Ada (name)

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Ada Lovelace 1838.jpg
Ada Lovelace is considered by some as the first computer hacker.
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 origin is the Germanic element "adel-" meaning "nobility", for example as part of the names Adelaide and Adeline.[2][3] The name can also trace to a Hebrew origin, sometimes spelt Adah - עָדָה, meaning "adornment". Ada also means "first daughter" in Igbo. Finally, the name occurs in Greek mythology and was in use in Ancient Greece.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] 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 of Caria (fl. 377–326 BC), satrap deposed by her brother Idrieus and restored by Alexander the Great
  • St. Ada, 7th-century French abbess
  • Ada or Adelais, 8th-century sister of Charlemagne, for whom the Ada Gospels at Trier were produced
  • Ada de Warenne (1120–1178), Anglo-Norman wife of Henry of Scotland, Countess of Northumbria and Huntingdon
  • Ada of Huntingdon (1146–1206), Scottish noblewoman, Countess of Holland by marriage
  • Ada of Holland (c.1163–1205), daughter of Floris III, Count of Holland and his wife Ada of Huntingdon
  • Ada, Countess of Holland (1188–1223), Countess of Holland between 1203 and 1207
  • Ada, Countess of Atholl (died 1264)

  • 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 Bakker (born 1948), Dutch tennis player
  • Ada Ellen Bayly (1857–1903), English novelist
  • Ada Kouri Barreto (1917–2005), eminent cardiologist
  • Ada Beveridge (1875–1964), Australian Country Women's Association leader
  • Ada Blackjack, (1898–1983), Inuit woman who was a castaway for two years on Wrangel Island in northern Siberia
  • Ada Bolten (1903–1984), Dutch swimmer
  • 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 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), Israeli politician
  • Ada Ferrer (born 1962), American historian
  • Ada Fisher (born 1947), American retired physician and 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 den Haan (born 1941), Dutch swimmer
  • Ada R. Habershon (1861–1918), Christian hymnist, known for her 1907 hymn "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"
  • Ada Hegerberg, Norwegian football striker
  • 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 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), wife and model of Alex Katz
  • Ada Kepley (1847–1925), the first American woman to graduate from law school
  • Ada van Keulen (1920–2010), Dutch World War II resistance member
  • 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), Dutch swimmer
  • Ada Kramm (1899–1981), Norwegian stage and film actress
  • Ada Kuchařová (born 1958), Czechoslovakian orienteering competitor
  • Ada Annie Lawson or Cougar Annie (1888–1985), pioneer who settled 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 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 and contestant in the 1978 Miss Universe beauty pageant
  • 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 Pometti (born 1955), Italian actress
  • Ada Reeve (1874–1966), English actress of both stage and film
  • Ada Rehan (1859–1916), American actress
  • Ada Roe (1858–1970), British supercentenarian
  • Ada Dwyer Russell (1863–1952), Mormon stage actress
  • 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), New York State Senator from 1989 to 2006
  • Ada "Bricktop" Smith (1894–1984), African-American dancer, singer, vaudevillian, and self-described saloon-keeper
  • 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 (1905–1943), movie actress
  • Ada Vélez (born 1970), Puerto Rican female professional boxer
  • Ada Vojtsik, Russian actress
  • Ada 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) (1913–1975), American film actress
  • Ada Williams (baby farmer) (1875–1900), baby farmer convicted of killing 21-month-old Selina Ellen Jones in London
  • 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
  • Ada Ehi (gospel musician) Nigerian Gospel singer

Fictional characters[edit]


  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. ^ a b Ada at the Meertens Institute database of given names in the Netherlands.
  4. ^ "Official Social Security Website". Social Security Administration. 
  5. ^ Mike Campbell. "Popularity for Ada". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  6. ^ Mike Campbell. "Popularity for Ada". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  7. ^ "Ada Lovelace - GHN: IEEE Global History Network". Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-16.