Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Paula

Paula is the female version of Paul, from the Latin “Paulus” which was an old Roman family name dating back to Antiquity meaning “small, humble”. Most familiarly, however, the name Paul is borne from the Bible, in the New Testament, as one of the most influential Christian missionaries who lived in the first century at the time of rising Christian beliefs. Originally called Saul, he was a Jewish Roman citizen raised in Jerusalem and over-zealous in his determination to imprison and even execute Christians. This all changed on Paul’s “Damascus Road experience” (a term still used in referring to the precise moment when a person develops a personal relationship with God/Jesus). In Paul’s case, he was going to Damascus to capture more of those pesky Christians when suddenly a bright light appeared and blinded him. “Who are you, Lord?” Paul asked, to which a voice replied: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” [Acts 9:4]. Uh oh. Sounds like Paul got caught in a pretty big faux-pas – one which we dare say “humbled” him greatly. Fortunately for Paul, his conversion was successful, his sight was restored and he went on to become one of the most important early Christian leaders and a prolific spreader of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean. One of the more enduringly popular boy’s names, Paul has been in constant use among English-speakers since the 16th century. Paula also dates back to the classical era as evidenced by Saint Paula, a 4th century Roman borne to the aristocracy but who gave her life over to helping the needy. She was a contemporary and companion to St. Jerome. Her feast day is January 26. Today the name Paula continues to enjoy widespread popularity in Spain and Catalonia, as well as Croatia, Chile and Austria. Oddly enough, she’s lost her luster among English speakers in more recent times.

All About the Baby Name – Paula

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME PAULA

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 PAULA

As a female given name in the United States, Paula dates back as far as the government has been tracking naming trends (1880). Suffice it to say, this is a name with staying power. At the turn of the 20th century in 1900 Paula was meagerly popular, but by 1943 she secured a position on America’s Top 100 list. Paula managed to maintain Top 100 status for over 30 years (falling off the list finally in 1974). Her best year ever was 1954 when Paula was the 38th most favorite baby girl’s name in the country. Since the 1980s, however, Paula has been on a steady decline as she slowly but surely falls from fashion. Today Paula is hanging on at position #725 on the charts (2012) but she may be on the rebound, having just regained the lead over Paulina. However, the Spanish and Italian Paola is currently the most favored form of the name in America.

Quick Facts

ON PAULA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

847

PRONUNCIATION:

PAWL-a

SIMPLE MEANING:

Small, humble

Characteristics

OF PAULA

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Paula

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME PAULA

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

Popular Songs

ON PAULA

When Paula Sparks
a song by Copeland

Paula Que Buena Estas
a song by Los Barón De Apodaca

Paula & Janet
a song by Too $hort [explicit]

I'm In Love with Paula Pierce
a song by The Mr. T Experience

Hey Paula
a song by Paul & Paula

All About Paula
a song by The Limp

Famous People

NAMED PAULA

Paula Abdul singer/TV personality)
Paula Zahn (journalist/newscaster)
Paula Deen (celebrity chef)
Paula Radcliffe (marathon runner and record holder)
Paula Cole (singer/songwriter)
Paula Creamer (golfer)
Paula Prentiss (actress)
Paula Ormaechea (Argentinean tennis player)
Paula DeAnda (singer/songwriter)
Paula Fernandes (Brazilian singer/songwriter)
Paula Yates (British TV personality)
Saint Paula (4th century saint)

Children of Famous People

NAMED PAULA

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME PAULA

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