Mom Names: The Names of Famous Mothers

moms In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d turn the tables and look at the names of some distinguished moms. Turns out that a surprising number of past (and a few present) notables have had mothers with interesting names. Probably too far-fetched to think there’s any correlation, but in any case here are some examples–a really mixed batch.

ABIAHBenjamin Franklin

ADELINE —Clark Gable

ALBERTAMartin Luther King

AMALIASigmund Freud

ARETHARay Charles

AURELIAArnold Schwarzenegger

AUGUSTAArthur Miller

AVISBob Hope


BRYNAKirk Douglas


CECILIAHarry Houdini


DAISYDuke Ellington

DESIREELucille Ball

DOLLYFrank Sinatra

EDWINATennessee Williams

ELNORAGene Autry

EUPHAMIA — Sean Connery

EVAMick Jagger


EVANGELINECharles Lindbergh

FELIPASalvador Dali

FLORAWalt Disney



GLADYSMarilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley

JULIAAndy Warhol, John Lennon

KUTILDA — Tiger Woods

LETIZIANapoleon Buonaparte

LUCINDAGeorge Bernard Shaw

LUCRETIAEdith Wharton

MARICHEN — Henrik Ibsen

MATILDEFrida Kahlo

MAUDHumphrey Bogart

MINNIE — The Marx Brothers

NANCYAbraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison

NEELTJE — Rembrandt van Rijn

NIKOLLE — Mother Teresa

ODESSAMuhammad Ali

OLIMPIAHenri Matisse

PAULINEAlbert Einstein

ROMILDASophia Loren

ROSAGeorge Gershwin

STANLEYBarack Obama

STELLAJackson Pollock

VERNITAOprah Winfrey

What’s YOUR mom’s name?  Let us and the rest of the nameberry community know!


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38 Responses to “Mom Names: The Names of Famous Mothers”

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MePregnant Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 2:50 am

MOM NAMES: The Names of Famous Mothers – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry…

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d turn the tables and look at the names of some distinguished mothers. Turns out that a surprising number of past (and a few present) notables have had mothers with interesting names. ……

ricamaca Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 8:36 am

My mom is Roxann! (yup, no “e”)

Abby Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 9:16 am

What a lovely list! My favorite combo is definitely Daisy and Duke. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

And my fabulous mother is Clarina.

tuscanytrace Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 9:26 am

My mom is Marcia! Her sis is Lucia.

Shirin Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 11:07 am

My mother’s name is Vafa. It is of Persian origin and means faith. And her mother is Pari, which means fairy.

Alicia Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 11:33 am

I LOVE this list!!

my mom’s name is Charlene. Sisters: Cherilyn and Patricia/Patsy (Patsy was almost Charlotte until my grandpa put his foot down.)

Lola Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 11:43 am

Maud, Lucretia & Edith are gorgeous!

My lovely, elegant Mom was Francesca who decided at 18 to go by Frances, less frilly, more her. And then spent the next 30 years telling everyone & their third uncle “es, not is. ES is for Girls!”

Ash SP Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

My mom’s name is Lisa Lavonne. She was always horrified by the Lavonne (and I really don’t blame her…)

Kayt Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

My lovely mother is Margo Lee, after her parents: Margaret Isobella and LeRoy Melvin. She had a sister born a couple of years after her named Leea Maggie (yes, Leea, not Leah) . My grandparents were super creative, yes they were!

Karen` Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

My mother’s name is Marguerite (named after her own mother). She’s always been fiercely proud of her uncommon name, and is both horrified and amazed when I tell her I see renewed interest in it on baby naming sites.

Anne Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Thanks for the great list! My wonderful Mom was named Josephine after her grandmother. She was often called Jo by family and friends.

Eva Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

My mom is Michele, pronounced like Michelle

Amanda Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

This is such a wonderful list! My moms name is Audrey, and my grandmothers name is Anastasia, but she hated it and has always gone by Nettie.

R.L. Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

My beautiful mummy is Carolyn Ann. I plan to name my first daughter Caroline in honor of her; one of the middle names will honor my mum’s mum, Ilene.

linda Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Strangely enough, I have a friend whose parents are named Daisy and Duke (born Cedric).

rachelmarie Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

My mom’s name is Kelly Jo.

Courteney Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

How do you pronounce Marichen?

LyndsayJenness Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

What a nice list!

My lovely momma is Katherine Ann, called Kitty since she was born. Ann is her mother’s name. My grandparents love classic first names with family middles, her brothers are James Jenness, William Nick, and Howard Rowe. She also had a sister named Carol Jean, called Joy.

Gigi Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I have three mothers. My biological mother is Larinda, My adopted mother is Louise and My mother in-law is Florence.

KatieScarlett Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

My lovely mother’s name is Norma and I plan to give my daughter the middle name Norina. I’m keeping this as a surprise for her as she never thought that her name would be continued in any way thinking it too old-fashioned. Norina I feel has a connection to the name Norma but with that slight variation it gives my daughter that little bit of individuality. Norina is also the character in an opera which gives it added appeal to me as I love music.
Baby girls born on Mother’s Day could be called Mame, Mamie (both look a bit like Mamma), Mia (Mamma Mia), Martha, Marta (both sound a bit like Mother) or Mabel (from the idea used in the show “Mad About You” where the baby girl is named this because M.A.B.E.L stands for Mothers Always Bring Extra Love!)
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums, Mums To Be, Step Mums and Friends who are like a Mum. Have a lovely day all!

pam Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I’m really struck by how many of the nameberryites have mothers with unusual and beautiful names. Maybe some academic can do a study on how mothers with distinctive names tend to have daughters who grow up to be fascinated with names?

