As previously mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the name Ella, but I do find myself fond of several similar names to her. A few weeks ago, I wrote Pt.I of this series which discussed names similar to Ella, in that they too began with the letters El. It therefore seems apt to devote Pt.II of this series to names which end -la, as Ella does.
But this could get a little complicated since many -la names are also -ella names. Think Gabriella, Arabella and so forth, so I’ve resolved this by excluding all such from this list for fear of clutter. It’s not exactly the perfect solution, but frees me up to devote more time to other -la names worthy of attention. This is by no means a complete list, rather a selection of familiar and less-familiar names which end in -la, you may also query as to whether some could truly be alternatives to Ella, but that isn’t really the aim of this post. The aim is to explore names with similar characteristics to Ella, which are of the following do have:
Alaula – Hawaiian name meaning either sunset glow or light of the dawn.
Beulah – Biblical name meaning married. There’s a similar looking name, Betula, which comes from Latin and means birch.
Calendula – A botanical name for the English marigold.
Casmilla – A variant of the name Camilla. There’s also the name Milla, which is a short form of the latter name.
Carla/Carola – Both originally derive from the name Charles, which means man.
Delilah – Biblical name means delicate, weak and thin.
Embla – A name from Norse Mythology, where Embla was the name of the first human female, formed from an elm tree.
Fionnuala – Irish name meaning white shoulder. Variations include Fionnghuala, Finnguala, Finuall and, sigh, Fenella. She also shortens to Nuala, noo-la.
Iola – Likely to be a variation of the name Iole, which is a Greek name meaning violet. The name Viola is worth a mention here, too, alongside the Romanian name Viorel which also means violet.
Kala – Hawaiian version of Sarah, and a Sanskrit name meaning art form, virtue. Also the name of Tarzan’s mother in the Disney film.
Kamala – Sanskrit name meaning lotus.
Lila – She means play in Sanskrit, but may also be taken as a variation of either Leila or Lily. Lila is also the German word for purple. Slightly similar, but not entirely ending -la is the name Lillai, which is a Romani name meaning spring and summer.
Lola – Spanish pet-form of the name Dolores, which means sorrows.
Nahla – Arabic name meaning either drink or bee.
Orla – Also spelt Órlaith. She’s an Irish name meaning golden ruler – I sometimes see the meaning is altered to golden princess.
Perla – Italian form of the name Pearl
Petula – An elaboration of the name Petal, notably seen on British singer Petula Clark.
Thekla – Contracted form of the name Theoclea, which means God’s glory.
Theophila – Feminine form of the name Theophilus, which means friend of God.
Tuathla – Old Irish name meaning ruler of the people. Sometimes seen anglicised to Tuala.
Tula – Sanskrit name meaning balance, scales and likeness.
Twyla – Of uncertain origins, but she has been linked to the name Étoile and Twilight as possibly being an offshoot of either of them. Also spelt Twila.
Ursula – Latin name meaning bear.
Vela – The name of a constellation, originally part of Argo Navis which was later divided into three pieces, creating Vela, Carina and Puppis.
Willa – Feminine form of the name William.
I recently came across the name Ornella. It has Italian origin. It might be a perfect alternative for parents who love the popular names Olivia and Isabella.
I like Vela, and have always like Delilah!
I also think the name Milla is really benefiting from both Ella and Mia/Mila.
Orla is also spelt Orflaugh as I go to school with a girl with the name gand she is Irish. In Australia a news reporter on sunrise is Nuala (can’t remenber her last name)and Tuola (or something like that) is the name of my second cousins teddy cos it means something in South African that I have forgotten