Origin and Meaning of the Name Paula

The name Paula is of Latin origin, and is derived from its male counterpart, the Roman Paulus. Paula’s meaning translates as “little” or “small”. The name was used among Christians early on in honour of Paul the Apostle (originally known as Saul of Tarsus). It became widely used in Germany in the centuries that followed, but was not used in England until the 20th century. Common variations of the name Paula are Paola (Spanish), Paule (French), and Pavla (Czech).

Popularity of Paula

The popularity of Paula has declined since the 1970’s and, as of 2013, was ranked outside of the top 100 female baby girls’ names in England.

Famous People with the Name Paula

The name, however, has been used in popular culture since that time as both the title for a 1996 novel, and also as the title of a 2006 alternative rock song by Mexican band, Zoe. Notable people who share this name are Paula Wilcox (actress), Paula Byrne (author), Paula Radcliffe (athlete), Paula Abdul (singer and former American Idol host), and Paula Yates (writer and television personality).

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