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Maria is a female given name . It can also be used by men as an additional, subordinate first name.

Origin, history and meaning

The name probably comes from the Hebrew מִרְיָם Mirjam , the name of the prophetess and sister of Moses in the Tanakh . In Greek there is the intermediate form Μαριαμ Mariam , where Maria is a Latin modification of the name. The Arabic and Aramaic forms of the name are Maryam (Arabic مريم, Aramaic ܡܪܝܡ). In the New Testament it is the name of the mother of Jesus , Mary of Magdala and Mary of Bethany .

Numerous places, especially Marian shrines , have Maria in their name, such as Maria Enzersdorf or Mariazell .


In addition to the derivation to Miriam (controversial, probably from the Egyptian mry “loved”), the derivation from the Hebrew tribe מרא MRA, “fatten” (compare the term מריא MRIA, “beef cattle, calves” in 2 Sam 6,13  EU , 1 Kings 1.19–25  EU , Am 5.22  EU, Isa 1.11  EU , Ez 39.18  EU and others) possible. Mary would therefore mean "the well-fed". According to Abraham Meister , the name Miriam also means "bitterness, sorrow".

name day

The Feast of the Name of the Virgin is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on September 12th. Pope Innocent XI. introduced the festival in 1683 in gratitude for the victory over the Turks before Vienna in the Roman general calendar . Other possible name days are the numerous Marian festivals .

Maria as a male first name

Especially in the Catholic areas was patron to a high level of protection for the name of the carrier. The mother of God Mary was and is considered a powerful advocate in the Catholic Church , which is why the first name became naturalized for men.


Name bearers

Women in the Bible (New Testament)

Ancient namesake women

  • Maria the Jewess (between the 1st and 3rd centuries), most important alchemist of antiquity

Namesake women of consecrated life

Noble namesake women

Bourgeois namesake

Male namesake

Common male first names are Jean-Marie in the French-speaking area and José María in the Spanish-speaking area .

family name

Web links

Wiktionary: Maria  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Abraham Meister: Biblical Name Lexicon , Mitternachtsruf, Pfäffikon ZH / Switzerland, 3rd edition 1991
  2. Why boys are allowed to be called Maria, girls not called Joseph
  3. MREI in Luxembourg Dictionary
  4. Reia in Luxembourg Dictionary