Kaya started becoming popular in the 1990s following the rise of the name Maya. It may be based on Kaia/Kaja which are Scandinavian diminutives of Katarina. In modern American usage, it is more likely it is a modern creation based on Maya using the K- sound which had become popular at the time. It may or may not have been influenced by the Bob Marley album of the same name, in this context kaya is a Rastafarian term for marijuana. On a side note, Kaya also means "rock" in Turkish (it is a boys' name as well as a surname).
See Also: Kaia, Kyah, Kaiya
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