CountryLizB Says:

May 7th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

My mom’s name is Ruthanna. Just before she was born my grandma was reading the about Ruth and Hannah in the Bible, so she combined the two names to get Ruthanna.
My mom’s mom is named Anita and my dad’s mom is named Gretchen. They are both mostly of English heritage.

LogansMummy08 Says:

May 8th, 2009 at 2:33 am

My beautiful mothers name is Maryelen Patricia, yep with one L. She has gone through life being called everthing but her name. Merylin, Maryanne, Muriel. My cousins nn her Melly, which suits her funny nature. My grandmother was Maude Patricia. There were four girls and all but one had Patricia as a middle name. The odd one out was Margaret Rose.

Jenny Says:

May 8th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

My mother (born in the 50s) is named Susan. My grandmother (born in the 30s) is named Jean. And I (born in the 80s) am named Jennifer. So it’s not just the daughters of the unusually named who grow up to be fascinated with names. It’s also the last in a line of girls who share names with half their first grade class.

Wasino Says:

May 9th, 2009 at 12:45 am

My amazing mother is named Candy–and it is not short for anything. My grandpa wanted to name her Penny Candy, but my grandma said he had to choose one or the other…

Annika Says:

May 9th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

My mother’s name is Gudrun, which she never really liked because of all th oo-sounds in it. So obviously she didn’t pass that name on to either me or my sister.

Esme Says:

May 10th, 2009 at 9:24 am

My mother is Belinda Mary, her middle name being that of HER mother’s. Mum has always hated that she is a namesake, and thus gave me names that honour absolutely no one! I’m unsure of whether I’d like to honour my mum or not- probably not, considering the commonality and predictability of ‘Bel’ variants right now!

ZigZag Says:

May 14th, 2009 at 9:17 am

My mother’s name is Jacqueline Teresa, her mother’s name was Teresa Florence, her mother’s name was Teresa Soledad. I’m beginning to see a trend here, and it’s a good thing I love the name Teresa (As well as Jacqueline and Soledad).

Esme- maybe you want to try Maribel? That was what instantly popped into my head when I read your post. Mari/Mary for your grandmother and Bel for your Mother.

I was very surprised to see Jane Austen’s mother’s name. I never thought of Cassandra as a Victorian name.

Charlotte Says:

May 16th, 2009 at 7:55 am

My wonderful mother’s name is Vera.

(Oh, and Jane Austen wasn’t Victorian — she wrote during the Regency period.)

Boston Girl Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 7:17 pm

My mother’s name is Nelda. I’ve seen that name on a few book characters, but I’ve never met another Nelda. I think Mom’s parents were into unusual names. Mom is Nelda Joyce; her sister was Marva Louise (she went by the middle name). Their seven brothers all had at least one unusual name as well. I don’t know if this is the reason I’m so fascinated by names, but I’m sure it must be a factor!

SophieLiz456 Says:

June 25th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Joan Elizabeth she always hated her name because only old woman had it. Elizabeth was her aunts name and she passed it down to me. My grandmas name was Barbara Glenn. I like the name elizabeth and I probably will give it to one of my daughters to.

matilda Says:

September 26th, 2009 at 8:11 am

My mother’s name is Lillemor, Swedish for “little mother”, and my step-mother’s name is Carolin (wihout e). My grandmother’s name was Barbro. All names are Swedish, but theyre from different generations.

LilacaRose Says:

November 27th, 2009 at 11:07 am

My mother’s name is Dorothy Ann, and she goes by Dottie most of the time. I now love the name Dorothy, so I thought it was so nice to know an actual Dorothy.

Lemon Says:

January 31st, 2010 at 1:24 am

I just had to get in the action here, even if it is delayed!

My wonderful mother is Jolene Marie. My grandma, Irene Marie, named my mom after a close friend. I’ve always thought it was funny how similar my mom and grandma’s names are. And, though I wouldn’t classify my mother dearest as a Southern belle, she did grow up in Missouri. Oh, my great grandmother’s name was Mary Catherine, but she died when my grandma Irene – her youngest child – was eight. Mary’s mother was Anna.

Kaitlin Says:

February 15th, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Wait, how does George Bernard Shaw have a mother named both Lucinda and Violet? First/middle? Mother/mother in law?

Pamela Redmond Satran Says:

February 15th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

You’re right! It’s Lucinda. And now, thanks to you, I know a lot about the pretty amazing George Bernard Shaw.

Freakish&Unusual Says:

February 23rd, 2011 at 2:31 am

My mother is named Sarah. She is a wonderful mom ( despite making a HUGE mistake with my name) but her name is about as dull as it gets. According to her, only Susan and Ann are more boring. I have an aunt Kim, April, and Martha. My grandmothers are Pam and Rose. Even my great grandmas and female cousins have dull names. Oh, well. For the most part they’re all very nice. ( Unfortunately for me, I guess my parents were sick of boring names so they decided to name me something ridiculous. ) This was a great idea for a list! Love you, mom!

Mary-la Says:

October 8th, 2014 at 9:57 pm

My mom’s name is Lezah! Pronounced LEE-zah. It’s the name Hazel spelled backwards, as Hazel was her father’s sister’s name. My mom’s mom was named Violet and my dad’s mom is named Eleanor.

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