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Gender: Female Pronunciation: moy-rah Meaning of Moira: "bitter" Origin of Moira: Irish, variation of Mary

The name Moira is a girl's name of Irish origin meaning "bitter". Moira and is often added to lists like Unique Baby Names: Unusual and Rare and discussed in our forums with posts like "Rate the Previous Signature!".

From the experts:

Well-established Irish and Scottish name that has never appealed much to American ears. Remembered by an older generation as the beautiful red-haired ballerina in the film The Red Shoes, Moira Shearer.

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

Famous People Named Moira

Moira Kelly, American actress
Moira Harris, American actress
Moira Crone, American novelist
Moira Gunn, American radio presenter
Moira Forbes, journalist, member of Forbes family
Moira Lister de Gachassin-Lafite, Vicomtesse d’Orthez, South African-British actress
Moira Shearer (King), Lady Kennedy, British ballerina
Moira Clare Ruby Stuart, British TV presenter
Moira Shannon Quirk, English voice actress
Moira Walley-Beckett, Canadian writer
Moira Buffini, English playwright and screenwriter
Moira Brooker, English actress
Moira McLean, Australian TV presenter
Moira Redmond, English actress
Moira Anderson, Scottish singer
Moira Brown, Canadian whale researcher
Moira Cameron, first woman Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London, England

Pop Culture References for the name Moira

Moira O'Hara, character on TV's "American Horror Story"
Moira Nicholson, character from Agatha Christie's "The Boomerang Clue"
Moira Davidson, character in movie "On the Beach"
Moira Byrne, character in "Greener Grass," by Caroline Pignat
Moira Kennedy, character in movie "Strange Hearts"
Moira, character on TV's "Smash"
Moira Banning, character in movie "Hook"
Moira Kinross MacTaggert, character in the X-Men movie series
Wendy Moira Angela Darling, character in "Peter Pan"
Moira, character in Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale"
Moira Theirin, character in Dragon Age video game series
Moira Queen, character on TV's "Arrow"
Moira/Max Sweeney, character on TV's "The L Word"
Moira Thaurissan, dwarf in the Warcraft series
Moira Brandon, character in Marvel Comics
Moira Brown, character in Fallout 3
Moira Rose, character on TV series Schitt's Creek
Moira O'Deorain, character in Overwatch
Moira, messenger of the Eddisian gods in Megan Whalen Turner's "Queen's Thief" series

Moirah, Moyra, Moyrah, Moya, Moire, Moirae


TaliaCat Says:


Best character in "Handmaid's Tale"

MoiraTheG(r)eek Says:


Hey, I found my Name!

Daiseymae Says:


I really like that pronunciation.

irishdancer428 Says:


I thought this was pronounced MOR-ah, and meant great? I could be wrong, though.. :)

Dimoira Says:


My middle name is Moira, pronounced MOY-Ra. My parents always told me they chose this name because it means Mary in Irish.. I love it!

Eleri Gwenllian Says:


My half-Irish school friend's name is Moira - it's such a lovely name and suits her so much. Awesome to have a mainstream yet unusual name like that.

shelbynh Says:


I love this name, it's so pretty. When I see it, it reminds me of a Police Officer, Moira Smith, who died helping the injured during 9/11.

eveyalecia Says:


Just wanted to point out that there is some contention on the meaning of Mary, and one of the contenders is "beloved" from the Egyptian word "mry." So one possible meaning for Moira is "beloved" which is much nicer than "bitter" :)

maddie carp Says:


i know a girl named moira, and she uses the correct pronunciation of more-uh.

Floris Says:


It actually also means "star of the sea". Just saying, it doesn't simply mean bitter. It's also the singular of Moirai, the fates in Greek. I love that name!!

Luísa Says:


Such a cute name! Yet, it means "bitter" :P

RoddyThlayli Says:


I like Moira (pronounced MOY-ra) better than Mora; it seems more complete, somehow.

Midwesternmommy Says:


My daughter is Moira (we say MOY-ra) and we love it - cute, yet classy. My only issue is that everybody calls her "Maura" and I'm not sure why...the pronunciation is pretty straight forward!

Zelliew Says:


I like the sound of Mary better

RavenZimmi Says:


omg I'm getting that great feeling when I discover a new favourite name like my pupils are hearts

eveyalecia Says:


I really like Moira, there's something very classy about it.

Saffron_Rice Says:


A schoolfriend with an Irish father is called Moira - in her case it's pronounced Moyra and I think it's lovely.

deanpala Says:


Loved this name ever since I read Peter Pan. Wendy's full name is Wendy Moira Angela Darling.

Caroline Says:


No, weird sound.

flora_kate Says:


My newest crush name :)

hollyannabell Says:


My mum's name is Moira and she is from Scotland, she has ALWAYS been called MOY-Ra. Another meaning of the name is destiny from the greek fates who were called the Moirai.

claraminta Says:


When I was first reading In the Fifth at Malory Towers, I thought the girl's name was pronounced MWA-ra. When I reread it, I still pronounce it like this in my head.

Angelicaecb Says:


I knew a girl with this named, they pronounced it MOR-a. Her twin sister was Monica.

demoniccupcake Says:


MOY-ra is not the traditional pronunciation, it's the anglicized pronunciation. You would never hear someone from Ireland pronounce it that way. They would say MOR-a.