Mary Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Mary Name Meaning and Origin

Every parent wants to choose the best name for their child. Mary is a wise choice in this case since its roots originate from the Bible. This name was widely popular among the generations of aunts and mothers. The name reached massive popularity in the 1880s; however, it began fading after 1946, not doing enough justice to this simple and elegant name.

What Does Mary Mean?

When choosing a name for their children, parents consider several factors, such as their pronunciation, meaning, or origin. The meaning of Mary is “beloved” and has a biblical reference to Christ’s mother. The name is associated with “rebellious” or “bitter” because of Miriam’s life as an Egyptian slave. The name means “beautiful” in Italian and “the star of the sea” in Hebrew.” The name also means “merciful” in Latin, giving it a sophisticated touch.


The name originates from the Hebrew name Miriam. It was the name of Moses’s sister, as stated in the Old Testament of the Bible. Because of this reference, the name has been relatively popular, especially among Christians.




  • May-ree
  • Maar-ie
  • Mair-ee


2 syllables


4 words

Name Variations/Spellings

Other spellings for Mary denote the variation of the name across different cultures, religions, and nationalities. Their origin suggests the diversity of the name across the world. Some of the Mary name variations are:

Name Origin
Maria Greek, Corsican, Dutch, Estonian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian
Marianne Norwegian
Maricica Romanian
Maritza Spanish and Latin American
Mair Welsh
Mia Norwegian
Maja Slovak
Malle Medieval English
Maija Latvian
Manya Russian

How Popular Is the Name Mary?

The name Mary was significantly popular during the 1880s and regained its fame from 1953 to 1961. However, after this time, the name gradually started losing its charm. The Mary popularity index suggests the name’s popularity remained until the early 2000s. According to the data obtained from Social Security Administration, the name Mary ranked among the top 50 baby names until 2002. After that, the name ranked 59 in 2003, followed by 62 in 2004 and 72 in 2005. The name dropped from the top 100 list in 2009, with a rank of 102.

As per the SSA data, the decline in the name’s ranking was prominent from 2010. The name ranked 112 in 2011 and 121 in 2012. This suggests the decreased use of the name. The name ranking reached 123 in 2015 and remained stable at 126 from 2016 to 2019. However, the Mary baby name ranking saw a slight increase in popularity, with its name back on rank 124 in 2020. This signifies that the name can get back on track since it ranks within the top 150 baby names list.

Interest in Mary – Worldwide

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The interest in the name Mary has remained mostly consistent over the last decade, staying over 45 worldwide and reaching the highest score in December 2018. The popularity of the name faltered after this, reaching 47 in May 2021. However, the name’s rank shows an upward curve indicating its probable scope of regaining fame.

Interest in Mary – US

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In the US, the interest in the name Mary has experienced an upward and downward curve. With a score of over 45 in the last ten years, the name reached its highest peak in December 2018 and the lowest in May 2021. It shows a faltering curve after 2018; however, it has stemmed towards a positive direction since June 2021.

Popularity of the name Mary


Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Mary – Worldwide

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The top five countries where Mary’s name is the most searched are Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The name has been widely popular in these countries in the last decade, indicating its most use.

Search trends of Mary – US

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Over the last ten years, the name Mary has been among the most searched names in Virginia. It is followed by Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Florida, and North Dakota. These five cities rank the highest in the US, indicating the name’s popularity in these cities.

Middle Names That Go With Mary

Middle names have a symbolic significance in American culture. They are often used to honor the heritage of a family. Therefore, careful considerations should be made when deciding a middle name for your child. This list includes some of the double names with Mary:

Elizabeth Margot
Louise Katherine
Sophia Eliza
Grace Cecilia
Joanna Esther
Celeste Leigh
Estelle Rose
Ellen Lucille
Rosalind Amelia
Cordelia Eleanor

Famous People Named Mary

Celebrities have a massive influence on our lives. For instance, the ranking of a name also depends on celebs. Some of the famous people and characters called Mary are:

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Mary Johnson English cricketer
Mary Shelley English novelist
Mary Bond Davis American singer, actor, and dancer
Mary Johnson American writer and director
Mary Ellen Harris American actress
Mary Helen Washington American literary scholar
Mary E. Jackson African-American suffrage activist, YWCA leader, and writer
Mary MacLean Hindmarsh Australian botanist
Mary Poppins Famous fictional character in children’s books by P. L. Travers
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange Daughter of Charles I of England

Similar Names & Last Names

Different names have the same meaning yet different spellings. This is also true for the Mary baby name, which has several variations. Some of the other names and family names for Mary:

Similar Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Amy Swift
Amara Miller
Kaira Turner
Imogen Brown
Davina Acker
Esme Hart
Aphrodite White
Amanda Marley
Lyda Jenkins
Darlene Hayes

Names That Sound Like Mary

Similar sounding names are also great alternatives for a chosen name. Some of the names that rhyme with Mary are:

Rory Maryl
Carrie Marianna
Avery Sherie
Mercy Kerry
Clary Fairy
Arya Derrie

Sibling Names Related to Mary

Choosing proper sibling names that go with Mary can help maintain the rhythm of all your children’s names. Hence, this list presents worthy sibling names for Mary:

Sister Names for Mary Brother Names for Mary
Julia John
Leah Lucas
Rebecca Michael
Delilah Andrew
Judith Daniel
Ruth Thomas
Hannah Elijah
Joanna Marcus
Rachel Gabriel
Josephine Ezra

Nicknames for Mary

Nicknames are a special part of our lives because loved ones give them. These names have a touch of affection and humor which makes them unique. Some of the nicknames for Mary are:

Mar Marrie
Miriam Maro
Myra Arie
Mijo Mamie
Manman Mae
Mitzi Yram


The name Mary was one of the most popular names in the previous generation. Although the name faded in popularity in the present decade, it still maintains a consistent rank within the top 150 baby names list. In 2020, the name notched up a rank in the list, indicating its scope of moving back up in the popularity list.


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

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