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Gender: F Meaning of Mary: "bitter" Origin of Mary: Hebrew Mary's Popularity in 2013: #121

Popularity: this week.

Mary, the quintessential New Testament name, was Number 1 for girls for four hundred years. Though still close to the Top 100, at 121, Mary is used now mostly for religious or family reasons. If it's style you're after, Mary's many diminutives and derivatives such as Maire, Mamie, May, Mitzi, Molly, Maura, Marietta, and even Maria are all more fashionable.

Mary was the most popular and enduring female Christian name in the English-speaking world (as were Maria and Marie in Spanish and French) at least until 1950. That was when in the U.S. Mary was finally dethroned by such trendy upstarts as Linda and Karen.

There are six Marys in the Bible, including the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Mary the mother of James and Joseph and Mary the mother of Mark, and there have been British royal Marys beginning in the sixteenth century. In earliest times Mary was considered too sacred to be used by ordinary mortals; it finally began to be employed in England in the twelfth century, and by the sixteenth had blanketed the female population, to the point where dozens of pet forms had to be contrived to distinguish one Mary in the family from the others.

The poet Byron deemed Mary a 'magic' name, and the song proclaims it 'a grand old name.' Mary has always been a good-girl name, as reflected by such midcentury icons of propriety and wholesomeness, Mary Poppins and Mary Tyler Moore. The lovely Lady Mary Crawley of Downton Abbey has restored some freshness to the name.

Among the celebs who dropped their birth name of Mary are Meryl Streep, Debbie Reynolds and Lily Tomlin.

People who like Mary also like:

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Famous People Named Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep, iconic American actress
Mary Willa 'Mamie' Gummer, actress and daughter of Meryl Streep
Mary McCartney, daughter of Paul McCartney
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, American actress
Mary Jane "Mary J." Blige, American singer
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots
Mary Tudor, Queen of France
Mary I of England, 'Bloody Mary'
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Mary Shelley, English author
Mary Stuart Masterson, American actress
Mary-Louise Parker, American actress
Mary Crosby, American actress
Mary Hart, American news reporter
Mary-Kate Olsen, American actress and fashion designer
Mary Katherine Campbell, Miss America 1922 and 1923
Mary Elise Hayden, American actress
Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Tree House series
Mary James Marsden, daughter of actor James Marsden
Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin, American actress and comedienne
Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds, American actress
Mary Jo Eustace, Canadian actress, singer & sous chef
Mary of Teck, Queen consort of King George V of England
Mary-Charles Jones, American child actress
Mary Wollstonecraft, author, philosopher & female rights advocate
Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln
Mary Chapin Carpenter, American country music artist
Mary McDonnell, American actress
Mary Travers, American singer, member of the group Peter, Paul & Mary
Mary Read, the most famous female pirate in the 18th century
Mary O'Hara Alsop, American writer

Pop Culture References for the Name Mary

Mary Morstan-Watson, a character in BBC show "Sherlock"
Mary Winchester, character in TV's "Supernatural"
Mary Lisbon, character in the book and move "The Virgin Suicides"
Mary, song by The Death Riders
Mary Katherine (M.K.), protagonist of the movie "Epic"
Mary Bennington, character in movie "Three Men and a Little Lady"
Lady Mary Josephine Crawley, a character in TV series "Downton Abbey"
Mary Lennox, character in "The Secret Garden" book/film
Mary Malone, character in "His Dark Materials" trilogy
Mary Poppins, title character of books & movies
"Mary had a Little Lamb," famous melody
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary," nursery rhyme
Mary, Mary, song by the Monkees
Mary, song by Noah and the Whale
Mary Shepherd-Sunderland, character in Silent Hill 2
"Miss Mary Mack," song sung in hand clapping rhythm
Mary Terrafino, character in Michael Grant's Gone series
Mary Bennet, third oldest of the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice
Mary Anne Spier, character in "The Babysitters Club" series
Mary, a song by Scissor Sisters
Mary Mahoney, of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You, a play by Christopher Durang
Mary Jane Watson, character in the Spider-Man comics
Mary Janes, girls shoes
Mary Jane, street name for marijuana
Mary Margaret Blanchard, character in ABC's "Once Upon A Time"
Mary Edwards, Samantha Parkington's grandmother, "Grandmary" in the American Girl series
Mary's Song, by Taylor Swift
Mary Jean, character in Lily Tomlin's sketches
Mary Camden, character in TV's "Seventh Heaven"
Mary Swanson, main character from movie "Dumb and Dumber"
Mary Vega, from the movie "Crusade in Jeans"
Mary Barrows, villain from the video game "Clock Tower"
The Jesus and Mary Chain, band

Mair, Mal, Malle, Mame, Mamie, Marabel, Marabelle, Maree, Marella, Marelle, Maren, Maretta, Marette, Mariam, Mariana, Mariann, Marianne, Maridel, Marietta, Marila, Marilee, Marilin, Marilla, Marilyn, Marin, Marla, Marlo, Marya, Maryann, Maryanna, Maryla, Marynia, Marysa, Marysia, Maurene, Maurine, May, Mayme, Maymie, Mayra, Mayria, Merrill, Millie, Milly, Mimi, Minette, Minnie, Minti, Mirja, Moll, Molli, Mollie, Molly, Poll, Polli, Polly