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From Latin puella.


puella (plural puellas)

  1. Ellipsis of puella aeterna.
    • 1979, Quadrant, volume 12 or 13, page 102:
      As I mentioned earlier, the circumstances that precipitate puer development prece sexual differentiation and the formation of a strong identity based on gender. Some puers and puellas are, therefore, heterosexual, others are homosexual.
    • 1996, Seymour Boorstein, editor, Transpersonal Psychotherapy, 2nd edition, State University of New York Press, →ISBN, pages 472, 473:
      TR spirit-work: For some extreme and gifted puers and puellas, Jesus or Mary another spirit comes in vivid visions. [] The blessing, though related to the body, takes place mainly on a heavenly-spiritual place. It is a necessary beginning for puers and puellas, though much embodied “shadow-material” remains to be dealt with, including the “nasty old (wo)man.”
    • 1999 February 21, Sharyn C, “Re: Hillman Online”, in alt.psychology.jung (Usenet), message-ID <3B348FE4.1963DB1D@prodigy.net>:
      Having a child was a definite turning point in my puella lifestyle, so was getting an education and working towards a serious career. John Lee's book is on my shelf and will have to give it another look in the coming days. I much prefer Hillman's twist on the puer archetype over some of the Jungians. Even my fav, Von-Franz, is a bit too pessimistic about it. Hillman's archetypal dig brings back the positive aspects of the puer/puella and for those of us who inhabit this realm,it was a great relief to be able to claim more than the negative side of it.
    • 2000 June 3, Troubledoor, “Re: Question about Puer and Thanatos”, in alt.psychology.jung (Usenet), message-ID <393843A8.737705E6@earthlink.net>:
      Nobody understands the puer aeternus and also the puella aetermiss because they are the archetypicals of eternity in time. [] The puer and puella are more like masks/roles in this respect because no one ever measures up to these standards. So most people only know the pue's by the shadow or shallow. [] And the puers and puellas don't remember anymore the ego's DIGNITY AND HONOR because they are worn out.
    • 2001 June 23, Mary K. Armstrong, “Re: Sacrifice of the Maiden”, in alt.psychology.jung (Usenet), message-ID <7aoaq2$nbr$1@remarQ.com>:
      >Could you please enlighten me about the 'Puer Aeternas'?[sic] / []  / As an example, I knew a woman in her late 50's, who could fit the description of a puella, who had quite a few health problems, and some probably psychosomatic.
    • 2005, Erin Sullivan, Astrology of Midlife and Aging, →ISBN:
      The combination of Scorpio and Capricorn is not a terribly cheerful image, and considering the mundane events of the time in which this transit occurred, we would be fools to consider that the product of those times might be a lighthearted, happy-go-lucky bunch of puers and puellas. [] Puers and puellas have a very hard time individuating into their aging process.
    • 2005, Daryl Sharp, Not the Big Sleep: On Having Fun, Seriously: A Jungian Romance, Inner City Books, →ISBN, pages 46–48:
      I eyed her. For sure she had some characteristics of a puella, but she wasn’t only that. [] “Listen,” I said, “my favorite aunt, my mother’s sister Marge, was a puella. As a grown woman she sat by the window for hours, gazing at the horizon. ‘One day,’ she would sigh, ‘my ship will come in.’ She lived in a small town on the prairies, a thousand miles from any sea. [] You see, puers and puellas are always about to make a change; one day they’ll do what’s necessary—but not just yet. []
    • 2007, Robert A. Johnson, Jerry Ruhl, Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life, →ISBN:
      We are also familiar with the type of man or woman who is overly dominated by the Eternal Youth. Though more common in the first half of life, there are Puers and Puellas of all ages, and their energy is often a delight during courting. [] These Puers and Puellas can never commit, fearing that choices may limit their options.
  2. (rare) A young girl.
    • 1920, Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, page 7:
      Carol’s family were self-sufficient in their inventive life, with Christmas a rite full of surprises and tenderness, and “dressing-up parties” spontaneous and joyously absurd. The beasts in the Milford hearth-mythology were not the obscene Night Animals who jump out of closets and eat little girls, but beneficent and bright-eyed creatures—the tam htab, who is woolly and blue and lives in the bathroom, and runs rapidly to warm small feet; the ferruginous oil stove, who purrs and knows stories; and the skitamarigg, who will play with children before breakfast if they spring out of bed and close the window at the very first line of the song about puellas which father sings while shaving.
    • 1957, IW: The Management Magazine, volume 140, page 6:
      “No; you called it that. Anyway, what’s wrong with ‘whither’?” / “Oh, that; we had to struggle through a high school commencement speech one time, something about ‘Whither now, oh, puers and puellas?’ and now the word gives us the hiccoughs.”
    • 1959, Hugh D. Corwin, Comanche & Kiowa Captives in Oklahoma & Texas, pages 193–194:
      At last this tiresome old profligate let up on me and the whole camp came en masse, marching around me, dancing, singing. The old squaws were in the front group, the braves in the second squad, and the young girls brought up the rear. The women chanted their incantations, the warriors fired their guns and yelled, the puellas danced and sang ditty songs, and such another jubilee I never did see.

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From puellus (a little boy), contracted from puerulus (little boy, little slave), the diminutive of puer (boy).



puella f (genitive puellae, masculine puellus); first declension

  1. girl, lass, maiden (female child)
    parvola puellaa young girl
    pueri atque puellaeboys and girls
    pueri innuptaeque puellaeboys and unmarried maidens
  2. (poetic) sweetheart, mistress, beloved maiden
    cara mea puellamy beloved girl
  3. young woman, young wife
  4. (rare) female slave


First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative puella puellae
Genitive puellae puellārum
Dative puellae puellīs
Accusative puellam puellās
Ablative puellā puellīs
Vocative puella puellae



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  • puella”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • puella”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • puella in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • puella in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.