Though Kayla may have been used in Yiddish for centuries (possibly as a form of Michaela, Celia or Kelila), in modern American usage it probably represents a 20th century coinage. In English it is probably a blend of Kay + the -la ending. It was used sporadically since the 1930s until the character of Kayla Brady came on the television soap opera "Days of our Lives" in the early 1980s, then it started being used more often. For the record, I know at least two parents of Kaylas born in the 1980s who think they invented the name (and then were dismayed to meet other little Kaylas)!

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