- this week

Gender: F Meaning of Willa: "resolute protection" Origin of Willa: Feminine variation of William Willa's Popularity in 2015: #481

Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree. Actress Keri Russell named her daughter Willa Lou, late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman used Willa for the youngest of his three children, and David Mamet and Brian De Palma also have daughters named Willa, plus it's the middle name of Meryl Streep's actress daughter Mary (called Mamie.) Young Willa characters have appears on Six Feet Under and True Blood.

Willa originated as a short form of Wilhelmina. After a half-century hiatus, it reentered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2010 and soared to the Top 500, for the first time since 1949, last year.

Famous People Named Willa

Willa of Tuscany, Queen consort of Berengar II of Italy
Wilella Sibert 'Willa' Cather, American novelist
Willa Joannachance Holland, American actress
Willa Ford (born Amanda Lee Williford), American singer
Willa Beatrice Brown, American aviatrix
Mary Willa "Mamie" Gummer, American actress, daughter of actress Meryl Streep
Willa Lou Deary (b. 2011), daughter of actress Keri Russell
Willa (b. 2008), daughter of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Willa Fitzgerald, actress on MTV's Scream

Pop Culture References for the name Willa

Willa Burrell, baby vampire on TV's "True Blood"
Willa Jean Kemp, character in the Ramona Quimby novels by Beverly Cleary
Willa Jackson, main character in "The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allen
Isabella "Willa" Angelo, character in Ridley Pearson's "Kingdom Keepers"
Willa Monday, character on TV's "The Finder"
"Willa's Wild Life," animated TV series
Willa Thirdman, character in "Friends and Relations" (1931) by Elizabeth Bowen
Willa, called a "cute name" by Hank Hill of TV's "King of the Hill'
Willa, minor character in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series
Willa Fisher Chenowith, daughter of Nate & Brenda on TV's "Six Feet Under"
Willa Penn, younger sister of Beverly Penn in book/film "Winter's Tale"
Willa McPherson, character on TV's "Dirt"
Willa Givens, Raylan's daughter on TV show "Justified"
Willa Warren, character on TV's "The Family"
Willafred (Willa) Havisham, main character of "The Wedding Planner's Daughter"