. The name Fionnuala was quite common in medieval Ireland, although the more modern form of Finola has become rare. Nola is a common nickname (Nuala, pronounced “NEW-la” is the Gaelic diminutive equivalent). NOLA is also an acronym for New Orleans, Louisiana; and it’s also the name of a city in Italy near Mt. Vesuvius.

All About the Baby Name – Nola

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME NOLA

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.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME NOLA

Most of Nola’s popularity as a baby girl’s name in the United States was experienced back at the turn of the 20th century. The name held fairly steady at moderate levels of usage during the first half of the 1900s, but then began to fall from favor during the 1950s and 60s. In fact, Nola would take a hiatus from the charts for more than 40 consecutive years between 1965 and 2007. It only just returned to America’s Top 1000 list of female names in 2008. There could be a couple reasons for the name’s sudden resurfacing, most probably due to a strong renewed interest in turn-of-the-century female names (Emma, Hazel, Ruby, etc). These names are short and sweet and loaded with antique charm. There are also two possible pop-culture influences. Nola Rice was a central character in Woody Allen’s 2005 thriller “Match Point” (played by the lovely Scarlett Johanssen), and Nola Falacci was introduced as a new female lead character in 2008 on the popular series “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” (played by Alicia Witt). In any case, we’re glad to see Nola back on the charts. It’s a sweet name with understated beauty.

Quick Facts

ON NOLA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

786

PRONUNCIATION:

NO-la

SIMPLE MEANING:

Little fair-shouldered one (exceptionally pretty)

Characteristics

OF NOLA

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Nola

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME NOLA

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Nola

Popular Songs

ON NOLA

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Nola


Famous People

NAMED NOLA

We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Nola.

Children of Famous People

NAMED NOLA

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME NOLA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Nola