Leila (name)

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"Leyla" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Leyla, Iran.
Gender Female
Word/Name Semitic languages
Meaning "Night"
Region of origin International (Arab world, Muslim world) except Japanese
Other names
Related names Laila, Layla, Lejla, Leyla, Lela, Laela, Laelah, Lila

All pages beginning with "Laila"
All pages beginning with "Layla"
All pages beginning with "Leila"
All pages beginning with "Lejla"

All pages beginning with "Leyla"

Laila, Layla, Leila, Lejla, Laela, Laelah, or Leyla (Arabic: ليلى‎, Hebrew: לילה‎) is a feminine given name originating in the Arabic language but now used internationally. The name is derived from the tri-consonantal root: ל-י-ל (Lamedh-Yodh-Lamedh) L-Y-L and means "night"; over time it has been taken to mean "Born at Night," "Dark-haired Beauty" or "Dark Beauty." [1]

The name has long been used in Arab and Persian folklore, poetry, and literature. For example, the 7th-century Arab poet Qays addressed romantic poems to a woman called Layla. The story of Qays and Layla or Layla and Majnun became a popular romance in the medieval Arab World and Persia,[2] and use of the name spread accordingly; it gained popularity further afield in the Muslim World, among the Turkic peoples and in the Balkans and India.

It has also acquired a following in the English-speaking world, especially after the 1970 hit song "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which may have been inspired by the medieval romance.[2]

In the Nordic countries, Laila or Lajla (pronounced lie-lah) is derived from the Sami name Láilá, the Sami variant of Helga which means holy.[3]

The name Lailah is the same as the Hebrew word for "night", laylah (לילה). The identification of the word "night" as the name of an angel originates with the interpretation of "Rabbi Yochanan" (possibly Yochanan ben Zakkai, c. 30–90 AD) who read "At night [Abraham] and his servants deployed against them and defeated them” (Genesis 14.14, JPS) as "by [an angel called] night" (Sanhedrin 96a).

People with this name[edit]






Fictional and mythological characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Norman, Teresa (2003). A world of baby names (Rev. and updated. ed.). New York: Perigee. p. 359. ISBN 0-399-52894-6. 
  2. ^ a b Layla, Behind the Name. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  3. ^ Láilá, Behind the Name. Retrieved 12 January 2012.