This magnificent first name is the most given in 17 countries around the world

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Beautiful tribute to the Virgin on this day of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The first name Marie has been given the most over the last 12 months in 17 countries around the world, whether of Catholic or Islamic tradition.

Mary in French, Mary in Anglo-Saxon countries, Maria in Latin, Myriam in Hebrew, Maryam in Arabic, but also Mia, a modern variant of Scandinavian origin… The first name of the mother of Jesus is available in all languages and is very popular in many countries.

In France, the first name Marie had its heyday in 1901, with more than 52,000 births, but it has been losing momentum since. Only 545 little Maries were born in 2022. However, since 1900, more than two million French women have had this first name, making Marie the most popular first name for more than a century. In 2020, nearly a million French women, whose average age is 61, are named Marie. This being said, the Virgin is now honored by the breakthrough of the first name Mia, a derivative of Mary, which has recorded more than 2,000 births annually since 2017 and is placed in tenth position in the 2023 list.

If the rating of the first name Marie plummets in France, the latter still remains at the top of the most assigned first names in 2023 in 17 countries around the world. These are the conclusions of research carried out by the American site Letter Solver – a site for letter lovers and Scrabble fans. The latter listed the most popular first names in many countries over the last 12 months and highlighted the occurrence of the first name Marie in all languages ​​and its derivatives. Thus, Marie is the most common female first name in Austria. Maria leads in Portugal, Romania, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Guatemala. Brazil cherishes the little “Maria-Alice”. As for the first name Mia, it is overwhelmingly supported by parents in Estonia, Croatia, Switzerland, Ecuador, Peru and Malta. And Mariam is the most popular first name currently in Georgia.

Finally, the mother of Jesus also holds a special place in countries with an Islamic tradition: Maryam comes first in Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, again according to the Letter Solver site. Maryam is the Aramaic equivalent of Miriam. A popular first name in Islamic tradition that refers to Maryam, the mother of Jesus. She is mentioned several times in the Quran, notably in a surah which bears her name, Surah Maryam (Surah 19). She is presented as a model of faith, humility and purity.


Hebrew form of Mary, it is the first name of Moses’ older sister, the same one who watched over the basket placed on the waves and who allowed Moses to be saved. ( Ex 2.4 ).


The first name Marianne is derived from the Greek Mariamne, the equivalent of Myriam. Before becoming the allegorical figure of the French Republic, Marianne was very widespread under the version of Marie-Anne, from the end of the 17th century, evoking both the Virgin Mary and her mother Anne. Its blessed patroness is Marie-Anne de Jésus Navarro de Guevara, nun of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy in the 17th century.


Short for Mary, Mariette is celebrated on July 6, honoring Saint Maria Goretti, also called Marietta, Italian virgin martyr. At the age of 12, in 1902, the young girl resisted the advances of a young man, Alessandro Serenelli, who wanted to abuse her. He loses his head and stabs it fourteen times. Maria dies the next day, having forgiven her murderer. Alessandro will be converted in prison. 45 years after Maria’s death, he attended her beatification process before ending his days as a gardener in a Franciscan monastery.  


Short for Miryam, Manon has not always had a good reputation. Associated with girls of joy since the 18th century, this first name was at the time a common name meaning “prostitute”. This is what inspired Abbé Prévost for his work Manon Lescaut. Then Manon regains her shine thanks to Marcel Pagnol and his pretty goat keeper, Manon des sources.


A contraction of Mary and lily, the first name Maylis appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. Its growth takes place mainly in the South-West, in connection with the name of the village of Maylis, in Chalosse, in the south of the Landes department, famous for the Marian cult attached to it.


The Latin version of Marie offers an exotic note to the classic Marie. Maria enjoyed great success at the end of the 19th century, even managing to dethrone Marie in 1895.


Marjoram, also derived from Mary , comes from the name of oregano, an aromatic plant with pink flowers, whose Latin name is origanum majorana. This is garden oregano, cultivated in Provence since the Middle Ages and used in pharmacy, perfumery and as a condiment in cooking. It has developed in France since the 18th century where it became known thanks to a popular song. In addition to August 15, we can also celebrate Marjolaine on October 5, the day of Saint Fleur, a hospital nun in Quercy in the 14th century.


Appearing in France in 1968, the first name Maia, derived from Mary, did not become popular until the 2000s. In Latin, it translates as “of the month of May” and refers to the pagan Roman goddess Maia.


A first name which peaked in 1989, still relatively given today, Marion gives a strong and energetic note compared to the softer Marie.


Breton-sounding, the popularity of Maewen is relatively recent since it dates from the 2000s. Maewen is mainly given in Brittany.


In addition to the reference to the American actress who contributed to the rise of this first name in the 1950s, the suffix “line” gives the first name an emotional form, in other words “little Marie.”


The first name Marlene, in Hebrew, comes from Magdala, a village north of Lake Tiberias, where Mary of Magdala, better known as Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner, came from.


Marielle has spread widely in European countries in various forms, such as Mariella (Italy) or Mariel (Great Britain). In France, they used Mariette instead, before adopting Marielle in the 1940s.


An old first name of Gaelic origin, Muriel is a derivative of the Irish first name Muirgheal and comes from muir and gheal which mean “sea” and “radiant” respectively. Mainly recorded in Great Britain, it did not take long to arrive in France, where it was considered to be the Norman form of Mary.


Derived from Myriam, the first name Maryse only began to be popular in the first half of the 20th century thanks to the French aviator Maryse Bastié, the first French aviator to have numerous records on her record.

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