Maya (given name)
Maya is a feminine name with multiple meanings. In Hindu philosophy, Māyā means "illusion" and in Hindu mythology, it is also an alternate name of the Hindu goddess Durga. According to tradition, Queen Māyā of Sakya was also the name of the mother of Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha. In Hebrew, the name Maya (מַיָּה/מאיה in Hebrew) is a short form of "ma'ayan," meaning "spring" or "brook." In Old Persian the name means "generous."
Maya can also be a name used as a tribute to the Maya peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America or to the Maya, a group of Indigenous Australians. Additionally, Maya can be a name of Japanese origin, with different meanings. Variants include Mayako and Mayaka. Mount Maya is a Japanese mountain named for the mother of Buddha.
Maya or Mya is also a name used by Muslims. In an Arabian and Indian-Pakistani context the meaning of the name Mya is ‘princess’ or ‘honourable matriarch'. In the Nepali language, "Maya" means "love."
The name is also used as a variant form of the Greek-origin name Maia (Μαια in Ancient Greek), the eldest of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes in Greek and Roman mythology. The unrelated name Maia, meaning "palm tree" in the Māori language, is popular for Māori girls in New Zealand.
Sometimes spelled Maja, it can also be used as a short form of Maria or Mary in Germany, Scandinavian countries, Poland, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. Maya is also used as a short form for the name Amalia or the Basque name Amaia or Amaya (meaning "the end") in Spanish-speaking countries.
Maya has been a popular name for girls in recent years. It is currently among the top hundred names used for baby girls in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Norway, and Israel as well as in other countries. Alternate spellings proliferate, with the name sometimes spelled Maia, Maja, Maiya, Miya, Mya, or Myah. The similar name Mia is also sometimes used as a spelling variant of Maya.
Notable persons with this name
- Maya Plisetskaya (1925-2015), Soviet born ballet dancer
- Maya Ali (b. 1969), British politician and solicitor
- Maya Ali (b. 1989), Pakistani actress and model
- Maya Angelou (1928–2014), African-American author and poet
- Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (b. 1975), better known as M.I.A., British singer
- Maya Berović (b. 1987), Bosnian pop star
- Maya Bond (b. 2000), Japanese American singer
- Maya Bouskilla (b. 1977), Israeli singer
- Maya Deren (1917-1961), American avant-garde filmmaker
- Maya Dolas (1966-1991), Indian gangster
- Maya Gabeira (b. 1987), Brazilian surfer
- Maya Gold (b. 1981), stage name of a Hungarian pornographic actress
- Maya Jama, Somali-Swedish broadcast journalist
- Maya Kulenovic (b. 1975), Canadian artist
- Maya Lin (b. 1959), American architect and sculptor, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Maya Mishalska (b. 1974), Mexican actress
- Maya Moore (b. 1989), American basketball player
- Maya Plisetskaya (1925–2015), Russian ballerina
- Maya Ritter (b. 1993), Canadian actress
- Maya Rudolph (b. 1972), American actress and Saturday Night Live cast member
- Maya Simantov (b. 1982), Israeli singer
- Maya Soetoro-Ng (b. 1970), half-sister of U.S. President Barack Obama
- Maya Wati (b. 1956), Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, an Indian State.
Fictional characters named Maya
- Behind the Name
- Rosenkrantz, Linda and Satran, Pamela Redmond. (2007) The Baby Name Bible. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-35220-2
- Behind the Name