Greek; Central American Indian empire name; Latinate variation of May; Spanish, diminutive of Amalia; variation of Maia; Hebrew

Maya Origin and Meaning

The name Maya is a girl's name of Hebrew, Spanish, Greek origin meaning "water".

Maya, which has an almost mystical image, has been steadily climbing in popularity in the US and the English-speaking world, along with a range of other countries, including France, Germany, Israel, and Brazil. It's ranked in the US Top 100 since the turn of this century, but has never risen to the top of the list, which you may consider a good thing.

In addition to being the name of a Central American culture, Maya was the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus, and means "illusion" in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism. It can also be spelled Maia, though both names have so many possible origins and meanings that not all of them are related.

Famed author Maya Angelou was born Marguerite; Maya was coined by her brother saying "mya sister." Its best known current bearers include performer Maya Rudolph and architect Maya Lin.

Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's actress daughter is Maya Ray. British designer Phoebe Philo also has a Maya, named for Angelou, as does Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

# 50 in the US

Maya Rank in US Top 1000

# 102 on Nameberry

Maya Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Maya Popularity

Famous People Named Maya

  • Maya Micallefa popular writer on Wattpad
  • Maya Stojanactress
  • MayaQueen of Sakya, mother of Buddha
  • Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson)American poet
  • Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam aka M.I.A.British singer,songwriter
  • Maya Mikhaylovna PlisetskayaSoviet born Spanish,Lithuanian prima ballerina assolata, choreographer, ballet director, and actress
  • Maya Deren (born Eleonora Derenkovskaya)American avant,garde filmmaker
  • Maya Khabira RudolphAmerican actress and comedienne
  • Maya Ying LinAmerican architect
  • Maya April MooreAmerican basketball player
  • Maya BerovicBosnian pop singer
  • Maya GilbertAmerican actress
  • Maya ThompsonAmerican songwriter and cancer activist
  • Maya SimantovIsraeli singer,songwriter
  • Maya KulenovicBosnian,Canadian painter
  • Maya BouskillaIsraeli pop singer
  • Maya BondJapanese,American singer,songwriter
  • Maya RitterCanadian actress
  • Gate Maya SamuelssonEthiopian,born model; wife of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson
  • Maya WidmaierPicasso, daughter of painter Pablo Picasso and Marie,Thérèse Walter
  • Madeline "Maya" DiradoAmerican swimmer
  • Maya Kassandra Soetorohalf,sister of U.S. President Barack Obama
  • Maya Fahey (b. 1989)daughter of actress Victoria Rowell and Tom Fahey
  • Maya Ray ThurmanHawke (b. 1998), actress; daughter of Uma Thurman & Ethan Hawke
  • Maya Celia Sally Wigram (b. 2004)daughter of designer Phoebe Philo and Max Wigram
  • Maya Rose Weisman (b. 2006)daughter of actor Kevin Weisman
  • Maya Versano (b. 2017)daughter of actress Gal Gadot and Yaron Versano
  • Maya GabeiraBrazilian surfer

Maya in Pop Culture

  • Mayacharacter in the book series "Maximum Ride" by James Patterson
  • Maya Matlincharacter on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
  • Maya Wardcharacter on American soap "General Hospital"
  • Maya Feycharacter in the "Ace Attorney" video game series
  • Mayamain character in 2013 film "Zero Dark Thirty"
  • Mayacharacter in video game "Borderlands 2"
  • Maya Santosmain character on animated series "Maya & Miguel," twin to Miguel
  • Maya St. Germaincharacter in the "Pretty Little Liars" series
  • Maya Gallocharacter on TV's "Just Shoot Me!"
  • Mayarecurring character in the "Harvest Moon" video game series
  • Maya Bennettcharacter on TV's "Suite Life on Deck"
  • Mayamain character in "Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator"
  • Maya Bennettdaughter of Sam and Naomi on TV's "Private Practice"
  • Maya Penelope Hartcharacter on TV's "Girl Meets World" portayed by Sabrina Carpenter
  • Maya Tamerlane Fikrymain character in "The Storied Life of AJ Fikry," by Gabrielle Zevins
  • Mayadancer in video game 'Dragon
  • Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen'
  • Maya Delaneycharacter in Kelley Armstrong's "Darkness Rising Series"
  • Maya Fallegeroscharacter in the "Killer Instinct" video games series
  • Mayacharacter in TV show "The 100"
  • Maya HerreraDominican character in TV show "Heroes"
  • Maya Vargascharacter portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in the 2018 Film "Second Act"

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