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100 Badass M Names for Girls

Updated
These M names for girls are truly magical.

Girl names that start with M tend to be beautiful and well-liked. Many top U.S. girl names, such as Mia, Madison, and Margot, begin with this awesome letter.

Other M names for girls are appealing because of their religious significance, like Mary, Maria, and Mariam. Vintage name enthusiasts enjoy M names like Mabel, Maggie, and Mae.

Whether you want an M name that’s old or new, popular or unique, we are confident this list contains something to your liking! Read on to discover a wide variety of magnificent names for girls that start with M for your tiny miracle.


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100 Best Female Names That Start with M

We hope these M names for girls are miraculous enough for your little munchkin!

Mabel

Mabel is the medieval form of Amabilis – a late Roman name meaning “lovable” or “dear.” This sweet, vintage name hasn’t been revived as quickly as other old-timey picks like Alice, Emma, and Grace. But Mabel is on the rise, expecting to make the U.S. top 100 in the next few years.

  • Origin: Roman, Latin
  • Meaning: Lovable
  • Pronunciation: MAY-bul
  • Variations: Amabel
  • Namesakes: Mabel Normand, an American silent film actress, screenwriter, director, and producer.
  • Popularity: Mabel was ranked 374th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Old-fashioned

Macy

Macy was originally an English surname derived from several towns called Massy in France. The name was brought into the spotlight by Macy Alexander – the tragic heroine from The Bold and the Beautiful soap opera. Frequent shoppers may appreciate its connection to the well-known American department store, Macy’s.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: MAY-see
  • Variations: Macey, Maci, Macie
  • Namesakes: Macy Gray, an American R&B and soul singer, and actress.
  • Popularity: Macy was ranked 631st in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Youthful

Maddox

Maddox is a badass option among our female names that start with M, originally derived from a Welsh surname. It first gained public attention when Angelina Jolie chose it for her son in 2002. Although Maddox is more popular for boys, it has female potential – especially if you use the cute nicknames Mads and Maddy.

  • Origin: English, Welsh
  • Meaning: Son of Madoc
  • Pronunciation: MAD-uhks
  • Popularity: Maddox is more popular for U.S. boys than girls, ranked 174th in 2021.
Modern, Badass, Strong

Madeline

Madeline is a timeless beauty, remaining in the U.S. top 1,000 since the late 1800s. Its youthfulness is bolstered by its connection to the brave little girl in Ludwig Bemelmans popular children’s book, Madeline (1939). Nicknames range from the sweet Maddy to the elegant Lena.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Of Magdala
  • Pronunciation: MAD-ah-lin
  • Variations: Magdalene
  • Namesakes: Madeline Gail Kahn, an American actress and singer, known for her comedic roles in films directed by Peter Bogdanovich and Mel Brooks.
  • Popularity: Madeline ranked 95th in the U.S. in 2021.
Beautiful, Elegant

Madigan

Madigan comes from the Gaelic name Madagán or Madadhán (little dog). Lauren Myracle’s used the name for one of the teen girls in her young adult series, TTYL. Madigan is a bolder alternative to Madeline that shares the same cute nicknames, Mad and Maddy.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Little dog
  • Pronunciation: MAD-i-gahn
  • Variations: Madagan, Madigin, Madagin, Matagan, Maddie
Unique, Charming

Madison

Madison is sophisticated and lovely, associated with Madison Ave in New York City and president/constitution author James Madison. The name was virtually non-existent until the 1980s when it was used for the mermaid character in the movie Splash. Afterward, it skyrocketed, becoming the second most popular name for U.S. girls by 2001.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Son of Maud
  • Pronunciation: MAH-duh-sin
  • Variations: Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
  • Namesakes: Madison Keys, an American professional tennis player previously ranked as world No. 7 by the Women’s Tennis Association.
  • Popularity: Madison is a popular M name for girls, ranked 29th in the U.S. in 2021.
Youthful, Beautiful, Popular

Madonna

Madonna has religious ties, as the Italian title for the Virgin Mary. It’s also the name of the American pop icon known for her hit songs Like a Virgin, Vogue, and Hung Up. An excellent name for music lovers.

  • Origin: Italian, English
  • Meaning: My lady
  • Pronunciation: mah-DOHN-ah
  • Variations: Madona
  • Namesakes: Madonna Louise Ciccone, an American singer, songwriter, and actress often referred to as the “Queen of Pop.”
  • Popularity: Madonna left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1968.
Religious, Elegant, Cool

Mae

Mae is a cool, vintage variation of May. It’s often associated with provocative American actress and playwright Mae West. In Portuguese, Mae means “mother,” giving the name a wholesome feel.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: May
  • Pronunciation: MAY
  • Variations: May
  • Namesakes: Mae West, an American stage and film actress, playwright, screenwriter, and singer whose career spanned over seven decades.
  • Popularity: Mae ranked 504th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Simple, Old-fashioned

Maeve

Maeve is one of the prettiest M names for girls, as the Anglicized form of the Irish Medb. This lovely title entered the U.S. top 1,000 in 1998, rising in popularity since. It may mean “intoxicating one,” “mead woman,” or “she who rules,” – giving it a bit of edge. We predict Maeve will make it to the U.S. top 50 in the next few years.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Intoxicating one
  • Pronunciation: MAYV
  • Variations: Medb
  • Namesakes: Maeve Binchy, an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker whose novels sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
  • Popularity: Maeve is on the rise stateside, ranked 124th in 2021.
Exotic, Beautiful, Popular

Magdalene

Magdalene is a religious option on our list of names for girls that start with M, associated with Mary Magdalene – a woman in the New Testament who became a symbol of Christian devotion. Many parents chose this name for their daughters during the Middle Ages to honor the biblical saint. A beautiful choice for a girl raised in the Christian faith.

