- this week

Gender: Female Meaning of Molly: "bitter" Origin of Molly: Diminutive of Mary, Hebrew Molly's Popularity in 2017: #166

The name Molly is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "bitter". Molly is ranked #166 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Baby Girl Names Ending in Y and discussed in our forums with posts like "Name Your Own Family, Choose Their Family".

From the experts:

One nickname name that can be considered a classic: Molly has been used as a stand-alone pet form of Mary since the Middle Ages, and has been consistently popular as an independent name in the U.S. over the past several decades.

Likable and down-to-earth, mild yet saucy, Molly has a distinctly Irish feel as well, with such Gaelic associations as 'Sweet Molly Malone' and the martyred reformers known as the Molly Maguires. In the Jewish culture, Molly Goldberg was an early television personality.

Other references include the Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher and the Molly Bloom character in James Joyce's Ulysses, as well as characters in novels by Fielding, Hardy, George Eliot, Dickens and Thackeray. More recently, "Good Golly, Miss Molly" was a Little Richard hit and Molly Ringwald a celebrity bearer.

Amanda Peet is the mother of a Molly, as are Monica Potter and Veronica Webb.

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

Famous People Named Molly

Molly Kathleen Ringwald, American actress
Molly Caitlyn Quinn, American actress
Molly Helen Shannon, American actress and comedienne
Molly Sims, American actress and model
Margaret "Molly" Brown ("The Unsinkable"), American Titanic survivor
Molly Pitcher, heroine in the American Revolution
Molly Joan Hagan, American actress
Molly Neuman, musician of American band Bratmobile
Molly Williams, America's first female firefighter
Molly Holly, ring name of Nora Kristina Greenwald, American pro wrestler
Molly Parker, Canadian actress
Mary Tyler "Molly" Ivins, American newspaper columnist
Molly Alice Smitten-Downes, English singer-songwriter
Molly Kathleen Burnett, American actress
Molly Hunt, American singer-songwriter known as Svrcina
Molly Ariel, daughter of actress Cybill Shepherd; twin of Cyrus Zachariah
Molly Gallagher, daughter of British musician Liam Gallagher
Molly June Benioff (b. 2010), Daughter of actors Amanda Peet and David Benioff
Molly Sullivan Manno (b. 2016), daughter of American television personality, correspondent, host, spokesperson and blogger Ali Fedotowsky and American television and radio host Kevin Manno
Molly Burke, blind YouTube vlogger

Pop Culture References for the name Molly

Molly is also said to mean 'bitterly wanted' or 'miracle'
Molly Malone, Irish folk heroine
Mollysoda, internet personality and artist
Molly Jean McIntire, character in the American Girl series
Molly Weasley, character in the Harry Potter series
Molly Hooper, character on TV's "Sherlock"
Molly Dobbs, character on British soap "Coronation Street"
Molly Flynn-Biggs, main character on TV's "Mike & Molly"
Molly Moon, book series by Georgia Byng
Molly Morgan, a main character on TV's "The Torkelsons"
Molly Phillips, main character on TV's "So Weird"
Molly O'Brien, character on TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
Molly Walker, character on TV's "Heroes"
Molly Jones, character in the Beatles song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
Molly Lansing-Davis, character on soap "General Hospital"
Molly Goldberg, main character on TV, radio, and movie "The Goldbergs"
Molly McKay, main character in 1999 movie "Molly"
Molly Parker, character on TV's "The Facts of Life"
Molly the Dolly, character on TV's "The Big Comfy Couch"
Molly Baker, character in anime 'Sailor Moon'
Molly Zane, character in the series 'Fallen' by Lauren Kate
Molly Bloom, character in James Joyce's "Ulysses"
Molly Fitzgerald aka Shamrock, character in Marvel Comics
Eva "Molly" Wei, character in anime "Ōban Star-Racers"
Milly-Molly-Mandy, character in children's books by Joyce Lankester Brisley
Molly Millions, character in novels by William Gibson
Molly French, character in "The Sims 3" computer game
Molly Davis, sister in Pixar's Toy Story series
Molly Garfunkle, character on TV's "How To Rock"
Molly Singer, daughter in the movie Corrina, Corrina
Molly Victoria Sherwood, character on TV's Army Wives
Molly, Scarlett Johansson's character in the movie "Chef"
Ginevra Molly "Ginny" Weasley, character in the Harry Potter series
Molly Dawes a.k.a. Iona Payne, character on TV's Forever
Molly Hayes/Hernandez, character in Marvel's Runaway comics
Molly Hatchet, American Southern rock band
Flogging Molly, American punk rock band
"Good Golly, Miss Molly," song by Little Richard
"Anna Molly", a song by Incubus
The Molly Maguires, Irish secret society
Molly, slang for pure MDMA, main ingredient in the drug Ecstasy
"Molly's Lips", song by Nirvana and The Vaselines
"Molly's Chambers", song by Kings of Leon
Molly, supporting character in "Annie,"
Molly Finch, character in the game "What Remains of Edith Finch"
Molly Gunn, main character in the movie "Uptown Girls"

