Kayla

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)

Michaela

Dr-Quinn-Medicine-Woman-dr-quinn-medicine-woman-7360888-1024-768Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: feminine form of Michael
Germ/Czech (mee-kah-EH-lah); Eng (mih-KAY-lah)

This name is basically just a feminine form of Michael a Biblical male name that I will go further into in a future post. The reason why I have chosen to list her as separate is due to her explosive popularity and her tryndification over the last eleven years. Before I go any further, a “tryndification” is a word I have coined referring to name that has been respelled all sorts of weird ways to make it look “cuter.” This has been a common trend ever since the early 90s, though there are some instances of them going even further back to the late 60s. Such name that this have occurred to are names like Miles: Myles, Brice: Bryce. The most drastic that I have ever seen in the naming world has to be Michaela. Hence is why I felt she deserved a post all of her own. Plus, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, September 30 is the name-day for Michaela.

In the United States, poor Michaela has been butchered mercilessly ever since her inception in 1993 via the popular TV series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. She has appeared as Mikayla, Makayla, Mckayla and the list goes on and on ever since the series ended. In fact, I sadly report that the traditional spelling currently appears in the top 1000 at # 357, while the tryndified form of Makayla comes in at # 37 and is rising, she jumped 70 places since 1997, when Michaela first seems to have made an impression on the American public. Between 1998 and 1999, the Mikayla spelling reached # 86 and # 82. Back in 97, Michaela had made it to the top 100, coming in at exactly # 100. Since then, she has dropped 257 places, while her tryndier alternatives seem to be rising. I personally believe that many parents thought that this was just a more elaborate form of Kayla, so they spelled the name phonetically to easily shorten it to Kayla. I think a nickname does not have to correspond with the spelling of a given name. Look at Bill from William and Bob from Robert. So why change the spelling of Michaela? She can still go by Kayla or Kaylie. There is a legitimate trendier looking spelling and that is the Swedish Mikaela.

The name is quite popular in other countries as well. In Germany, she was hit in the 1960s and 1970s. In Argentina, spelled Micaela, she comes in as the 6th most popular girls name in 2008, while in Uruguay she comes in at # 10.

There is the Italian form of Michela, pronounced the same as Michaela, which recently came in as the 6th most popular female name on the Island of Malta.

Other forms of the name include the Romanian Mihaela and the Spanish Miguela. Look for Michelle and Michalina in a future installment.