MASAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 成 (masa)
meaning "become" and 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". This name can also be comprised of different combinations of kanji.
MASUMA f Arabic
Means "innocent" in Arabic. After her death, this name was applied to Fatima, a daughter of the 9th-century Shia imam Musa al-Kadhim.
MASUYO f Japanese
From Japanese 益 (masu)
meaning "profit, benefit" and 世 (yo)
meaning "world". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MATIJA m & f Slovene, Croatian, Serbian
Slovene, Croatian and Serbian form of MATTHIAS
, used to refer to the apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. It is occasionally used as a feminine name.
MATILDA f English, Swedish, Finnish
From the Germanic name Mahthildis
meaning "strength in battle", from the elements maht
"might, strength" and hild
"battle". Saint Matilda was the wife of the 10th-century German king Henry I the Fowler. The name was common in many branches of European royalty in the Middle Ages. It was brought to England by the Normans, being borne by the wife of William the Conqueror himself. Another notable royal by this name was a 12th-century daughter of Henry I of England, known as the Empress Matilda because of her first marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. She later invaded England, laying the foundations for the reign of her son Henry II.... [more]
MAUD f English, Dutch
Usual medieval form of MATILDA
. Though it became rare after the 14th century, it was revived and once more grew popular in the 19th century, perhaps due to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'Maud' (1855).
MAUI m & f Hawaiian, Polynesian Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Hawaiian mythology Māui was a trickster who created the Hawaiian Islands by having his brothers fish them out of the sea. He was also responsible for binding the sun and slowing its movement.
MAURA (2) f Irish, Scottish, English
Anglicized form of MÁIRE
. It has also been associated with Gaelic mór
meaning "great". This was the name of an obscure 5th-century Irish or Scottish martyr.
MAVIS f English
From the name of the type of bird, also called the song thrush, ultimately derived from Old French. It was first used as a given name by the British author Marie Corelli, who used it for a character in her novel 'The Sorrows of Satan' (1895).
MAVOURNEEN f Irish
Derived from the Irish phrase mo mhúirnín
meaning "my darling".
MAXINE f English
Feminine form of MAX
. It has been commonly used only since the beginning of the 20th century.
MAY f English
Derived from the name of the month of May, which derives from Maia
, the name of a Roman goddess. May is also another name of the hawthorn flower. It is also used as a diminutive of MARY
MAYA (1) f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi, Marathi
Means "illusion" in Sanskrit. In Buddhist tradition this is the name of the mother of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha). This is also another name of the Hindu goddess Durga
MAYA (2) f English
Variant of MAIA (1)
. This name can also be given in reference to the Maya peoples, a Native American culture who built a great civilization in southern Mexico and Latin America.
MAYLIS f French
From the name of a town in southern France, possibly derived from Occitan mair
"mother" and French lys
"lily". It is also sometimes considered a combination of MARIE
MAYU f Japanese
From Japanese 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" or 満 (ma)
meaning "full" combined with 優 (yu)
meaning "excellence, superiority, gentleness" or 夕 (yu)
meaning "evening". This name can also be constructed from other kanji combinations.
MEADE m & f English (Rare)
From an English surname which indicated one who lived on a meadow (from Middle English mede
) or one who sold or made mead (an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey; from Old English meodu
MEDEA f Greek Mythology (Latinized), Georgian
From Greek Μηδεια (Medeia)
, possibly derived from μηδομαι (medomai)
"to think, to plan". In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis (modern Georgia) who helped Jason
gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed.
MEDUSA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
From the Greek Μεδουσα (Medousa)
, which was derived from μεδω (medo)
meaning "to protect, to rule over". In Greek myth this was the name of one of the three Gorgons, ugly women who had snakes for hair. She was so hideous that anyone who gazed upon her was turned to stone, so the hero Perseus
had to look using the reflection in his shield in order to slay her.
MEGA f & m Indonesian
Means "cloud" in Indonesian, ultimately from Sanskrit मेघ (megha)
MEGAERA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Μεγαιρα (Megaira)
which was derived from μεγαιρω (megairo)
"to grudge". This was the name of one of the Furies or Ερινυες (Erinyes)
in Greek mythology. The name is used as a word in several European languages to denote a shrewish, ill-tempered woman (for example, French mégère
and Italian megera
MEGAN f Welsh, English
Welsh diminutive of MARGARET
. In the English-speaking world outside of Wales it has only been regularly used since the middle of the 20th century.
MEGUMI f Japanese
From Japanese 恵 (megumi)
meaning "favour, benefit" or 愛 (megumi)
meaning "love, affection", as well as other kanji or kanji combinations which have the same reading. It is often written めぐみ
using the hiragana writing system.
MEHETABEL f Biblical
From the Hebrew name מְהֵיטַבְאֵל (Meheitav'el)
meaning "God makes happy". This name is mentioned briefly in the Old Testament.
MEI (1) f Chinese
From Chinese 美 (měi)
meaning "beautiful" or 梅 (méi)
meaning "plum", as well as other characters which are pronounced similarly.