  • Origin: English, German, Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Of Magdala
  • Pronunciation: MAG-dah-lin, mak-da-LEH-nah
  • Popularity: Magdalene fell out of the U.S. top 1,000 in 1944.
Strong, Religious
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Maggie

Maggie is a common short form of Margaret. It’s a long-standing favorite in the U.S., ranking in the U.S. top 1,000 since the late 1800s. Maggie is especially popular in the southern states, given the name’s warmth and undeniable charm. A perfect choice for a future southern belle.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAG-ee
  • Namesakes: Margaret Natalie Smith, a prominent English actress who has appeared in over 60 films and 70 plays.
  • Popularity: Maggie was ranked 285th in the U.S. in 2021.
Old-fashioned, Cute

Magnolia

Magnolia is a nature-inspired option on our list of women’s names that start with M, from the English word for the flower. It’s a staple in the Southern U.S., symbolizing luck, health, and stability. Adorable nicknames are Maggie, Nola, and Lia.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Magnolia flower
  • Pronunciation: mag-NO-lee-ah
  • Popularity: Magnolia ranked 140th in the U.S. in 2021.
Natural, Elegant, Beautiful

Maho

Maho is derived from the Japanese “ma” (love, affection) combined with “ho” (to cross a body of water). Other possible meanings are “truth,” “reality,” and “walk.” An exciting choice for a girl with Japanese ancestry.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Love crosses the water
  • Pronunciation: MA-ho
  • Namesakes: Maho Tomita, a Japanese actress, voice actress, and singer from Tokyo known for her role as Maya Tendō in the franchise Revue Starlight.
Cute, Simple, Youthful

Mairead

Mairead is an Irish form of Margaret. It was previously popular in Ireland and England but hasn’t made its way across the pond. Mairead is exotic, original, and beautiful. This distinctive title could help your daughter stand out (if you can get the pronunciation down).

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: mawr-aid, mur-aid
  • Variations: Maighread, Máiréad, Mairéad
  • Namesakes: Mairead Maguire, a peace activist from Northern Ireland.
  • Popularity: Mairead left Ireland’s top 100 in 1998.
Exotic, Strong, Unique

Maisie

Are you looking for adorable girl names with M that don’t sound too mature for a baby? Then, Maisie is a great option, as a youthful form of the Irish Mairead or the Latin Margaret. The title was recently thrust into the spotlight by Maisie Williams, who played Arya in Game of Thrones. If you want this cutesy name to feel edgier, go for Mazie instead.

  • Origin: Scottish, English
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAY-zee
  • Variations: Maisy, Mazie
  • Namesakes: Maisie Williams, an English actress known for her role as Arya Stark in the HBO television series Game of Thrones.
  • Popularity: Maisie ranked 405th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Youthful

Maja

Maja is a short form of Mary, Maria, or Magdalena, used in several European countries. It’s also a spelling variation of Maya. In the U.S., Maya is in the top 100, while Maja has never ranked, making it an excellent alternative if you prefer unique names.

  • Origin: Arabic, Slavic, German, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: MA-ya
  • Variations: Maya
  • Namesakes: Maja Gojković, a Serbian politician serving as deputy prime minister of Serbia and minister of culture and information since 2020.
  • Popularity: Maja is a top choice in Hungary, ranked 18th in 2021.
Cute, Common

Makayla

Makayla is more popular than its original form – Michaela – ranked 355th in 2021. Makayla’s cuteness is doubled by the adorable nickname Kayla. Makayla is fun and girly, in the same category as Makenna and Mackenzie.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Pronunciation: mah-KAY-lah
  • Variations: Mckayla, Michaela, Mikayla, Michayla, Mikhaila
  • Popularity: Makayla entered the U.S. top 1,000 in 1989.
Modern, Youthful

Makeda

Makeda is an exotic Ethiopian name born by a 10th-century queen. She was likely the same person as the Queen of Sheba – the Ethiopian ruler who brought a caravan of valuable gifts to King Solomon in the Old Testament. Makeda’s beauty and originality make it a solid choice for a modern-day queen.

  • Origin: Ethiopian
  • Meaning: Greatness
  • Pronunciation: muh-KAY-duh
Religious, Elegant, Strong

Mala

This M name for girls is multicultural, with roots in several languages. In Sanskrit, Mala means “garland” or “necklace,” giving it a summery feel. In the U.S., Mala is sometimes used as a variation of May. Mala is approachable yet unique – just like your daughter could be.

  • Origin: Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, English
  • Meaning: Garland, of Magdala
  • Pronunciation: MAH-la
  • Namesakes: Mala Sinha, a former Indian actress who has worked in Hindi, Bengali, and Nepali films.
Youthful, Natural, Elegant

Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the best girl names with M for a future world traveler, associated with the country in Southeast Asia. This exotic title is very modern, first making the U.S. charts in 2011. Malaysia is an excellent option if you love place names but want something less expected than Brooklyn, London, or Savannah.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Land of the Malays
  • Pronunciation: muh-LAY-zhuh
  • Popularity: Malaysia was ranked 616th in the U.S. in 2021.
Exotic, Unique, Modern
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Malia

Malia is the Hawaiian form of Maria. The name spiked in 2009 when Obama became president of the U.S. and his daughter, Malia, came into the spotlight. Malia is one of the prettiest M names for parents who want their daughter to encapsulate the island spirit.

  • Origin: Hawaiian
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: ma-LEE-ah
  • Variations: Maria
  • Popularity: Malia ranked 256th in the U.S. in 2021.
Beautiful

Mallory

Historically, Mallory was used as a nickname for an unlucky person, derived from the Old French “mal” (bad) combined with “eur” (fortune). It wasn’t a common M name for girls until the 1980s when it was used for a character in the American sitcom Family Ties. Mallory’s classic charm outweighs its “unfortunate” meaning.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Unfortunate
  • Pronunciation: MAL-ah-ree
  • Namesakes: Mallory Hurwitz Lewis, an American writer, television producer, ventriloquist, and puppeteer.
  • Popularity: Mallory ranked 546th in the U.S. in 2021.
Charming, Badass, Modern

Mandy

Mandy is a diminutive of Amanda, also used independently. Amanda is a bit dated, peaking in the 1990s. Mandy’s friendlier yet laid-back demeanor could appeal to parents in the 2020s. Mandy and Manny could be an adorable combo for boy-girl twins.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Lovable, worthy of love
  • Pronunciation: MAN-dee
  • Variations: Mandi
  • Namesakes: Mandy Moore, an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame with her single “Candy,” peaking at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Popularity: Mandy left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2005.
Cute, Youthful

Maple

Maple is a whimsical choice on our list of girl names that start with M, in the same category as Cedar, Meadow, and Juniper. In Robert Frost’s poem, Maple (1923), it’s the name of a girl who ponders why she was given such an unusual name. Maple trees represent strength and longevity, making this a powerful option for a baby who will live a long and happy life.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Maple tree
  • Pronunciation: MAY-pahl
  • Popularity: Maple made the U.S. top 1,000 one time in 1902.
Natural, Unique, Youthful

Mara

Mara is an alternative for Maria used in several Balkan countries. In the Bible, Naomi – the mother-in-law of Ruth – chose Mara as her new name after the death of her husband and sons. Choosing this mournful title for your little one could be a meaningful way to honor your loved ones who have passed.

