MARJORIE f English
Medieval variant of MARGERY
, influenced by the name of the herb marjoram
. After the Middle Ages this name was rare, but it was revived at the end of the 19th century.
MARK m English, Russian, Dutch, Danish, Biblical
Form of Latin MARCUS
used in several languages. Saint Mark was the author of the second gospel in the New Testament. Though the author's identity is not certain, some traditions hold him to be the same person as the John Mark who appears in the Book of Acts. He is the patron saint of Venice, where he is supposedly buried. Though in use during the Middle Ages, Mark
was not common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century, when it began to be used alongside the classical form Marcus
MARLEN (1) m Russian
Blend of Marx
. This name was created by Communist parents who were eager to reject traditional names.
MARLENE f German, English
Blend of MARIA
. It refers, therefore, to Mary Magdalene, a character in the New Testament. The name was popularized by the German actress and singer Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992), whose real name was Maria Magdalene Dietrich.
MARLEY f & m English (Modern)
From a surname that was taken from a place name meaning either "pleasant wood", "boundary wood" or "marten wood" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the Jamaican musician Bob Marley (1945-1981).
MARLON m English
Meaning unknown. This name was popularized by the American actor Marlon Brando (1924-2004), who was named after his father.
MARLOWE f English (Modern)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "remnants of a lake"
in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593).
MARNIE f English
Possibly a diminutive of MARINA
. This name was brought to public attention by Alfred Hitchcock's movie Marnie
(1964), itself based on a 1961 novel by Winston Graham.
MARQUIS m African American
From a noble title that derives from the Old French word marche
meaning "march, borderland". The title originally referred to someone who ruled on the borderlands of a realm.
MARS m Roman Mythology
Possibly related to Latin mas
). In Roman mythology Mars was the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares
. This is also the name of the fourth planet in the solar system.
MARSHALL m English
From a surname that originally denoted a person who was a marshal. The word marshal
originally derives from Germanic marah
"horse" and scalc
MARTA f Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Czech, Slovak, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Russian, Swedish, Icelandic, Latvian, Georgian
Form of MARTHA
used in various languages.
MARTHA f English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, Greek, Biblical, Old Church Slavic, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From Aramaic מַרְתָּא (marta')
meaning "the lady, the mistress"
, feminine form of מַר (mar)
meaning "master". In the New Testament this is the name of the sister of Lazarus
of Bethany (who is sometimes identified with Mary Magdalene). She was a witness to Jesus
restoring her dead brother to life.... [more]
MARTIAL m French, History
From the Roman cognomen Martialis
, which was derived from the name of the Roman god MARS
. The name was borne by Marcus Valerius Martialis, now commonly known as Martial, a Roman poet of the 1st century.
MARTIN m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish
From the Roman name Martinus
, which was derived from Martis
, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god MARS
. Saint Martin of Tours was a 4th-century bishop who is the patron saint of France. According to legend, he came across a cold beggar in the middle of winter so he ripped his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar. He was a favourite saint during the Middle Ages, and his name has become common throughout the Christian world.... [more]
MARTINA f German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, Hungarian, English, Swedish, Dutch, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Martinus
). Saint Martina was a 3rd-century martyr who is one of the patron saints of Rome.
MARVIN m English, German
Probably from an English surname that was derived from the given name MERVYN
. A famous bearer was the American musician Marvin Gaye (1939-1984).
MARWA f Arabic
From the Arabic name of a fragrant plant. Al-Marwa is the name of one of the two sacred hills near Mecca.
MARY f English, Biblical
Usual English form of Maria
, the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριάμ (Mariam)
and Μαρία (Maria)
- the spellings are interchangeable - which were from Hebrew מִרְיָם (Miryam)
, a name borne by the sister of Moses
in the Old Testament. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness"
, and "wished for child"
. However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved"
or mr "love"
MARYAM f Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bashkir, Tatar
Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Bashkir and Tatar form of Miryam
). In Iran it is also the name of a flower, the tuberose, which is named after the Virgin Mary.
