The name comes from the Sanskrit वेद veda, meaning, “knowledge.”
In Hinduism, the vedas are a compilation of sacred literature that are considered divinely inspired.
In the English-speaking world, Veda has experienced widespread use since the 19th-century, and has spun off a more phonetic form of Vada. Its use among non-Indian Hindus is a mystery. There are a few records for Vedas as early as the 18th-century, in the United States. Perhaps it is an import from when India was a British colony. It wasn’t uncommon for Brits and Anglo-Americans at this time to use Indian names they heard and thought sounded nice for their children.
It may have also been used as an elaborate spin-off of the Latin, Vita (life).
In the 1940s, Veda Pierce is the treacherous daughter of the protagonist in the popular novel-turned-film and later miniseries, Mildred Pierce (1940), by James M. Cain. In it, Pierce alludes that she named her daughter at the suggestion of her astrologer in reference to vedic astrology.
In the 1991 film, My Girl, it is the name of the main character, Vada Sultenfuss, played by Anna Chlumsky.
Veda has been in and out of the U.S. Top 1000 Female names since 1900. It peaked in 1901, coming in at #401. It is currently the 878th most popular female name (2016).
Vada was in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1900 and 1946 and peaked in 1901, coming in as the 334th most popular female name. It fell off the charts in 1946 and reappeared in 2016, coming in as the 902nd most popular female name.