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.