Moll, Mollissa, Mollie, Molli, Moli, Mollee, Molie, Molley


FantasyandPrayer Says:


I almost wish this name wasn't already used in my family, I like it so much these days

Cami Says:


My name is Molly. I'm 30 and I've never had an issue with the drug reference, which started coming out more when I was in high school. Molly is too normal of a name. More often people reference Irish heritage and dogs to me when they hear my name rather than drugs.

Smollie Says:


Love this name, always have done. It's strange though, I always felt sentimental about this name but never knew why. Then, about a year ago, I learnt that my Grandmother was named Molly! I had never met her and had no idea her name was Molly!

ericakatherine Says:


love this stuff, i mean name

rayleemarie Says:


My baby 2nd cousin is Molly Mai (pronounced like May) Personally I think it's adorable

babymagic Says:


Trends like that come and go. This is a very new slang term and I'd be really surprised if in ten years it still exists, yet the name Molly has endured for centuries.

mrs_anton_yelchin1990 Says:


But then you get "Polly want a cracker"

hope715708 Says:


We picked this name for our daughter. I liked that it's familiar without being overused and also short, sweet, and spunky. It also has some great associations with Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" of Titanic fame. The only comment I've ever gotten about the drug association was from my dumb, teenage cousin. The name is so widely used in so many other contexts that I really don't think it's a problem.

raefrank Says:


Mary Jane is marijuana. Molly is Ecstasy. I like both names anyway.

bordercollie Says:


Molly makes me think of a cute, freckled, messy haired little girl with brown eyes and a bit of sass. Or a dog.

Ella Says:


The drug association is never what I would associate this name with.Its not my favorite name,but not because of the drug.

kittylover777 Says:


You're first three? Like one first name two middle names?

kittylover777 Says:


I don't think that you have to say "my daughter's name means bitter" because there are a lot more meanings. Star of the sea, lady of the sea, beloved...

kittylover777 Says:


When I hear Molly, I don't think bitter at all! You're right, I like "star of the sea" better too.

kittylover777 Says:


Neither did I!

kittylover777 Says:


I feel like that everyone is like "Oh my gosh you're names a drug" when really Molly is just a beautiful, cute, girly name. It also has a great Harry Potter namesake to go along with it - Molly Weasley, best mother of the year.

Daiseymae Says:


I never heard of that association before. I always thought Molly was a sweet name.

Tammy Tim-Tam (Timmy Tammy) Says:


Molly and Poppy are among the two names that I could never use. They're both really cute and all, but the issue is that they are both associated with drugs. Molly is marijuana and Poppy comes from poppy seeds which get turned into heroine. Sorry, but both of these names are a hard pass for me.

indiefendi2 Says:


I want to like it but every time I hear it I think of "Molly the Maid"

Sillysarahlily Says:


I think Molly is sweet on a little girl and an older lady but then inbetween I don't think it works

paulapuddephatt Says:


I didn't even know that the name had such an association. I don't know if it's that I am naive or just because we don't use it in that context in the UK. I like the name very much.

