Marian

Marian is probably a name many will associate with Maid Marian, a heroine in English folklore and the love interest of Robin Hood. Marian is an English female name, a variant of Marion, itself a medieval French diminutive of Marie, which ultimately derives from Hebrew Miriam,  a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr.

It’s also possible that Marian could be considered as a combination of the names Mary and Ann (“favor, grace”)

Marian is also a Polish, Czech, and Romanian male given name, in this case derived from Marianus, a derivative of Marius, a Roman family name on uncertain etymology and meaning. It’s been linked to Mars, the Roman god of war, but also as a masculine form of Maria (the Latinate form of Miriam) or from Latin mare “sea”, maria being its plural form. It’s also been linked to Latin mas “man, male”, but ultimately Marius may have originated from a Sabine origin.

Marian is also a Romanian, English, and French surname originating from the given name.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: a diminutive of Mary, meaning uncertain though various meanings attributed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy”, “wished for child”, “beloved” or “love”; a combination of Mary + Ann “favor, grace”; possibly from Latin “sea” or “man, manly”; may also be related to the Roman god of war, Mars

Usage: English (female only), Polish, Czech, Romanian, German (male)

Variants:

  • Marion (French, English)
  • Marianne (French, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish)
  • Marielle (French)
  • Mariette (French)
  • Marise (French)
  • Maryse (French)
  • Manon (French, Dutch)
  • Mariana (Ancient Roman, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Bulgarian)

Male forms:

  • Marián (Czech, Slovak, Hungarian)
  • Marion (English)
  • Marianus (Ancient Roman)
  • Marius (Ancient Roman, German, Romanian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French, Lithuanian, English)
  • Mariano (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Mario (Italian, Spanish, German, Croatian)

Meta

Meta is a Scandinavian, German, and Slovene short form of Margareta from English Margaret meaning “pearl” which comes from Ancient Greek margarítēs μαργᾰρῑ́της (pearl) which derives from an unknown origin, though it could be derived from an Indo-Iranian origin.

Meta (μετά) is also the name of a minor figure in Greek mythology, the first wife of Aegeus (the king of Athens and father of Theseus with a different woman). The name means “beyond” and derives from the same Greek prefix meaning “after” or “beyond” which derives from a PIE root word.

Meta is also a surname- first an Albanian surname whose meaning I couldn’t find, and it’s also a Japanese surname written with the kanji 米 (rice) + 田 “rice paddy, rice field” and written in hiragana as めた.

Origin: uncertain though possibly from an Indo-Iranian source; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: a shorted form of Margareta “pearl”; also a Greek prefix “after” or “beyond”

Usage: German, Danish, Swedish, Slovene, Ancient Greek

Mariel

Mariel is a diminutive of Mary, (seemingly influenced by Muriel) the English form of Hebrew Miriam, a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: uncertain though various meanings attributed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy”, “wished for child”, “beloved” or “love”

Usage: English, Filipino

Variants:

  • Marielle (French diminutive of Marie)

Myra

Myra was first coined as a given name by English poet Fulke Greville (1554-1628) for his verse poem Caelica sonnet XXV (25). He may have based it from Latin myrrh, the the name of a natural gum or resin extracted from certain plants that was extremely valuable in the ancient world, used for perfume, incense, and medicine. The origin of the word derives from a Semitic root word meaning “bitter”.

Another possible source for the name is possibly an anagram of Mary, a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr.

Incidentally, Myra was also the name of an Ancient Greek town located in what is now a part of Turkey.

Origin: Semitic; uncertain/unknown etymology

Meaning: uncertain though it could possibly be based from Latin “myrrh”; also possibly an anagram of Mary, of uncertain etymology and meaning though possible meanings attributed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy”, or “wished for child”, or “beloved”, “love”

Usage: English

Pronunciation: mie-ra (Forvo)

Variants:

  • Mayra (Spanish, Hispanic)

Melissa

Melissa is the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who helped nurse the infant Zeus along with Amalthea, when he was hidden from his father Cronus. She fed him honey and was also credited with the art of bee-keeping.

