Maria (given name)
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|Related names||Mary, Marie, Maryam, Miriam, Mariana, Mariah|
Maria is a feminine given name. It is given in many languages influenced by Latin Christianity. It has its origin as the feminine form of the Roman name Marius (see Maria (gens)), and, after Christianity religion has spread across the Roman empire, it became the Latinised form of the name of Miriam: Mary, mother of Jesus.
Maria (Μαρία) is a form of the name used in the New Testament, standing alongside Mariam Μαριάμ. It reflects the Syro-Aramaic name Maryam, which is in turn derived from the Biblical Hebrew name Miriam. 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 name is also sometimes used as a male (middle) name. This was historically the case in many Central European countries and still is the case in countries with strong Catholic traditions, where it signified patronage of the Virgin Mary (French-speakers often did the same with Marie).
Besides Maria, Mother of Jesus (see Blessed Virgin Mary or Virgin Mary), there are three other women named Maria in the New Testament: Maria Magdalena and Maria Salomé, disciples of Jesus and Maria Betânia, sister of Lazarus. In Quranic tradition, the name is rendered Maryam, but Arabic reflects the Christian given name as Mārya مارية or Māryā ماريا Mārya al-Qibiṭiyya, a Coptic Egyptian woman who was a bondmaid to prophet Muhammad
Variants and usage
Maria was a frequently given name in southern Europe even in the medieval period. In addition to the simple name, there arose a tradition of naming girls after specific titles of Mary, feast days associated with Mary and specific Marian apparitions (such as Maria de los Dolores, Maria del Pilar, Maria del Carmen etc., whence the derived given names of Dolores, Pilar, Carmen etc.). By contrast, in northern Europe the name only rose to popularity after the Reformation.
Because the name is so frequent in Christian tradition, a tradition of giving compound names has developed, with a number of such compounds themselves becoming very popular. Examples include Anna+Maria (Anne-Marie, Marianne, etc.) Maria+Luisa (French Marie-Louise,) Margarita+Maria (English Margaret Mary, French Marguerite Marie etc.), Maria+Antonia (Italian Maria Antonia, French Marie-Antoinette etc.) Maria+Helena (Italian Maria Elena, Spanish María Elena), Maria+Teresa, among numerous others.[clarification needed]
As a feminine given name, Maria ranked 109th in the United States as of 2015, down from rank 31 held during 1973–1975.
Spelling variants of Maria include: Mária (Hungarian, Slovakian), María (Galician, Spanish), Máire and Muire (Irish), Marya, Marija (transliterated from Cyrillic), Maria (Polish). Due to a very strong devotion of Irish and Polish Catholics to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a special exception is made for two other forms of her name — Muire and Maryja — no one else may take that name similar to the way the name Jesus is not used in most languages. The English form Mary is derived via French Marie. A great number of hypocoristic forms are in use in numerous languages.
The spelling in Semitic abjads is mrym: Aramaic ܡܪܝܡ, Hebrew מרים, Arabic مريم. Cyrillic has Марыя (Marýja) (Belarusian), Мария (Maríja) (Russian, Bulgarian). Georgian uses მარიამ (Mariam), მარია (Maria); Armenian: Մարիամ. Chinese has adopted the spelling 瑪麗 (simplified 玛丽, pinyin Mǎlì).
The variant Mariah (usually pronounced /məˈraɪə/) was rarely given in the United States prior to the 1990s, when it bounced in popularity, from rank 562 in 1989 to rank 62 in 1998, in imitation of the name of singer Mariah Carey (whose Vision of Love topped the charts in 1990).
Maria is used as a part of masculine given names in Roman Catholic tradition.
People named Maria
- Maria of Russia (several people)
- Maria al-Qibtiyya
- María Conchita Alonso (born 1957), American singer/songwriter and actress
- María Azambuya (1944 – 2011), Uruguayan actress and theatre director
- Maria Bamford (born 1970), American stand-up comedian, actress, and voice actress
- Maria Bello (born 1967), American actress and writer
- María Belón (born 1966), Spanish physician and motivational speaker
- Maria Brink (born 1977), American singer and songwriter
- Maria Beasley, American inventor
- Maria Callas (1923 – 1977), Greek-American soprano
- Maria Cole (1922 – 2012), American jazz singer
- Maria Christina (several people)
- Maria Dallas, New Zealand singer
- Maria Edgeworth (1768 – 1849), Anglo-Irish writer of adults' and children's literature
- Maria Louise Eve (1848-?), American poet
- María Holly (born 1932), widow of rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly
- Maria James (1793–1868), Welsh-born American poet
- Maria Jane Jewsbury (1800–1833), English writer, poet, literary reviewer
- María José (several people)
- Maria Kanellis (born 1982), American professional wrestler
- Maria Kekkonen, Finnish erotic actress
- Maria Brace Kimball (1852–1933), American educator, elocutionist, writer
- Maria Lauterbach (1987-2007), American murder victim
- Maria White Lowell (1821-1853), American poet, abolitionist
- Maria Mandl (1912–1948), Austrian Nazi SS commandant of the female camp at Auschwitz concentration camp executed for war crimes
- Maria Mazina (born 1964), Russian Olympic champion épée fencer
- Maria Montessori, Italian educator
- Maria Ozawa (born 1986), Japanese actress
- Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parma (born 1934)
- Maria Palmer (1917 – 1981), Austrian-born American actress
- Maria Rasputin (1898 – 1977), memoirist
- Maria Reynolds (1768 – 1828), wife of James Reynolds
- María Elena Salinas, American broadcast journalist, news anchor, and author
- Maria Sharapova (born 1987), Russian professional tennis player
- Maria Shriver (born 1955), American journalist and activist
- Maria Theresa (several people)
- María Valverde (born 1987), Spanish actress
- Maria Eulália Vares, Brazilian mathematical statistician and probability theorist
- Maria (West Side Story), the main female protagonist from the musical West Side Story, which is based on Romeo and Juliet
- Gian Maria Visconti (1388–1412)
- Filippo Maria Visconti (1392–1447)
- Giovanni Maria Nanino (1543/4–1607)
- Giovanni Maria Trabaci (c. 1575–1647)
- Edward Maria Wingfield (1550–1631)
- Antonio Maria Vassallo (c. 1620–64/73)
- Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826)
- Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926)
- Erich Maria Remarque (1898–1970)
- José María Mariano Escrivá y Albás, more commonly known as Saint Josemaría (1902–75)
- Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen, head of the deposed Royal Saxon branch of the House of Wettin (d. 2012)
- Klaus Maria Brandauer (1943-)
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