Ada (name)

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Ada Lovelace 1838.jpg
Ada Lovelace is considered by some as the first computer programmer.
Pronunciation /ˈdə/[1]
Gender female
Language(s) German, Hebrew
Meaning "noble, nobility", "adornment"
Other names
See also Adelaide, Adeline

Ada is a feminine given name. One source indicates it originates from a Germanic word meaning "nobility".[2] It can also be a short form of names such as Adelaide and Adeline. The name also traces to Hebrew origin, sometimes spelt Adah - עָדָה, meaning "adornment".

The name has seen a slight increase in popularity in the United States in recent years, where it was the 646th most common name given to baby girls born there in 2007.[3] It had been among the top 100 names for girls in the United States between 1880 and 1912 and remained in the top 1,000 names for girls until 1985. It first reappeared among the top 1,000 names for girls in 2004, after a 19 year absence.[4] Finnish variant Aada was among the top ten most popular names given to newborn girls in Finland in 2013. The name is also commonly used in Norway, where it was the 66th most popular name for girls born in 2007.[5]

Its increase in popularity has been attributed to the popularity of other "simple, old-fashioned names beginning with a vowel" such as Ava and Ella[2] Some of its popularity might also be attributed to Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the daughter of George Gordon, Lord Byron, who has been called the first computer programmer by some historians.[6] Ada, a computer programming language, was named in her honor. St. Ada was also the name of an early saint and of several medieval queens and princesses.

Notable people[edit]

