Meaning: Bitter; drop of the sea
Alternate spellings: Maria, Maree, Mariam, Miriam, Mariana, Mariella, Marilyn, Marilla, Marie, Mariyah, Mariela, Mia, Molly
Mary may seem like the mother of all M names (fitting, since she was Jesus’s mother in the Bible) – Maria, Malia, Mariah, Molly, and so on – but it’s just another version of the real Mama M, the Hebrew name Miriam. Of all Miriam’s offspring, Mary has historically been the most popular. It topped the charts at #1 for more than seventy years, first between 1880 and 1946, then between 1953 and 1961 (and it spent that seven-year gap at spot #2), making it by far the most dominant female name of the last 130 years. But thanks to its prim-and-proper purity and its near century at the top, Mary’s on her way back down, and Latin twist Maria has finally surpassed her in the ranks. If you want something with a bit more flair, you could try Mariella, Marilla, or Mariana.
By The Numbers
U.S. Rank by Year
Rank of Similar Names in 2008