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

The name Ursula is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "little female bear". Ursula and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Drop Your Least Favorite- Girls' Alphabet!".

From the experts:

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?

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

Famous People Named Ursula

Saint Ursula, Roman-British virgin martyr; patron saint of female students
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, American novelist
Ursula Martius Franklin, Canadian metallurgist, physicist and author
Ursula Andress, Swiss actress
Ursula Goodenough, American biologist and author
Ursula Mayes, American model
Ursula Buchfellner, German model
Ursula Corbero, Spanish actress
Ursula Parker, American actress and violinist
Ursula Southeil aka Mother Shipton, English prophetess of the 16th century
Ursula Vernon, American graphic novelist
Ursula Burns, American CEO of Xerox
Ursula Plassnik, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ursula Rowland (b. 2006), daughter of English-born fashion journalist Plum Sykes

Pop Culture References for the name Ursula

Ursula Buffay, character on NBC's "Friends" and "Mad About You"; twin sister of Phoebe Buffay
Ursula Brangwen, character in'The Rainbow' by D.H. Lawrence
Ursula March, in 'John Halifax, Gentleman' by Dinah Craik
Ursula, character in film 'George of the Jungle'
Ursula the Sea Witch, in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid'
Ursula, character in musical 'Bye Bye Birdie'
Ursula, name Marius assumes is Cosette's name in "Les Misérables"
Ursula Todd, character in "A God in Ruins" by Kate Atkinson

Ursula's International Variations

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