Given name
  • Ada, Countess of Atholl, the daughter of David de Hastings, England, and Forbhlaith of Atholl, Scotland
  • Ada, Countess of Holland (1188–1223), Countess of Holland between 1203 and 1207
  • Ada "Bricktop" Smith (1894–1984), African-American dancer, singer, vaudevillian, and self-described saloon-keeper
  • Ada Adini (1855–1924), American operatic soprano who had an active international career from 1876
  • Ada Adler (1878–1946), Danish classical scholar and librarian
  • Ada Albrecht, Argentinian author
  • Ada Ellen Bayly (1857–1903), English novelist
  • Ada Kouri Barreto (1917–2005), eminent cardiologist
  • Ada Beveridge MBE, née Beardmore (1875–1964), Australian Country Women's Association leader
  • Ada Blackjack, (1898–1983), Inuit woman who lived for two years as a castaway on uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia
  • Ada Booyens (born 1961), South African race walker
  • Ada Bromham (1880–1965), Australian feminist and temperance activist
  • Ada Brown (1890–1950), American blues singer
  • Ada Cambridge (1844–1926), later known as Ada Cross, English writer
  • Ada Carrasco (1912–1994), Mexican film and television actress
  • Ada Cavendish (1839–1895), English actress known for her Shakesperean roles and for popularising the plays of Wilkie Collins in America
  • Ada Nield Chew (1870–1945), British suffragist
  • Ada Choi (born 1973), Hong Kong actress best known for her work for TVB television
  • Ada Clare (1834–1874), born Jane McElhenney, American actress, writer, and feminist
  • Ada Colau (born 1974), Spanish activist and Mayor of Barcelona
  • Ada Comstock (1876–1973), American women's education pioneer
  • Ada Cornaro (1881–1961), prominent Argentine film and theatre actress, tango dancer and singer of the 1930s and 1940s
  • Ada Crossley (1874–1929), Australian singer
  • Ada de la Cruz (born 1986), Miss Dominican Republic 2009 and Miss Universe 2009 first runner-up
  • Ada de Warenne (or Adeline de Varenne) (1120–1178), the Anglo-Norman wife of Henry of Scotland, Earl of Northumbria and Earl of Huntingdon
  • Ada Deer (born 1935), Native American advocate and scholar who served as head of the United States' Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1993 to 1997
  • Ada Dietz (1882–1950), American weaver best known for her 1949 monograph Algebraic Expressions in Handwoven Textiles
  • Ada Dondini (1883–1958), Italian film actress
  • Ada Constance Duncan (1896–1970), Australian welfare activist
  • Ada Dyas (1843–1908), Irish actress
  • Ada María Elflein (1880–1919), Argentine poet, columnist, translator, feminist and teacher
  • Ada English (1875–1944), Irish revolutionary politician and psychiatrist
  • Ada Evans (1872–1947), Australian lawyer, was the first female law graduate in Australia
  • Ada and Minna Everleigh, sisters who operated the Everleigh Club, a high-priced brothel in the Levee District of Chicago after 1900
  • Ada Falcón (1905–2002), Argentine tango dancer, singer and film actress of the 1920s and 1930s
  • Ada Feinberg-Sireni (born 1930), former Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Alignment between 1969 and 1974
  • Ada Fisher (born 1947), retired physician from Salisbury, North Carolina and a frequent Republican candidate for office
  • Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (1924–1995), key figure in the Civil Rights movement in Oklahoma
  • Ada Sawyer Garrett (born 1856), Chicago socialite of the late 19th century
  • Ada Gentile (born 1947), Italian pianist and composer
  • Ada R. Habershon (1861–1918), Christian hymnist, known for her 1907 hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"
  • Ada Hegerberg, Norwegian football striker, currently playing for Stabæk in the Toppserien
  • Ada Howard (1829–1907), the first president of Wellesley College
  • Ada Verdun Howell (1902–1981), Australian author and poet
  • Ada Louise Huxtable (1921–2013), architecture critic and writer on architecture
  • Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz (born 1943), professor emerita of ethics and theology at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey
  • Ada Itúrrez de Cappellini, Argentine Justicialist Party politician
  • Ada J. Graves (1870–1918), British children’s writer
  • Ada James (1876–1952), suffragist, social worker, and reformer
  • Ada Jones (1873–1922), popular mezzo-soprano who recorded from 1905 to the early 1920s
  • Ada Karmi-Melamede (born 1936), Israeli architect
  • Ada Katz (born 1928), the wife and model of Alex Katz
  • Ada Kepley (1847–1925), the first American woman to graduate from law school
  • Florence Ada Keynes (née Brown) (1861–1958), British author, social reformer, and Mayor of Cambridge in 1932
  • Ada Copeland King, the common law wife of American geologist Clarence King
  • Ada King-Milbanke, 14th Baroness Wentworth (1871–1917), British peeress
  • Ada Kok (born 1947), former swimmer who ranked among the world's best in the butterfly stroke category during the 1960s
  • Ada Kramm (1899–1981), Norwegian stage and film actress whose career spanned more than six decades
  • Ada Kuchařová (born 1958), Czechoslovakian orienteering competitor
  • Ada Annie Lawson or Cougar Annie (1888–1985), pioneer who settled near Hesquiat Harbour on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada
  • Ada Lee, jazz, blues, gospel and soul music singer from Springfield, Ohio since the late 1950s
