Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Nuala

Nuala is 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. Finola is the Anglicization of Fionnuala just as the English diminutive Nola is the Anglicization of Nuala. It should also be mentioned that Irish people pronounce Nuala as “NEW-la”.

All About the Baby Name – Nuala

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME NUALA

The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME NUALA

Nuala is not a popular name in America, and likely used almost exclusively among Irish-Americans. For instance, only 19 baby girls were named Nuala in the U.S. in 2012 (compared to 332 named Nola). As an Irish diminutive, Nuala is a darling name with a “fair” etymology. The fact that she’s never been bestowed with enough frequency to even hit the American radar, Nuala is a unique choice. And one that conveys a lot of Irish pride.

Quick Facts

ON NUALA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Celtic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

NEW-la

SIMPLE MEANING:

Little white shouldered one

Characteristics

OF NUALA

Dependable

Solid

Practical

Hard-working

Industrious

Studious

Conservative

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Nuala

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME NUALA

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

Popular Songs

ON NUALA

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


Famous People

NAMED NUALA

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Irish poet)
Nuala O'Loan (Northern Ireland public figure)
Nuala O'Faolain (Irish journalist/writer)
Nuala Fennell (Irish economist and women's rights activist)

Children of Famous People

NAMED NUALA

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME NUALA

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