Name: Mary

Origin and Meaning of the Name Mary

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  • Pronunciation:
    (MARE ee)
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Miscellaneous Info for Mary

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  • Used in:
    English speaking countries
  • Additional Info:
    Originally a Middle English Anglicized form of the French "Marie," derived from the Latin "Maria," and ultimately from the Hebrew name of uncertain origin "Miryam".

    This is the New Testament form of Miriam, which St. Jerome derives from elements meaning 'drop of the sea' (Latin 'stilla maris', later altered by folk etymology to 'stella maris': star of the sea).

    Mary was the name of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, who has been a subject of cult from earliest times.

    As the name of the Blessed Virgin, Mary was at first considered too holy for ordinary use. Its use began in England in the 12th century, and by the 16th century it was the most frequently used name for girls.

    Mary, being such a popular name appears in all facets of literature and pop culture. 'Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life' by Elizabeth Gaskell is a novel which chronicles the life of the working class in 19th Century England. 'Mary Had a Little Lamb" and 'Mary, Mary Quite Contrary' are both children's nursery rhymes which have been repeated for generations.

Similar Names to Mary for Boys & Girls

Popularity Rank of Mary (US top 1000 names since 1880)

Popularity Rank

Mary - Rankings by Year

Girl ranks Girls Boy ranks Boys Both ranks Overall
(Source: U.S. SSA)
The name meaning of Mary and the name origin of Mary have been reviewed by our name experts.