  • Origin: Hebrew, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian
  • Meaning: Bitter
  • Pronunciation: MAW-raw
  • Variations: Maria
  • Namesakes: Mara Santangelo, a retired tennis player from Italy who was a Grand Slam champion in doubles.
  • Popularity: Mara ranked 540th in the U.S. in 2021.
Religious, Simple, Cool

March

March is the third month of the year, named after Mars – the Roman god of war. In ancient Rome, March (or Martius) was the beginning of warfare season. March’s mighty origins make it an excellent option for a girl with a fighting spirit.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Male, warlike
Cute, Mythical, Unique

Marcia

Marcia is a sweet old lady name, most prevalent in the U.S. during the 1930s and 40s. While other vintage picks like Florence and Josephine are rising in popularity, Marcia is still overlooked. This could be a sweet choice if you want something old-timey yet distinctive.

  • Origin: English, Roman
  • Meaning: Male, warlike
  • Pronunciation: mahr-SEE-ah, MAHR-shah
  • Variations: Marsha
  • Namesakes: Marcia Rachel Clark, an American prosecutor and author known as the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case.
  • Popularity: Marcia left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1993.
Elegant, Old-fashioned

Margaret

Are you looking for traditional M names for girls that are loved universally? Consider Margaret, ranked in the U.S. top 200 since the late 1800s. This timeless classic was born by various queens of Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Margaret is poised enough for your little princess on the way.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-grit, MAHR-gah-rit
  • Variations: Margaretta, Margery, Marjorie, Marjory
  • Namesakes: Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • Popularity: Margaret ranked 125th in the U.S. in 2021.
Common, Elegant

Margarita

Margarita is the Latin form of Margaret, ultimately derived from the Greek “margaritari” (pearl). In Spanish, Margarita is the name of several types of daisy flowers. Your little Margarita can add joy and beauty to your life – just like pearls and flowers do.

  • Origin: Latin, Spanish, Greek
  • Meaning: Pearl, daisy
  • Pronunciation: mar-gha-REE-ta
  • Variations: Margaret
  • Namesakes: Margarita Gasparyan, a Russian tennis player who has won two singles and four doubles titles on the WTA Tour.
  • Popularity: Margarita fell out of the U.S. top 1,000 in 2006.
Natural, Beautiful, Elegant

Margot

Margot is one of the top girl names that start with M, popular in the U.S., England, Canada, New Zealand, and France. This name’s sophistication and elegance are bolstered by its association with multi-award-winning Australian actress Margot Robbie. Margot is timeless yet modern, youthful yet mature – the perfect name for the 2020s.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAR-GO
  • Variations: Margaux
  • Namesakes: Margot Robbie, an Australian actress known for her roles in I, Tonya (2017), Mary Queen of Scots (2018), and Bombshell (2019).
  • Popularity: Margot ranked 194th in the U.S. in 2021.
Elegant, Popular, Beautiful
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Maria

Maria is the typical form of Mary in several European countries. The name is traditional, lovely, and sounds great with everything, making it an excellent first or middle name option. Maria’s commonness doesn’t diminish its sophistication, associated with several queens of Portugal, Hungary, France, Sweden, and Spain.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Variations: Marie
  • Namesakes: Maria Theresa, a ruler of the Habsburg Empire and the only female to hold the position in her own right.
  • Popularity: Maria ranked 106th in the U.S. in 2021.
Religious, Common, Popular

Mariah

Mariah is perfect for music lovers, associated with the famous Christmas singer Mariah Carey. It’s also appealing for Christians as an alternative form of Mary and a variation of Moriah – a biblical mountain range mentioned in Genesis. Mariah is a joyful name for your “beloved” little girl.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: mah-RIE-ah
  • Variations: Maria, Marie
  • Namesakes: Mariah Carey, an American singer and songwriter known for her songs All I Want for Christmas is You (1994), Fantasy (1995), and Always Be My Baby (1995).
  • Popularity: Mariah ranked 342nd in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Cute

Mariam

Mariam is an Old Testament name born by the sister of Moses. It’s also a variation of Mary used in Georgia, Armenia, and Malaysia. Mariam’s numerous connections to Christianity make it an attractive option for a girl raised in the faith.

  • Origin: Greek, Georgian, Armenian, Malay
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: MA-REE-AM
  • Variations: Maryam, Meriem, Miriam
  • Namesakes: Mariam-uz-Zamani, the chief empress consort of the third Mughal emperor, Akbar.
  • Popularity: Mariam was ranked 631st in the U.S. in 2021.
Old-fashioned

Marianna

Marianna may be a variation of the French Marion or Roman Mariana. In the 19th-century, it was used as a combination of Mary and Anna. Whatever its origins, Marianna is a delightful option, especially if you’d like to honor the Marys or Annas in your life.

  • Origin: Roman, French, English
  • Meaning: Beloved grace, male
  • Pronunciation: mahr-ee-AHN-ah
  • Variations: Miriana
  • Namesakes: Marianna Martines, an Austrian composer, pianist, and singer of the classical period.
  • Popularity: Marianna ranked 858th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Youthful

Mariette

Mariette is a decidedly French-sounding option on our list of names for girls that start with M, appealing to Francophiles. The name is rare in the U.S., never making the top 1,000. Mariette sounds urban and posh enough for a future socialite.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: MA-RYEHT
  • Namesakes: Mariette Hansson, a Swedish singer and songwriter who participated in Swedish Idol Season 6.
  • Popularity: Mariette left France’s top 500 names in 1972.
Elegant, Charming

Marigold

Natural and whimsical, Marigold comes from the name of a brightly colored flower with an aromatic scent. The word comes from the English Mary combined with gold – a reference to the flower’s yellow-orange color. Marigold is a desirable option for nature enthusiasts.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Beloved gold
  • Pronunciation: MEHR-i-gold
Exotic, Unique, Natural

Marin

Marin is a perfect M name for girls raised by the ocean and derived from the Latin “marinus” (of the sea). The name is elegant but bold, bolstered by its gender-neutral quality. Marin is also a coastal town in California near San Francisco, giving it another connection to the oceanside.

