What is so interesting about this name is that there is so much dubious information out there regarding its origins. Its has been suggested to be anywhere from being an Irish name meaning, “beautiful” or “slender” to a form of Katherine to a short form of Makayla. While it may be true that in modern times it has been used as a diminutive form of the tryndee, Makayla and Mikayla, its actual origins are most likely Yiddish.
Spelled Kejla, Kaila, Kayla(h), Keila or Keyla it was a fairly popular name among Ashkenazim Jews in 19th-century Central and Eastern Europe, it was most likely introduced via Jewish immigrants to the United States in the late 19th-century, but, did not become a popular name outside the Ashkenazim Jewish community until the 1980s, when the name was first used for a soap opera character on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1982.
Kayla;s actual meaning is somewhat debated, possible derivations include:
- It is derived from the Yiddish word, keyle; Keile (dish; receptable)
- It is a Yiddish form of the Latin female name, Celiaor Cecilia.
- It is a Yiddish diminutive form of Karolina.
- It is derived from the Old High German word, geile (happy).
- It is derived from the Yiddish word, gel (yellow; fair haired).
- It is a Yiddish form of the Hebrew female name, Kelila.
Kayla first appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 in 1959, coming in as the 987th most popular female name in the United States. By 1983, she first entered the U.S. Top 100 most popular female name, coming in as the 83rd most popular female name. Between 1995 and 1996 she peaked at her highest, coming in as the 11th most popular female for two years in a row. As of 2011, Kayla was the 59th most popular female name in the United States. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 20 (Scotland, 2011)
- # 41 (Ireland, 2010)
- # 53 (Canada, BC, 2010)
- # 55 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
- # 57 (New Zealand, 2010)
- # 90 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
- # 321 (the Netherlands, 2011)
- # 383 (France, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
- Keila (German-Yiddish)
- Kejla (Polish-Yiddish)
- Kaila קַײלָע (Yiddish)
- Kayla קַײלָע (Yiddish)
- Kaylah (Yiddish)