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Gender: F Meaning of Martha: "lady" Origin of Martha: Aramaic Martha's Popularity in 2012: #730

Popularity: this week.

The name of our first First Lady still has something of a prim and proper image, academic and efficient. That quiet traditional and tasteful gestalt is exactly what makes Martha appealing to some parents today.

The New Testament Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany, was a solicitous housekeeper who looked after the material welfare of Jesus when he was a guest in her home. For this reason Martha has since been identified with domestic labor and hospitality and is the patron saint of housewives, waiters and cooks (a la Martha Stewart, who shares her name with her mother).

Martha has been a royal name in Scandinavia, the subject of a Beatles song, Martha My Dear, and is also associated with the New England island, Martha's Vineyard. Livelier foreign forms that have been used in this country are Marta, Martine and Martina.

Modern dancer/choreographer Martha Graham would make a notable namesake for a dance aficionado.

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Famous People Named Martha

Martha Stewart, domestic goddess and media empress
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, first First Lady of the US
Martha Parkes Custis, child of Daniel Custis & Martha Washington
Martha Graham, Choreographer
Martha Raye, Comedienne and singer
Martha Hyer, Actress
Martha, Countess of Elgin
Martha Gelhorn, journalist & novelist; once wife of Ernest Hemingway
Martha Finley, author of popular Christian seires "Elsie Dinsmore"
Martha Alice Brown, granddaughter of guitarist Jimmy Page

Pop Culture References for the Name Martha

Martha Jones, "Doctor Who" companion
Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod enclave and clothing brand
Beatles song, "Martha, My Dear"
Martha Levinson, mother of Lady Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
"Martha Marcy May Marlene," film
Martha M. Masters, character in "House"
Martha, character in the children's book "Half-Magic"
George & Martha, children's book & television show about two hippos
Martha Stanley, from the movie "The Proposition"
Martha Bellison, from the movie "The Invention of Lying"
Martha Bullock, from TV series "Deadwood"
Martha Wayne, Batman's mom
Martha, from the movie "Hotel Transylvania'
Martha the dog, from the children's book series and PBS show, "Martha Speaks"

Maarya, Maret, Marit, Mart, Martaha, Martelle, Marth, Marthan, Marthena, Marthine, Marthini, Marthy, Marti, Martie, Martta, Marty, Martyne, Martynne, Marva, Mata, Matti, Mattie, Matty

Martha's International Variations

Martricka (Czech) Martita, Martila (Eastern European) Martella, Marthe (French) Martus, Marcsa, Martuska (Hungarian) Maata (Maori) Marcia, Masia (Polish) Marte (Scandinavian) Moireach (Scottish) Martina, Maita, Marta (Spanish)