Feminine variation of William
"resolute protection"

Willa Origin and Meaning

The name Willa is a girl's name of German origin meaning "resolute protection".

Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.

Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas are the latest celebrities to welcome a daughter named Willa. Other stars who used this name include actress Keri Russell, who named her daughter Willa Lou and the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who used Willa for the youngest of his three children. 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, in 2015. Willa might also work as an honor name for an ancestral William.

# 428 in the US

Willa Rank in US Top 1000

# 80 on Nameberry

Willa Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Willa Popularity

Famous People Named Willa

  • Willa of TuscanyQueen consort of Berengar II of Italy
  • Wilella Sibert 'Willa' CatherAmerican novelist
  • Willa Joanna Chance HollandAmerican actress; stepdaughter of director Brian De Palma
  • Willa Ford (born Amanda Lee Williford)American singer
  • Willa Beatrice BrownAmerican aviatrix
  • Willa McCord Blake EslickU.S. Congresswoman from Tennessee
  • Willa FitzgeraldAmerican actress
  • Willa HollandAmerican actress
  • Willa TaylorAmerican actress
  • Willa ShalitAmerican entrepreneur; daughter of TV personality Gene Shalit
  • Willa Mametdaughter of playwright David Mamet and actress Lindsay Crouse; sister of actress Zosia Mamet
  • Willa Baker (b. 1993)daughter of actors Dylan and Becky Ann Baker
  • Willa Hoffman (b. 2008)daughter of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman
  • Willa Sun Pressnall (b. 2009)daughter of musicians Derek and Jamie Pressnall of Tilly and the Wall
  • Willa Lou Deary (b. 2011)daughter of actress Keri Russell
  • Willa Jean Batson (b. 2013)daughter of singer Ferraby Lionheart and Dawn Batson
  • Willa Getzlaf (b. 2014)daughter of ice hockey player Ryan Getzlaf
  • Willa Ashford (b. 2015)daughter of actor Matthew Ashford
  • Willa Gray Akins (b. 2017)daughter of singer Thomas Rhett and Laura Akins
  • Willa Jonas (b. 2020)daughter of Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas

Willa in Pop Culture

  • Willa Burrellbaby vampire on TV's "True Blood"
  • Willa Jean Kempcharacter in the Ramona Quimby novels by Beverly Cleary
  • Willa Jacksonmain character in "The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Isabella "Willa" Angelocharacter in Ridley Pearson's "Kingdom Keepers"
  • Willa Mondaycharacter on TV's "The Finder"
  • "Willa's Wild Life" animated TV series
  • Willa Thirdmancharacter in "Friends and Relations" (1931) by Elizabeth Bowen
  • Willacalled a "cute name" by Hank Hill of TV's "King of the Hill'
  • Willaminor character in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series
  • Willa Fisher Chenowithdaughter of Nate & Brenda on TV's "Six Feet Under"
  • Willa Pennyounger sister of Beverly Penn in book/film "Winter's Tale"
  • Willa McPhersoncharacter on TV's "Dirt"
  • Willa GivensRaylan's daughter on TV show "Justified"
  • Willa Warrencharacter on TV's "The Family"
  • Willafred (Willa) Havishammain character of "The Wedding Planner's Daughter"
  • Willa Earpcharacter on TV's "Wynonna Earp"

Willa in Nameberry Blog Posts