Monica (given name)

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Meaningunique, to advise, alone, nun, solitary
Other names
Related namesMonika, Monique, Mona

Monica is a female given name with many variant forms, including Mónica (Italian, Spanish and European Portuguese), Mônica (Brazilian Portuguese), Monique (French), Monika (German), Mónika (Hungarian).


Monica is an ancient name of North African origin whose etymology is unknown. The earliest reference to the name is found in ancient Numidian inscriptions. The name might include a reference to the ancient Libyan god Mon, whose name was derived from the Egyptian god Amun. Saint Augustine's mother was named Monica, and she was born in Numidia, North Africa, although she also was a citizen of Carthage, hence the possibility it may be of Punic origin.[1] It has also been associated with the Greek word monos, meaning "alone".[2] Monica was also a name in Latin, deriving from the verb monere, meaning 'to advise.'

Saint Monica's feast day is 27 August, and Monica is the patron saint of married women.

One of the early occurrences of the name in literature is the character Monica Thorne in the 1858 novel Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope.[2]


In the United States, the name's popularity reached a peak in 1977 when it was the 39th most popular female name for new births. The popularity has gradually waned since then, being 76th most popular in 1990, and 363rd in 2010.[3]

Name day[edit]

In the European tradition of name day celebration, the date for the name Monica or Monika varies from country to country. In Hungary it is 4 May, as it is in Sweden. In Slovakia it is 7 May, and in the Czech Republic it is celebrated on 21 May. In Poland it is celebrated on 27 August and 4 May. In Latvia it is celebrated on 6 October and in Greece on 15 June.

Notable people[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Norman, Teresa (2003). A World of Baby Names. Perigee. p. 213. ISBN 0-399-52894-6.
  2. ^ a b Room, Adrian (2002). Cassell's Dictionary of First Names. Sterling Publishing. pp. 467–8. ISBN 0-304-36226-3.
  3. ^ "Popular Baby Names", United States Social Security Administration, search term: "Monica". Retrieved 21 July 2011.