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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 "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

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)