Quick Facts on Nola
- English, Irish
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Little fair-shouldered one (exceptionally pretty)
Etymology & Historical Origin - Nola
Nola is a diminutive name most commonly associated with Finola, Enola or Magnolia. It is generally accepted as the anglicized form of Nuala, the Irish diminutive of Fionnuala (the Gaelic form of Finola), derived from the Irish-Gaelic elements “fionn” meaning “white, fair” and “guala” meaning “shoulder” (translation: exceptionally pretty). Fionnuala factors into one of the most memorable of Irish legends known as the “Children of Lír”. King Lír (an Irish sea god) and his wife Aoibh had four children, a daughter Fionnuala and three sons Aodh (fire), Fiachra (raven) and Conn (chief). When Aoibh died, Lír and his children were so grief-stricken that Aoibh’s father, Bodb Derg (elected King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a mythological early race of Irish people), sent another one of his daughters (Aoife) as a replacement wife/mother. When Aoife came onto the scene as wifey #2, she was insanely jealous of her husband’s deep love and affection for his children (her step-children), so she sent for a sorcerer and ordered their death. Only hiccup? The sorcerer refused to carry out her diabolical plan; he just couldn’t harm the four innocent and beautiful children. Instead, Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra and Conn were transformed into four lovely white swans fated to swim various waters for 900 years (300 years in the North Channel, 300 years in the Irish Sea and 300 years in the Atlantic). After the children’s long sentence at sea, they were given sanctuary on a pond at a monastery, although they had to be tied to one another with a silver chain. Spying the lovely swans, the Queen of Leinster demanded that her husband storm the monastery and retrieve them for her possession. However, once the silver chain was broken, the swans immediately transformed into old people and withered away to their deaths (before being sent to heaven). So goes the legend of the “fair-shouldered” Fionnuala. The name Fionnuala was quite common in medieval Ireland, although the more modern form of Finola has become rare. Nola is a common nickname (Nuala, pronounced “NEW-la” is the Gaelic diminutive equivalent). NOLA is also an acronym for New Orleans, Louisiana; and it’s also the name of a city in Italy near Mt. Vesuvius.
Popularity of the Name Nola
Most of Nola’s popularity as a baby girl’s name in the United States was experienced back at the turn of the 20th century. The name held fairly steady at moderate levels of usage during the first half of the 1900s, but then began to fall from favor during the 1950s and 60s. In fact, Nola would take a hiatus from the charts for more than 40 consecutive years between 1965 and 2007. It only just returned to America’s Top 1000 list of female names in 2008. There could be a couple reasons for the name’s sudden resurfacing, most probably due to a strong renewed interest in turn-of-the-century female names (Emma, Hazel, Ruby, etc). These names are short and sweet and loaded with antique charm. There are also two possible pop-culture influences. Nola Rice was a central character in Woody Allen’s 2005 thriller “Match Point” (played by the lovely Scarlett Johanssen), and Nola Falacci was introduced as a new female lead character in 2008 on the popular series “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” (played by Alicia Witt). In any case, we’re glad to see Nola back on the charts. It’s a sweet name with understated beauty.
Popularity of the Girl Name Nola
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Nola
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Nola
Nola We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Nola.
Popular Songs on Nola
Nola - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Nola.
Children's Books on the Baby Name Nola
Goodnight NOLA (Cornell P. Landry) - "Goodnight NOLA" is a lovable tribute to things unique to New Orleans. People of all ages will enjoy this rhythmic salute to red beans and rice, po'boys, celebrated chefs, music, historic landmarks, the sporting scene and many other features of the Crescent City. An excellent introduction for young children and a wonderful souvenir. Recommended for ages 5-8.
Nola's Worlds Book 1: Changing Moon (Mathieu Mariolle) - "In Alta Donna, the weather is great, the sunsets are super, and the stars twinkle brightly. Perfect, right? No! It's super boring. Nothing real ever happens. Everybody says I spend too much time daydreaming in my own little world. At least my dreams are more interesting than Alta Donna. But what if Alta Donna is hiding a secret? The two new kids in town are up to something. No one could be as good a baseball player as Damiano, and no one could be as charming as Inés. The moment they arrived, life in Alta Donna stopped being perfect and started getting weird. Who are they really? I always say, if you need a puzzle solved, look for someone with a BIG imagination. And that's me. Nola." Book 2 in the “Nola’s Worlds” series is titled “Ferrets and Ferreting Out” and Book 3: “Even for a Dreamer Like Me”. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Famous People Named Nola
Famous People Named Nola - We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Nola.
Children of Famous People Named Nola
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Nola - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Nola.
Nola - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Nola - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Nola.
Personality of the Girl Name Nola
Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.
Variations of the Baby Name - Nola