Gender: Female Meaning of Ursula: "little female bear" Origin of Ursula: Latin

Ursula Origin and Meaning

The name Ursula is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "little female bear".

A saint's name with a noteworthy literary background, including uses by Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing, by Ben Johnson, Walter Scott, Longfellow, D. H. Lawrence and Neil Gaiman. In real life, her two most well known representatives are writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress. In literature, there is also Ursula Iguaran, a key, long-lived character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's major work, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Caveat: Today's kids might associate this name with the campy, corpulent octopus in Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Ursula ranked in the Top 1000 through 1983. Time for a comeback?

16 names similar to Ursula

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Ursula. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Ursula, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


- this week

Famous People Named Ursula

Pop Culture References for the name Ursula

Ursula's International Variations

Ursule (Romanian) Sula, Ulli, Urmi (Estonian) Ulla, Urse (German) Ursulina (Spanish) Vorsila (Czech) Urzula (Latvian)


vasiliki Says:


As a big sci fi fan, I love the Ursula Le Guin association. Amongst the general public, however, I suspect the Disney connection is just too strong.

MissYellowButterfly Says:


One of my absolute favorite names, despite all attempts to dislike it. Perhaps a good nickname would be suitable.

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


Umbria is very elegant.

Princess Hockey Says:


Just look at the popularity chart. You cannot name a child Ursula anymore. Disney took that option away completely. Names like Ursula or Gaston are gone for at least the next 50 years, probably longer.

ceruleanstardust Says:


I'm really beginning to love this name and am a big nicknamer myself; so far, I love the idea of calling an Ursula:
Ula/Ulla (pronounced uhla or oola)
Ursa (like the constellations)

rayleemarie Says:


I've surprisingly met someone with this name it's no my favorite but, I don't think she receives as many TLM references as you might think. Overall she's super nice so, I try to make that connection instead of TLM refrence

BabyHall Says:


Isnt this the name of the villiain in Little Mermaid? I thought it mennt rotten fish!

SloaneSquare Says:


Thankfully, most of the pop culture references go over my head.

Piteco Says:


One of my favorite girl names ever. I love the initial U, so unusual and so little used. This name has a beauty and charm that you should stop a bit to note it. But most people feel an aversion to that name just because of a character, which does not even match that this name. Ursula means Little bear, while the evil witch is a purple octopus. What the heck, Disney? Come on, Ursula is incredible, just give that name a chance.

Daiseymae Says:


This name just reminds me of the beautiful Ursula Andress.

SoDallas3 Says:


My grandmother's name is Ursula Ruth, she's German born, it was really common during her childhood. I just find it too clunky, I'd rather use Ruth or another name meaning bear, my uncle was a Bernard.

softboiledeggs Says:


I have mixed feelings about this name. It's sophisticated and strong, sensual yet ethereal (maybe because it makes me I think of the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor). Sounds upper crust too. But the meaning is so cute! I picture a beautiful, independent, and confident woman with sass (because of the association with The Little Mermaid and Ursula Andress and Le Guin), but with a sweet side as well (due to the meaning).

However it also sounds clunky like Ophelia and Gertrude to me. The lack of nicknames deters me as well. Let's not talk about TLM association, although honestly Ursula is one of my favourite Disney villains. I wouldn't use this name for my daughter.

U. Says:


So good to see so many people actually like my name. As a child I always disliked the way it sounds and how everyone else was just Julie or Kate and I was like Urszula (it's spelled with sz, sounding very much like sh, in my country, and to be honest it doesn't sound as nice and light as 'Ursula'). In a way, I still don't like it. Maybe don't hate it, but still.
But at least no one ever associated me with the octopus witch and that's a win right.

marnie r Says:


There aren't enough pretty 'U' names. It's a shame this one was taken by a Disney villain, but I love it anyways.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I adore this name. It just sounds and looks beautiful, in an unusual way, that I find difficult to define.

beachbear Says:


This name is 100% sea witch. Unfortunately, being bear-obsessed I LOVE the meaning.

kxlly0614 Says:


I'm trying to like this name, I know deep down that it's beautiful. But the Little Mermaid ruins it for me. It's still beautiful I think, and I hope to see more people use this name so the disney association dies out!

lemonqueen Says:


Pretty, and there was a Saint Ursula.

hufflepuff Says:


Ursula is a strong yet ethereal and decidedly feminine name. I love its celestial connections and I think the nickname Ursa is lovely. Modern society may associate the name with the sea witch from Disney's The Little Mermaid, but I don't even mind! As a villain, Ursula was dark and sassy, curvaceous and creative. One of my favorite moments in the entire movie was watching her put her lipstick on. I also think that the strong pop culture association will keep this name in the unique category, which is better than worrying if a name you love will suddenly jump in popularity. I predict that U names will be white hot in a decade or so, especially since there are so few of them.

Impwood Says:


Interesting name.

furcorn9 Says:


I love this name, but because of TLM, I probably won't call my child this. Such a shame.

Beth Says:


This name has a lot of great history, but kids these days will ALWAYS associate it with the fat octopus monster woman in The Little Mermaid. Kids won't know all the other Ursulas in history, so this name is prime for teasing.

snowsbeloved Says:


I love this name regardless of TLM! It's intriguing and ethereal sounding. Not on my shortlist though.

RoddyThlayli Says:


Ursula makes me think of Aurora-- a name that everyone else appears to associate with Disney princess movies, but I hardly knew were in them. That said, Ursula makes me think of a character from a Doctor Who episode. I think it's really pretty.

ElsaAnne Says:


I would love to see this be used more! It's lovely

vintageisfave Says:


Not only is it the name of a notorious Disney villain, it's also just kind of clunky.

FantasyandPrayer Says:


I actually really like it, despite the little mermaid reference (maybe because she is one of my favourite Disney villains!) I don't know if I would ever use it, but I can't help but like how pretty it is.

Jo Jo Says:


Ursula is a chic, upper-crust name, and I can picture a serious little girl or a confident woman with this name.

The only Ursula I've met was a sweetheart, very artistic and shy.

If only I could overlook the pop culture references.

CupcakeGirl13 Says:


I like this name,but the little mermaid makes it impossible to name a girl this.

SimoneKadele Says:


I'm trying really hard to like this name!!

TaliaCat Says:


Just think ugly.

headintheclouds Says:


A rather Guilty Pleasure name of mine- the U- ness of this name sort of puts me off a little bit, but I'm still really drawn to it. The Little Mermaid villain association is also discouraging, but it's still such a great name! It sucks that TLM has rather ruined Ursula for the general naming public. Hope that its image can be rehabbed in the years to come by a more positive pop culture reference. (In the meantime, I think Ursa, mentioned by previous poster, is a beautiful alternative, with the bonus of the stronger constellation association.)

The_Supernatural_Hufflepuff Says:


This is one of my favorite names as I don't associate this name with Friends or the Little Mermaid I associate it with the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor constellations and the Roman Mythology behind them. :)

Shishi Says:


This name just makes me laugh. Because when I was in 5th grade I did the play (the little Mermaid) (I was Ariel) and my bff played Ursula, so everytime I hear the name I think of her in that costume....Good Times

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I don't think the character ruined this name, personally, but it's jus tnot really my taste.

CocoWhite Says:


Used to always remind me of the Disney character, but now I just think of Phoebe's twin sister from Friends.

Guest Says:


Even if The Little Mermaid never was, I would still imagine an evil hammy octopus sea witch when I heard this name.

BabyNameAholic Says:


I really love this name, despite the Little Mermaid association