MABEL f English
Medieval feminine form of AMABILIS
. This spelling and Amabel
were common during the Middle Ages, though they became rare after the 15th century. It was revived in the 19th century after the publication of C. M. Yonge's novel 'The Heir of Redclyffe' (1854), which featured a character named Mabel (as well as one named Amabel).
MABELLE f English
Variant of MABEL
. It also coincides with the French phrase ma belle
meaning "my beautiful".
MABYN f Welsh
Means "youth" in Welsh. This was the name of an obscure 6th-century Welsh saint. She was one of the daughters of Saint Brychan.
MACARENA f Spanish
From the name of a barrio (district) in Seville, which got its name from a temple which may have been named for a person named Macarius
). The Virgin of Macarena, that is Mary
, is widely venerated in Seville.
MACKENZIE f & m English
From the Gaelic surname Mac Coinnich
, which means "son of COINNEACH
". A famous bearer of the surname was William Lyon MacKenzie (1795-1861), a Canadian journalist and political rebel. As a feminine given name, it was popularized by the American actress Mackenzie Phillips (1959-).
MACY f English
From an English surname which was from various towns named Massy
in France. The towns themselves were originally named from a Gallo-Roman personal name that was Latinized as Maccius
. This is the name of a chain of American department stores founded by Rowland Hussey Macy (1822-1877).
MADARA f Latvian
From the Latvian name for a type of flowering plant, known as cleavers or bedstraw in English.
MÄDCHEN f Various
Means "girl" in German. It is not used as a name in Germany itself.
MADE m & f Indonesian, Balinese
From Sanskrit मध्य (madhya)
meaning "middle". This name is traditionally given to the family's second-born child.
MADELINE f English, French
English form of MAGDALENE
. This is the name of the heroine in a series of children's books by Ludwig Bemelmans, first published 1939.
MADINA f Kazakh, Avar, Chechen
From the name of the city of Medina, Arabic المدينة (al-Madinah)
, which means "the city". The Saudi city is considered an Islamic holy site because the Prophet Muhammad
was based there for a period.
MADISON f & m English
From an English surname meaning "son of MAUD
". It was not commonly used as a feminine name until after the movie 'Splash' (1984), in which the main character adopted it as her name after seeing a street sign for Madison Avenue in New York City. A famous bearer of the surname was James Madison (1751-1836), one of the authors of the American constitution who later served as president.
MADONNA f English
From a title of the Virgin Mary
meaning "my lady" in Italian. A famous bearer of the name is American singer Madonna Ciccone (1958-), known simply as Madonna.
MAE f English
Variant of MAY
. A famous bearer was American actress Mae West (1893-1980), whose birth name was Mary.
MAEVA f Tahitian, French
Means "welcome" in Tahitian. It gained popularity in France during the 1980s.
MAEVE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb
meaning "intoxicating". In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn
is told in the Irish epic 'The Cattle Raid of Cooley'.
MAGDA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Croatian, Romanian, Portuguese, Greek
Short form of MAGDALENA
MAGDALENA f Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Catalan, Occitan, Slovene, Czech, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, English
Latinate form of MAGDALENE
MAGDALENE f German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From a title which meant "of Magdala". Mary
Magdalene, a character in the New Testament, was named thus because she was from Magdala - a village on the Sea of Galilee whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. She was cleaned of evil spirits by Jesus
and then remained with him during his ministry, witnessing the crucifixion and the resurrection. She was a popular saint in the Middle Ages, and the name became common then. In England it is traditionally rendered Madeline
, while Magdalene
is the learned form.
MAGNHILD f Norwegian
Derived from Old Norse magn
"mighty, strong" and hildr
"battle". This was the name of a novel by the Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
MAGNOLIA f English
From the English word magnolia
for the flower, which was named for the French botanist Pierre Magnol.
MAHA f Arabic
Means "oryx" in Arabic. The oryx is a variety of antelope that is said to represent beauty.
MAHALA f English
Variant of MAHALAH
. It has occasionally been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.
MAHLAH f & m Biblical
From the Hebrew name מַחְלָה (Machlah)
, possibly from חָלָה (chalah)
meaning "weak" or "sick". This name is used in the Old Testament as both a feminine and masculine name. In some versions of the Bible the masculine name is spelled Mahalah
MAHULENA f Czech
Possibly inspired by MAGDALENA
. The Czech author Julius Zeyer created it for a character in his play 'Radúz and Mahulena' (1898).
MAI (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 舞 (mai)
meaning "dance" or 麻衣 (mai)
meaning "linen robe". It can also come from 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" combined with 愛 (ai)
meaning "love, affection". Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
MAIA (2) f Roman Mythology
Means "great" in Latin. This was the name of a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan
. The month of May is named for her.
MAILE f Hawaiian
From the name of a type of vine that grows in Hawaii and is used in making leis.
