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Gender: F Meaning of Maria: "wished-for child" Origin of Maria: Latin variation of Mary; Aramaic variation of Miriam Maria's Popularity in 2013: #112

Popularity: this week.

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.

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Famous People Named Maria

St. Maria Goretti, Catholic girl who died rather than submit to rape
Maria Shriver, American journalist
Maria Callas, American-Greek opera singer
Maria Sharapova, tennis player
Maria Ewing, American opera singer; mother of Rebecca Hall
Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna Romanova of Russia
Maria Magdalena (Marlene) Dietrich, German actress and singer
Maria Dizzia, American actress
Maria Pitillo, American actress
Maria Hester Monroe-Gouverneur, child of James & Elizabeth Monroe
Maria de Lourdes Villiers "Mia" Farrow, American actress
Maria Adela, daughter of American actress Penelope Miller
Maria Goeppert-Mayer, theoretical physicist & Nobel prize winner
Maria V Snyder - novelist
Maria Gripe (born Maja Stina Walter), Swedish writer

Pop Culture References for the Name Maria

Maria, tragic heroine of West Side Story
Maria Wong, character from Braceface
Maria von Trapp, main character in The Sound of Music
Maria Ruiz, character from show "Orange is the New Black"
Maria, character from the video game Silent Hill 2
"Maria" song by Green Day
Wall Maria, largest and first to fall of the walls 'protecting' humanity in popular anime/manga 'Shingeki no Kyoujin' or 'Attack on Titan'
Doctor Maria Duszynska, character from Night trains, by Barbara Wood

Maie, Mara, Marea, Mareah, Mariabella, Mariae, Mariah, Marie, Mariesa, Mariessa, Mariha, Marija, Mariya, Mariyah, Marja, Marya, Mayra, Mayria, Moraiah, Moriah, Ria

Maria's International Variations

Mali, Maritza (Spanish)