  • Origin: Slavic, French
  • Meaning: Of the sea
  • Pronunciation: ma-REEN, ma-RIN
  • Namesakes: Marin Alsop, an American music conductor and the first woman to win the Koussevitzky Prize for conducting.
  • Popularity: Marin ranked in the U.S. top 1,000 names for girls from 2004 to 2008.
Natural, Strong, Cool

Maritza

Martiza is an exciting Latin American variation of Maria. The “za” addition gives it more pizazz than its common cousin. Maritza strikes the perfect balance between traditional and unique.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: ma-REET-sa
  • Variations: Mariela, Marita
  • Namesakes: Maritza Sayalero Fernández, a Venezuelan designer, businesswoman, and former beauty queen.
  • Popularity: Maritza left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2012.
Elegant, Exotic, Cool

Marjorie

Marjorie is a medieval variation of Margery, influenced by the herb marjoram – also called oregano. This vintage beauty fell out of fashion for many years before it was revived in the 1800s. Game of Thrones fans may prefer the Margaery spellings, given its connection to the beautiful (and clever) queen consort.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-jah-ree
  • Variations: Margery, Marjory, Margaery
  • Namesakes: Marjorie Rawlings, an American writer whose best-known work, The Yearling, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939.
  • Popularity: Marjorie left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2017.
Old-fashioned, Badass

Marley

Marley is a modern option among our women’s names that start with M, entering the U.S. top 1,000 in 1994. Reggae fans will appreciate its association with legendary Jamaican singer Bob Marley. Nickname options are Mar, Mari, and Lee.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pleasant wood, marten wood
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-lee
  • Variations: Marlee, Marly
  • Popularity: Marley is more popular among U.S. girls, ranked 215th in 2021.
Badass, Modern, Strong
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Marlowe

Marlowe has a badass, urban sound in the same category as Harlowe or Willow. It also has a sophisticated, artsy side, given its connection to Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe. Marlowe’s coolness is bolstered by cute nicknames such as Marlie and Moe.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Remnants of a lake
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-lo
  • Popularity: Marlowe ranked 894th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Modern

Marsha

Marsha is a bit outdated, better suited for an old lady than a little girl. Using the sweet Marcy or hip Sha as nicknames could add to its appeal. In pop culture, Marsha debuted as Nate Jacob’s mom in Euphoria.

  • Origin: English, Roman
  • Meaning: Warlike, male
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-shah
  • Variations: Marci, Marcie, Marcy
  • Namesakes: Marsha Ambrosius-Billups, an English singer and songwriter known for her solo album Late Nights & Early Mornings.
  • Popularity: Marsha received its highest U.S. rating of 68th in 1950.
Old-fashioned

Martha

Martha is one of the most common names for girls that start with M, with approximately 615,640 bearers in the United States. Notable bearers include cooking and entertaining expert Martha Stewart and the nation’s first lady Martha Washington. Martha is basic but well-liked. It might be a good option if you prefer name’s that aren’t too adventurous.

  • Origin: Aramaic
  • Meaning: The lady, the mistress
  • Pronunciation: MAHR-thah
  • Variations: Marta
  • Namesakes: Martha Stewart, an American television personality and businesswoman known for her shows Martha Stewart Living (1993 – 2004) and Martha (2005 – 2012).
  • Popularity: Martha ranked 728th in the U.S. in 2021.
Common, Simple, Old-fashioned

Martina

Martina is the feminine form of Martin. It’s associated with the “noble and beautiful” Saint Martina of Rome, who emperor Severus Alexander persecuted in the 3rd-century. Nickname options include unisex Marty or old-fashioned Tina.

  • Origin: Roman
  • Meaning: Male
  • Pronunciation: mar-TEE-na, mahr-TEEN-ah
  • Variations: Martine
  • Namesakes: Martina Navratilova, a former Czech–American professional tennis player considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
  • Popularity: Martina left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2000.
Old-fashioned, Charming

Mary

Mary is one of the best girl names that start with M for Christians, associated with the mother of Jesus. This graceful title has never left the U.S. top 200. Although Mary is ordinary, it’s also timeless, ensuring your daughter’s name will be beloved by every generation.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Namesakes: Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 to 1558.
  • Popularity: Mary ranked 133rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Common, Religious

Marylou

Marylou is a classic Southern name, better suited for a country dweller than an urbanite. It’s considered a shortened form of Marylouise. The built-in nicknames Mary and Lou add to its appeal.

  • Origin: Hebrew, English
  • Meaning: Beloved battle
  • Pronunciation: mehr-ee-LOO
  • Variations: Marilou, Marylu
  • Namesakes: Mary Lou Retton, a retired American gymnast who won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in 1984.
  • Popularity: Marylou left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1966.
Charming, Cute, Youthful

Matilda

Matilda is a mighty Germanic name with several ties to European royalty. More recently, Matilda was the name of a popular children’s book by author Roald Dahl. Another connection is to the Australian folk song Waltzing Matilda, about a poor man who dies while trying to steal a sheep.

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Strength in battle
  • Pronunciation: mah-TIL-dah, MAH-teel-dah
  • Variations: Mathilda
  • Namesakes: Matilda Joslyn Gage, an American writer, and activist who campaigned for women’s suffrage, Native American rights, abolitionism, and freethought.
  • Popularity: Matilda reentered the U.S. top 1,000 in 2008.
Strong, Badass, Old-fashioned

Maud

Maud is one of the prettiest options for historic name lovers, as the Medieval English and French form of Matilda. This stylish pick is slowly being revitalized, especially as a middle name. We predict Maud will make a comeback in the next few years. An excellent choice for fashionable parents who want to stay ahead of naming trends.

  • Origin: English, French, Germanic
  • Meaning: Strength in battle
  • Pronunciation: MAWD
  • Variations: Maude
  • Namesakes: Maud of Wales, the Queen of Norway as the wife of King Haakon VII.
  • Popularity: Maud left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1933.
Elegant, Old-fashioned

Maureen

Maureen was most popular in the U.S. during the 1940s and 50s. It is the Anglicized form of Máirín – the Irish version of Mary. Although Maureen is beautiful, it may need another decade to rid itself of its old-lady associations.

  • Origin: Irish, English
  • Meaning: Great, beloved
  • Pronunciation: maw-REEN
  • Variations: Móirín, Moreen, Maurine, Maurene
  • Namesakes: Maureen O’Hara, an Irish American actress, and singer who was successful in Hollywood in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.
  • Popularity: Maureen left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1997.
Old-fashioned

Mavis

Let your daughter take flight with the beautiful title, Mavis. The name was inspired by a songbird known for its incredible singing abilities. Another cute association is with Mavis Dracula – the 118-year-old daughter of Dracula in the Hotel Transylvania movies. A cute name for a girl as sweet as a songbird and as intelligent as a bat.

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: Song thrush
  • Pronunciation: MAY-vis
  • Namesakes: Mavis Staples, an American blues and gospel singer who rose to fame as a member of her family’s band The Staple Singers.
  • Popularity: Mavis ranked 759th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Natural, Elegant
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Maxine

Maxine is a feminine form of Max, coming into use at the start of the 20th-century. A fictional bearer is Maxine “Max” Mayfield, the tough tomboy from Stranger Things. Elegant Maxine is made stronger with the nickname Max.

