Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Maeve

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Celtic, Gaelic, Irish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 484
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Maeve

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Maeve

Maeve is a name that comes to us from Irish mythology. Originally rendered in the ancient Gaelic form of Madb (pronounced “mayv” and meaning “intoxicating”) the name has been anglicized to Maeve in modern English. Maeve was originally a goddess of ancient Ireland before being supplanted in history by the mortal Maeve, Queen of Connacht. Perhaps after Bridget, Maeve is one of the most illustrious women in Irish history. The wonderful aspect of mythology (before Christianity took over) is that women were portrayed as strong-willed, ambitious and opinionated. In Celtic mythology, women were powerful figures and solid role-models for young women today. Queen Maeve was no different. Not only did she “intoxicate” the men around her, but she held her own in battle. As the central figure in one of the greatest of all Irish tales known as Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), Maeve sets off to steal the prize bull of Ulster. But first the back story. Maeve had been married to King Conchobhar (Conor) of Ulster but left him in dissatisfaction. Then her father, High King of Ireland, gave her the kingdom of Connacht. Queen Maeve had several more marriages and affairs (remember, this woman was “intoxicating”), before marrying her bodyguard and lover Aillil. As the two lay in bed one night comparing assets, Aillil insisted he had more possessions than she. After mentioning a magic bull, Aillil proved he owned more. Not to be outdone by her husband and seeing herself as equal, Maeve set out for Ulster to steal the magic bull of Cooley. She amassed her army and courageously rode in an open chariot herself as all men looked upon her with desire. The armies of Ulster had been cursed and were no match against Maeve and her men; only the young hero Cúchulainn rose against her. After much bloodshed, Maeve got her bull. However, in an anticlimactic twist, her newly won bull and the bull of her husband fought each other to a bloody death and there went the spoils of war. Still, Maeve was one kick-ass Irish lass; a woman to be reckoned with indeed! The female given name Maeve has been in constant use since the Middle Ages in Ireland. It became fashionable again in the 1930s and 40s and eventually spread to other English-speaking countries.

Popularity of the Name Maeve

Americans first discovered this ancient Irish beauty not too long ago. Maeve only debuted on the female naming charts in 1997 even though the name is over 2,000 years old in Ireland! Apparently American parents just received the memo because Maeve has not even been around in the States for 20 years yet. It’s a charming Irish moniker and a simple one-syllable name. Yet it packs a lot of punch. Filled with Irish legend and lore, Maeve is a strong, decisive name without sacrificing her femininity. It seems that many parents are finding this name just as lovely as we do, and appreciating its rich Celtic history. Maeve is indeed an intoxicating name; captivating in its simplicity. Mae is an obvious nickname but Maeve doesn’t beg to be shortened. It’s a great choice for American parents of Irish descent but it also has that antique “old lady” charm that’s all the rage today. Not surprisingly, Maeve is also a number one in numerology which is all about ambition and success like her primary Irish namesake.
Popularity of the Girl Name Maeve
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Maeve

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Maeve

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Maeve

    Queen Maeve (Irish Mythology & Poetry) Queen Maeve is extolled in William Butler Yeats’ beautiful 1903 poem, “The Old Age of Queen Maeve”. Maeve is the Queen of Connaught in Celtic mythology, a tall, strong, beautiful and powerful woman who led her troops into battle to capture the huge white bull that provided her husband with more wealth than she had. It is Maeve who must triumph when it comes to husbands and lovers, both of whom she had in legions. But as with the common folk, old age comes to the exalted as well, as does it to Maeve. Yeats finds her “pacing to and fro…” “Though now in her old age, in her young age (s)he had been beautiful…” Now she is found with her long-lived husband of her old age, with her grandchildren, she who had been “fashioned to be the mother of strong children”, reflects upon the past while they all sleep into their own futures.

  • Popular Songs on Maeve

    Popular Songs on Maeve

    Maeve - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Maeve.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Maeve

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Maeve

    Maeve and the Goodnight Trail (Mary Arrigan) - Maeve and Leo are staying with his step-aunt Ragnell. There they meet Charlie, an American in search of his ancestors. Maeve smells romance in the air. But that must be put on the backburner as mysteries pile up. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Maeve and the Long Arm Folly (Mary Arrigan) - Maeve and cousin Leo go with Jamie to County Kildare where his grandfather is buying horses. Their hostess introduces them to David and his mother who have come to Ireland to trace their roots. However, David, who is from Australia, is part aborigine-can he have Irish roots? The three friends decide to help in his search and get involved in local research, dinner parties, racist threats, and ghost-spotting. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Maeve on the Red Carpet (Annie Bryant) - It's Maeve's chance to be a star -- and to see up close and personal what fame and fortune can do to a person. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong (Kirsty Murray) - Maeve's safe world is torn apart when her mother dies in a car crash. Adopted by her strict Chinese grandparents and forced to leave Australia, she fights to hold onto the things she loves most—her two best friends, her dancing, and her baby brother Ned. Secretly she pins her hopes on her Irish father, who doesn't even know she exists. From Sydney to Hong Kong to Ireland, Maeve searches for a path to follow and a place to belong. Written with humor and sensitivity, Maeve’s journey of self-discovery among her distinct heritage and different cultures is beautifully rendered. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Maeve

    Famous People Named Maeve

    Famous People Named Maeve - Maeve Binchy (Irish novelist); Maeve Kinkead (daytime actress); Maeve McGuire (daytime actress); Maeve Quinlan (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Maeve

    Children of Famous People Named Maeve

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Maeve - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Maeve.

  • Historic Figures

    Maeve - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Maeve - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Maeve.

Personality of the Girl Name Maeve

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 - Maeve

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