MEI (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 芽 (me)
meaning "bud, sprout" combined with 依 (i)
meaning "rely on", 生 (i)
meaning "life" or 衣 (i)
meaning "clothing, garment". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MEINWEN f Welsh
Means "slender and white" from Welsh main
"slender" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
MELANIE f English, German, Dutch
, the French form of the Latin name Melania
, derived from Greek μελαινα (melaina)
meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.... [more]
MELBA f English
From the surname of the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba (1861-1931). This was a stage name that she got from the name of the city Melbourne, where she was born.
MELE f Hawaiian
Means "song" in Hawaiian. This name is also used as a Hawaiian and Samoan form of MARY
MELETE f Greek Mythology
Means "practice, exercise" in Greek. In Greek mythology she was one of the original three muses, the muse of meditation.
MELIA f Greek Mythology
Means "ash tree" in Greek, a derivative of μελι (meli)
"honey". This was the name of a nymph in Greek myth, the daughter of the Greek god Okeanos.
MELINA f English, Greek
Elaboration of Mel
, either from names such as MELISSA
or from Greek μελι (meli)
meaning "honey". A famous bearer was Greek-American actress Melina Mercouri (1920-1994), who was born Maria Amalia Mercouris.
MELINDA f English, Hungarian
Combination of Mel
(from names such as MELANIE
) with the popular name suffix inda
. It was created in the 18th century, and may have been inspired by the similar name Belinda
. In Hungary, the name was popularized by the 1819 play 'Bánk Bán' by József Katona.
MÉLISANDE f French
French form of MILLICENT
used by Maurice Maeterlinck in his play 'Pelléas et Mélisande' (1893). The play was later adapted by Claude Debussy into an opera (1902).
MELISSA f English, Dutch, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "bee" in Greek. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus
in Greek mythology. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso' (1516). As an English given name, Melissa
has been used since the 18th century.
MELITA f Various
, the Latin name of the island country of Malta.
MELODY f English
From the English word melody
, which is derived (via Old French and Late Latin) from Greek μελος (melos)
"song" combined with αειδω (aeido)
MELPOMENE f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek μελπω (melpo)
meaning "to sing, to celebrate with song". This was the name of one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, the muse of tragedy.
MELUSINE f Mythology
Meaning unknown. In European folklore Melusine was a water fairy who turned into a serpent from the waist down every Saturday. She made her husband, Raymond of Poitou, promise that he would never see her on that day, and when he broke his word she left him forever.
MERAB (1) f Biblical
Means "abundant" in Hebrew. This was the name of a daughter of Saul in the Old Testament.
MERAUD f Cornish
Meaning unknown, perhaps based on Cornish mor
MERCEDES f Spanish
Means "mercies" (that is, the plural of mercy), from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary
, María de las Mercedes
, meaning "Mary of Mercies". It is ultimately from the Latin word merces
meaning "wages, reward", which in Vulgar Latin acquired the meaning "favour, pity".
MERCIA f English (Rare)
Latinate form of MERCY
. This was also the name of an old Anglo-Saxon kingdom, though it has a different origin.
MERCY f English
From the English word mercy
, ultimately from Latin merces
"wages, reward", a derivative of merx
"goods, wares". This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
MEREDITH m & f Welsh, English
From the Welsh name Maredudd
, possibly meaning "great lord" or "sea lord". Since the mid-1920s it has been used more often for girls than for boys in English-speaking countries, though it is still a masculine name in Wales. A famous bearer of this name as surname was the English novelist and poet George Meredith (1828-1909).
MERITXELL f Catalan
From the name of a village in Andorra where there is a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary
. The name of the village may derive from Latin meridies
MERJA f Finnish
Possibly from the name of an ancient Finnish tribe.
MERLE f & m English
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
MERLYN m & f English
Variant of MERLIN
, sometimes used as a feminine form. It has perhaps been influenced by the Welsh word merlyn
MERRY (1) f English
From the English word merry
, ultimately from Old English myrge
. This name appears in Charles Dickens' novel 'Martin Chuzzlewit' (1844), where it is a diminutive of MERCY
MERRYN f Cornish
Meaning unknown. This was the name of an early Cornish (male) saint.
MERYL f English
Variant of MURIEL
, influenced by the spelling of the name CHERYL
. A famous bearer is American actress Meryl Streep (1949-), whose real name is Mary Louise Streep.
MICAIAH m & f Biblical
Means "who is like YAHWEH
?" in Hebrew. This name occurs in the Old Testament belonging to both males and females.
MICHAL (2) f Biblical, Hebrew
Possibly means "brook" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is a daughter of Saul
. She was married to David
, but after David fled from Saul he remarried her to someone else. Later, when David became king, he ordered her returned to him.
MICHIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful", 智 (chi)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". This name can also be comprised of other combinations of kanji.
MICKEY m & f English
Diminutive or feminine form of MICHAEL
. This was the name that Walt Disney gave to Ub Iwerks' cartoon character Mickey Mouse, who was originally named Mortimer Mouse. Another famous bearer was the American baseball player Mickey Mantle (1931-1995).