  • Origin: English, Roman
  • Meaning: Greatest
  • Pronunciation: mak-SEEN
  • Variations: Maxene
  • Namesakes: Maxine Waters, an American politician who has been a U.S. representative for California’s congressional district since 1991.
  • Popularity: Maxine ranked 699th in the U.S. in 2021.
Modern, Charming, Cool

Maya

Maya is a popular variation of Maia, ranked in the top 1,000 in 17 countries in 2021. It sometimes references the Maya – an indigenous group native to Central America. Maya is also an essential concept in Hinduism, referencing a god’s ability to make humans believe illusions. This worldly name will blend in wherever your daughter travels.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Good mother, water, illusion
  • Pronunciation: MIE-ah
  • Variations: Maia
  • Namesakes: Maya Angelou, an American novelist and civil rights activist best known for her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969).
  • Popularity: Maya is one of the most popular M names for girls in the U.S., ranked 55th in 2021.
Common, Popular, Beautiful

Maylene

Maylene is a combination of May with the popular suffix “lene.” The name is rare, never making the U.S. top 1,000. You can shorten it to May or use the popular Scandinavian nickname, Lene. One of the prettiest options for unique name enthusiasts.

  • Origin: English, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Greater, good mother, beloved, pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAY-leen
  • Variations: Majlene
Unique, Exotic, Elegant

Maysoon

Maysoon is an Arabic female name primarily used in Iraq. There have been several notable bearers, including Iraqi film director Maysoon Pachachi and American comedian of Palestinian descent Maysoon Zayid. Your little Maysoon could be a true beauty – inside and out.

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Beautiful face and body
  • Pronunciation: MAI-soon
  • Variations: Maysun
  • Namesakes: Maysoon Salem Al-Damluj, an Iraqi politician and women’s rights activist.
Unique, Exotic, Beautiful

Mayu

Mayu is derived from the Japanese “ma” (real, genuine, full) combined with “yu” (excellence, gentleness, evening). A cute name for a girl whose authenticity and gentleness are her greatest attributes.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Genuine excellence, real gentleness
  • Pronunciation: MA-YOO
  • Namesakes: Mayu Shinjo, a Japanese manga artist who made her debut in Shogakukan’s Shōjo Comic in 1994.
  • Popularity: Mayu ranked in the top 10 in Japan during the 1990s.
Cute, Youthful

Mazzy

Mazzy is a badass option among our names for girls that start with M, associated with the alternative rock group Mazzy Star. The name is thought to be a variation of Maisie, Matty, or a combination of Mary with Elizabeth. “Z” names are popular, making Mazzy a fashionable choice for your 21st-century babe.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MAZ-ee
  • Variations: Mazy
Unique, Badass, Cute

Mckenzie

Mckenzie hails from Scotland, ultimately derived from the masculine given name Coinneach. Its popularity was boosted stateside in the 1970s by One Day at a Time actress Mackenzie Phillips. Although Mckenzie is feminine in the U.S., it’s often given to males in England, appealing to gender-neutral name enthusiasts.

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: Beautiful, fair
  • Pronunciation: mah-KEHN-zee
  • Variations: Mackenzie
  • Popularity: Mckenzie ranked 331st in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Youthful, Modern

Meadow

Meadow is one of the prettiest girl names with M for nature enthusiasts, derived from the Old English “mædwe” (land under grass, pasture). This idyllic name was scarce until it was used in the early 2000s for Tony’s daughter in The Sopranos. Your daughter Meadow could be as vibrant and beautiful as a field of wildflowers.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Meadow
  • Pronunciation: MEHD-o
  • Namesakes: Meadow Walker, an American model and the only child of Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker.
  • Popularity: This M name for girls is rising in the U.S., ranked 499th in 2021.
Natural, Youthful, Modern

Medb

Medb is a unique choice among our girl names that start with M, associated with a cunning warrior Queen in Celtic mythology who ruled much of Ireland. Medb is archaic and tricky to pronounce. The anglicized Maeve may be more appealing.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Intoxicating one
  • Pronunciation: MEDHV
  • Variations: Maeve, Méabh, Meadhbh
Mythical, Exotic, Strong

Medora

English poet Lord Byron invented Medora for the female love interest in his poem The Corsair (1814). This sophisticated title can be made more youthful with the nickname Dora (like the cartoon explorer).

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Unknown
  • Pronunciation: may-DOOR-ah
  • Namesakes: Medora de Vallombrosa, an American heiress who married the Marquis de Mores.
  • Popularity: Medora only made the U.S. top 1,000 once in 1885.
Modern, Unique
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Megan

Megan is a Welsh diminutive of Margaret. It’s been used regularly outside of Wales since the mid-20th-century. Megan skyrocketed stateside in the 90s and early 2000s, slowly diminishing in popularity since. This friendly baby is typical enough not to turn heads but remains a solid favorite.

  • Origin: Welsh, English
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MEHG-ahn
  • Variations: Maegan, Meagan, Meaghan, Meghan, Maeghan
  • Namesakes: Megan Fox, an American actress known for her roles in Holiday in the Sun (2001), Transformers (2007), and Jennifer’s Body (2009).
  • Popularity: Megan ranked 611th in the U.S. in 2021.
Modern, Youthful, Common

Melanie

Melanie is a whimsical baby name for girls, derived from the Greek “melaina,” (black, dark). Its similarity to the English word melody gives it a musical feel. Melanie Wilkes is a fictional bearer – the compassionate protagonist from Gone with the Wind (1936).

  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Black, dark
  • Pronunciation: MEHL-ah-nee
  • Variations: Melany, Mellony
  • Namesakes: Melanie Klein, an Austrian-British author, and psychoanalyst, known for her work in child analysis.
  • Popularity: Melanie is among the top girl names with M in the U.S., ranked 129th in 2021.
Charming, Beautiful, Elegant

Melissa

Melissa hails from Greek mythology, born by a nymph who first discovered the use of honey. This “sweet” name was popular in the U.S. between the 1960s and 1990s and has since fallen out of favor. Nicknames Melly, Mel, or Lissa may add to its appeal.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Bee
  • Pronunciation: mah-LIS-ah
  • Variations: Melyssa
  • Namesakes: Melissa Ann McCarthy, an American actress, and comedian known for her roles in Gilmore Girls (2000–2007), Identity Thief (2013) and Tammy (2014).
  • Popularity: Melissa ranked 372nd in the U.S. in 2021.
Natural, Elegant, Common