  • Ada Leverson (1862–1933), British writer who is now known primarily for her work as a novelist
  • Ada Limón (born 1976), American poet
  • Ada Lovelace (1815–1852), born Augusta Ada Byron, English writer, programmed Charles Babbage's mechanical computer, the analytical engine
  • Ada Maddison (1869–1950), British mathematician best known for her work on differential equations
  • Ada Maddocks (1927–2007), British trade union official
  • Ada Madssen (1917–2009), Norwegian sculptor
  • Ada Maimon (born 1893), Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Mapai between 1949 and 1955
  • Ada Maris (born 1957), Mexican-American actress
  • Ada Marshania, ethnic Abkhaz and the Deputy of Supreme Council of the de jure Government of Abkhazia in exile since July 2006
  • Ada Mason or Aida Mason, née Wagstaff (1895–2007), the oldest living person in the UK at 111 years of age
  • Ada Maza (born 1951), Argentine Justicialist Party politician
  • Ada Menken or Adah Isaacs Menken (1835–1868), American actress, painter and poet
  • Ada Miller or Corín Tellado (1927–2009), prolific Spanish writer of romantic novels and photonovels
  • Ada Mills (1912–2001), Republican political activist in the U.S. state of Arkansas
  • Ada Moldovan or Adriana Moldovan (born 1983), Romanian handball player
  • Ada Andy Napaltjarri (born 1954), Warlpiri and Luritja speaking Indigenous artist from Australia's Western Desert region
  • Ada Negri (1870–1945), Italian poet and writer
  • Ada Nicodemou (born 1977), Greek Cypriot-born Australian actress, played Leah Patterson-Baker in the soap opera Home and Away
  • Ada Norris, DCMG, DBE (1901–1989), Australian women's rights activist and community worker
  • Ada of Caria (Ἄδα in Greek) (fl. 377 – 326 BC) was satrap of Caria in the 4th century BC
  • Ada of Huntingdon (1146–1206), Scottish noblewoman and Countess of Holland by marriage
  • Ada M. Oredigger, pen name of Karl Emil Nygard (1906–1984), American Communist politician and first Communist mayor in the United States
  • Ada Gertrude Paterson (1880–1937), New Zealand school doctor, child health administrator and community worker
  • Ada Patterson (1867–1939), American print journalist
  • Ada Perkins (1959–1980), Puerto Rican beauty queen who represented her island in the Miss Universe beauty pageant in 1978
  • Mary Ada Pickford CBE (1884–1934), British politician, industrialist and historian
  • Ada Pilgrim (1867–1965), New Zealand healer
  • Ada Polak (née Andrea Buch) (1914–2010), Norwegian art historian
  • Florence Ada Mary Lamb Polson (1877–1941), New Zealand rural women's advocate
  • Ada Reeve (1874–1966), English actress of both stage and film
  • Ada Rehan (1859–1916), American actress
  • Ada Roe, née Giddings (1858–1970), British supercentenarian
  • Ada Dwyer Russell (1863–1952), Mormon actress of the stage
  • Ada Sari (1886–1968), Polish opera singer, actress, and educator
  • Ada Lewis Sawyer (1892–1985), American lawyer
  • Caroline Ada Seville (1874–1955), New Zealand nurse, hospital matron and community leader
  • Ada Holly Shissler, Associate Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish History at the University of Chicago
  • Ada Smith (born 1945), served as a New York State Senator from 1989 to 2006
  • Ada Jack Carver Snell (1890–1972), American short story writer
  • Ada Svedin (1900–1975), German actress
  • Ada Svetlova, Latvian singer, mezzo-soprano, performer of classical and ethnic repertoire
  • Ada Udechukwu (born 1960), Nigerian artist and poet associated with the Nsukka group
  • Ada Mae Vaughn or Adamae Vaughn (1905–1943), movie actress from Kentucky
  • Ada Vélez (born 1970), Puerto Rican female professional boxer who lives in Hollywood, Florida
  • Ada Vojtsik, Russian actress
  • Ada Overton Walker or Aida Overton Walker (1880–1914), African-American vaudeville performer and wife of George Walker
  • Ada Ward, English actress and singer who became a star in Australia in the 1870s, and later worked in the United States
  • Ada Wells née Pike (1863–1933), feminist and social worker in New Zealand
  • Ada Williams (actress) (born 1913), former American film actress
  • Ada Williams (baby farmer) (1875–1900), baby farmer convicted of killing 21-month-old Selina Ellen Jones in London in 1899
  • Ada Clendenin Williamson (1880–1958), American book illustrator
  • Ada Yonath (born 1939), Israeli crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome
  • Francisco Ada (1934–2010), Northern Mariana Islands politician
  • Gordon Ada AO, FAA (born 1922), Australian microbiologist, leader of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University
  • Jacquette Ada (born 1991), Cameroonian women's footballer
  • Joseph Franklin Ada (born 1943), U.S. politician
  • Patrick Ada (born 1985), Cameroonian footballer
Fictional People


  1. ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach, James Hartmann and Jane Setter, eds., English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2 
  2. ^ a b Rosenkrantz, Linda, and Satran, Pamela Redmond (2007). Baby Name Bible. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-35220-2
  3. ^ "Official Social Security Website". Social Security Administration. 
  4. ^ Mike Campbell. "Popularity for Ada". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  5. ^ Mike Campbell. "Popularity for Ada". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  6. ^ "Ada Lovelace - GHN: IEEE Global History Network". Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-16.