Of Latin origin.
Feminine form of the name Paul.
From an ancient Roman family name Paulus.
Deriving from the Latin adjective that means small.
Saint Paula, also known as Saint Paula of Rome, is the patroness of the Order of Saint Jerome.
Masculine forms of the name are Paul, Pablo, Paulinha, Paulo, Pau, Pawel.
Other forms of the name are Paola, Paulette, Pauline.
Paula is a popular name in Croatia and Spain.
Famous bearers are Paula Abdul, Paula Patton, Paula Radcliffe, Paula Malcomson, Paula Marshall, Paula Pequeno.
Paula Abdul is an American singer, choreographer:
Additional information about the Ancient Roman naming system:
According to the Roman naming rules, the basic elements of Roman names were three. A “praenomen”, a “nomen”, and a “cognomen”.
A “praenomen” was the first name, indicating the personal name.
A “nomen” was the second name, indicating the ‘gens’ to which the bearer of the name belonged to. Gens, meaning the group of families sharing a common “nomen”.
“Nomen” would stand as the group of loosely connected families claiming common ancestors. “Nomen” were always patrilinear, meaning from the father.
A “cognomen” was the third name and was something like the surname. Cognomina (plural of cognomen) were usually inherited. They were rarely given to the bearer by general consensus by the prominent members of the community.
There were several types of “cognomina”, such as geographical, adoptive, occupational, etc. In very rare cases the “cognomina” could be metronymic, meaning from the mother’s “nomen”.