Maryam (name)

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Pronunciation [ˈmariːˈam]
Gender Female
Language(s) Arabic, Armenian, Georgian
Other names
Related names Mary, Miriam, Miryam, Myriam, Meryem, Maria, Marija, Mariah, Mari, Marie, Marion

Maryam or Mariam is the Arabic name of Mary the mother of Jesus[1][2] and of Miriam, the sister of Moses.[3] It is also the form normally used in most indigenous languages of the Middle East, including Aramaic, Armenian, Georgian, and Persian, as well as the Horn of Africa, including Amharic and Somali. Other languages of the Middle East in addition use a form similar to it (rather than the Latinate Maria or Mary), e.g. the Kurdish and Turkish Meryem and the Azerbaijani Məryəm.

Being originally the name of Miriam, the name may have originated from the Egyptian language, like possibly Moses; it is likely derivative of the words mry "beloved" or mr "love"[4][5] or the derived ancient Egyptian name Meritamen or Meri-Amun, "beloved of the God Amun".[6] Other suggestions include the word root m-r-r "bitter" (cf. myrrh), or the Hebrew root (מרי m-r-y) "rebellious", or even possibly "wished-for child", or "strong waters". Maryam is also a name of a flower (tuberose) in the Persian language.[5]

People with this given name[edit]

See also: Mariam

Use in Ethiopian names[edit]

Maryam or Mariam is found as part of compound names in Ethiopia, including masculine names.

Hailemariam, often printed as Haile Mariam in the West, means power of Mary.

Earlier examples include:

Still other Ethiopians bear names derived from titles or feasts of St. Mary, such as Zedingil (Of the Virgin) and Kidane (Covenant [of Mercy]).

Other uses as a name[edit]

  • Ustad Ali Maryam, architect in 19th century Persia, added Maryam to his name after building a house for an important woman with that name
  • Kanaya Maryam, a Homestuck character


  1. ^ Patrick Hanks, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges (2006). A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198610602. 
  2. ^ Janie Steen (2008). Verse and Virtuosity: The Adaptation of Latin Rhetoric in Old English Poetry. University of Toronto Press Incorporated. ISBN 978-0-8020-9157-4. 
  3. ^ The Holy Qur'an: Maryam (Mary), Sura 19 (Translation by A. Yusuf Ali)
  4. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: The Name of Mary, citing the work of Franz von Hummelauer
  5. ^ a b Behind the Name: Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Mary
  6. ^ Holly Ingraham, People's Names: A Cross-cultural Reference Guide to the Proper Use of Over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in Over 100 Cultures (1997) ISBN 0786401877

See also[edit]