Myla ~ Merciful ~ American
Sept 2015 Update: Myla has taken a huge leap in popularity since this post was originally written in 2008. It is currently ranked at #371 and I do expect it to climb a bit more over the next couple of years, particularly as parents look for an alternative to Miley.
When I came across this name in my baby name book, I was immediately drawn to it. Its meaning is lovely and the sound is really appealing. It hits the same buttons as names like Maya, Mia, or even Kayla, but Myla is much more unique. And statistics prove it, as Myla is just beginning to be used. In 2006, it was number 912 in the U.S., and barely on the map; while Maya, for example, was number 57 that same year.
Even before I found it jumping out at me from the pages of my name book, I saw one reference to this name that I was barely aware of. Myla Goldberg is author of Bee Season, a book I happen to own. Her novel became a best-seller when it was published in 2001, and four years later it was made into a movie staring Richard Gere and Juliet Binoche. The author could be the reason Myla has been used with any frequency in the past two years.
But maybe a more convincing reason is that Miley Cyrus’ show, Hannah Montana, debuted in 2006, and the sound of her name was starting to catch on.
It’s clear that this name has some potential to become more popular, whether parents are motivated by pop culture, similar names, the sound, or the meaning. I love its simplicity and I expect others will love it too.