Isla Name Meaning

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Although the word Isla has no known origin, it is traditionally a Scottish name derived from ”Islay,” a name of a Scottish island, also known as “the Queen of Hebrides.”

There is a legend related to the name of the island, Islay. According to Peggy Earl, author of "Tales of Islay: Fact and Folklore," it is said that a Danish Princess called Iula or Yula left Denmark with an apron full of stones of different sizes. On her journey, the stones fell out to form Ireland and many islands between Ireland and Scotland. And perhaps Islay got its name from this princess.

Isla is also the name of two rivers in Scotland. The name also has Spanish origins, as the word Isla means “island” in Spanish.

  • Origin: Isla is a Scottish name derived from the name of an island. It is also a Spanish name meaning "Island."
  • Gender: Isla is commonly used as a girl name.
  • Pronunciation: eye-la

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Isla?

The original form of the name was “Ilay” or “Islay,” which were masculine names, and rarely used for girls. Today the name Isla is extremely popular for girls not only in Scotland, England, and Wales, but also in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.

Isla was first featured in the Top 1,000 popular names in the U.S. in 1905, according to the latest Social Security Administration 2020 data. But it gained the most popularity in the last 10 years, featuring at No. 297 in 2010 and entering the Top 200 names for girls in 2013. Since then, the name has been climbing the ranks reaching the Top 100 popular names in 2018, with 2020 being its most popular year when it ranked at No. 44.

The name Isla is more popular than its other variations, “Ila” or “Iyla.”

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Isla:

  • Amelia
  • Arya
  • Ava
  • Ayla
  • Cora
  • Eira
  • Ella 
  • Layla
  • Luna
  • Mila
  • Talia
  • Willa

Other Scottish names:

  • Aileen
  • Alison
  • Annabel
  • Ansley
  • Bonnie 
  • Catriona
  • Davina
  • Elsa
  • Fiona
  • Iona
  • Kirsty
  • Kylie
  • Lainey
  • Leana
  • Lorna
  • Maisie
  • Makenna
  • Paisley
  • Rory
  • Skye 

Other names starting with I:

  • Ila
  • Imogen
  • Inaaya
  • Inara
  • India
  • Indigo
  • Ira
  • Irene
  • Iris
  • Isabella
  • Ishani
  • Ivana
  • Ivanka
  • Ivy
  • Izzi

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for Isla include:

  • Isa
  • Isles
  • Issie
  • Issy
  • Izzy
  • Lala

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Isla? Here are some popular options:

  • Aaron
  • Alec
  • Gemma
  • Hugo
  • Milo
  • Mira
  • Nina
  • Nolan
  • Phoebe
  • Tessa

Famous People Named Isla 

Some notable people who share the name Isla are:

  • Isla Blair, an English actress and singer
  • Isla Cameron, a Scottish-born English actress
  • Isla Fisher, an Australian actress
  • Isla St Clair, a Scottish singer and actress
  • Isla Stewart, an English nurse

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

50 Scottish Baby Names

Top 1,000 Baby Girl Names in the U.S.

100 Spanish Baby Names

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Hanks P, Hardcastle K, Hodges F. A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press; 2016.

  2. Popularity of names. Social Security Administration.

By Meena Azzollini
Meena Azzollini is a health and wellness content creator with experience covering parenting, women's health, and mental health. She specializes in creating effective content for various health and wellness-based businesses and empowers them with words that make a connection with their audience.