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15 Marvelous M Names for Girls

Nameberry Picks of the best M girls.

By Linda Rosenkrantz

M names for girls have been going through a kind of hiatus, with only two appearances in the current Top 50—Mia and Madison. That’s a far cry from the 00s, when there were six, and the 80s, when there were seven (Misty!).

So I think we’re ripe for an M-girl uprising, simply because there are such gorgeous choices waiting in the wings! Here are 15 of the very best, including a pair of offbeat florals and some sweet vintage nicknames.

Mabel

She’s a saucy, sassy diminutive of the charming Victorian Amabel, with the lovable meaning of ‘lovable’. Now ranked at Number 578 (86 on Nameberry), Mabel was a Top 20 pick at the turn of the last century. She’s a celebrity fave (Bruce Willis, Chad Lowe), has appeared on Downton Abbey, and is what the fictional Bridget Jones named her daughter.

Maeve/Mae

Here’s a twofer: Maeve, a sweet mythological Irish name meaning ‘she who intoxicated ‘ that is beginning to catch on (it’s 33 on Nameberry!), and offers an opportunity to use Mae as a nickname. Mae–aka May— is a delightful old favorite that can be used on its own, as a nickname, or as a vintage middle.

Magnolia

Namers tiring of Daisy and Lily are looking to more exotic blooms and Magnolia is one of the most fragrant and fresh, oozing with Southern charm. Magnolia was on the popularity list from its 1880 inception through 1940, when it withered and dropped off. Nickname Maggie brings it down to earth.

Maisie

This Scottish diminutive of Margaret is another perfect stand-in for Daisy. It came back into the limelight in 2014, thanks in part to  Harry Potter and Rainbow Rowell characters and also by the attractive young Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams (born Margaret), who plays Arya Stark.

Mamie

When Meryl (born Mary Louise) Streep gave the nickname Mamie to daughter, Mary Willa, she went a long way towards reenergizing and rescuing the name from its dated old Mamie Eisenhower image. Mamie hasn’t reentered the Social Security list yet, but it’s already on the NB Top 1000 and we predict big things for it.

Margo/Margot

She’s sleek and sophisticated and making a welcome return appearance. A French short form of Margaret, Margot is Number 52 in her native France and 592 in the US, after being in limbo for decades. Lovely Australian actress Margot Robbie, a big in The Wolf of Wall Street, has embued it with some contemporary glamour.

Marigold

Pretty and perky, with a children’s fairy tale book quality, Marigold has gone from quirky to quaint, helped by its use as Lady Edith’s daughter on Downton Abbey. Though it’s never appeared on the US Top 1000 list, Marigold is now in the Nameberry Top 500.

Marin

A name redolent of the sea, currently popular in France but less frequently heard here than Marina, Marin is a major character in the video game The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Marin is unisex in parts of Europe. Also worth considering: the intriguing Maris and the Scandinavian Maret/Marit.

Marvel

Though it sounds like a relatively new, comixish word name, Marvel actually has a substantial history, on the US pop list from the 1890s to 1941, sometimes reaching the Top 500. It’s recently been seen as a male character in The Hunger Games, but we can see it having a fresh beginning for girls.

Marisol

A Spanish name referencing the Virgin Mary (Mary of Solitude), though also associated with the sun and the sea, Marisol is a Latin favorite, which we happen to love, with its strong rhythm and consonant ending. Marisol Gonzales, nn Flaca, is a young character on Orange is the New Black.

Matilda

A sweet vintage name with a choice of irresistible nicknames, Matilda is a Top 40 name in England and Australia and moving up in the US. Assets include its tie to the charming Roald Dahl storybook heroine and earlier literary and lyrical associations, plus starbabies such as Matilda Ledger.

Maude/Maud

Another pastel-hued vintage charmer—actually a variation of MatildaMaude was a Top 25 name at the end of the 19th century, when popularity was just beginning to be tracked, then leaving the list completely in 1950. But our Nameberries have propelled it back up to 462. A thoroughly modern Maude is the elder daughter of director Judd Apatow.