Melite

Melite was the name of several figures in Greek mythology, including a daughter of the river god Aegaeus and a lover of Heracles. This exotic title is very rare, with few modern bearers. An interesting choice for mythology lovers that isn’t as typical as Athena or Cassandra.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Honey
  • Pronunciation: muh-LEET
  • Variations: Melita
Mythical, Exotic, Cute

Melody

Melody is the perfect choice for a girl with music in her veins, derived from the Greek “melos” (song) combined with “aeido” (to sing). This melodic name was groovy in the 60s before falling by the wayside. However, it’s back with a vengeance, with expectations to reach the top 100 in the next year or two.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Song to sing
  • Pronunciation: MEHL-ah-dee
  • Variations: Melodie
  • Namesakes: Melody Thornton, an American singer and member of the Pussycat Dolls pop group.
  • Popularity: Melody is one of the more popular names for girls that start with M, ranked 113th in the U.S. in 2021.
Charming, Beautiful, Popular

Mercedes

Mercedes is a Spanish title for the Virgin Mary, derived from the Latin “merces,” (wages, reward). The name is cool, sleek, and classy – just like the car brand. Mercedes is a badass choice for a free-spirited girl with endless possibilities at her fingertips.

  • Origin: Spanish, Latin
  • Meaning: Mercies
  • Pronunciation: mer-SAY-deez
  • Namesakes: Mercedes Lackey, an American fantasy novel writer known for her books Arrows of the Queen (1987), By the Sword (1991), and The Heralds of Valdemar (2014).
  • Popularity: Mercedes left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2014.
Religious, Elegant, Cool

Mercy

Mercy is a strong choice among our women’s names that start with M. It’s derived from the English word “mercy,” meaning showing compassion towards someone instead of causing them harm. It was first adopted as a baby name by the Puritans in the 17th-century when virtue names were popular.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Mercy, reward
  • Pronunciation: MUR-see
  • Namesakes: Mercy Otis Warren, an American poet, playwright, and activist during the American Revolution.
  • Popularity: Mercy was ranked 783rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Strong, Beautiful

Meredith

Meredith is derived from the Old Welsh “mawredd,” (greatness, magnificence) combined with “iudd” (lord). It was initially a masculine name before taking off for girls in the 1920s. Meredith is strong and bold – a solid option for a future leader.

  • Origin: Welsh, English
  • Meaning: Greatest lord
  • Pronunciation: MEHR-ah-dith, meh-RAH-dith
  • Variations: Meredydd, Merideth, Meridith
  • Namesakes: Meredith Vieira, an American television personality known as the original moderator of the talk show The View.
  • Popularity: Meredith ranked 570th for U.S. girls in 2021.
Strong, Old-fashioned

Mette

Mette is a Danish diminutive of Margaret, often used independently as a girl’s name in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Finland. The pronunciation of this name will be confusing for English speakers, which may dampen its potential stateside. Still, it could be a cool choice for a girl with Scandinavian roots.

  • Origin: Danish
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MEH-dah
  • Namesakes: Mette Jacobsen, a former swimmer from Denmark who competed in five consecutive Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Mette is most popular in the Netherlands, ranked 227th in 2021.
Unique, Cute

Mia

Mia is among the most popular girl names that start with M, ranked in the top 1,000 in over 20 countries. It’s short and sweet – making it one of the best options for simple name enthusiasts. Choosing Mia ensures your daughter will have plenty of role models, like soccer player Mia Hamm and Peyton Place actress Mia Farrow.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek, Italian
  • Meaning: Beloved, mine
  • Pronunciation: MEE-ah
  • Variations: Maja
  • Namesakes: Mia Farrow, an American actress known for her role as Allison MacKenzie in the TV soap opera Peyton Place.
  • Popularity: Mia is one of the top names for girls that start with M, ranked 8th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Popular, Common
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Michelle

Michelle was a top name for American girls in the 60s, 70s, and 80s before it started to wane. The name picked up again through popular First Lady Michelle Obama but has nosedived since. Although Michelle is a bit dated as a first name, its elegance and wholesome sound make it one of our list’s prettiest middle name options.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Pronunciation: mi-SHEHL
  • Variations: Michèle, Michele
  • Namesakes: Michelle Obama, an American attorney and author who served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.
  • Popularity: Michelle was ranked 393rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Elegant, Beautiful, Common

Mieko

Mieko is a common name in Japan, with several notable actresses, singers, and athletes bearing the name. It’s also popular for fictional characters in Japanese manga and anime. This adorable title is somewhat familiar stateside, making it an excellent option for a Japanese-American.

  • Origin: Japanese
  • Meaning: Beautiful child, already prosperous
  • Pronunciation: MYEE-EH-KO
  • Variations: Miyeko
  • Namesakes: Mieko Harada, a Japanese actress known for her role as Lady Kaede in the 1985 film Ran.
Exotic, Cool

Mila

Mila is derived from the Slavic “milu” (gracious, dear). Mila’s loveliness is amplified by its association with beloved American actress Mila Kunis. If Mila is too short for your liking, go for the vintage Camilla with Mila for short.

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Gracious
  • Pronunciation: ME-lah, MY-lah
  • Namesakes: Mila Kunis, an American actress known for her role as Jackie Burkhart on That ’70s Show.
  • Popularity: Mila is one of the most popular women’s names that start with M in the U.S., ranked 26th in 2021.
Cute, Youthful, Popular

Milani

Milani is derived from the Italian city of Milan, known for its stunning architecture and fantastic fashion and culinary scene. Milani is urban and exotic – perfect for a future connoisseur with impeccable taste.

  • Origin: English, Italian, Latin
  • Meaning: Middle of the plain
  • Pronunciation: me-LAN-ee
  • Variations: Milan, Melanie
  • Popularity: Milani ranked 302nd in the U.S. in 2021.
Modern

Miley

Miley entered the charts in 2007, inspired by Hannah Montana actress Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus was actually named Destiny and given the nickname Miley because of her “smiley” personality. Miley has rapidly declined in popularity since the 2010s. But Miley may still be attractive if you’re a fan of the pop star – or have a super happy baby.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Gracious
  • Pronunciation: MIE-lee
  • Namesakes: Miley Cyrus, an American singer and actress who has attained more U.S. Billboard 200 top-five albums in the 21st-century than any female artist.
  • Popularity: Miley ranked 744th in the U.S. in 2021.
Modern, Cool, Youthful

Millie

Millie is a diminutive of Mildred, Millicent, and other names starting with “Mil.” This old-timey classic was popular in the U.S. in the early 1900s, falling out of favor by the 1960s. Millie is on the up-and-up, steadily rising since the 2010s. This sudden rise may be inspired by British actress Millie Bobby Brown, best known for her role as Eleven in Stranger Things.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Gentle strength
  • Pronunciation: MIL-ee
  • Variations: Milly
  • Namesakes: Millie Bailey, an American World War II veteran, civil servant, and volunteer.
  • Popularity: Mille ranked 174th in the U.S. in 2021.
Youthful, Old-fashioned

Mimi

Mimi is a spunky short form of traditional names like Miriam, Maria, and Margaret. It had some success for U.S. girls in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s before falling off the map. Youthful and vibrant, Mimi could be perfect for a happy baby who’s always smiling.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: MEE-mee
  • Namesakes: Mimi Rogers, an American actress known for her roles in the films Gung Ho, Someone to Watch Over Me, and Desperate Hours.
  • Popularity: Mimi left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1967.
Cute, Unique, Youthful

Min

In China, many parents give their children names related to traits they’d like them to inherit. Min – meaning “quick, clever, or sharp” – could be perfect for a girl whose intelligence will be her greatest attribute. Another possible meaning is “people or citizens,” which could appeal to a future philanthropist.

