Paula \pa(u)-la\ as a girl's name is pronounced PAW-lah. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Paula is "small". Feminine form of Paul. A Roman name and saint's name. Paula was used among early Christians , probably to honor Saint Paul. It was not used widely in English-speaking countries until the 20th century. In the meantime, it was mainly used as a German name. Actress Paulette Godard; singer Paula Abdul.