The name Mae is a girl's name of English origin meaning "bitter or pearl". Mae is ranked #582 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Vintage Baby Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "How many ____s do you know?".
From the experts:
Mae, a sweet and springlike old-fashioned name, hadn't been on the national charts in forty years, but finally made it back in 2010 -- and has since climbed quite a bit. Mae is one of the prettiest middle name options (Eric Clapton has an Ella Mae, Greg Kinnear an Audrey Mae, Ian Ziering a Penna Mae). The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own--as seen by Kathryn Hahn's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.
Mae, a top 100 name through 1920, was big in early film history--there were leading actresses named Mae Clarke, Mae Marsh, Mae Busch and Mae Murray. Towering over them (figuratively) was Mae West, who changed the name from sweet to sexy. This image continued with Madonna's character in A League of Their Own, known as 'All the way Mae.'
Mae Jemisen was the first African-American woman to travel in space. Currently, Mae Whitman is a rising young actress seen on Parenthood and Arrested Development.
It may be worth noting that Mãe is the Portuguese word for mother, so if you've got Brazilian or Portuguese relatives, it's probably best to stick to May or Mei.
Lists containing Mae:
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- English Names for Girls