Maria Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Maria Name Meaning and Origin

Derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam, Maria in Latin means ‘beloved,’ ‘sea of bitterness,’ and ‘rebellious.’ It’s also considered a variation of the name Mary, the mother of Jesus in some cultures. Alternative definitions suggest ‘wished-for child’ and ‘mistress or lady of the sea.’ Maria is also a feminine variation for the Roman name ‘Marius’ and is popular as a masculine middle name in Poland, Italy, and Germany. The Biblical form of the name stems from Latin Mirjam, which has a Hebrew and Egyptian origin.

What Does Maria Mean?

The meaning of Maria in Latin is “drop of the sea.” When mar, meaning ‘drop,’ or mará, meaning ‘bitterness,’ combine with yam meaning ‘sea,’ it forms ‘sea of bitterness.’ The meaning of Maria is also “star of the sea,” which comes from Hebrew “maor” meaning ‘star/light,’ while the Hebrew “meri” means “wished for child” or ‘rebellious one.’ Maria means “beloved” which comes from Egyptian “mry.” Derived from Hebrew “róm” meaning height, Maria can refer to the “exalted one.”


Maria is found in many languages and is mainly influenced by Latin Christianity. Historically, Maria is a feminine form of the Roman name Marius. After the spread of Christianity across the Roman empire, Maria became the Latinised form of the name of Miriam, the mother of Jesus. The Syro-Aramaic name Maryam is derived from the Biblical Hebrew name Miriam. The Latin name Maria and the Hebrew-derived Maria combined to form a single name. Maria is also sometimes used as a male (middle) name in many Central European countries and countries with strong Catholic traditions, where it signified patronage of the Virgin Mary. Other Marias who appear in the New Testament are Maria Magdalena and Maria Salomé, disciples of Jesus, and Maria Betânia, sister of Lazarus. The name is also rendered Maryam in the Quran, but Arabic reflects the Christian given name as Mārya or Māryā as in Mārya al-Qibiá¹­iyya, a Coptic Egyptian woman who was a bondmaid to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Maria is widely used in both Spanish and English-speaking countries.




  • Muh-ri-ya
  • Mah-ree-ah
  • Marh-ree-ah


3 syllables


5 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

Maria name variations indicate diminutives that are modified to convey a slighter degree of its root meaning. Here are some of the other spellings for Maria that may be alternatives in other languages:

Name Origin
Maree Latin
Marialena Latin
Marialinda Latin
Marie French
Marietta French
Marika Danish
Marja Dutch
Mariya Bulgarian
Mara Hebrew
Marra Latin
Moria Irish
Malia Polynesian
Mariene German
Maleah English
Marje Estonian
Mayra Russian

How Popular Is the Name Maria?

The Maria baby name ranking remained consistent in the top 10 from 1991 to 2016, the most favored among the Hispanic Americans. Due to its extravagant sound and uncomplicated spelling, the Maria popularity index surged for the first time in the 1940s, peaking to rank 31 between 1973–1975. 7,531 babies were named Maria in 1975. After that, its popularity declined for a while till it ranked at 109 in 2015, 115 in 2018, and 104 in 2019. According to the Social Security Administration, Maria occupies the 109th spot as a popular name for girls in the United States as per the 2020 data, with 2,460 babies given the name.

Interest in Maria – Worldwide

Search trends for the name Maria have recorded a consistent search value of over 60 over the last seven years, reaching 100 in September 2017. The lowest value was recorded at 57 in January 2021 and June 2021.

Interest in Maria – US

Over the last ten years, search trends for the name Maria have recorded a consistent search value of over 20 reaching 100 in September 2017. The value dipped to its lowest point at just 24 in October 2018.

Popularity of the name Maria


Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Maria – Worldwide

Search trends show that Maria has been searched the most in Spain in the last ten years. Countries like Portugal, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina follow close behind. As most Spanish names for girls end with the letter’ a’, Maria has a feminine and elegant touch that makes it an all-time favorite in Spain.

Search trends of Maria – US

California is a sub-region of the US where the name Maria has recorded maximum search interest over the last ten years. Following close behind are Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts that make it to the top 5 cities of the US.