MASAHIKO m Japanese
From Japanese 雅 (masa)
meaning "elegant, graceful" or 正 (masa)
meaning "right, proper" combined with 彦 (hiko)
meaning "boy, prince". This name can be formed from other kanji combinations as well.
MASAKO f Japanese
From Japanese 雅 (masa)
meaning "elegant, graceful" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Masako (1963-) is the current empress consort of Japan. This name can also be formed from other combinations of kanji.
MASAMI f & m Japanese
From Japanese 成 (masa)
meaning "become" or 正 (masa)
meaning "right, proper" combined with 美 (mi)
meaning "beautiful". This name can also be formed from other combinations of kanji.
MASAO m Japanese
From Japanese 正 (masa)
meaning "right, proper" or 政 (masa)
meaning "government" combined with 雄 (o)
meaning "hero, manly" or 夫 (o)
meaning "man, husband". This name can be formed from other kanji combinations as well.
MASARU m Japanese
From Japanese 勝 (masaru)
meaning "victory" or 優 (masaru)
meaning "excellence". Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
MASASHI m Japanese
From Japanese 政 (masa)
meaning "government" or 雅 (masa)
meaning "elegant, graceful" combined with 志 (shi)
meaning "will, purpose". Many other kanji combinations can form this name as well.
MASON m English
From an English surname meaning "stoneworker"
, from an Old French word of Germanic origin (akin to Old English macian
"to make"). In the United States this name began to increase in popularity in the 1980s, likely because of its fashionable sound. It peaked in 2011, when it ranked as the second most popular name for boys.
MASUMA f Arabic
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.
MATĚJ m Czech
Czech form of MATTHIAS
, used to refer to the apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot.
MATH m Welsh Mythology
Possibly from Celtic matu
. According to the Mabinogion, Math ap Mathonwy was a king of Gwynedd and a magician. He was the uncle of the hero Gwydion
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, Slovak
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]
MATTANIAH m Biblical
Means "gift of YAHWEH"
in Hebrew. This was the original name of Zedekiah, a king of Judah, in the Old Testament.
MATTHEW m English, Biblical
English form of Ματθαῖος (Matthaios)
, which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu)
meaning "gift of YAHWEH"
, from the roots מַתָּן (mattan)
meaning "gift" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. Matthew, also called Levi
, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first gospel in the New Testament. He is considered a saint in many Christian traditions. The variant Matthias
also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a separate apostle. The name appears in the Old Testament as Mattithiah
MATTHIAS m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Variant of Matthaios
), which appears in the New Testament as the name of the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas
Iscariot. This was also the name of kings of Hungary, including Matthias I who made important reforms to the kingdom in the 15th century.
MATTITHIAH m Biblical
Form of Mattityahu
) used in the English Old Testament, where it belongs to a few minor characters.
MAUD f English, French, 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 1855 poem Maud
MĀUI 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.
MAURICE m English, French
From the Roman name Mauritius
, a derivative of MAURUS
. Saint Maurice was a 3rd-century Roman soldier from Egypt. He and the other Christians in his legion were supposedly massacred on the orders of Emperor Maximian for refusing to worship Roman gods. Thus, he is the patron saint of infantry soldiers.... [more]
MAURUS m Late Roman
Latin name meaning "dark-skinned, Moorish"
. This was the name of numerous early saints, most notably a follower of Saint Benedict.
MAVERICK m English
Derived from the English word maverick
. The word itself is derived from the surname of a 19th-century Texas rancher who did not brand his calves.
MAVIS f English
From the name of the type of bird, also called the song thrush, derived from Old French mauvis
, of uncertain origin. 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
MAVOURNEEN f Irish
Derived from the Irish phrase mo mhúirnín
meaning "my darling"
MAXENCE m French
French form of the Roman name Maxentius
, a derivative of Latin maximus "greatest"
. This was the agnomen of an early 4th-century Roman emperor, a rival of Constantine
. It was also borne by a 6th-century saint from Agde in France.