Meaning and Name Origin
Petula \p(e)-tu-la\ as a girls' name is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Petula is "pertness". This name was first heard of in the 20th century due to the perpetually pert Petula Clark's stage and screen career. It could derive from the term of endearment "pet", with a suffix from Ursula. The Latin term "petulare" meaning "to ask" is another possible source. Also possibly from the flower name Petunia.
Petula has 1 variant: Petulah.
Petula has 21 more different forms via Ursula: Orsa, Orsala, Orsola, Orsolla, Seula, Sula▼, Ulla, Ursa, Ursala, Urselina, Ursella, Ursie, Ursley, Ursola, Ursule, Ursulette, Ursulina, Ursuline, Ursy, Urszula and Urszuli.
Petula is an uncommon given name for females but a somewhat popular surname for both adults and children (#79885 out of 88799, Top 90%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is an analysis of the popularity of the girl name Petula and affiliated names. Prominent variation forms of Petula (#unlisted) appearing in the Top 1000 are Sula and Ursula. Adoption of these girl names was at its most widespread during the years 1880-1889 and is now much less, with the versions Sula and Ursula becoming less in vogue. (2014 Birth Statistics)