Maria (given name)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the given name. For other uses, see Maria (disambiguation).
Gender Female
Language(s) Hebrew, Greek, Latin
Meaning "wished-for child", "beloved", "love", "star of the sea"
Other names
Related names Mary

Maria is a female given name in many diverse cultures, including African, Arab, Armenian, Croatian, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Hispanic American and Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Pakistani, Afghan, Serbian, Swedish, and Indonesian.

In the Roman Empire, the name was used as a feminine form of the Roman name Marius (see Maria (gens)).[1] It became popular with the spread of Christianity as a Latinized form of the Hebrew name of Jesus' mother Mary (Miriam in Hebrew or Maryam in Aramaic). As a result of their similarity and syncretism, the Latin original name Maria and the Hebrew-derived Maria combined to form a single name. The meaning of the Semitic-rooted name is uncertain, but it may originally be an Egyptian name, probably derived from mry "beloved" or mr "love"[2] ("eminent lady" or "beloved lady").[3] The meaning of the Latin-rooted name is similarly ambiguous, possibly deriving from mare ("sea" in Latin), maris ("male"), or the name of the god Mars.

Historically, the name was also sometimes used as a male (middle) name. This was the case in many Central European countries, where it signified patronage of the Virgin Mary.

As a first name, Maria ranked seventh out of 4,275 for females of all ages in the 1990 U.S. Census.[4] Because of its enduring popularity, the name is used extensively in society and media throughout the world.

Notable people named Maria[edit]











Politicians and political activists[edit]

Television hosts[edit]

As male middle name[edit]

As female middle name[edit]


In Mexico, it is a tradition to name the firstborn daughter Maria.

In pre-20th century Britain, the name Maria was usually pronounced /məˈrə/. However, during the 20th century the popularity of this pronunciation was eclipsed by the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese pronunciation, /məˈrɪə/.

In Spanish-speaking countries the name María is often abbreviated as "Mª", especially in two-part names (i.e. María Antonieta becomes Mª Antonieta.)

See also[edit]