Mikayla395 Says:


This is an adorable name, but I have a hard time picturing it on an older woman.

Haids1987 Says:


The comments on this name are confusing me. Who would have known Molly was such a controversial name? :-D

hermioneameliastyles Says:


I know a Molly and the meaning is very accurate for her personality. I still would use this name but it is not a top choice.

Agatha Janet Says:


Sounds fake

Ashleywhyte Says:



Ashleywhyte Says:


My sons behaviour is inspirational and reinforces the statement "if you gotta go, you gotta go". And Molly just so happens to be the name of every single other person in the village.

Ashleywhyte Says:


I named my son Molly. He's in prison for public urination right now but I'll give him the kind message when he's out

Agatha Janet Says:


Molly should be the name of an angelic child because it is stunning and beautiful. I named my first three children Molly.

Yessica Says:


Popped a molly i'm sweatin'

Catastroffy Says:


Actually, while "bitter" is one of the most common theories about the meaning of the name Molly circulating, it doesn't have much evidence to support it. Nobody knows what the name means for sure, but "bitter sea", "beloved", or "lady of the sea" are more convincing theories.

iipostmvh Says:


I know this is old, but I would say Mali with a very (very) slight difference.

AriellaBar Says:


I don't usually nickname names, but Molly is so sweet. Amanda Peet's combo of Molly June is adorable.

helenlouise Says:


Do you pronounce it the same as Molly? Or Molly-ee? Or Moll-Yay?

Mollye Says:


My name is Mollye! I like the spelling my parents chose for it, although you'll never find a bike license plate or personalized keychain. I'm 25 and never had any issues with teasing. I really like my name.

sanguine_sparrow Says:


Brings to mind an image of a freckled, curly-haired girl in an old-timey gingham dress. Very sweet name.

strawberrything Says:


How is Molly too weird for you when Mali isn't? Molly is a much more traditional and recognised name.

indiefendi2 Says:


Too flimsy and even a bit weird for my taste but it's kinda cute tbh. I prefer Mali.

lilac_luna Says:


The name also means "star of the sea", which I am a huge fan of, being a Molly myself. I used to get upset about the "bitter" thing so I researched my name a little further and found out the delightful bit of information above. It is all in how you carry your name. Whenever someone confronts me with a smarmy remark about the association I simply tell them that it was my name first, and brush it off my shoulders. Again, I would much rather be known as a star of the sea, it's much prettier and more sophisticated!

GuineapigGirl15 Says:


I think this name is so cute! I love this name.

Minihemmo2001 Says:


This made me feel sad i'm not bitter

vintageluvs Says:


Not true. I have a friend named Molly, whose eighteen, and no one ever kids her about the drug thing. I also know another Molly who's a year younger than myself. I think the name is perfectly usable! :)

summersnow Says:


I think Molly is a really cute name but for my generation (I'm 18, almost 19) the first thing we think when we hear Molly is the drug so I think for people around my age it's probably unusable.

babymagic Says:


But moles are super cute and skilled at digging.

That Creepy Stalker Named Tess Says:


I have played at least 5 characters named Molly in my life already. I love this name, I just hate the stupid drug association with it and the meaning. "Bitter"? COme on, people T__T

Guest Says:


Essentially heard this on a male on the show "Love and Hip Hop Hollywood" and it actually kinda works.

mcbmcb Says:


My name is Molly and even with the drug association, no one really associates me or the other two Mollys I know with it. It's like not naming your kid Mary, Jane, or Annie because it's a term for another drug.

peigin.leitir.moir Says:


I think this is a really pretty name!

tori101 Says:


All I think of when it comes to this name is moles. Not attractive.

kitchi1 Says:


Never met a Molly/Molli I've liked. Plus, "Molly" is slang for MDMA, which is not a good association (at all).

CocoWhite Says:


Polly is a great alternative if you want to escape Molly's popularity (or its association to the drug).

Guest Says:


I just can't get past the drug association.