French medieval variation of Marie
"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"

Marian Origin and Meaning

The name Marian is a girl's name of French origin meaning "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved".
Marian's (and sister spelling Marion's) image has gone through a sea change of late, recalling less middle-aged matron and more Robin Hood's romantic Maid Marian. Some influences: the SJ Parker-M. Broderick twin daughter Marion and the glamorous French actress Marion Cotillard.

Marian was a Top 100 name from 1912 through 1934.

Marian Anderson was a great African-American contralto singer and Marion (born Marian) Ross was the mom on Happy Days. And – trivia tidbit – Marion Tweedy was the maiden name of Molly Bloom in James Joyce's Ulysses.

At one time Marian was considered the female form and Marion the male – John Wayne was born Marion.

The meaning of Marie is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).

Marian Popularity

20 Names Similar to Marian

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Lists containing Marian

Famous People Named Marian

  • Marian AndersonAmerican contralto opera singer
  • Marian Ellina Stamp DawkinsEnglish biologist; wife of humanist Richard Dawkins
  • Marian KeyesIrish novelist
  • Marian RiveraSpanish,Filipino actress and model
  • Marian Lois Shields Robinsonmother of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama
  • Marian BergeronMiss America 1933
  • Marian McKnightMiss America 1957
  • Marian Ethel MercerAmerican actress and singer
  • Marian Ann Borris JavitsAmerican art patron
  • Marian Wright EdelmanAmerican rights activist
  • Marian Elizabeth (WestroppDawson) Pritchard, English fashion writer and journalist
  • Marian "Marie" Billups Booththird daughter of Salvation Army founder William Booth

Marian in Pop Culture

  • Maid Marianlove interest of Robin Hood
  • Marian Paroo aka Marian the Librariana main character in "The Music Man"
  • "The Genius of Marian" 2013 documentary on Alzheimer's disease
  • "Marian" song by Sisters of Mercy