35 Baby Names That Start with the Letter "M"

Learn the meaning and origins of popular baby names that start with "M."

Baby names that begin with the letter M

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Some of the most popular baby names for in the United States start with the letter "M." Names like Michael, Matthew, and Madison have all seen top-five spots on the Social Security Administration list in the past 100+ years. For parents who want to choose a baby name based on a specific letter, you can't go wrong with "M."

Not only are there extremely popular names that start with "M," but there are historical names and biblical names as well. Because there is a lot to consider when coming up with a name for the new addition to your family, history, trends, and even your surroundings can have an impact on what you choose. If you want to use an "M" name specifically, there is a lot to choose from.


  • OriginEnglish
  • Meaning: Son of
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mac
  • Famous Namesakes: Late musician Mac Miller is one of the more well-known people with this name.
  • Peak Popularity: Mack is an old-fashioned name that saw most of its popularity in the early 1900s. However, it's becoming popular again in recent years.


  • OriginScottish
  • Meaning: Son of Kenneth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: McKenzie, MacKenzie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Mackenzie Foy and Mackenzie Phillips
  • Peak Popularity: Mackenzie has been popular since the 1990s, but its biggest year was 2001.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Son of Madoc
  • Famous Namesakes: Angelina Jolie's oldest son's name is Maddox.
  • Peak Popularity: Maddox has grown in popularity since the early 2000s, and 2017 was its peak year.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Son of Matthew
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maddison, Maddy, Maddie
  • Famous Namesakes: Outer Banks actress Madison Bailey and singer Madison Beer.
  • Peak Popularity: Madison has been popular since the early 2000s, reaching No. 2 a few years. However, it's never been No. 1.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Month of May
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: May
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Mae West is a well-known Mae in history
  • Peak Popularity: Mae was a popular name in the early 1900s.


  • OriginIrish
  • Meaning: Intoxicating
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish author Maeve Binchy
  • Peak Popularity: Maeve has grown in popularity in recent years and only continues to climb up the list.


  • OriginHebrew
  • Meaning: Of the sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Meara
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Mara Wilson, who played Matilda in the popular movie.
  • Peak Popularity: Mara has held steady on the popularity list, though its biggest year was 1990.


  • OriginLatin
  • Meaning: Warlike
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Markus
  • Famous Namesakes: Mumford and Sons singer Marcus Mumford and civil rights activist Marcus Garvey
  • Peak Popularity: Marcus was a popular name for baby boys in the 1970s and 1980s.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Warlike
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marcie, Marci
  • Famous Namesakes: Singers Marcie Blane and Marcie Free
  • Peak Popularity: Marcy was a popular name in the 1970s but fell off the Social Security Administration list after 1988.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maggie, Marge
  • Famous Namesakes: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, British Princess Margaret, and poet Margaret Atwood
  • Peak Popularity: Since 1900, Margaret was in the top-10 baby names through the 1930s. It decreased in popularity but still remains on the list.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Of the sea
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Maria Menounos and tennis player Maria Sharapova
  • Peak Popularity: Maria has always been a popular name but it peaked in 1975.


