Diminutive of Margaret and Mary; month name
"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"

May Origin and Meaning

The name May is a girl's name of English origin.

May is a sweet old-fashioned name that hasn't been on the national charts in several decades, but is definitely sounding fresh and springlike. Parents are beginning to see it once more as one of the prettiest middle name options. May was as high on the list as Number 57 in the 1880s; it's now 228 on Nameberry.

May started as one of the innumerable pet forms of Mary and Margaret, as well as a springtime month name along with April and June. She's represented in literature by May Bartram in Henry James's The Beast in the Jungle and May Welland in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.

Actresses Emily Morton and Madeline Stowe named their daughters May, and Eric Clapton and Jodie Sweetin used it in middle place for theirs.

# 963 in the US

May Rank in US Top 1000

# 483 on Nameberry

May Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

May Popularity

Famous People Named May

  • Mary Jeanette "May" RobsonAustralian,American actress
  • Eleanore Marie "May" SartonAmerican poet, novelist, and memoirist
  • May Helen Emma Abel SmithPrincess of Teck, great,granddaughter of Queen Victoria
  • Maynickname of Mary of Teck, Queen consort of George V of the U.K.
  • May Whitty (born Mary Louise Webster)English actress
  • May O'DonnellAmerican dancer/choreographer
  • May Fung Yee PangAmerican former girlfriend of musician John Lennon
  • May J. (born May Hashimoto)Japanese pop singer
  • May AllisonAmerican actress
  • May BrittSwedish actress
  • May McavoyAmerican silent film actress
  • Louisa May AlcottAmerican novelist
  • (Abigail) May Alcott NierikerAmerican artist and sister of Louisa May Alcott
  • Maryum "May May" Alidaughter of boxer Muhammad Ali
  • May Rose Nivoladaughter of English actress Emily Mortimer
  • (Cecilia) May GibbsAustralian children's author
  • May Theodora Benbendaughter of actors Madeleine Stowe and Brian Benben
  • Scarlett May Stuber (b. 2015)daughter of model Molly Sims
  • May Andersen (b. 1982) Danish modelappeared in Victoria's Secret & Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
  • May MartinFamous British Seamstress

May in Pop Culture

  • May Parker aka Aunt Maycharacter in Marvel's Spider,Man series
  • May "Mayday" Parker aka SpiderGirl, daughter of Spider,Man
  • May Wellandcharacter from "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton
  • Maya main character in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
  • Maythe main female character in the Pokemon Advanced anime series saga
  • May Singersister of America Singer, The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass
  • May Kusekabe from Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro
  • May Clutterbucketa character on TV's "Girl Meets World".
  • May Kankercharacter on animated series "Ed, Edd n Eddy"
  • Anna May Batescharacter from "Downton Abbey"
  • Maggie Maysong by Rod Stewart
  • Melinda Maycharacter in Marvel Universe

May in Nameberry Blog Posts