|Name day||September 12|
|Word/name||Aramaic and Hebrew via Latin and Greek|
|Meaning||"bitter", "beloved", "rebelliousness", "wished-for child", "marine", “drop of the sea”|
|Related names||Maria, Marie, (and variant)|
Mary is a feminine given name, the English form of the name Maria, which was in turn a Latin form of the Greek name Μαρία (María), found in the New Testament. Both variants reflect Syro-Aramaic Maryam, itself a variant of the Hebrew name מִרְיָם or Miryam.
The name was early etymologized as containing the Hebrew root mr "bitter" (cf. myrrh), or mry "rebellious". St. Jerome (writing c. 390), following Eusebius of Caesarea, translates the name as "drop of the sea" (stilla maris in Latin), from Hebrew מר mar "drop" (cf. Isaias 40:15) and ים yam "sea". This translation was subsequently rendered stella maris ("star of the sea") due to scribal error, whence Our Lady's title Star of the Sea. Rashi, an 11th-century Jewish commentator on the Bible, wrote that the name was given to the sister of Moses because of the Egyptians' harsh treatment of Jews in Egypt. Rashi wrote that the Israelites lived in Egypt for 210 years, including 86 years of cruel enslavement that began at the time Moses' elder sister was born. Therefore, the girl was called Miriam, because the Egyptians made life bitter (מַר, mar) for her people.
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Possible use of Maria as a Christian given name is recorded for the 3rd century. The English form Mary arises by adoption of French Marie into Middle English. Wycliffe's Bible still has Marie, with the modern spelling current from the 16th century, found in the Tyndale Bible (1525), Coverdale Bible (1535) and later translations.
Mary is still among the top 100 names for baby girls born in Ireland, common amongst Christians there and also popularised amongst Protestants specifically, with regard to Queen Mary II, co-monarch and wife of William III. Mary was the 179th most popular name for girls born in England and Wales in 2007, ranking behind other versions of the name.
In the United States, Mary was consistently the most popular name for girls from 1880 until 1961. It first fell below the top 100 most popular names in 2009. By contrast, the latinate (especially Spanish) form Maria rose into the top 100 in 1944, peaking at rank 31 in the 1970s, but also falling below rank 100 once again in 2012.
The name Mary remains more popular in the Southern United States than elsewhere in the country. Mary was the 15th most popular name for girls born in Alabama in 2007, the 22nd most popular name for girls born in Mississippi in 2007, the 44th most popular name for girls in North Carolina, the 33rd most popular name for girls in South Carolina, and the 26th most popular name for girls in Tennessee. Mary was still the most common name for women and girls in the United States in the 1990 census.
Mariah had a short-lived burst of popularity after 1990, when singer Mariah Carey first topped the charts, peaking at rank 62 in 1998. Molly, a pet form, was ranked as the 29th most popular name there and spelling variant Mollie at No. 107; Maria was ranked at No. 93; Maryam was ranked at No. 116 as of 2007.
List of people with name Mary
- Mary Tudor, Queen of France (1496–1533), daughter of Henry VII of England
- Queen Mary I of England (1516–1558),known as "Princess Mary" before her accession
- Princess Mary of England (1605–1607), daughter of James VI and I
- Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (1631–1660), daughter of Charles I of England
- Queen Mary II of England (1662-1694), daughter of James VII and II, queen of Scotland & Ireland, wife of King William III, of the House of Orange, and joint ruler with him
- Princess Mary of Great Britain (1723–1772), daughter of George II of Great Britain
- Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh (1776–1857), daughter of George III of the United Kingdom
- Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge (1833–1897), granddaughter of George III of the United Kingdom
- Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (1897–1965), daughter of George V of the United Kingdom
- Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark (born 1972), Australian-born wife of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark
- Mary Abbott (artist) (1921–2019), American artist
- Mary Abbott (golfer) (1857–1904), American golfer
- Mary Bethune Abbott (1823–1898), wife of Sir John Abbott, the third Prime Minister of Canada
