Louisa, a quaint vintage name, is an example of the idea that these days, old-style girls' names are more fashionable when they end with an a rather than with an e, as in Julie/Julia, Diane/Diana. So for the next generation, Louisa may rise again, especially with the growing popularity of other Lou/Lu-starting names, like Lucy and Luna.
Very popular in the eighteenth century, Louisa was finally toppled at the end of the nineteenth by the French form Louise, which was a top name through the first quarter of the twentieth century.
Louisa has many literary associations, including Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women and Little Men; two Charles Dickens novels, Hard Times and Dombey & Sons; and two novels by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.
Louisa is a First Lady name, being the wife of President John Quincy Adams. One of Meryl Streep's daughters is named Louisa.
Some international variations: Luisa, Lovisa, Ludovica, and Luigia. Nicknames include Lou, Lu, Lulu, and Ouisa.
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