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Gender: Female Meaning of Mary: "bitter" Origin of Mary: Hebrew Mary's Popularity in 2017: #126

The name Mary is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "bitter". Mary is ranked #126 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Bible Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Quick Question Thread?!".

From the experts:

Mary, the quintessential New Testament name, was Number 1 for girls until the mid-twentieth century. Though still popular, Mary is used now mostly for religious or family reasons. If it's style you're after, Mary's many diminutives and derivatives such as Maire, Mamie, May, Mitzi, Molly, Maura, Marietta, and even Maria may seem more fashionable.

Mary was the most popular and enduring female Christian name in the English-speaking world (as were Maria and Marie in Spanish and French) until the 1940s. That was when in the US Mary was finally dethroned by such trendy upstarts as Linda and Karen.

There are six Marys in the Bible, including the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and Mary the mother of Mark, and there have been British royal Marys beginning in the sixteenth century. In earlier times Mary was considered too sacred to be used; it finally gained usage in England in the twelfth century, and by the sixteenth had blanketed the female population, to the point where dozens of pet forms had to be contrived to distinguish one Mary in the family from the others.

The poet Byron deemed Mary a "magic" name, and Bing Crosby proclaimed it "a grand old name." Mary has always been a good-girl name, as reflected by such mid-century icons of propriety and wholesomeness as Mary Poppins and Mary Tyler Moore. The lovely Lady Mary Crawley of Downton Abbey has restored some freshness to the name.

Among the celebs who dropped their birth name of Mary are Meryl Streep, Debbie Reynolds, and Lily Tomlin.

Find other names based on Mary using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ
Mary Magdalene, follower of Jesus Christ
Mary of Bethany, follower of Jesus Christ
Mary I, Queen of England, aka Bloody Mary
Mary II, Queen of England and Scotland, wife of William III
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Hungary
Mary of Guelders, Queen consort of James II of Scotland
Mary of Guise, Queen consort of James V of Scotland
Mary of Modena (born Maria Beatrice Anna Margherita Isabella d'Este), Queen consort of James II and VII of England
Mary of Teck (born Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes), Queen consort of George V of the U.K.
Mary Tudor, Queen consort of Louis XII of France
Mary of Austria, Queen consort of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia; Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands
Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, Crown Princess of Denmark
Mary Todd Lincoln, U.S. First Lady as wife of President Abraham Lincoln
Mary Pickford (born Gladys Louise Smith), Canadian-American actress
Mary Sean Young, American actress
Mary Tyler Moore, American actress
Mary Noel Streatfeild, English novelist
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep, American actress
Mary Willa 'Mamie' Gummer, American actress, daughter of actress Meryl Streep
Mary Anna McCartney, daughter of musician Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman McCartney
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, American actress
Mary Jane "Mary J." Blige, American singer
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English novelist
Mary Stuart Masterson, American actress
Mary-Louise Parker, American actress
Mary Frances Crosby, American actress
Mary Hart (born Mary Johanna Harum), American TV news personality
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, American actress
Mary-Kate Olsen, American actress and fashion designer; twin of Ashley Olsen
Mary Katherine Campbell, Miss America 1922 and 1923
Mary Elise Hayden, American actress
Mary Pope Osborne, American children's author
Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin, American actress and comedienne
Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds, American actress
Mary Margaret "Marg" Helgenberger, American actress
Mary Ford (born Iris Colleen Summers), American singer, wife of guitarist Les Paul
Mary Ellen Mark, American photographer
Mary Byrne, Irish singer-songwriter
Mary Boleyn, sister of English Queen consort Anne Boleyn
Mary Jo Eustace, Canadian actress, singer and chef
Mary Jo Salter, American poet
Mary-Charles Jones, American child actress
Mary Wollstonecraft, English author and feminist
Mary Chapin Carpenter, American country music singer
Mary Eileen McDonnell, American actress
Mary Stuart, Princess of England, Scotland and Ireland, daughter of James VI and I
Mary Henrietta of England, Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau; daughter of Charles I
Mary, Princess of Great Britain, daughter of George II
Mary, Princess of the U.K.; Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh, daughter of George III
(Victoria Alexandra Alice) Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, daughter of George V of the U.K.
Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge, Duchess of Teck; mother of Mary of Teck
Mary Allin Travers, American singer of group Peter, Paul & Mary
Mary Blair (born Mary Browne Robinson), American Disney artist
Mary Black, Irish singer
Mary Read, English pirate
Mary Jackson, NASA's first African-american female engineer
Mary O'Hara Alsop, American novelist and screenwriter
Mary Gilmore, Australian poet and journalist
Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs aka Cokie Roberts, American TV journalist and author
Mary Kay Place, American actress
Mary Kay Bergman, American voice actress
Mary Tamm, English actress
Mary Oliver, American poet
Mary Hunter Austin, American nature writer
Mary (Theresa Eleanor) Higgins Clark, American novelist
Mary Westmacott, alias of novelist Agatha Christie
Mary Anning, English paleontologist
Mary Amelia Ingalls, sister of novelist Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mary Kubica, American novelist
Mary Abigail "Abby" Wambach, American soccer player
Mary Clementine Ronstadt (b. 1990), daughter of singer Linda Ronstadt
Mary Bush (b. 2000), daughter of TV personality Billy Bush
Mary James Marsden (b. 2005), daughter of actor James Marsden
Mary Lucille Diana Hanson (b. 2016) daughter of singer Zac Hanson
Mary James Rust (b. 2017), daughter of Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin.
Mary Jo Kopechne (1940-1969), American political campaign specialist
Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Princess of Sweden, second in line to the Swedish throne
Mary Renault, born Eileen Mary Challans, English and South African writer of ancient Greek historical and LGBT-themed novels