- Mary Ogden Abbott (1894–1981), American artist, traveler and equestrian
- Mary Adams (activist) (born 1938), tax activist who led the repeal of Maine's statewide property tax and efforts to enact a Taxpayer Bill of Rights
- Mary Adams (actress) (1910–1973), American actress
- Mary Adams (broadcaster) (1898–1984), administrator who helped to develop the BBC's television service in the 1950s
- Mary Adams (codebreaker) (codebreaker, 1922–2010), Scottish interceptor for Bletchley Parkduring World War II
- Mary Adams (educator) (1823–1898), Canadian women's education reformer
- Mary Hellen Adams, (1806-1870), wife of John Adams II, daughter in-law of John Quincy Adams
- Mary Jane Adams (1840–1902), Irish poet
- Mary Kay Adams (born 1962), American television actress
- Mary Kawennatakie Adams (1917–1999), First Nations basketmaker
- Mary Newbury Adams (1837–1901), American women's suffragist and education advocate
- Mary Ogden Adams
- A pseudonym for Communist Party USA activist Williana Burroughs (1882–1945), used in the 1920s
- Mary Baker (1842–1856), English painter
- Mary Ann Baker (1831–1921), American composer and singer
- Mary E. Baker (1923–1995), African-American community activist
- Mary Landon Baker (1901–1961), American socialite and heiress famous for her romantic life
- Mary Lou Baker (1914–1965), member of the Florida House of Representatives and women's rights activist
- Bonnie Baker (Mary Geraldine Baker, 1918–2003), American baseball player
- Mary Lincoln Beckwith (1898–1975), prominent descendant of Abraham Lincoln
- Mary Carey, Lady Carey (c. 1609–c. 1680), author and poet
- Mary Lincoln Crume (1775–c. 1832), daughter of Abraham Lincoln (Captain) and Bathsheba Herring and aunt of American President Abraham Lincoln
- Mary "Moll" Davis (c. 1648–1708), actress and mistress of Charles II of Great Britain
- Mary Davis (actress), American silent film actress
- Mary Davis (artist) (1866–1941), English artist
- Mary E. P. Davis (1840–1924), American nursing instructor
- Mary Davis (activist) (born 1954), Special Olympics organiser and candidate in the Irish presidential election, 2011
- Mary Bond Davis (born 1958), American singer, actor and dancer
- Mary Ellen Davis (1805–1824), older sister of Jefferson Davis
- Mary Gould Davis (1882–1956), American author, librarian, storyteller and editor
- Mary Lund Davis (1922–2008), modernist architect
- Mary Davis, singer of the S.O.S. Band
- Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), born Mary Baker, founder of Christian Science
- Mary "Mimi" Gardner Gates (born 1943), American art historian who is the recent director of the Seattle Art Museum, stepmother of Bill Gates
- Mary Maxwell Gates (1929-1994), American businesswoman, executive, civic activist, and school teacher, mother of Bill Gates
- Mary Grant (politician) (1928–2016), Ghanaian politician
- Mary Grant (sculptor) (1831–1908), British sculptor
- Mary E. Grant (born 1953), American psychiatric nurse and politician
- Mary Pollock Grant (1876–1957), Scottish suffragette, politician, missionary and policewoman
- Liz Grant (Mary Elizabeth Grant, born 1930), former Australian pharmacist and politician
- Mary Styles Harris (born 1949), geneticist
- Mel Harris (Mary Ellen Harris, born 1956), actress
- Mary Lee Cagle (1864–1955), married name Mary Harris, pastor
- Mary Harris (musician), member of the music group Ambrosia
- Mary Packer Harris (1891–1978), Scottish artist and art teacher
- Mary Harris (cricketer), New Zealand cricketer
- Mary Johnson Harris (born 1963), member of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Mary Winifred Harris, Clerk of the New Zealand House of Representatives
- Mary Harris (murderer), American murderer
- Mary "Mamie" Lincoln Isham (1869–1938), granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln
- Mary Jackson (Richmond Bread Riot) (c. 1829–c. 1870), leader of Richmond Bread Riot of 1863
- Mary Anna Jackson (1831–1915), wife of Confederate Army general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
- Mary E. Jackson (1867–1923), African-American suffrage activist, YWCA leader and writer
- Mary Percy Jackson (1904–2000), Canadian medical doctor
- Mary Jackson (actress) (1910–2005), film and television actress
- Mary Jackson (engineer) (1921–2005), NASA engineer
- Mary Ann Jackson (1923–2003), child actress
- Mary Jackson (artist) (born 1945), African-American fiber artist
- Mary M. Jackson (fl. 1980s–2010s), American Navy vice admiral
- Mary Johnson (first lady) (c. 1830–1887), first lady of California.