Melissa is also the name of a 3rd century BC Pythagorean philosopher and mathematician although very little is known of her life- actually, nothing at all.

Melissa is also the name of a good sorceress in the Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso and features in the Matter of France (a body of medieval literature and legendary material associated with France, especially involving Charlemagne). 

Melissa is the name of a genus of plants which also includes the lemon balm.

The name means “bee” or “honeybee” via Ancient Greek mélissa μέλισσᾰ (bee; honey) which derives from PIE *mélit (honey) and *leyǵʰ- (to lick).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “bee, honeybee”

Usage: Ancient Greek, English, French

Nicknames:Mel, Lissa, Lissy, Melly/Melli, Missy

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Variants:

  • Melyssa (English)
  • Melisa (English, Spanish, Bosnian, Turkish)
  • Melitta (Ancient Attic Greek)
  • Melita (Latinized Ancient Greek)
  • Melite (Ancient Greek)
  • Melisa (Turkish)
  • Melis (Turkish)
  • Melika (Hawaiian)
  • Mélissa (French)
  • Melissza (Hungarian)

Male forms:

  • Melissos (Ancient Greek)
  • Melissus (Ancient Greek)
  • Melisseus (Ancient Greek)

Marie

Marie is the Czech and French form of Maria, the Latin and Ancient Greek form of Hebrew Miriam, a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr.

Marie is also a Japanese female name (which I believe is pronounced mah-ree-ee, with three syllables) with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used such as:

  • ma  “truth, reality”  
  • ma 万 “ten thousand” 
  • ma 麻 “hemp, flax”
  • ri 理 “reason, logic”  
  • ri 里 “village”
  • 恵 “blessing, grace, favor”
  • “creek, inlet, bay”
  • 絵 “picture, drawing, painting”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s まりえ.

Originuncertain; Japanese

Meaning: uncertain though various meanings attributed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy”, “wished for child”, “beloved” or “love; as a Japanese female name has a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used

Usage: French, Czech, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, English

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Variants:

  • Mariette (French diminutive of Marie)
  • Maria (Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Occitan, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese, Dutch, Frisian, Greek, Polish, Romanian, English, Finnish, Corsican, Basque, Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrianian)
  • Mari (Welsh, Breton, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Mary (English)
  • Maryam (Arabic, Persian)
  • Miriam (Hebrew, English, German)

Maite

Maite is a Basque female name meaning “love, beloved, lovable”.

Maite has also been used as a Spanish nickname, or a contracted form of María TeresaMaría is the Spanish, Galician, and Icelandic form of Mary which ultimately derives from Hebrew Miriam, the name of the sister of Moses and Aaron in the Old Testament. Miriam is a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr (this latter explanation might be more likely since the names of Moses and Aaron have also been linked to a possible Egyptian origin).

Teresa is also a name of uncertain origin, the Spanish and Italian form of Theresa. As a given name it was first recorded in Spain, first used by the Spanish wife of St. Paulinus of Nola (a Roman poet, writer, and senator), though she was known as Therasia of Nola- her name seems to have derived from the name of a Greek island called Therasia, also known as Thirasía; it may be derived from Ancient Greek théros θέρος “summer; heat; harvest, crop” or from therízo θερίζω “to reap, cut”. I’ve also seen it linked to Ancient Greek thḗr θήρ “wild beast; beast of prey” or thēráō θηράω “to hunt”, but as intriguing as that meaning is I’m not too sold on it actually being related to the name.

It’s also possible that the name may have originated from a non PIE source. 

Origin: Basque; uncertain

Meaningfrom Basque “love, beloved, lovable”; also a contracted form of Spanish María Teresa

Usage: Basque, Spanish

Pronunciationmai-tay (Forvo)

 

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Variants:

  • Mayte (Spanish)
  • Maïté (French)
  • Maitê (Portuguese)
  • Maité (Spanish Mexican)