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Girl Names That Start With M

Girl Names That Start With M

Girl names that start with M represent the second most populous group of girl names by initial, following A. The Number 1 girls' name for decades started with an M: Mary. Mary and the related Maria and Marie referred their charm to other M-starting baby girl names, such as Margaret, Megan, and Melissa.

Today, the most popular baby girl names that start with M include Mia, Madison, and all varieties of Madeline. Along with Mia and Madison, other popular M names for girls in the US Top 200 include Mila, Maya, Madelyn, Mackenzie, Melody, Molly and Morgan.

England's Top 100 girl names include several other choices that start with M: Matilda, Millie, Maisie, Maria, Maryam, Martha, and Margot. In France, one of the top M names for girls is Manon, while in Germany Melina and Marlene rank in the Top 50.

Unique girl names starting with M you might want to consider range from Mabel to Marguerite to Mirabel. And M is the beginning letter for hundreds of more unusual and intriguing baby names, from Maverick to Modesty.

Here, our full menu of girl names that start with M. You may also be interested in our lists of Boy Names That Start With MUnisex Names That Start With M, or our full list of Baby Names That Start With M.

MaeveHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "she who intoxicates"
  • Description:

    Maeve appears in Irish mythology in two forms, one as the powerful Queen of Connacht, the other as the queen of the fairies. Maeve of Connacht was a warrior queen, famous for starting a war in attempt to steal her ex-husband’s stud bull. Other spellings are Meabh, Medb and Meadhbh, which are connected to mead, a honey-based wine that was produced in many ancient cultures.

MabelHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Amabel
  • Meaning:

    "lovable"
  • Description:

    Mabel is a saucy Victorian favorite searching for its place in modern life; if you love offbeat old-fashioned names like Violet or Josephine, only sassier, Mabel is one for you to consider--it's started making a comeback and could rise to popularity a la Sadie. Several celebs have chosen it, including Chad Lowe, Nenah Cherry, Bruce Willis and Dermot Mulroney.

MatildaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "battle-mighty"
  • Description:

    The comeback of this sweet vintage name, one of the most stylish girls' names starting with M, has been prompted by a boomlet of starbaby Matildas, beginning with chef Gordon Ramsey's in 2002 and Moon Unit Zappa's two years later. But the renaissance of this name of the charming Roald Dahl heroine was assured when Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger chose Matilda for their daughter.

MaeHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "bitter or pearl"
  • Description:

    Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood. Mae can be used as a nickname for the names Mary and Margaret — actress Mae West was born Mary. Alternate spellings include May, Mei, and Maye. The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own, as seen by Hilary Duff's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.

MaisieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
  • Meaning:

    "pearl or bitter"
  • Description:

    Maisie, a hundred-year-old favorite, is in perfect tune with today, rising in tandem with cousin Daisy. Spelled Maisy, it's a popular children's book series.

MargotHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margot originated as a French pet form of Marguerite, a name that ultimately derived from the Greek margarites, meaning "pearl." Other spellings include Margo and Margaux. Margaux Hemingway was originally Margot but changed the spelling to honor the wine from the French village of Margaux that was drunk by her parents on the night she was conceived.

MiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian word name or Scandinavian short form of Maria
  • Meaning:

    "mine or bitter"
  • Description:

    Mia originated as a short form of Maria, which ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. In modern times, Mia has been used as a nickname for names including Amelia, Emilia, and Miriam. Mia is also an Italian and Spanish word meaning 'mine.'

MayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name; Central American Indian empire name; Latinate variation of May; Spanish, diminutive of Amalia; variation of Maia; Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "water"
  • Description:

    In addition to being the name of a Central American culture, Maya was the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus, and means "illusion" in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism. It can also be spelled Maia, though both names have so many possible origins and meanings that not all of them are related. To the Romans, Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May.

MillieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Mildred or Millicent
  • Meaning:

    "gentle strength; strong in work"
  • Description:

    Millie is back. It's a Top 100 name throughout much of the English-speaking world, though not yet in the US. Millicent would be an appealing long form, but many people are using Millie all by its cute self -- so many, in fact, that it returned to the Top 500 in 2015 for the first time since World War 2 and continues to climb.

MargaretHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."

MiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "admirable; peace; female ruler; ocean"
  • Description:

    This name owes its present life to actress Sorvino. Mira and Mirra have an arty aura. Mira is a true cross-cultural choice, with the literal meaning of "look" in Spanish, a peaceful meaning in several Eastern European languages, a well-used name in Arabic cultures meaning queen-like or a female ruler, and a nature name in Sanksrit. In Greek, it means "fate, destiny". Mira can also be a short form of Miryam or Miranda.

MadisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Matthew"
  • Description:

    Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning "son of Matthew." It is occasionally translated as "son of Maud," as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.

MilaHeart

  • Origin:

    Slavic, Russian
  • Meaning:

    "gracious; dear"
  • Description:

    Mila is a given name with Russian and Slavic provenance. It began as the diminutive form for names such as Ludmila, Milena, and Milica. Mila can be a nickname for any name containing the element mil, meaning "gracious" or "dear."

MadelineHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Magdalen
  • Meaning:

    "high tower or woman from Magdala"
  • Description:

    This lovely name with a soft and delicate image is an old-fashioned favorite that returned to favor in the 1990's, combining a classic pedigree with a cute nickname option: Maddy.

MollyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Mary, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Molly originated as a diminutive of Mary, spawning from medieval variations Malle and Molle. 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.

MiriamHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    The oldest-known form of Mary, serious and solemn Miriam has been a particular favorite of observant Jewish parents. But we can see it extending beyond that sphere into the next wave of Old Testament names post-Rachel, Rebecca, Sarah, Hannah, and Leah. Miriam is currently the Number 1 girls' name in Israel.

MaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "bitter"
  • Description:

    Mara is the evocative ancient root of Mary, appearing in the Book of Ruth, in which Naomi, devastated after the death of her two sons, says "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara." It's one of the girl names starting with M that both fits in and stands out.

MarenHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    Maren is one of the many twenty-first-century takes on Mary--but we find the more classic Marin spelling preferable. When spelled Maren, the pronunciation seems more clearly to resemble Mary, with the emphasis on the first syllable. Marin, the spelling also used for the beautiful coastal county north of San Francisco, is often pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable, as in Marie.

MorganHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
  • Description:

    Morgan has long been a traditional Welsh male name, a variant of the Old Welsh name Morcant, from the Welsh elements mor, meaning “sea” and cant, “circle.” The female Morgan is unrelated to the male version—it is a name from Arthurian legend created for Morgan le Fay, King Arthur's half-sister and famed sorceress. Her name comes from Morgen, an Old Welsh name meaning “sea-born,” and is related to the Irish name Muirgen.

MeganHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Megan originally evolved from Meg, which itself derived as a nickname for Margaret. Margaret ultimately comes from the Greek word margarites, meaning "pearl." Megan is no longer a common nickname for Margaret—it is most often used as a full name. Other spellings include Meghan, Meagan, Megyn, and Meaghan.

MaryHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).

MaggieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Maggie is a cute, earthy short form that has been in style for several decades now, still sometimes used as an independent name by such parents as Jon Stewart. First used in Scotland, it got a large bump in popularity via the 1971 Rod Stewart hit song "Maggie May." Today's Maggie might just as well be short for a more adventurous name such as Magdalena or Magnolia as for the classic Margaret.

    Maggie Gyllenhaal was born Margaret.

MadeleineHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Magdalen
  • Meaning:

    "woman from Magdala or high tower"
  • Description:

    Madeleine is the French spelling preferred by parents who like to put the proper point on things, though the one used by the little girl who lives in the old house in Paris all covered in vines is Madeline.

MeredithHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "great ruler"
  • Description:

    Meredith is a soft, gentle-sounding name with subtle Welsh roots. Although originally a boys’ name , Meredith is used mainly for girls now.

MaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "mother"
  • Description:

    Maia was derived from the Greek word maia, meaning "mother." In Greek legend, she was the fair-haired daughter of Atlas who mothered Zeus's favorite illegitimate son, Hermes. To the Romans, Maia was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May. Maya is the more common spelling.

MagnoliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from French surname
  • Meaning:

    "Magnol's flower"
  • Description:

    Magnolia, a sweet-smelling Southern belle of a name made famous via the iconic Edna Ferber novel and musical Showboat, is one of the latest wave of botanical names, along with unexpected blossoms Azalea and Zinnia. It is named for French botanist Pierre Magnol.

MarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from the sea"
  • Description:

    This pretty sea-born name was used to dramatic effect by Shakespeare in his play Pericles for the virtuous princess who says she is "Call'd Marina, for I was born at sea."

MichelleHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Michael
  • Meaning:

    "who is like God"
  • Description:

    Michelle is the feminine form of Michel, the French variation of Michael. Michael was derived from the Hebrew name Mihka’el, meaning “who is like God.” The alternate spelling Michele, with one “L,” was the original version of the name. Michelle appeared as a later Anglicization in the 20th century.

MavisHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "songbird"
  • Description:

    Mavis, another word for the song thrush, is also a relative of the Welsh word for strawberries, mefus. Mavis has something of a British World War II feel, a friend of Beryl and Doris, but it was quite popular in the U.S. a couple of decades earlier, peaking in the Roaring Twenties. With the renewed interest in names ending in 's'--and in bird names-- Mavis could make a return, especially with the new interest in Maeve, and in fact it reentered the US Top 1000 after a 50 year absence in 2016.

    Some noted bearers of the name are r&b singer Mavis Staples, a member of the Staple Singers, Canadian writer Mavis Gallant and the feminist activist Mavis Leno.

MarloweHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Marlow, English
  • Meaning:

    "driftwood"
  • Description:

    Is it Marlo, Marlow, or Marlowe? Suddenly they all seem very much in the air, in tune with rhyming cousins Harlow and Arlo. It all started when Margaret Julia Thomas began being known as Marlo (after being previously nicknamed Margie and Marlow). More recently, Jason Schwartzman used the e-ending version for his young daughter, Marlowe Rivers, as did Sienna Miller for her baby girl Marlowe Ottoline.

MinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish diminutive, also Hindu equivalent of Pisces
  • Description:

    Most famous as a Dracula victim (where Mina is short for Wilhelmina), Mina is an all-purpose name.

MariahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord is my teacher; or drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    Thanks to Mariah Carey, everyone now knows this name – and is aware that Mariah's pronounced with a long i – just as Maria was in the Jane Austen era. And though Mariah now sounds modern, it was heard as far back as 1550 in Great Britain.

MelissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "honeybee"
  • Description:

    Melissa derives from the Greek word mélissa, meaning "bee," which was taken from the word for honey, meli. In Greek mythology, Melissa was a nymph who nursed the infant god Zeus with honey. Melissa was used as a given name by the early Greeks, as well as for fairies by Italian Renaissance poets.

MarisolHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, contracted form of Maria de la Soledad
  • Meaning:

    "Mary of Solitude"
  • Description:

    Marisol is a favorite Spanish name for girls, and an excellent candidate to cross the culture line, a la Soledad and Paz.

MeadowHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    How perfect was it that Tony Soprano's daughter's name was Meadow, suggesting that the TV mobster was once a kinder, gentler young dad.

MelodyHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "song"
  • Description:

    A melodious choice big in the sixties, Melody is now starting to pick up tempo again. It cracked the Top 150 for the first time ever in 2015.

MarleyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "pleasant seaside meadow"
  • Description:

    Reggae master Bob's surname was one of the biggest risers on the popularity charts for girls in 2008, with spellings Marlee and Marely also leaping in favor. Also used for boys, Marley is one of the top unisex names in the US.

MargoHeart

  • Origin:

    French, diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Margo and Margot sound exactly the same, so why has the Margot spelling hopped back onto the Top 1000, outpacing Margo in numbers more than two to one? (Over 350 baby girls were named Margot in the most recent year, versus 150 named Margo.)

MilenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Czech
  • Meaning:

    "love, warmth, grace"
  • Description:

    This popular name in various Slavic countries and in Italy holds considerable Continental appeal. It is the full name of Ukranian-born actress Mila Kunis, most noted for her award-winning role in the film Black Swan. Another actress bearing the name is Milena Govitch, of Law & Order.

MariaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew or Egyptian
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    As a highly popular girls’ name in all Spanish-speaking countries, this saintly Latin variation of Mary retains a timeless beauty. Through the centuries, Maria remains one of the most widely-used girl names starting with M.

MarieHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Mary
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
  • Description:

    The ubiquitous French version of Mary came into the English-speaking world in the nineteenth century. In the United States, Marie was a huge hit at the turn of the last century and for the ensuing fifty years, becoming the seventh most popular name in the country for three years, from 1901 to 1904.

MarilynHeart

  • Origin:

    English, combination of Mary and Lynn
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + lake"
  • Description:

    For a name that was in the Top 20 for a whole decade – the 1930's – Marilyn has attained the status of almost a one-person name. Just say the name Marilyn, and most people will know who you mean. Yet strangely enough, though Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jean and renamed in tribute to earlier star Marilyn Miller) was the sex symbol of her generation, very little stardust adhered to her name. In fact, when Mariah Carey wished to honor the star in her daughter's name, she chose to call her Monroe rather than Marilyn.

MagdalenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "from Magdala"
  • Description:

    Magdalena is a pretty name forever associated with the fallen-yet-redeemed Mary Magdalen; often heard in the Hispanic community. But forward thinking parents are reviving Magdalena along with Magdalene and the unrelated but similar-sounding Marguerite.

MarthaHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "lady"
  • Description:

    The name of our first First Lady still has something of a prim and proper image, academic and efficient. That quiet, traditional, and tasteful gestalt is exactly what makes Martha appealing to some parents today.

MckennaHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the handsome one"
  • Description:

    Mackenzie begat McKenna -- a catchy but very trendy choice. While the Mc or Mac prefix means "son of," this is exclusively a girl's names in the US, with no boys recorded with either spelling of the name.

MelanieHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "black, dark"
  • Description:

    Gone with the Wind inspired a generation of girls named Melanie, though it looks as though Scarlett will triumph in the end.

MyraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sweet-smelling oil"
  • Description:

    As with many grandmother-y names, this choice may be coming back into style.

MadelynHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Madeline
  • Meaning:

    "woman from Magdala or high tower"
  • Description:

    Madelyn is the most popular current spelling of this stylish name -- Madeline is the second most used -- but we prefer the least popular and most authentic French version, Madeleine. The advantage of Madelyn: It does clarify pronunciation and may be the best choice if you definitely want that last syllable pronounced as "lynn".

MonroeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "mouth of the Roe river"
  • Description:

    Monroe is a presidential name which, thanks to the immortal beauty of Marilyn Monroe, is catching on fast for baby girls. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon chose it for their twin daughter, honoring Marilyn Monroe. Their use of Monroe as a girls’ name did much to revive this Old Man name, a la Sydney, as a newly fashionable choice for girls.

MaxineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "greatest"
  • Description:

    With the success of all names Max, from Max itself to Maxwell to Maxfield to Maximilian, it's just possible that Maxine could be lured away from her mah-jongg game at the clubhouse and into the nursery. She's already been chosen by hip musician Nick Hexum for his daughter, sister to Echo.
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