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Gender: Female Meaning of Paula: "small" Origin of Paula: Feminine variation of Paul Paula's Popularity in 2017: #847

The name Paula is a girl's name of Portuguese origin meaning "small". Paula is ranked #847 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Midcentury Baby Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "How many ____s do you know?".

From the experts:

Paula still seems somewhat stuck in the era of duo Paul and Paula bopping out the song "Hey, Paula." Two pronunciations are possible—the English "PAW-la" and the Portuguese "POW-la."

Modern bearers of the name include singer-songwriter Paula Abdul and comedian Paula Poundstone, as well as a character on My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Find other names based on Paula using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Paula

Saint Paula of Rome, early Desert Mother; follower of St. Jerome
Paula Julie Abdul, American singer, choreographer, and dancer
Paula Maxine Patton, American actress
Paula Ann Hiers Deen, American chef and TV personality
Paula Michelle Devicq, Canadian actress
Paula Barbieri, American model and actress
Paula Fickes Hawkins, U.S. Senator from Florida
Paula Jane Radcliffe, English long-distance runner
Paula Cole, American singer-songwriter
Paula Caroline Creamer, American professional golfer
Paula Elizabeth Yates, Welsh TV presenter
Paula Jaraquemada Alqui­zar, Chilean independence patriot
Paula Ann Zahn, American TV journalist
Paula Poundstone, American comedienne
Paula Seling, Romanian pop singer
Paula Huston, American novelist
(Mary) Paula Wilcox, English actress
Paula Fernandes, Brazilian singer
Paula Dacia DeAnda, American singer-songwriter
Paula Tsui (Siu-fung), Hong Kong pop singer
Paula Belén Pareto, Argentine judoka
Paula Echevarría, Spanish actress
Paula Frye, Mother of Members of YouTube channel VenturianTale

Pop Culture References for the name Paula

Paula Cracker, former guitarist of the virtual band "Gorillaz"
Paula Proctor, character on TV's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"
Dr. Paula Hutchison Turtle, character on animated series "Rocko's Modern Life"
Paul & Paula, American music duo

Paula's International Variations

Pawlina, Pawla, Pola (Polish) Pasha, Polina, Pashenka, Pavlina (Russian) Paoletta, Paolina (Portuguese) Pauliina (Finnish) Paola (Italian) Paule, Pauline, Paulette (French)


paulapuddephatt Says:


😀 If it ever was in "style", right? My name - not a huge fan, but you get used to your own name, pretty much...!!!

paulapuddephatt Says:


I can't believe that my name is still in the US and UK top 1000, as I never hear anyone calling their children by it. I think that really, all of the feminine versions are down in popularity, due to the fact that Paul is lower than it has been for a long time. I never liked having what I felt was "a boys' name with a letter shoved on the end". It's not the same as a beautiful feminine version, such as Charlotte. But all the names like Paula, Shauna, Erica, Carla, and even Carly - hmmm. I don't count names like Michaela in the same way, as it has its own sound. My middle name is Michelle, which I like more, but I can't imagine it being my first name, in a sense - because there were so many Michelles in my generation, and it would be hard to adjust to having a much more popular name than I'm used to. I used to think that Paulette was the nicest feminine version of Paul, but nowadays, I don't think there's much in it. None are terrible or wonderful, to me. I've been mistaken for a Pauline a lot, so that name kind of annoys me. I think Paulina is probably the prettiest. But it does make me laugh, the reviews that each one has on this site. Paulette's visa has supposedly expired - ha, ha! Paulina is described as being more sophisticated than either Paula or Pauline, or something along those lines - with which I won't disagree...! 😃

grace147 Says:


so cute!!

AriellaBar Says:


I like the meaning "humble" dating back to the ancient Roman family name. "Small" is too literal.

Zelliew Says:


I like both Paula & Pauline

EvaThyssen Says:


POUL-a (like 'cloud'). Paula is one of my favourite names, with my native Spanish pronounciation.

mother_dragons Says:


I prefer the Spanish pn a lot more. It's pronounced something like /PAH-oo-la/, which I find a lot softer than /POH-lah/

MaryKathryn Says:


I feel this is a name that will never come back into "style"