Pop Culture References for the name Mary

Mary Lennox, main character in F.H. Burnett's "The Secret Garden"
Mary Grayson, character in DC Universe
Mary Wardwell, character in "Sabrina" universe
"Mary Poppins," series by P.L. Travers, movie, and its main character
Mary Bennet, character in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"
Mary Malone, character in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series
Mary Morstan Watson, character in the Sherlock Holmes series
Mary Jensen, main character in film "There's Something About Mary"
Mary Russell Holmes, character in Laurie R. King's Russell and Holmes series
Mary Iris "Mim" Malone, character in "Mosquitoland"
Mary Winchester, character on TV's "Supernatural"
Mary Lisbon, character in "The Virgin Suicides"
Mary Shepherd-Sunderland, character in video game Silent Hill 2
Mary Terrafino, character in Michael Grant's Gone series
Mary Katherine (M.K.), main character in movie "Epic"
Mary Bennington, character in movie "Three Men and a Little Lady"
Mary Josephine Crawley, character on TV's "Downton Abbey"
Mary Anne Spier, character in The Babysitters Club series
Mary Mahoney, character in Christopher Durang's "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You"
Mary, character in G. A. Henty's, For the Temple
Mary Jane Watson, character in the Spider-Man series
Mary Margaret Blanchard, character on TV's "Once Upon A Time"
Mary Edwards aka Grandmary, character in the American Girl Samantha series
Mary Jean, character in Lily Tomlin's sketches
Mary Camden, character on TV's "Seventh Heaven"
Mary Swanson, character in movie "Dumb and Dumber"
Mary Vega, character in movie "Crusade in Jeans"
Mary Barrows, villain in video game "Clock Tower"
Sister Mary Benedict, character in movie "The Bells of St. Mary's"
Mary O'Connor, character in G. A. Henty's "With Moore at Corunna and Under Wellington's Command"
Mary Rivers, character in Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
Sister Mary Eunice McKee, character from "American Horror Story: Asylum"
Mary Chance, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Mary Waters, character in the "St Clare" book series by Enid Blyton
Mary Louise, character on TV's "The Vampire Diaries"
Blue Mary, character in the video game "King of Fighters"
Mary "Marjory" Kerr, character in G. A. Henty's, In Freedom's Cause
Mary Lou Barebone, character in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling
Mary Prentice, character in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"
Mary Griffin, character in "The 100"
Mary, main character in "The Forest of Hands and Teeth", by Carrie Ryan
Mary, character in "Mary Death" by Matthew Tarpley
Mary Adler, child maths prodigy in film 'Gifted' played by McKenna Grace
Mary Shannon, main character on the TV series " In Plain Sight"
Mary (Hatch) Bailey, character in film "It's a Wonderful Life"
Mary Wang, character in the Netflix series "Trollhunters"
Mary Palmer, character in "The Alienist"
Mary Test, character on animated series Johnny Test
Bloody Mary, cocktail inspired by Mary I of England
"Mary Jane Holland," Lady Gaga song
"Bloody Mary," Lady Gaga song
The Jesus and Mary Chain, band
"Mary," song by The Death Riders
"Mary had a Little Lamb," nursery rhyme
"Mary, Mary, quite contrary," nursery rhyme
"Mary, Mary," song by the Monkees
"Mary's Song," song by Taylor Swift
"Mary," song by Noah and the Whale
"Miss Mary Mack," song sung in hand clapping rhythm
"Suddenly Mary," song by the American alternative rock band The Posies
"Mary," song by Scissor Sisters
Mary Janes, women's shoe
Mary Jane, slang for marijuana
Mary Sue, term for a perfect female character
Mary Vanderboom, character in Rusty Lake: Roots