Girl Names baby nameMary

What does the name Mary mean?

The different meanings of the name Mary are:
  • Hebrew meaning: Bitter
  • English meaning: Bitter
  • American meaning: Sea of bitterness
  • Latin meaning: The star of the sea
The meaning of the name “Mary” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.

Additional information: The name Mary is derived from the Hebrew name Miriam (Miryam), with some of the possible meanings being “bitterness” or “beloved lady”. The original meaning is most likely “bitterness”, as other meanings have come into existence through the exultation of the Catholic historical figure of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Some Celtic communities regarded the name as a holy name which was not to be used for anyone else, but these traditions became more relaxed in the 15th and 16th centuries. This name is tied strongly to religious usage by Catholics, Christians, and Muslims around the world.

Variations of the name Mary have been very popular in some areas of the world. Marie is the French variation that has been regularly used since before the 1800s in Europe. Maria, another variation, is wildly popular in Hispanic countries, especially those in Central and South America. The original name of Miriam (or Miryam) is the Hebrew version of the name and is used also by Christians and Jews, while Mariam is the Islamic version which is still commonly given as a first name to women.

Popularity of the name Mary started on a downward trend in 1960s, but before this time from 1880 until 1961 it was the most commonly used baby girl name in the US more often than not. Until 2008 the name never left the top 100 names list, but in 2014 it was ranked as the 120th most popular name in the US. In 1860 it was also the most popular baby girl name in the UK. Even in Canada the name was the most popular from 1915-1938 for all but 5 years, while the last recorded ranking was as the 98th most popular in 1999.

Celebrities and notable people who share the name include the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus; Mary Magdalene of the Biblical New Testament; Mary J Blige, an American R&B singer; Mary Higgins Clark, a fictional author; and Mary Tyler Moore, an actress.