Zelda

Zelda was originally used as a nickname for Griseldaa female given name meaning “gray battle” from Germanic elements gris (gray) and hild (battle), though it’s now used as a given name in its own right.

Zelda is also a Yiddish name, the feminine form of Selig, meaning “blessed, happy” in Yiddish.

Origin: Germanic, Yiddish

Variants:

  • Selda (English)
  • Griselda
  • Grizel (Scottish)
  • Griselda (Spanish)
  • Zelde (Yiddish)
  • Zilda (English)

 

Male forms:

  • Selig (Yiddish)
  • Zelig (Yiddish)

 

Kayla

Origin: Hebrew, English

Meaning: Kayla could be a variant transcription of Kaila, the Yiddish form of Hebrew Kelila meaning “crown of laurel”.

Kayla is also a dialect spoken by members of the Agaw people of Ethiopia, possibly meaning “artisan” or “one who has not crossed” in reference to the fact that Jews had to avoid certain actitivities during the Shabbat. Either way, Kayla has a long history of being used by Ashkenazi Jews in the 19th century, and it’s possible that immigration brought it to the United States, though it’s just as likely that Kayla came into its own by combining given name Kay with the suffix –la.