Middle Names That Go With Maria

A middle name can distinguish a person from others with the same given name and surname. Here are some of the surprising double names with Maria to consider from.

Lydia Rose
Patricia Linnea
Lorelei Zoe
Sonia Talia
Flora Camille
Natalie Vivien
Simone Noelle
Kate Catherine
Sage Felicity
Lark Candance

Famous People Named Maria

Parents who like to pin a celebrity’s name on their progeny can think of the unique names that would rule the limelight. Here is a list of famous people and characters called Maria that can make your child a star:

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Maria Bello American Actress
Maria Brink American Singer, Songwriter
Maria Bueno Brazilian Tennis Player
Maria Eve American Poet
Maria Kanellis American Wrestler
Maria Kochetkova Russian Ballet Dancer
Maria “Meryl” Streep American Actress
Maria Montessori Italian Physician
Maria Salinas American Broadcast Journalist
Maria Sharapova Russian Tennis Player
Maria Shriver American Writer, Journalist
Maria von Trapp Austria-born American Singer
Maria Renard Character in Video Game and TV series ‘Castlevania’
Maria Robotonik Character in the Video Game series ‘Sonic, the Hedgehog’

Name Maria in Popular Culture

Maria is a well-established name in cinema and popular culture. Here are some of the iconic characters with the name Maria that have never aged:

Character Famous For
Maria A protagonist in Ricky Martin’s iconic song Maria.
Maria Kendall A beloved fictional character of the British TV show Holby City.
Maria Renard A strong video game character from the Castlevania series.
Maria Robotnik A video game character of “Sonic the Hedgehog” game.
Maria Von Trapp A protagonist of the iconic film The Sound of Music.
Maria Jackson A popular character in the British children’s science fiction The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Similar Names & Last Names

Baby names like Maria can convey a meaningful association with the original name. Family names for Maria is a form of social address that enhances the importance of the first names. Here are some of the other names for Maria that may reflect the character traits we want our kids to have.

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Anne Watson
Angelina Roberts
Helen Benson
Rebecca Miller
Elsa Potter
Angelica Hawkins
Rosa Fletcher
Andrea Carter
Amy Bailey
Adriana Archer
Alexandra Reeves

Names That Sound Like Maria

Names that rhyme with Maria follow a similar lyrical tone and sound. A classic name like Maria can be shaped into a familiar pattern to impress new parents.

Moriah Mario
Marcus Sariah
Markus Marshall
Azaria Margot
Aria Zaria
Marshall Martha
Maryam Markesha
Marline Marleina
Marouschka Marjory
Margarette Marteena

Sibling Names Related to Maria

Sibling names can complement each other celebrate the bond of love between them. Here are some of the most suitable sibling names that go with Maria:

Sister Names for Maria Brother Names for Maria
Daisy Jose
Maude Pedro
Coral Miguel
Juliet Manuel
Gaia Fernando
Opal Luis
Eliza Juan
Manon Isabel
Mauve James
Ada Patrick
Irene Michael

Nicknames for Maria

Nicknames are special monikers that represent our heartfelt feelings for our child. Here are some nicknames for the name Maria that may be assigned to a child under private circumstances:

Aria Maree
Ree Mimi
Mari Aria
Mar-Mar Mary Poppins
Marika Mamie
Airam Masha
Maria Bello Murie
Marinate Marykins
Mia Ree


What Does the Maria Mean in Greek?

The name Maria means ‘rebellious’ in Greek, possibly. However, the name dates back to the Egyptian period in which it means ‘my beloved’.

What Does the Name Maria Mean Spiritually?

The name Maria has a huge spiritual standpoint for Christians, especially Catholics. Maria is associated with the divine Virgin Mary, which makes it highly spiritual.

Are Maria and Mary Same?

Maria and Mary are related. Mary is the English version of Maria, which is basically the Latin form of the Greek name Mariam. So yes, Mary and Maria are same.

Parents looking to honour their Latin roots or pay tribute to a culture rooted in tradition can choose a Christian name like Maria that has maintained its significance through generations and continues to do so due to its strong Biblical roots.


Social Security Administration:
Maria Name Popularity in the United States:
Maria Name Popularity Across The World:
Maria Name Interest in the United States:
Maria Name Interest Across the World:

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.