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Gender: F Meaning of Mae: "bitter" Origin of Mae: Diminutive of Margaret Mae's Popularity in 2013: #674

Popularity: this week.

Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010 -- and has since climbed quite a bit. Mae is one of the prettiest middle name options (Eric Clapton has an Ella Mae, Greg Kinnear an Audrey Mae, Ian Ziering a Penna Mae). The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own--as seen by Kathryn Hahn's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.

Mae, a top 100 name through 1920, was big in early film history--there were leading actresses named Mae Clarke, Mae Marsh, Mae Busch and Mae Murray. Towering over them (figuratively) was Mae West, who changed the name from sweet to sexy. This image continued with Madonna's character in A League of Their Own, known as 'All the way Mae.'

Mae Jemisen was the first African-American woman to travel in space. Currently, Mae Whitman is a rising young actress seen on Parenthood and Arrested Development.

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Famous People Named Mae

Mary Jane "Mae" West, American actress
Mae Carol Jemison, first African-American woman astronaut
Mae Clarke (born Violet Mary Klotz), American actress
Mae Questel, American actress, voice of cartoon character Betty Boop
Mae Margaret Whitman, American actress
(Johnnie) Mae Young, American professional wrestler
Mae Lapres, American model
Anna Mae Bullock, birth name of American singer Tina Turner
(Annie) Mae Busch, Australian actress
Mae Murray (born Marie Adrienne Koenig), American actress
Mary Wayne "Mae" Marsh, American actress
Mae Moore, Canadian singer-songwriter
Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson, British violinist
K'Mari Mae Epps, daughter of actor Omar Epps
Pemma Mae Krumholtz (b. 2014), daughter of actor David Krumholtz

Pop Culture References for the Name Mae

Mae Mobley, character in book/movie "The Help"
Mae Braddock, character in movie "Cinderella Man"
Mae "Maeby" Funke, character on TV's "Arrested Development"
Mae, character in Pokemon video game series
Mae Caldwell, character in movie "Secondhand Lions"
Mae, character in "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple
Mae, American rock band