MIDORI f Japanese
From Japanese 緑 (midori)
meaning "green", as well as other kanji or kanji combinations which have the same pronunciation.
MIELIKKI f Finnish Mythology
Derived from Finnish mieli
"mind, mood". This was the name of a Finnish goddess of forests and hunting. By some accounts she is the wife of the god Tapio.
MIGNON f Literature
Means "cute, darling" in French. This is the name of a character in Ambroise Thomas's opera 'Mignon' (1866), which was based on a novel by Goethe.
MI-GYEONG f Korean
From Sino-Korean 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" combined with 京 (gyeong)
meaning "capitol city" or 景 (gyeong)
meaning "scenery, view". Other hanja combinations are possible.
MIHO (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" and 穂 (ho)
meaning "grain". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
MIKA (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" combined with 香 (ka)
meaning "fragrance" or 加 (ka)
meaning "increase". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
MIKI f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" and 紀 (ki)
meaning "chronicle". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MIKU f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" combined with 空 (ku)
meaning "sky" or 久 (ku)
meaning "long time". It can also come from a nanori reading of 未来 (mirai)
meaning "future". Other kanji combinations are possible as well.
MILADA f Czech
Originally a diminutive of Slavic names containing the element milu
"gracious, dear". It has become associated with Czech mladý
MILAGROS f Spanish
Means "miracles" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de los Milagros
, which means "Our Lady of Miracles".
MILBURGA f History
Derived from the Old English elements milde
"gentle" and burg
"fortress". Saint Milburga, the sister of Saint Mildred, was a daughter of a 7th-century Mercian king. She was supposedly in possession of magical powers.
MILDGYÐ f Anglo-Saxon
Old English name derived from the elements milde
"gentle" and gyð
"battle". This was the name of a 7th-century saint, the sister of Saint Mildred.
MILDRED f English
From the Old English name Mildþryð
meaning "gentle strength", derived from the elements milde
"gentle" and þryð
"strength". Saint Mildred was a 7th-century abbess, the daughter of the Kentish princess Saint Ermenburga. After the Norman conquest this name became rare, but it was revived in the 19th century.
MILENA f Bulgarian, Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Italian
Feminine form of MILAN
. It began to be used in Italy in honour of Milena Vukotić (1847-1923), mother of Helen of Montenegro, the wife of Italian king Victor Emmanuel III. In Italy it can also be considered a combination of MARIA
MILEY f English (Modern)
In the case of actress and singer Miley Cyrus (1992-), it is a shortened form of the nickname Smiley
, given to her by her father because she often smiled. Although it was not at all common before she brought it to public attention, there are some examples of its use before her time, most likely as a diminutive of MILES
MILKA (2) f Biblical
Means "queen" in Hebrew. This name appears in the Old Testament belonging to both the wife of Nahor and the daughter of Zelophehad.
MILLICENT f English
From the Germanic name Amalasuintha
, composed of the elements amal
"work, labour" and swinth
"strong". Amalasuintha was a 6th-century queen of the Ostrogoths. The Normans introduced this name to England in the form Melisent
. Melisende was a 12th-century queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of Baldwin II.
MIN m & f Chinese, Korean
From 敏 (mǐn)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp", 民 (mín)
meaning "people, citizens", or other Chinese/Sino-Korean characters which are pronounced similarly.
MINAKO f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful", 奈 (na)
, a phonetic character, and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MINATO m & f Japanese (Rare)
From Japanese 港 (minato)
meaning "harbour", as well as other combinations of kanji having the same pronunciation.
MINERVA f Roman Mythology, English
Possibly derived from Latin mens
meaning "intellect", but more likely of Etruscan origin. Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, approximately equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena
. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since after the Renaissance.
MING m & f Chinese
From Chinese 明 (míng)
meaning "bright, light, clear" or 铭 (míng)
meaning "inscribe, engrave", as well as other characters which are pronounced similarly.
MIN-JI f Korean
From Sino-Korean 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" combined with 智 (ji)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" or 知 (ji)
meaning "know, perceive, comprehend". Other hanja combinations are possible.
MIN-JUN m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" or 旼 (min)
meaning "gentle, affable" combined with 俊 (jun)
meaning "talented, handsome". Other hanja combinations are possible.
MINORU m & f Japanese
From Japanese 実 (minoru)
meaning "to bear fruit", as well as other kanji or kanji combinations with the same pronunciation.
MIN-SEO f Korean
From Sino-Korean 民 (min)
meaning "people, citizens" or 敏 (min)
meaning "quick, clever, sharp" combined with 徐 (seo)
meaning "slowly, calmly, composed, dignified" or 序 (seo)
meaning "series, sequence". This name can also be formed from other character combinations.
MIN-SU m & f Korean
From Sino-Korean 民 (min)
meaning "people, citizens" or 旼 (min)
meaning "gentle, affable" combined with 秀 (su)
meaning "luxuriant, beautiful, elegant, outstanding" or 洙 (su)
, which refers to a river in China. Other hanja combinations are possible.
MIO f Japanese
From Japanese 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" combined with 桜 (o)
meaning "cherry blossom" or 緒 (o)
meaning "thread". Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.