M Baby Names: Initial of the future?

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Let’s forget about the vowel-starting baby names that have dominated the current era.

When it comes to consonants, the J names of the 80s — Jennifer and Jason, Jessica and Joshua — were followed by the K names of the 90s were followed by the L names that are both popular and stylish today: Lila and Liam, Lucia and Laszlo.

So what might be coming up but names that start with M?  Sure, we’ve had dominant M names — think Mary and Michael — in the past, but the next wave of M names are more unusual examples.

And after the lovely, lilting L names, we are ready for M’s fuzzy warmth.  There are so many marvelous, miraculous M-starting names that are already being discovered by stylish parents: Mila and Milo, Maisie and Maxwell.

But today we’d like to focus on the M names of the future, those waiting in the wings for revival.  Some of our favorites:

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31 Responses to “M Baby Names: Initial of the future?”

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indiefendi Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 12:59 am

Cousins on both sides of my family have M sibsets! I definitely think M is the letter of the future.

Whirligig Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 2:33 am

M is one of my favourite letters and I love M names but how cute is the picture!!!

CatherineA Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 5:18 am

So many of my favorite girl names start with M… Mabel, Maeve, Maple, Margot, Marjorie, Matilda, and Mirabel are all on my list. I’ll almost definitely go with Maeve if I have a daughter, so I hope neither the initial nor the name gets too popular!

jjayx Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 5:23 am

I’m a big Malachy fan to the point where when the time comes, should I have a boy, I’ll have a hard time not choosing it. Maxwell has always been in up near the top for me too. I also have a soft spot for Marlene, even though it feels like its lost a lot of steam over the years.

eveyalecia Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 5:24 am

I’ve been loving Minnie as a nn for Minerva lately! And I’ve always loved Madeleine, Moira, and Magdalena. Milo, Martin, Montgomery (Monty), and Mortimer (Mo) for boys. I really like Mackenzie and Madison for boys, but unfortunately will probably never use. I love M’s! 🙂

awkwardinpink Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 6:01 am

I love Malcolm, Marshall, and Milan for the boys. My husband and I are both M’s so I’ve considered the idea of an M theme!

amylette Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 7:43 am

A lot of girl names I like start with M. Fewer boys.

lesliemarion Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 8:57 am

Oh yes yes yes!

I Like M for male names, but I LOVE it for female names, maybe because my last name begins with an M and my grandmothers. were named Martha Mabel, Marjorie, Marion…

My favorites are those, as well as:

Morwenna, Muriel, Mamie, Marcella, Madeira, Majorca, Magdalen, Mazarine, Mauve, Maeve, Mab, Maple. Mare, Maudie, Mignon, Melba, Mavis, Marilla, Marguerite, Maisie, Mary Ellen, Maryanna, Morgana, Moselle, Mimi, Morag, Marigold, Mariposa, Minette, Millicent, Mildred, Meg, Minna, Mora, and too many more to name.

iwillpraise Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 9:13 am

My husband’s name is Michael. He threw me for a loop the other day saying he wants a son named Michael.. I said, “Are you seriously wanting to bring ANOTHER Michael into this world?.. I get that Michael is a great name with great meaning, I like it too, but REALLY?? We’ve talked about this!”

Anyway (lol) I LOOOOOOOVE the name Minerva nn Min (and can I admit that I really really like Maple??) as well as Marco, Matteo, Malcolm and Marcellus…..

I don’t know what it is about Martha, but I’ve never found her very attractive at all.; my intention isn’t to offend – in fact, most say the same about my fascination with Minerva! Just my opinion 🙂

jtucker Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 10:29 am

I like quite a few M names.



Myosotis Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 11:45 am

I love Matilda, Marigold, Maeve, Magdalene, Margo/Margot, Marcella, Melisande, Millicent, and I’m currently crushing on Muriel. Marlowe is actually my favourite from the list, but for a boy. Marco, Matteo, and Mercury are pretty cool too.

I’ve got loads of M names on my girls list: Morgana, Mairead, Merewen, Melodie, Matilda, and Musette. Plus Muna, Moira, Marie, Mariana, Mariposa, Meliora, Melora, Medora, Magdalena, Maddalena, and Madalene. Different story for boys though, only Marlowe, and Malik.

niteowl13 Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 11:48 am

Well, I do agree about M names for girls. My current crush is on Marceline. I also love Magdalena, Marlena, Marlene, Marigold and Magnolia.
Boys name, though? Meh. Nothing stands out.

headintheclouds Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

There’s a naming tradition in my maternal cousin’s paternal side of the family, where all their middle names are M initials! Some middle name gems among my cousin’s generation: Margaret, Marcus, Madeleine, Meredith, Malcolm, Miriam, Miranda- along with Michael, Michelle, Mary, Marie, Matthew etc.

headintheclouds Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

There’s a naming tradition in my maternal cousin’s paternal side of the family, where all their middle names are M initials! Some middle name gems among my cousin’s generation: Margaretta, Marcus, Madeleine, Meredith, Malcolm, Miriam, Miranda- along with Michael, Michelle, Mary, Marie, Matthew etc.

Aurora Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I’m not too surprised to see this–I was just making a guess-list the other day for an expecting friend who’s considering an M-name for baby #3, as she already has a stepson M@rek and daughter McKenz!e. It’s a boy; they’re considering Micah. Michael is out, as between them the parents have about 4 Uncle Mikes.
I put a few more adventurous names on my list for them, including Macon, Max/Maximus/Maxwell, Malcolm, McKay, Madoc/Maddox, and Murdoch.

