Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Mae

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Greek, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 674
Simple meaning:
Midwife; Great woman

Characteristics of Mae

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Mae

Don’t be fooled by this simple one-syllable, three-letter female name; she packs a lot of punch in that small frame of hers. Mae is basically a variant spelling of May (as in the month of May). Named for the Greek goddess Maia (Μαια), she was one of the seven Pleiades who accompanied Artemis (Roman: Diana) on her many hunts. One of the daughters of Atlas (a Titan god), Maia was also mother of Hermes (the messenger god; Mercury to the Romans) by Zeus (Roman: Jupiter). Maia’s name comes from the Greek μαῖα meaning “midwife” which was essentially a title of respect for an older woman (a “good nursing mother”). It was Maia who raised Arcas, the illegitimate child of Zeus and Callisto, after Zeus’s jealous wife Hera turned Callisto into a bear (the starry constellation). In Roman mythology, Maia’s name is associated with the Latin “maius” meaning “she who is great”. The Greek Olympic gods transformed Maia and her sisters (the Pleiades) into seven bright stars in the night sky in order to protect the nymphs from Orion. In Roman mythology, Maia was looked upon as an earth goddess and the wife of Vulcan (god of fire). The ancient Romans paid tribute to Maia in many ways, not the least of which was naming the fifth calendar month after her. In Olde English, the fifth month of the calendar year was originally called “þrimilce” (to indicate the month when a cow could be milked three times a day). By the Middle Ages the word was replaced with the Latin “Maius” via the Old French “Mai”. Aside from Mae’s connection to Maia/May, the name is also sometimes considered a pet form of other names like Maeve, Mabel, Mary or Margaret. The most famous name bearer was iconic American actress and bawdy sex symbol of the 1930s Mae West (1893-1980).

Popularity of the Name Mae

This cute, simple name was quite popular in America from the late 19th century up through 1920 during which time Mae was a Top 100 favorite in the country. She entered the 20th century at position #54 on the charts (1900-1901) which was among her best years ever. A turn-of-the-century darling, Mae would dwindle in usage most dramatically in the late 1950s and 60s. The name became so unfashionable that it would fall off the name charts altogether in 1970. Her hiatus from usage would last for 40 long years before returning to the charts in 2010. American parents are looking for new and original names reflective of the past, ones with antique charm representative of the early 1900s. Names like Emma, Ruby and Hazel have found increased favor in modern-day naming styles, so now parents are looking for other more original choices that fit this same trend. Mae is one of those hidden gems at the brink of rediscovery. Sweet, unpretentious with a hint of sex-appeal left over from Mae West, Mae is a lovely name that’s both familiar and original. Mae also has a history as a common middle name since it pairs so pleasantly with other first names (Maggie Mae, Ellie Mae, Anna Mae, Ida Mae, etc).
Popularity of the Girl Name Mae
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Mae

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Mae

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Mae

    Mae Flynn Pollitt (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) Mae Flynn Pollitt is the wife of “Gooper” Pollitt in Tennessee Williams’ 1955 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She is from a family that once had a little money (why, she was Cotton Carnival Queen), and is considered the “society wife” in the Pollitt family, keeper of many vulgar millions. Mae ensures her and Gooper’s position in the inheritance department by having had five children, with one on the way. Big Daddy calls her a “good breeder”; the childless Maggie the Cat, Mae’s sister-in-law, accuses Mae of producing a passel of “no-neck monsters”. Mae curries favor with Big Mama by spying on the largely sexless relationship between Maggie and Brick, but try as she might, Big Daddy prefers the Cat to the bat. Mae is nonetheless capable of defiance against Big Daddy, as, in defense of her hapless husband, she demands to know why he, the first born son, has always had to carry so many responsibilities. In one of the best lines in the play, Mae declares that Brick has never had to carry a thing in his life except “a football or a high ball”. Touche, Mae.

  • Popular Songs on Mae

    Popular Songs on Mae

    Annie Mae - a song by Natalie Cole

    Baby Mae - a song by Masters of Reality

    Daisy Mae - a song by Ernest Tubb

    Ella Mae - a song by Greg Brown

    Fanny Mae - a song by Steve Miller

    Judy Mae - a song by Shaun Cassidy

    Katie Mae - a song by the Grateful Dead

    Mae - a song by Aaron Sprinkle

    Mae Dae - a song by Enchant

    Maggie Mae - a song by Rod Stewart

    Rita Mae - a song by Eric Clapton

    Willie and Laura Mae Jones - a song by Dusty Springfield

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Mae

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Mae

    Mae West Paper Doll (Tom Tierney) - Dazzling tribute to the blond bombshell features a costumed figure of the sultry stage and movie comedienne, along with sizzling outfits from She Done Him Wrong, I’m No Angel, and many more of her films and theatrical presentations. 1 doll and 30 costumes. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    The Moon Over Star (Dianna Hutts Aston) - In July 1969, the world witnessed an awe-inspiring historical achievement when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. For the young protagonist (Mae) of this lyrical and hopeful picture book, that landing is something that inspires her to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities that life has to offer. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Wally and Mae (Christa Kempter) - A fastidious rabbit and a slovenly bear make a new Odd Couple on the NorthSouth list. This book should appeal to fans of other classic tales of friendship like Frog & Toad or Ernest & Celestine. Recommended for ages 3-6.

  • Famous People Named Mae

    Famous People Named Mae

    Famous People Named Mae - Mae West (born Mary Jane West, iconic American Actress); Mae Jemison (astronaut, first African-American woman in space); Mae Whitman (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Mae

    Children of Famous People Named Mae

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Mae - Jen Schefft (reality TV personality); Christine Ebersole (actress/singer)

Personality of the Girl Name Mae

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Mae

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