  • Origin: Chinese, Korean
  • Meaning: Clever
  • Pronunciation: MEEN
Cute, Simple

Mina

Mina is a multicultural option on our list of girl names that start with M, with roots in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In the Indian horoscope system, Mina (fish) corresponds to the astrological sign Pisces. A sweet choice for a baby born during Pisces season, from February to March.

  • Origin: Japanese, Persian, Dutch, German, Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Everybody, azure, strong protector, fish
  • Pronunciation: MEE-nah
  • Namesakes: Mina Myoi, a Japanese singer and dancer part of the South Korean girl group Twice.
  • Popularity: Mina ranked 589th in the U.S. in 2021.
Elegant, Cute

Minerva

Are you looking for M names for girls related to mythology? You may enjoy Minerva – the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, synonymous with the Greek Athena. With a name this refined, your little Minvera could be wise beyond her years.

  • Origin: Latin, Etruscan
  • Meaning: Intellect
  • Pronunciation: mi-NUR-vah
  • Variations: Mínerva
  • Namesakes: Minerva Urecal, an American stage and radio performer and an actress in several Hollywood films in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Popularity: Minerva left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1973.
Mythical, Elegant, Old-fashioned
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Ming

Ming has several possible meanings in Chinese, including “bright, light, and clear” or “inscribe, engrave.” This adorable name could be perfect for a sunny girl passionate about books.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: MEENG
  • Variations: Myeong, Myung
  • Namesakes: Ming-Na Wen, an American actress, and model best known for voicing Mulan in the animated film Mulan.
Simple, Cute, Common

Minnie

Minnie is technically an old lady name, peaking in the U.S. in the late 1800s. It does have a youthful side, given its connection to Walt Disney’s classic cartoon character, Minnie Mouse. Minnie could be an appealing option if you want something vintage that doesn’t sound too mature for a baby.

  • Origin: English, Germanic
  • Meaning: Strong protector
  • Pronunciation: MIN-ee
  • Namesakes: Minnie Driver, an English actress who rose to fame with her role in the 1995 film Circle of Friends.
  • Popularity: Minnie left the U.S. top 1,000 in 1971.
Youthful, Charming, Old-fashioned

Mirabel

Mirabel is derived from the Latin “mirabilis” (wonderful, of wondrous beauty). The name has never made the U.S. top 1,000. This could change soon, given the popularity of the Disney movie Encanto – featuring quirky protagonist Mirabel Madrigal. Beautiful nicknames include Mira and Belle.

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Wonderful
  • Pronunciation: MEER-AH-bell
  • Variations: Mirabelle
  • Namesakes: Mirabel Osler, an English writer and garden designer.
Unique, Beautiful

Miranda

Shakespeare invented Miranda for the compassionate heroine in his play, The Tempest (1611). Other fictional bearers include the iconic boss from Devil Wears Prada and the strong-willed Chief of Surgery from Grey’s Anatomy. While Miranda isn’t as trendy for American girls as it was in the 90s, the cool nickname Randy could aid in its revival.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Wonderful
  • Pronunciation: mi-RAN-dah
  • Variations: Marinda, Myranda
  • Namesakes: Miranda Lambert, an American country music singer and songwriter known for her singles Me and Charlie Talking, Bring Me Down, and Kerosene.
  • Popularity: Miranda ranked 587th in the U.S. in 2021.
Common, Beautiful

Missy

Missy is a charming diminutive of Melissa. It’s also Southern slang for a “young woman.” Missy is cute, friendly, and a tad mischievous – a sweet option for your little troublemaker about to grace you with her presence.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Bee
  • Pronunciation: MIS-ee
  • Namesakes: Missy Higgins, an Australian singer-songwriter, known for her Australian number-one albums The Sound of White, On a Clear Night, and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle.
  • Popularity: Missy left the U.S. top 1,000 names in 1980.
Youthful, Cute

Misty

Misty is a poetic name, causing one to envision morning fog or a mist-laden forest. This natural title first garnered attention in the 1960s, possibly inspired by Erroll Garner’s popular jazz song, Misty (1954). An appealing option for music and nature fans.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Misty
  • Variations: Misti
  • Namesakes: Misty Elizabeth May-Treanor, a retired American professional beach volleyball player and three-time Olympic gold medalist.
  • Popularity: Misty’s highest U.S. rating was 40th in 1977.
Natural, Cool

Moana

Moana is a rare choice among our names for girls that start with M, primarily used by several island nations in the Pacific. It means “wide expanse of water,” “deep sea,” or “ocean” in several Polynesian languages. The name was brought to attention in the U.S. by Disney’s Moana – their first film about a Polynesian princess. A melodic name for a lover of the sea.

  • Origin: Hawaiian, Maori, Tahitian, Samoan, Tongan
  • Meaning: Ocean
  • Pronunciation: mo-AH-na
  • Popularity: Moana was previously a top 10 name in Tahiti.
Natural, Beautiful, Elegant

Molly

Molly is a likable variation of Mary, first developed in medieval times. It has a distinctly Irish sound, amplified by its connection to Molly Malone – Ireland’s unofficial anthem about a fishwife who worked in the streets of Dublin. A perfect choice for a girl with Irish roots.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew, Irish
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Pronunciation: MAHL-ee
  • Variations: Mollie
  • Namesakes: Molly Ringwald, an American actress known for her roles in Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986).
  • Popularity: Molly ranked 186th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Common

Monica

Monica’s origins are unknown, thought to be of Berber or Phoenician origin. In the Middle Ages, it was associated with the Latin “moneo” (advisor) and Greek “monos” (one), leading to its meaning. Monica was a nifty choice in the 70s but has since lost appeal. The French variation, Monique, may be preferred in the 2020s.