  • OriginFrench
  • Meaning: Of the sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mary Ann, Maryanne, MaryAnne, Marian
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Marianne Faithfull and actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste
  • Peak Popularity: Marianne saw its biggest year in 1957.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Bitter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marien
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Marion Ross and Marion Cotillard
  • Peak Popularity: Marion was a popular name for both boys and girls in the early 1900s. It peaked for boys in 1921 and in 1922 for girls.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Warlike
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marc
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Mark Ruffalo, Mark Hammill, and Mark Wahlberg
  • Peak Popularity: The 1950s and 1960s were popular decades for the name Mark.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: God of war
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Martyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Funnymen Martin Short and Martin Lawrence are two popular Martins.
  • Peak Popularity: Martin has long been popular, but the 1960s were the biggest decade.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Merry, Marry
  • Famous Namesakes: There are a number of famous Marys, including religious figures like Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as in pop culture. Singer Mary J. Blige and actress Mary Tyler Moore are two popular Marys in recent history.
  • Peak Popularity: Mary was the most popular name for baby girls born from 1900 through 1946.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Stone worker
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Masen
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Mason Jennings and actor Mason Cook
  • Peak Popularity: Mason has become a very popular name in recent years, seeing its peak in the 2010s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Matt
  • Famous Namesakes: There are a lot of famous actors named Matthew, like Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Perry, Matthew Gray Gubler, Matthew Broderick, and Matthew Lillard.
  • Peak Popularity: Matthew has been popular since the 1970s, though it's never reached No. 1.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Wildly independent
  • Famous Namesakes: Golfer Maverick McNealy and basketball player Maverick Morgan
  • Peak Popularity: Maverick is becoming more and more popular. Its best year was 2020.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Greatest
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maximilian, Maxine, Maximus, Maxwell
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Max Greenfield and Max Von Sydow
  • Peak Popularity: The name Max was most popular in 2011.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Illusion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mya
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Maya Rudolph and activist Maya Angelou
  • Peak Popularity: Maya's biggest year was 2006.


  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Fair-haired foreigner
  • Famous Namesakes: McKinley is more commonly found as a last name, like former President William McKinley.
  • Peak Popularity: McKinley has only been on the list since 2006, but it's holding strong in popularity.


  • OriginWelsh
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Meghan, Meghann, Maegan, Meagan, Meaghan
  • Famous Namesakes: Megan is a popular name among celebrities. Famous people with the name include Meghan Markle, Megan Thee Stallion, Meg Ryan, and Megan Rapinoe.
  • Peak Popularity: Megan was a very popular name in the 1980s and 1990s.


  • OriginGreek
  • Meaning: Bee
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mel, Melisa
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Melissa McCarthy and Melissa Joan Hart
  • Peak Popularity: The 1960s and 1970s were big decades for baby girls named Melissa.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Song tune
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Melodie, Melodi, Mel
  • Famous Namesakes: Pussycat Dolls singer Melody Thornton
  • Peak Popularity: Melody is getting more and more popular, with 2020 being the biggest year yet.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Of the sea
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mea
  • Famous Namesakes: Model and actress Mia Farrow is one of the most famous Mias.
  • Peak Popularity: Mia has been in the top 10 of baby names since 2009.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Famous Namesakes: Football player Micah Hyde and baseball player Micah Johnson
  • Peak Popularity: Micah has seen a burst of popularity in the 2000s.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mike, Micheal
  • Famous Namesakes: Michael is a very popular name, and there are quite a few famous people with this name, like legendary basketball player Michael Jordan, Beetlejuice actor Michael Keaton, and singer Michael Buble.
  • Peak Popularity: Michael was the most popular name for baby boys born in the U.S. from 1954 through 1998, except for 1960.


  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Michele
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Michelle Pfeiffer, singer Michelle Williams, and former first lady Michelle Obama
  • Peak Popularity: Michelle was big in the 1960s and 1970s.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Soldier
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Myles
  • Famous Namesakes: Musician Miles Davis and actor Miles Teller
  • Peak Popularity: Miles is gaining steam on the popularity charts. Its biggest year so far was 2020.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Labor, strength
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Milicent, Milly
  • Peak Popularity: Millicent was a popular name in the 1920s.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Who is like God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Mitch, Mitchel
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian Mitch Hedberg and author Mitch Albom
  • Peak Popularity: Mitchell saw its peak popularity in the 1990s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bitter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Molli, Mollie
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Molly Ringwald and Molly Shannon
  • Peak Popularity: Molly was most popular in the 1990s.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Truth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Monika
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Monica and Cheer coach Monica Aldama
  • Peak Popularity: Monica was a popular name in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.


  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Great circle
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Morgen
  • Famous Namesakes: Both celebrity men and women have the name Morgan, like Morgan Freeman and Morgan Fairchild.
  • Peak Popularity: Morgan was a very popular name in the 1990s.
1 Source
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  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name.

By Hedy Phillips
Hedy Phillips is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience covering topics ranging from parenting tips to lifestyle hacks.