Angelicaecb Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Well, seeing Maeve, Miles, Margot, Marlowe, Mabel/Maple, Max and it’s variations everywhere on here, through celebrities, and on small children, I can definitely see M being the current generation name letter unfolding.

maureen23 Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 7:02 pm

So many M names and my name (as per usual) gets no love! 😉 Ladies, if you want to name a daughter something unique but classic, try Maureen. I’ve only met one other Maureen in my life and I think it’s a great name!

jacquigirl Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I love:
Maeve, Margo, Maisy, Marin (Maren/Mairin), Marlowe, and Matilda for girls, and Marco for boys

DearestJules Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Some of these names I can definitely see as “the names of the future” but some I honestly cannot.

Maura Says:

October 9th, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Maura is a great name beginning with M. I was surprised it wasn’t on the list! I also have recently become infatuated with Miles/Myles, leaning more toward Myles, though. I knew a guy named Malachy, his family called him Mal for short, his friends called him Mally, which is cute (almost like Matty from Matthew)

senseandsensibility Says:

October 10th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

My name’s Marta, and my mum’s a variation of Margaret! :>
I’ve always loved that we share an initial, and that I have a “M” mama!

LuMary Says:

October 11th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

‘M’ is a good consonant for the start of a name, as there are so many possibilities. Josh and Anna Duggar did well to begin their choices with ‘M.’ Think of all the surname name possibilities that begin with Mac or Mc, for one.

Incidentally, I know you refer to the ‘J’ names as characterizing the 1980s, but I clearly see their beginnings in the 1970s: Jason, Jennifer, Jenna, Jessica, Jessa, Jordan, Jeremiah, Jeremy, Jared, Jodi, Jamie, Jobi, Jorie, Jasmine, Justin, Joshua, Jesse, with other J’s surfacing or gaining ascendancy in the 1980s or 1990s: Jacob, Jayden (spelling variation of biblical Jadon), Jackson, Jonathan, Joseph, Josiah, Jedidiah, Jaylen, Jayley, Jada. The 2000s witnesses the revival of John, Jack. The classic James straddles the decades.

I love Martin, and it’s nickname Marty, as well as the classic Michael, with nicknames Mike, Mikey, and Mickey. I’m ready for a return of early to 20th mid-century nicknames to accompany the formal version. Micah and lesser known Micaiah are good biblicals for a boy or even a girl (particularly Micah).

Yes, I’m ready for a return of Mary and Marie, too, as well as some of their combos: Mary Frances, Mary Jo, Marianne.

There are, of course, many great female ‘M’ vintage nickname names, some of which you’ve mentioned, that could also be used with their formal versions Mary, Martha, and Margaret: Maisie, Maggie, Meg, Meggie, Molly, Mamie, Maidie, Millie, Mattie, Muffy, Mitty (Mehetabel). I’m still trying to like Minnie, but it might take some time.

LuMary Says:

October 11th, 2014 at 4:06 pm

May is a great vintage, and serves well in the middle position. Maybe it will be the next Rose.

Here are some great Celtic M’s: Muireann, Maire, Morag, Mairead.

LuMary Says:

October 11th, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I love the Puritan Mercy.

LuMary Says:

October 11th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

I’ve liked Martha for a long time (Mattie, Polly, Patsy).

LuMary Says:

October 11th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Melody is a good biblical and Christmassy name.

LuMary Says:

October 12th, 2014 at 6:20 pm

‘K,’ in addition to ‘J,’ also trended in the ’70’s before re-trending in the ’90s. ‘K’ was cooler than ‘C’ back in hippie era. Witness Kori, Kelli, Kasey, Kimberly, Kerri, Kami, Kiela, Karissa, Karis, Kara, Kristi, Krista, Kristopher, Kristin, Kiersten, Kirsten, Krystal, Kristian, Kyle, Kevin. For the cool, it was the ‘i’ ending over ‘y’: Kristi, Kori, Kelli, Traci, Staci, Jami, Kerri, Jodi, Shelli, Micki, Nikki, although ‘ie’ was acceptable, as in Jamie.

peach Says:

October 12th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I am surprised I don’t hear more of a variety of M names and that the letter isn’t more popular already. I have a long time love if M names including some ripe for revival here….Maude, Margot, Matilda, Marigold, Marcella, Maribel, Maisie, Marguerite…and more Marisol, Margaret, Miriam, Marina, Maelle, Maia, Melina, Marilla, Marika, Matisse, Moira.

And for boys how about Morgan and Montgomery, Malcolm, and Maxwell, all great names.

frustratedauthor Says:

October 13th, 2014 at 1:34 am

I didn’t realize how many M names I like. Some of my favorites:



mermuse Says:

October 13th, 2014 at 8:43 am

Always liked Marguerite, Mercy, and Mae, but I’m not ready to give up those lilting L’s yet! L has always been my favorite letter, and I suspect it always will be!

elifsu Says:

June 17th, 2017 at 1:11 pm


M is really my favorite letter even with Turkish/Turkified names like Mete, Mislina, Minar, Mekselina, Mindemir, Meriyem, Mariye, Masal and Maide.

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