- Mary Johnson (actress) (1896–1975), Swedish silent film performer
- Mary Johnson (singer) (1898–1983), African American lowdown blues singer
- Mary Johnson (cricketer) (born 1924), English cricketer
- Mary Lea Johnson (1926–1990), American theatrical producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist
- Mary Johnson (activist) (born 1948), American advocate for disability rights; founded Ragged Edge magazine
- Mary Johnson (writer) (born 1958), American writer and Director of A Room of Her Own Foundation
- Mary Johnson (politician), member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
- Mary C. Johnson, one of the first three females to practice law in Georgia
- Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln (1844–1921), American science teacher
- Mary Harlan Lincoln (1846–1937), daughter of James Harlan, wife of Robert Todd Lincoln, daughter-in-law of Abraham Lincoln
- Mary Todd Lincoln (1818–1882), former First Lady of the United States, wife of Abraham Lincoln
- Mary Johnson Lowe (1924–1999), American jurist
- Mary Baker McQuesten (1849–1934), Canadian activist
- Mary Roberts (author) (1788–1864), author, born London
- Mary Fanton Roberts (1864–1956), American journalist
- Mary Helen Roberts (born 1947), American politician in the state of Washington
- Mary Wendy Roberts (born 1944), American politician in the state of Oregon
- Mary Louise Roberts (1886–1968), New Zealand masseuse, physiotherapist and mountaineer
- Mary Grant Roberts (1841–1921), Australian zoo owner
- Cokie Roberts (1943–2019), real name Mary Roberts, American journalist and author
- Mary Holmes Truman (1821–1878), grandmother of Harry S. Truman
- Mary Jane Truman (1889–1978), yougest sister of Harry S. Truman
- Mary Martha Truman (1860–1900), aunt of Harry S. Truman
- Margaret Truman (Mary Margaret Truman, 1924–2008), only daughter of Harry S. Truman
- Mary Anne MacLeod Trump (1912–2000), mother Donald Trump
- Mary L. Trump (born 1965), psychologist and author; niece of Donald Trump
- Mary Burke Washington (1926–2014), American economist
- Mary Ball Washington (1708–1789), mother of U.S. President George Washington
- Mary Helen Washington, American literary scholar
- Mary L. Washington (born 1962), Maryland legislator
- Mary T. Washington (1906–2005), first African-American woman to be a certified public accountant in the United States
- Biblical Marys:
- All pages with titles beginning with Mary
- Marian (given name)
- Campbell, Mike. "Meaning, origin and history of the name Mary". Behind the Name. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- A. Maas, "The Name of Mary", The Catholic Encyclopedia (1912), citing Fr. von Hummelauer (in Exod. et Levit., Paris, 1897, p. 161)
- Rashi. "Commentary on Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs)". p. 2:13. "From the time that Miriam was born, the Egyptians intensified the bondage upon Israel; therefore, she was called Miriam, because they made it bitter (מַר) for them."
- See Iain Gardner, Alanna Nobbs and Malcolm Choat, "P. Harr. 107: Is This Another Greek Manichaean Letter?" Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 131 (2000), pp. 120f
- Wallace (2004)
- OACT. "Popular Baby Names". www.ssa.gov. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Campbell, Mike. "Popularity for the name Mary". Behind the Name. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Campbell, Mike. "Popular Names in the United States". Behind the Name. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Baby Planners[permanent dead link]
- Rosenkrantz, Linda and Satran, Pamela Redmond (2005). Beyond Jennifer and Jason, Madison and Montana, Fourth Edition. St. Martin's Paperbacks. ISBN 0-312-94095-5.
- Todd, Loreto (1998). Celtic Names for Children. Irish American Book Company. ISBN 0-9627855-6-3.
- Wallace, Carol (2004). The Penguin Classic Baby Name Book. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-200470-7.
- Wood, Jamie Martinez (2001). ¿Cómo te llamas, Baby? Berkley. ISBN 0-425-17959-1.