As the most common female name in all Spanish-speaking countries, this saintly Latin variation of Mary is more likely to be an ethnic name, though old-line Wasps still favor it, and it retains a timeless beauty.
This widespread name understandably has produced notable namesakes in almost every field--opera's Maria Callas (born Sophia Cecelia), tennis's Sharapova, education's Montessori, ad infinitum. And she's been celebrated in song as well, from Ave Maria to the eponymous song in West Side Story to "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" in The Sound of Music.
Ranking at Number 112, Maria still rules as the second most popular name in Spain.