  • Origin: English, Latin, Berber, Phoenician
  • Meaning: Advisor
  • Pronunciation: MAHN-i-kah
  • Variations: Monika, Monique
  • Namesakes: Monica Seles, a professional tennis player who represented Yugoslavia and the United States and won nine Grand Slam singles titles.
  • Popularity: Monica ranked 693rd in the U.S. in 2021.
Common

Monique

Monique is the French form of Monica. While Monica is considered a “mom name” in the U.S., Monique is exotic and delightfully European, making it the more appealing of the two. Monique is well-suited for a future socialite or art connoisseur.

  • Origin: French, Berber, Phoenician
  • Meaning: Advisor
  • Pronunciation: MAW-NEEK, mo-NEEK
  • Variations: Monica
  • Namesakes: Monique Chaumette, a French actress who has appeared in more than 40 films since 1958.
  • Popularity: Monique left the U.S. top 1,000 in 2008.
Elegant
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Monroe

Monroe was originally a Scottish surname referencing the Roe River in Northern Ireland. The name’s commonly associated with 19th-century president James Monroe and American actress/beauty icon Marilyn Monroe. Monroe’s a new baby name for girls, first entering the U.S. top 1,000 in 2012. A fashionable choice for a celebrity in the making.

  • Origin: English, Scottish
  • Meaning: From the mouth of the Roe
  • Pronunciation: mahn-RO
  • Variations: Munro
  • Popularity: Monroe ranked 524th for U.S. girls in 2021.
Natural, Badass, Elegant

Montana

Montana is a lofty M name for girls, from the name of the American state. The word comes from the Latin “Montanus” (mountainous). A sweet choice for a girl from the state. It may also appeal to Hannah Montana fans.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Mountainous
  • Popularity: Montana left the U.S. top 1,000 for U.S. girls in 2007.
Natural, Modern, Beautiful

Moon

Moon is a celestial choice among our women’s names that start with M, associated with the bright celestial body found in the night sky. In many cultures, the Moon symbolizes femininity, peace, and tranquility. In Korea, Moon is a family name, also spelled Mun.

  • Origin: English, Dutch, Korean
  • Meaning: Moon
Natural, Unique, Cool

Morgan

Morgan is derived from the Old Welsh “mor” (sea) combined with “gen” (born of). This sea-worthy pick is typically favored by males. In the U.S., Morgan has been more prominent for females since the 80s. This unisex name is perfect for a little one raised by the ocean.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Sea circle
  • Pronunciation: MAWR-gahn
  • Variations: Morgana
  • Namesakes: Morgan Fairchild, an American television actress known for her roles on Dallas, Flamingo Road, and Falcon Crest.
  • Popularity: Morgan ranked 205th for U.S. girls in 2021.
Strong

Moxie

Put a little pep in your daughter’s step with the spirited name, Moxie. This title was originally a slang word from the 1920s, referencing a soft drink brand. The company’s aggressive marketing has led to the current meaning of “courage,” “nerve,” or “daring.” A bold choice for a little girl who isn’t afraid of taking risks.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Courage, spirit
  • Pronunciation: MAWK-see
Youthful, Unique, Modern

Mulan

Mulan is an elegant Chinese name associated with the magnolia flower. In Chinese mythology, Mulan is a legendary female warrior who pretends to be a man so she can take her sick father’s place in the army. Mulan could be a badass option for a brave little warrior.

  • Origin: Chinese
  • Meaning: Magnolia
  • Pronunciation: MOO-LAHN
Mythical, Beautiful, Strong

Muriel

Muriel is the Anglicized form of the Irish Muirgel. It’s derived from the Old Irish “muir” (sea) and “gel” (bright). This archaic name is often used in TV shows and films for old-lady characters. In theology, Muriel is a lesser-known archangel of peace and harmony. Nicknames Murry and Elle could make Muriel sound more modern.

  • Origin: English, Irish, Scottish
  • Meaning: Bright sea
  • Pronunciation: MYUWR-ee-ahl
  • Variations: Meriel, Merle, Meryl, Merla
  • Namesakes: Muriel Spark, a Scottish novelist, short story writer, and poet.
  • Popularity: Muriel left the U.S. top 1,000 names in 1964.
Old-fashioned

Murphy

Historically, Murphy has been strictly masculine until it was used for female characters in the TV show Murphy Brown and the film Interstellar (2014). Murphy is now more popular among American girls. Murphy is daring and bold – perfect for a girl who isn’t afraid to venture to places no one has gone before. The nickname Murph makes it even cooler.

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: Sea battle
  • Pronunciation: MUR-fee
  • Popularity: Murphy ranked 714th among U.S. girls in 2021.
Strong, Badass

Mya

Mya is an exciting variation of Maya and has had some success in England, Ireland, and the U.S. since the 90s. It is still less popular than Maya, appealing to parents who prefer names outside the top 100.

  • Origin: English, Greek
  • Meaning: Good mother
  • Pronunciation: MIE-ah
  • Variations: Maya, Maia
  • Popularity: Mya ranked 270th in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Cool, Modern

Myla

Myla has several possible origins, such as a feminine variation of Miles or a variation of Mila. This lovely pick entered the U.S. top 1,000 names in 2005, rapidly increasing in popularity since. We predict Myla will make it to the top 100. Choose it now while it’s still fresh and cool.

  • Origin: English, Slavic
  • Meaning: Gracious
  • Pronunciation: MIE-lah
  • Namesakes: Myla Goldberg, a writer and musician best known for her novel Bee Season (2000).
  • Popularity: Myla ranked 232rd for U.S. girls in 2021.
Modern, Charming, Youthful
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M Names for Girls FAQs

What Are Unique Girl Names That Start With M?

Some unique M names for girls include Madigan, Mairead, Marigold, Moxie, and Mazzy. Other unique picks with links to nature and the world are Maple, Moon, Malaysia, and March.

What Is the Most Common M Name for a Girl?

Some of the most common girl names that start with M are religious picks like Mary and Maria. Others are long-standing favorites in the U.S., such as Margaret, Monica, Molly, and Mia.

What Is a Badass Female Name That Starts with M?

Badass M names for girls are bold and powerful, like Murphy, Morgan, and Maddox. Others are elegant yet edgy, like Maeve, Marjorie, and Marley.

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About the Author

Chelsea Nelthropp

Chelsea Nelthropp previously worked with special needs children before transitioning to her current passion, freelance writing. She's written on a plethora of topics and enjoys the diversity of her work. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys hiking, creating artwork, reading about true crime, and spending time with her husband and their adorable French Bulldog, Stella.
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