Quick Facts on Ayla
- American, Hebrew
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Oak tree; Moonlight
Etymology & Historical Origin - Ayla
The meaning of Ayla potentially comes from two places. One is a transcription of a Hebrew word meaning ‘oak tree’. The other origin is Turkish and said to mean ‘moonlight’. However, the name Ayla was most commonly introduced to the English-speaking world by American author Jean M. Auel, through her heroine Ayla in the “Clan of the Cave Bear” series first published in 1980. In the novel, the Neanderthals give the orphaned Cro-Magnon girl her name Ayla (as their own pronunciation of her real name which is never given). In an interview once Auel said she picked her characters’ names based on easy sounds and said she didn’t care if the reader interpreted it as “EYE-la” or “AAY-la”. Who knows which pronunciation the Neanderthals used anyway; it was 20,000 years ago for gosh sakes! Perhaps we might even consider this one of the oldest names ever bestowed upon our ancestors. Ayla is most popular in Canada where she makes the Top 100 list of most popular girl names.
Popularity of the Name Ayla
Ayla first appeared on the U.S. female naming charts in 1987. This was the year immediately following the film adaptation of Jean Auel’s novel “The Clan of the Cave Bear” starring a young Daryl Hannah. The movie was basically a flop, but American parents remembered this charming name from the widely read book. The name basically managed low levels of popularity until 2006. That year alone, she jumped a remarkable 400 positions on the charts (up to moderate levels of usage). What happened? Well, American Idol had a likable contestant, Ayla Brown, on their fifth season of the show (2005/2006). She alone helped propel the name back up the charts. However, Ayla has declined in usage since then, suggesting that these two pop-culture influences are nothing more than a fleeting fad. If you do pronounce this name as “EYE-la” then it’s basically similar to Isla (another name of totally separate etymological origins). We would definitely consider Ayla a modern name of late 20th century literary origins (but one with old Cro-Magnon imaginative charm).
Popularity of the Girl Name Ayla
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Ayla
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Ayla
Ayla (Clan of the Cave Bear) Ayla is the heroine of Jean Auel’s prehistoric “Earth’s Children” series, starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear in 1980, which was made into a movie in 1986, starring Daryl Hannah. When the book opens, Ayla is a small Cro-Magnon child, orphaned and stranded by a natural disaster. She is rescued and raised by a tribe of Neanderthals (the “Clan”). Ayla must adapt to their ways, which presents a daily challenge to a girl who has been born into a more advanced branch of the species. Although spirited and self-willed, Ayla strives mightily to understand and comply with the customs and restrictions of her adopted people. Nonetheless, she does learn to hunt, a skill which is forbidden to women by the Clan. As Ayla grows and matures, she is envied and hated by Broud, the heir to the leadership of the Clan. After he rapes and impregnates her, he banishes her from the enclave, so enormous is his unconscious intimidation by this Other, this Woman, this Alien. Ayla leaves with head held high, knowing within her own genetic code book that she is destined to survive and reign supreme.
Popular Songs on Ayla
Children's Books on the Baby Name Ayla
Ayla - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character with the first name Ayla.
Famous People Named Ayla
Famous People Named Ayla - Ayla Brown (American Idol season 5 finalist)
Children of Famous People Named Ayla
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Ayla - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Ayla.
Ayla - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Ayla - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Ayla.
Personality of the Girl Name Ayla
The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.
Variations of the Baby Name - Ayla