[ 2 syll. pau-la, pa-ula ] The baby girl name Paula is pronounced PAOL-ah in English or PAW-Laa in German and Polish †. Paula's language of origin is Latin. It is predominantly used in English, French, German, Polish, and Spanish. It is derived from the word paulus which is of the meaning 'little, humble'. The name developed as a Latinate feminine form of Paul. It was borne by several minor Christian saints, most notably Saint Paula (347-404), patron saint of widows. The name was first adopted in the Middle Ages by English speakers. Paula is the feminine equivalent of the Dutch, English, French, and German Paul.
The name Paula is widely used; it has 42 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Lapaula, Lepaula, Paliki, Paoletta, Paulann, Paulena, Paulene, Pauleta, Paulete, Pauletha, Pauletta, Pauli, Paulina (used in German and Slavic too), Pauline (used in French and German too), Paulinique, Paulisa, Paulita (used in Spanish too), Paulla, Pauly, Pavia, Pavleena, Pavliena, Pavlyna, Pawla, Polli, and Pollie. Other English variants include the familiar forms Paulette (used in French too), Paulie, and Polly.
Forms used in foreign languages include Pabla (Spanish), Paola (Italian), Paolina (Italian), Paule (French), Pauliina (Finnish), Pavla (Czech and Russian), Pavlina (Czech and Russian), Pavlinka (Russian), Pawlina (Polish), Piula (Catalan), Pola (Polish), Polcia (Polish), and Polina (Russian).
Paula is an all-time favorite. Currently it is still a somewhat popular baby girl name, but to a lesser degree than it was previously. The name increased in popularity from the 1900s up to the 1960s; prior to that, it was of only modest use. At the height of its usage in 1963, 0.510% of baby girls were named Paula. It was #42 in rank then. The baby name has seen a steep decline in frequency since then. In 2012, it ranked at #725 with a usage of 0.020%, but it was nevertheless the 2nd most popular after Paola, within all girl names in its family. It was 33% more regularly used than Paula in 2012.
† Pronunciation for Paula: P as in "pea (P.IY)" ; AO as in "ought (AO.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; AW as in "cow (K.AW)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)"
Details of famous persons named Paula:
Comedian Paula Poundstone, born 29 December 1959, Huntsville, Alabama.
TV Newscaster Paula Zahn, born 24 February 1956, Omaha, Nebraska.
TV Personality Paula Abdul, born 19 June 1962, San Fernando, California.
TV Personality Paula Yates, born 24 April 1960 - 17 September 2000, Colwyn Bay, Wales.