MAIRE f Finnish
Derived from Finnish mairea
MAIRWEN f Welsh
Combination of MAIR
and Welsh gwen
meaning "white, fair, blessed".
MAJA (2) f Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Slovene, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Czech, Slovak
Diminutive of MARIA
MAKEDA f History
Possibly means "greatness" in Ethiopic. This was the name of an Ethiopian queen of the 10th-century BC. She is probably the same person as the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon in the Old Testament.
MAKOTO m & f Japanese
From Japanese 誠 (makoto)
meaning "sincerity", as well as other kanji or kanji combinations.
MALAI f Thai
Means "garland of flowers" in Thai.
MALALAI f Pashto
Means "sad, grieved" in Pashto. This was the name of a Pashtun woman who encouraged the Afghan forces during the 1880 Battle of Maiwand against the British.
MALLORY f English (Modern)
From an English surname which meant "unfortunate" in Norman French. It first became common in the 1980s due to the television comedy 'Family Ties', which featured a character by this name.
MALVINA f Scottish, English, Literature
Created by the poet James MacPherson in the 18th century for a character in his Ossian poems. He probably intended it to mean "smooth brow" in Gaelic.
MAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" or 麻 (ma)
meaning "flax" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". Other combinations of kanji can form this name as well.
MANAIA f & m Maori
From the name of a stylized design common in Maori carvings. It represents a mythological creature with the head of a bird and the body of a human.
MANAMI f Japanese
From Japanese 愛 (mana)
meaning "love, affection" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful" or 海 (mi)
meaning "sea, ocean". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MAO (1) f Japanese
From Japanese 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" or 舞 (mai)
meaning "dance" combined with 央 (o)
meaning "center", 緒 (o)
meaning "thread" or 桜 (o)
meaning "cherry blossom". Other kanji combinations are possible.
MARA (1) f Biblical
Means "bitter" in Hebrew. This is a name taken by Naomi
in the Old Testament (see Ruth 1:20).
MARAL f Armenian
Means "deer" in Armenian, referring to the Caspian Red Deer.
MARAMA f Polynesian Mythology
Means "moon" in Maori. In Maori and other Polynesian mythology she was the goddess of the moon and death.
MARGANITA f Hebrew
From the name of a type of flowering plant common in Israel, called the scarlet pimpernel in English.
MARGARET f English
Derived from Latin Margarita
, which was from Greek μαργαριτης (margarites)
meaning "pearl", probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari)
. Saint Margaret, the patron of expectant mothers, was martyred at Antioch in the 4th century. Later legends told of her escape from a dragon, with which she was often depicted in medieval art. The saint was popular during the Middle Ages, and her name has been widely used in the Christian world.... [more]
MARGAUX f French
Variant of MARGOT
influenced by the name of the wine-producing French town. It was borne by Margaux Hemingway (1954-1996), granddaughter of author Ernest Hemingway, who had it changed from Margot
MARGHERITA f Italian
Italian form of MARGARET
. This is also the Italian word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).
MARGRIET f Dutch
Dutch form of MARGARET
. This is also the Dutch word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).
MARGUERITE f French
French form of MARGARET
. This is also the French word for the daisy flower (species Leucanthemum vulgare).
MARI (1) f Welsh, Breton, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Welsh, Breton, Estonian and Finnish form of MARIA
, as well as a Hungarian diminutive of MÁRIA
. It is also a Scandinavian form of MARIE
MARI (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" combined with 理 (ri)
meaning "reason, logic" or 里 (ri)
meaning "village". Many other combinations of kanji characters can form this name.
MARI (3) f Mythology
Possibly from Basque emari
"donation" or amari
"mother". This was the name of a goddess of the weather and fertility in Basque mythology.
MARIA f & m Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Corsican, Sardinian, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Biblical Greek, Biblical Latin, Old Church Slavic
Latin form of Greek Μαρια
, from Hebrew מִרְיָם
is the usual form of the name in many European languages, as well as a secondary form in other languages such as English (where the common spelling is Mary
). In some countries, for example Germany, Poland and Italy, Maria
is occasionally used as a masculine middle name.... [more]
MARIAH f English
Variant of MARIA
. It is usually pronounced in a way that reflects an older English pronunciation of Maria
. The name was popularized in the early 1990s by the American singer Mariah Carey (1970-).
MARIAN (1) f English
Variant of MARION (1)
. This name was borne in English legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of MARY
MARIE f French, Czech, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
French and Czech form of MARIA
. A notable bearer of this name was Marie Antoinette, a queen of France who was executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. Another was Marie Curie (1867-1934), a physicist and chemist who studied radioactivity with her husband Pierre.
MARIEL f English
Diminutive of MARY
influenced by MURIEL
. In the case of actress Mariel Hemingway (1961-), the name is from the Cuban town of Mariel.