Quick Facts on Mercedes
- Latin, Spanish
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Characteristics of Mercedes
Etymology & Historical Origin - Mercedes
Mercedes is a name we adopted from the Spanish, in reference to the Blessed Mother sometimes referred to as Maria de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercies). The cult of the Virgin Mary has always been huge among Spaniards and Latinos in other cultures. Mercedes is just one more epithet given to their Catholic idol (think: Our Lady of Carmel, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc). Such names have been popular in the Hispanic culture in celebration of Mary, mother of Jesus. The word “mercedes” comes from the Latin “merces” originally denoting “wages, ransom” or in Vulgar Latin translated to “favor, pity”. In Catholic theology, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was considered an “act of ransom” (i.e., “ransom for the sins of mankind”). In other words, He gave up His life to release mankind from his sins and to set man free so that we may all ascend to heaven in afterlife. As a result, the “act of ransom” is synonymous to the “act of mercy”. The Roman Catholic calendar celebrates Mary under this title (Our Lady of Mercies) on August 10th and September 24th. Mercedes is now occasionally used within English-speaking nations, either having been influenced by their Hispanic cultures, or else in reference to the luxury German-made automobile of the same name. Mercedes is currently most popular in Spain and the United States.
Popularity of the Name Mercedes
Mercedes has been around in America for a lot longer than we would have guessed. In fact the name predates the German auto here in America; actually it predates the invention of the automobile. We can find Mercedes on the U.S. female naming charts as far back as the government has been tracking name data (1880). The name was only used moderately back at the turn of the 20th century and as the decades progressed it started to slip in popularity. This is generally contrary to what we see with other names of Spanish origin since the Hispanic-American population is constantly on the rise. So it seemed that Mercedes was going out of style and Spanish-speaking parents were no longer showing her any “mercy”. Then things started to turn around abruptly in the late 1980s and early 90s when Mercedes started to ascend. This was probably owing to actress Mercedes Ruehl whose career was reaching its peak popularity around this time (Ruehl is part Cuban from a Catholic family). She apparently put her unusual name on the American radar for a few years; the name reached #164 on the charts in 1991 (which is a pretty respectable position all things being equal). Since 1992 however, Mercedes has gone backwards in popularity consistently every year and is now down to levels of pretty low usage. Most people think of the highfalutin German-made automobile when they hear this name. Ironically, Mercedes really has rather humble origins.
Popularity of the Girl Name Mercedes
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Mercedes
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Mercedes
Mercedes (The Call of the Wild) Mercedes is the only female character in Jack London’s most widely read book , the 1903 novella, The Call of the Wild, and, oh dear, what a sorry representation she provides for the gender. Mercedes and her husband, Charlie and her brother, Hal, are in the Klondike searching for gold, when they are given the opportunity to buy the kidnapped Buck as a sled-dog. Mercedes is a pampered, vain and selfish woman loose in the wilderness with no guide but her own greed. She, her husband and her brother mistreat the sled dogs, underfeeding them and driving them mercilessly. Mercedes even insists upon riding in the sled, which they have already over-packed. When Buck rebels at crossing the treacherous river and is rescued by John Thornton, Mercedes and her men press on, with predictably disastrous results. Mercedes’ name may be beautiful, but in this character, she symbolizes the harmful effects of civilization upon the natural order of things.
Popular Songs on Mercedes
Mercedes - a song by Duo Dinamico
Mercedes - a song by Fonseca
Mercedes Benz - a song by Janis Joplin
Mercedes Boy - a song by Pebbles
Children's Books on the Baby Name Mercedes
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot (Margot Theis Raven) - During the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949, Lt. Gail Halvorsen and his squadron dropped over 250,000 candy-loaded parachutes and twenty tons of chocolate and gum to West Berlin's 100,000 children. He received thousands of letters from children, and only the most important were translated and given to him for his personal reply. This is the true story of a little girl named Mercedes, who waited anxiously for candy drops from Lt. Gail, known as the Chocolate Pilot. Recommended for ages 7-11.
Mercedes James (Jean Leigh Claudette) - Mercedes James is six-years-old, and she is rambunctious! When her family goes to the beach, she wants to catch a seagull. When she makes cookies, they're cut with the molds from her mud maker. When Mercedes gives a mouse to her friend in church, things get crazy. Follow all of Mercedes' hilarious and entertaining adventures in Mercedes James: On Birdies, Mice, Cookies, and Clocks! Recommended for ages 4-7.
Famous People Named Mercedes
Famous People Named Mercedes - Mercedes Ruehl (actress); Mercédès Jellinek (daughter/namesake of the Mercedes cars); Mercedes de Acosta (poet and socialite); Mercedes, Princess of Asturias (Spanish royalty); Mercedes McCambridge (radio actress); Mercedes of Orléans (19th century Queen consort of Spain)
Children of Famous People Named Mercedes
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Mercedes - Val Kilmer (actor)
Mercedes - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Mercedes - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Mercedes.
Personality of the Girl Name Mercedes
The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.
Variations of the Baby Name - Mercedes