- this week

Gender: Female Meaning of Maya: "water" Origin of Maya: Greek mythology name; Central American Indian empire name; Latinate variation of May; Spanish, diminutive of Amalia; variation of Maia; Hebrew Maya's Popularity in 2017: #61

The name Maya is a girl's name of Hebrew, Spanish, Greek origin meaning "water". Maya is ranked #61 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Mystical Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "NEW Love Like Lose - Girls".

From the experts:

Maya, which has an exotic, almost mystical image, has been steadily climbing in popularity.

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." Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's daughter is Maya Ray; British designer Phoebe Philo also has a Maya, named for Angelou. Its best known current bearers include performer Maya Rudolph and architect Maya Lin.

To the Romans, Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May.

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

Famous People Named Maya

Maya Micallef, a popular writer on Wattpad
Maya Stojan, actress
Maya, Queen 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 Plisetskaya, Soviet born Spanish-Lithuanian prima ballerina assolata, choreographer, ballet director, and actress
Maya Deren (born Eleonora Derenkovskaya), American avant-garde filmmaker
Maya Khabira Rudolph, American actress and comedienne
Maya Ying Lin, American architect
Maya April Moore, American basketball player
Maya Berovic, Bosnian pop singer
Maya Gilbert, American actress
Maya Thompson, American songwriter and cancer activist
Maya Simantov, Israeli singer-songwriter
Maya Kulenovic, Bosnian-Canadian painter
Maya Bouskilla, Israeli pop singer
Maya Bond, Japanese-American singer-songwriter
Maya Ritter, Canadian actress
Gate Maya Samuelsson, Ethiopian-born model; wife of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson
Maya Widmaier-Picasso, daughter of painter Pablo Picasso and Marie-Thérèse Walter
Madeline "Maya" Dirado, American swimmer
Maya Kassandra Soetoro, half-sister of U.S. President Barack Obama
Maya Fahey (b. 1989), daughter of actress Victoria Rowell and Tom Fahey
Maya Ray Thurman-Hawke (b. 1998), daughter of actors 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

Pop Culture References for the name Maya

Maya, character in the book series "Maximum Ride" by James Patterson
Maya Matlin, character on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
Maya Ward, character on American soap "General Hospital"
Maya Fey, character in the "Ace Attorney" video game series
Maya, main character in 2013 film "Zero Dark Thirty"
Maya, character in video game "Borderlands 2"
Maya Santos, main character on animated series "Maya & Miguel," twin to Miguel
Maya St. Germain, character in the "Pretty Little Liars" series
Maya Gallo, character on TV's "Just Shoot Me!"
Maya, recurring character in the "Harvest Moon" video game series
Maya Bennett, character on TV's "Suite Life on Deck"
Maya, main character in "Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator"
Maya Bennett, daughter of Sam and Naomi on TV's "Private Practice"
Maya Penelope Hart, character on TV's "Girl Meets World" portayed by Sabrina Carpenter
Maya Tamerlane Fikry, main character in "The Storied Life of AJ Fikry," by Gabrielle Zevins
Maya, dancer in video game 'Dragon
Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen'
Maya Delaney, character in Kelley Armstrong's "Darkness Rising Series"
Maya Fallegeros, character in the "Killer Instinct" video games series
Maya, character in TV show "The 100"
Maya Herrera, Dominican character in TV show "Heroes"

Maiya, Mayi, Maiah, Maia, Maaja, Moja, Myah, May, Mayja, Mya, Moia, Maie, Moya

Maya's International Variations

Mayanita (Spanish) Maj, Maja (Scandinavian)


TechnoKitten Says:


I like it

cheesy-biscuit Says:


Recently, this has been a favourite of mine.

James Moore Says:


It's ironic that this is my cat's name, I know it is a stereotype that cats hate water, but my cat, Maya, loathes water, like I starting to think she is allergic to it or something.

mayashendy Says:


Maya is an amazing name. Its more common these days, but still sounds and feels unique. Dont wear it out.

Lena_Mars Says:


I love how this name sounds no matter the spelling. My favorite spelling is "Myia". The 'ia' ending makes the same sound as in the name Sonia or Maya. Each one that I come across is always very wise and go with the flow :)

snowsbeloved Says:


How do you know she's lying, if I may ask?

Sadie Says:


i dont appreciate being lied to daisy

indiefendi2 Says:


I'm annoyed by the popularity of it. I hear Maya TOO often in real life for my taste.

headintheclouds Says:


Maya is one of the most versatile and international name options out there, with established usage across various cultures and different meanings within each. Maya's popularity is well-earned- it sounds sweet and spunky, and is IMO one of the lovelier two-syllable girl's names ending in -a. While I like Maya, I do prefer Maia, which can be a different name with more of a Greek origin for all that it sounds the same; I just like the look of the Maia spelling more.

SoDallas3 Says:


I always thought it was pronounced May-uh and that's how I instinctively pronounced it for the longest time. Still like that more.

Maya Barnes Says:


My names pronounced may-ah instead of my-uh. I don't think my variation of the name is used very often.

Daisy Says:


Everytime. drives me nuts.

Daisy Says:


My name is Maiya. I was born in 1959, I have hated this name my entire life. I was always the kid with the weird name that nobody could pronounce, even today I get called Mia and Mariah. Thanks, mom.

Daiseymae Says:


It has been in the top 100 names for nearly 10 years. My Maya was born in 2002.

Daiseymae Says:


She is the reason why I named my daughter this name. She is 12-years-old now.

alice Says:


I named my (now 2 yr old) daughter Maya. I have always LOVED the name and it suits her. I worried this name would become super popular after Maya Angelou's death, but so far I have not seen too many with her name. We live in a multicultural city and I'm so glad her name is at least sort of familiar to so many people from different cultures (African American, Indian/Hindi, Caucasian). I also think it's great that it's cute for a young girl but also dignified for an adult woman.

mayasophia Says:


As you can see, my name is Maya. And it does sound like a noise. Every time when someone says "My-uh" in a sentence I think they are saying my name, but they aren't.

Maya Taylor Says:


Hi guys as you can see my name is Maya and i love it

lexibatt Says:


I like the spelling but it just sounds like a noise to me.

ambg Says:


You'd think this would be jumping in popularity following Maya Angelou's death. It's a lovely name.