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Willa is a sweet old-fashioned name for baby girls that is making a big comeback. It's been compared to nature names like Lily and Willow, and even considered an alternative to them, but it isn't so common that it feels overused. The name has been linked to royalty, and it's a popular one for celebrity babies born over the last decade. It pairs well with both classic and modern middle names as well.

Meaning of the name Willa:

Germanic/Old French: Valiant protection

Origin of the name Willa:

Willa is a derivative of the masculine names William and Wilhelm. These names were brought to England after the Norman Conquest and have remained popular in the Western world ever since.

Symbolism of the name Willa:

The masculine versions of Willa break down to “wil,” which means “will or desire” and “helm,” which means “helmet or protection.” For this reason, the name Willa symbolizes strength and protection.

baby name Willa

Style of the name Willa:

Traditional

Gender of the name Willa:

Willa is a girl's name.

Pronunciation of the name Willa:

WILL-uh

Number of syllables in the name Willa:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Willa:

The name Willa is light and whispy and evokes images of nature, thanks to its close relation to names like “Lily” and “Willow.”

Alternative spellings for the name Willa:

  • Wila
  • Wylla
  • Willah

Nicknames for the name Willa:

Popularity of the name Willa:

According to the Social Security Administration, Willa was one of the top 1,000 names for baby girls through the 1960s, but it fell out of favor for decades. However, it jumped back onto the list in 2010 and hasn't left since. In 2020, it ranked at number 349.

Related names for the name Willa:

Great middle names for Willa and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Willa:

  • Willa Ford (singer and actress)
  • Willa of Tuscany (queen consort of Berengar II of Italy)
  • Willa Cather (writer)
  • Willa Fitzgerald (actress)
  • Willa McGuire Cook (water skiining champion)

Willas in popular culture:

  • Willa Burrell (character on the TV show “True Blood”)
  • Willa Fisher Chenowith (character on the TV show “Six Feet Under”)
  • Willa Jean Kemp (character in the “Ramona” novels by Beverly Cleary)
  • Willa Jackson (character in the book “The Peach Keeper”)
  • Willin the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire”)