Millicent/Millie

A highly-ranked name in the 1920s, this is another that has been revived by our Berries, who place it at Number 361. And there are not one but two Millicents in the Harry Potter series. Millie and Tillie (Matilda’s pet form) are two of the cutest of the nostalgic nicknames—in fact Millie on her own is Number 477 in the US, 26 in England and 10 in Scotland.

Mirabel/Mirabella

One—or two—of the loveliest substitutes for the sweepingly popular Isabel/Isabella, the medieval Mirabel is just beginning to resurface—we’ve already seen a couple on our Nameberry birth announcements. Also spelled Mirabelle (which Steve Martin used for the protagonist of his novel Shopgirl), it comes from the Latin word meaning ‘wonderful’. Singer Bryan Adams has a daughter named Mirabella Bunny.

Miranda

Shimmering Shakespearean (he actually invented it) name that may have peaked in popularity in the nineties but for me retains its timeless beauty. Sex and the City/Harry Potter/Bond girl/Supergirl/and Devil Wears Prada characters, Miranda now ranks at Number 288.

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13 Responses to “15 Marvelous M Names for Girls”

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lesliemarion Says:

July 27th, 2016 at 11:47 pm

M female names are the best, and the ones written of here are great choices.

I also love Madeira, Majorca, Mignon, Mignonette, Madelief, Maida, Magdalen, Mab, Morwenna, Mildred, Morag, Maryellen, Maryanna, Mauve, Mazarine, Marjorie, Marina, Maple, Muriel, Marta, Martha, Melba, Minerva, Magenta, Madge, Minta, Minty, and way too many others to name.

cmariac Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 1:58 am

Marin is a name I’ve never heard of before, but I rather like it! Millicent is more ‘flowery’ but I really like it as well… these really are Marvelous names 🙂
Wonderful variety; thank you for this article!

Maple10 Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 5:45 am

Strongly considering Marigold… As a middle and maybe a first. Trying to decide if it’s too weird/hippy, but name berry says its quaint!
I love Margot, Mabel, Maeve, Matilda.
I will add Maple, Meredith, Molly, and Miriam!

Toya B Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 7:15 am

My friend’s name is Miranda, but everyone calls her Minnie, or Min. She was named after a girl (with this nickname as well) that her dad new in Uni…

But she is definitely a Min, and she is the shortest in our year anyway 😉

catcher5 Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 1:24 pm

These are great! I’d add Mavis to this list. I particularly like Mabel, Maeve, Mae, Magnolia, Marisol, and Marigold. I was seriously considering using Marigold as a middle until I found out we were having a boy.

lesliemarion Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Oh yes, Mavis is wonderful!

I forgot to add Madrigal, Marilla, and Mariposa.

Ginafrances Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 6:33 pm

We plan on giving our girl a double-M name! Mona Margot 🙂 My mother’s name is Margaret and their initials will be the exact same. Love it!

jmsouthern Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 6:52 pm

I guess my parents were REALLY ahead of the naming curve when they gave me Marin as a middle…over 40 years ago! Yep, the M in my username jmsouthern is for Marin. =]

teacupsandtiaras Says:

July 28th, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Names in my family:

Maria
Mary
Marie
Marcela
Matilde
Mariuzza
Martha
Margarita
Mongdolene (Magdalene? Magdalena? Magda? Magdita?)
Martina

I personally am a fan of Minerva/Minnie! And Marina/Marine/Marin is so darling.

Ashley435 Says:

July 30th, 2016 at 1:57 am

Like Marigold but it is too out there for my husband.

LoveBugsMama Says:

August 1st, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I have so many M names on my list! Mae, Magnolia & Maisie all battle it out for my number one. Mamie is growing on me (Mary Willa nicknamed Mamie is amazing!) as well as Marigold, Maude & Mirabelle. I’ve always like Marin and Merritt but can never decide on a spelling.

MattyP Says:

August 2nd, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Cripes! We just named our daughter (born 7/16) Matilda Maeve! We thought we were being original!

Readingclaygirl Says:

August 18th, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Megan, Morgan, and Mikayla are all M names I hear a lot but don’t have any strong feelings towards. For middle names, my favorites are the ever popular Marie and the above mentioned Mae. Mildred sounds so warm and grandmotherly to me and I can totally see it with the nickname Millie, on a little girl or a grown one. Mia is another one of my favorites.

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