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Gender: F Meaning of Mercy: "compassion" Origin of Mercy: English Mercy's Popularity in 2013: #854

Popularity: this week.

The quality of mercy makes this lovely Puritan virtue name undervalued today. Although it was most popular late nineteenth century, Mercy is on its way to a comeback -- it rose 143 spots between 2012 and 2013, making it one of the year's fastest-rising names. Right now, it's still stylish and distinctive, a rare and wonderful combination.

Mercy is one of the characters with allegorical names in John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress, and Mercy Pecksniff appears in Dickens's novel Martin Chuzzlewit with the nickname Merry. Mercy Lewis, in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, was based on a real-life character, a witness at the Salem witch trials. Another historic Mercy is Mercy Warren, Revolutionary period patriot and writer of plays, books and poetry.

Comic/sidekick Andy Richter, when he named his daughter Mercy, joked, "Just in case Puritanism comes back, we'll be ready with a real Puritan name"; Madonna renamed her Malawi-born daughter Mercy James.

Famous People Named Mercy

Chifundo "Mercy" James (b. 2006), adopted daughter of Madonna
Mercy Ritcher, Andy Richter's daughter
Mercy Warren, writer
Mercy Fiennes-Tiffin, English actress
Mercy Lewis, played a role in the Salem witch trials and is fictionalized in the play "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller

Pop Culture References for the Name Mercy

"Mercy," hit song by Duffy
"Mercy," Dave Matthews Band song
Mercy Merrick, in The New Magdalen (1873) by Wilkie Collins
Mercy Pecksniff, character in "Martin Chuzzlewit"
Mercy, character in "A Pilgrim's Progress"
Mercy Lewis, character in "The Crucible"
Mercy Wood, character in "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"
Mercy, intended name of Adrian & Ben's daughter ("The Secret Life of an American Teenager") until Adrian later miscarried
Mercy Watson, pig character in children's book series by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy, minor character in "Orange is the New Black" (Big Boo's Ex)

Mercey, Merci, Mercie, Mercille, Mersey