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Gender: F Meaning of Willa: "resolute protection" Origin of Willa: Feminine variation of William Willa's Popularity in 2012: #723

Popularity: this week.

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 newborn daughter Willa Lou, 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.)

Willa originated as a short form of Wilhelmina. After a half-century hiatus, it's just reentered the U.S. Top 1000 and is definitely on an upward course.

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Famous People Named Willa

Wilella Sibert 'Willa' Cather, American novelist
Willa Holland, American actress
Willa Ford (born Amanda Williford), American singer
Mary Willa "Mamie" Gummer, American actress
Willa Lou Deary (b. 2011), daughter of actor Keri Russell
Willa (b. 2008), daughter of Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Willa Brown Chappell (1906-1992), pioneering aviator

Pop Culture References for the Name Willa

Willa Burrell - Eric's baby vampire in True Blood season 6.
Willa Jean, character in the popular Ramona Quimby book series
Willa Jackson, main character in "The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allenb
Isabella "Willa" Angelo, Kingdom Keepers character
Willa Monday, a character in "The Finder" TV series
Willa, main character in the children's show "Willa's Wild Life"
Willa Thirdman, character in "Friends and Relations" (1931) by Elizabeth Bowen
Hank Hill from 'King of the Hill' commented that Willa was a "cute name"
Willa, minor character in George R. R. Martin's series, "A Song of Ice and Fire"
Willa Fisher Chenowith, Daughter of Nate & Brenda in "Six Feet Under" TV series.