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Gender: F Meaning of Martha: "lady" Origin of Martha: Aramaic Martha's Popularity in 2013: #803

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.

Famous People Named Martha

Saint Martha of Bethany, Biblical figure
Martha Helen Stewart, American business mogul
Martha Dandridge Washington, first First Lady of the U.S.
Martha Parkes Custis, daughter Daniel Custis and Martha Washington
Martha Layne Collins, American politician, former governor of Kentucky
Martha Rose Reeves, singer of American group Martha & the Vandellas
Märtha of Sweden, Crown Princess of Norway
Martha Hunt, American model
Martha Streck, Brazilian model
Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer
Martha Raye (born Margy Reed), American comedienne and singer
Martha Hyer, American actress
Martha Bruce, Countess of Elgin and Kincardine
Martha Ellis Gelhorn, American novelist, once-wife of novelist Ernest Hemingway
Martha Finley, American children's author
Martha Alice Brown, granddaughter of English guitarist Jimmy Page
Martha Louise, Princess of Norway
Martha Craven Nussbaum, American philosopher

Pop Culture References for the Name Martha

Martha Jones, companion on TV's "Doctor Who"
Martha Levinson, character on TV's "Downton Abbey"
"Martha Marcy May Marlene," 2011 movie and main character
Martha M. Masters, character on TV's "House"
Martha Jane MacKenzie, character on Australian soap "Home & Away"
Martha, character in the children's book "Half-Magic" by Edward Eager
"George & Martha," children's book and TV series about two hippos
Martha Stanley, character in movie "The Proposition"
Martha Bellison, character in movie "The Invention of Lying"
Martha Bullock, character on TV's "Deadwood"
Martha Wayne, mother of Batman
Martha Kent, adoptive mother of Superman
Martha Kane, character on British soap "Hollyoaks"
Martha, character in movie "Hotel Transylvania'
Martha, dog in book series and PBS show, "Martha Speaks"
Martha Zolanski, music video character created by singer Nicki Minaj
Martha Quimby, character on TV's "The Simpsons"
"Martha, My Dear," song by The Beatles
Martha's Vineyard, island in Massachusetts, USA

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)