Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Molly

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 102
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Molly

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Molly

Molly (like Mollie) is a pet form of the English female name Mary – although it has become a popular female given name in its own right. Mary is the anglicized version of the French Marie (from the Latin Maria), both of which are derived from the Hebrew Miriam, who appears in the Book of Exodus as the sister of Moses and Aaron. So the evolution of Molly went something like this: מִרְיָם (Hebrew: Miryam) --> Μαριαμ (Greek: Mariam) --> Maria (Latin) --> Marie (French) --> Mary (English) --> Molly (English pet form). Finding the ultimate etymological source for the Hebrew Miryam was not so easy. There are varying theories and schools of thought out there as to the true linguistic root of this ancient Hebrew name. After much study, we have come to believe that the original Hebrew Miryam came from the ancient Egyptian “mry” meaning “beloved” (which in hieroglyphics would have appeared as a picture of a finger above a human mouth sitting to the left of two reeds) – from the element “mr” meaning “love”. The reason why this etymology makes the most sense to us is simple: In the Bible, although Hebrew, Miriam and her family were born into Egyptian captivity (hence the Exodus back to the Promised Land). It is believed that Moses and Aaron’s names are also derived from ancient Egyptian words. Aside from Miriam’s Egyptian source, the name has also been tied to the Hebrew “mara” (“rebellious”) in reference to Miriam’s minor rebellion against her brother Moses or the Hebrew root “marar” (“to be bitter”) in reference to Miriam’s bitter opposition against Moses’s marriage to a Kushite woman (Kushites were dark-skinned Northern African nomadic/tribal people). In medieval England, nicknames such as Moll, Molle and Malle developed from Mary and eventually morphed into the modern-day Molly and Mollie which became independently given names by the 18th century. Molly is also occasionally considered a pet form of Margaret (meaning “pearl”), but it is definitely more strongly associated with the “beloved” Mary. Molly is currently a Top 10 favorite in Sweden of all places. It also ranks impressively high in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia. It’s also on the Top 100 list in the United States.

Popularity of the Name Molly

The name Molly didn’t perform so well in the first half of the 20th century. In fact, it spent 50 years climbing a mere 100 positions up the charts. It really wasn’t until the 1980s when the name finally took off in popularity (she landed a position on America’s Top 100 list for the first time ever in 1987). Although not as popular as Molly today, Mollie with an “-ie” was the preferred spelling more than 100 years ago at the turn of the 20th century. In any case, the name Molly seems to have reached a plateau at the upper end of the Top 100 list (ranked #90 in 2012). Molly is an adorable name for a girl that hasn’t become so trendy that it feels overused. There’s a certain feistiness to Molly that makes her more than just another cute name.
Popularity of the Girl Name Molly
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Molly

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Molly

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Molly

    Moll Flanders (Moll Flanders) Moll Flanders is the heroine of Daniel Defoe’s 1722 novel The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, etc., (commonly referred to as Moll Flanders), a rollicking tale of the daughter of a convicted felon who makes her way through life and men (and children) with delicious abandon. Born of a convicted felon, Moll continues in her mother’s wicked ways, but really only as a way of supporting herself. She keeps a constant watch out for a man of fortune who can support her, and finds a few with varying results. Many of these liaisons produce children, most of whom she leaves in the care of others. When widowed or deserted, Moll turns to a highly successful career as a thief, which lands her right where her mother once was. Her adventures take her back and forth between England and The Colonies, but eventually she settles with her last husband in England at the age of 70, still healthy, now wealthy, and penitent, of course. Just as well, given the life expectancy of the day…now she may snatch heaven on her deathbed, having had a pretty good time theretofore.

    Molly Bloom (Ulysses) Molly Bloom Is the wife of Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s modernistic masterpiece, Ulysses, published in 1922. The action takes place during a single day in 1904, following the everyday activities of Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, and assumes a parallel with the Homeric legend. Initially banned in both the United Kingdom and the United States on charges of obscenity, it was a highly controversial book for its explicit depictions of sexuality. It has also been heralded as the first example of “stream of consciousness”. Molly Bloom is a sensuous, voluptuous, forthright, unfaithful and highly physical woman, whose soliloquy in the final chapter of the book, eight long unpunctuated run-on sentences, stands as a monument to the resoundingly female ability to accept and embrace life fully, with an echoing “yes I will Yes.”

    Molly McIntire (American Girl Series) Molly is one of the characters in the popular American Girl series, one of the first three released in 1986, and representing the World War II era. She is a cheerful, bespectacled Midwestern girl for whom the war means only that she misses her father, who is serving in it. She is made aware of the first-hand realities of war, however, when she meets the English girl, Emily Bennett, who has been transplanted to America for her safety. Molly begins to learn about the larger impact of world events upon people, and it has a sobering effect. Luckily for all her fans, though, Molly is still lively and loveable, and she still hates turnips and math.

  • Popular Songs on Molly

    Popular Songs on Molly

    Dark Eyed Molly - a song by Eva Cassidy

    Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly - a song by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels

    Every Man Has a Molly - a song by Say Anything

    Good Golly Miss Molly - a song by Little Richard

    Good Golly Miss Molly - a song by Creedence Clearwater

    Handsome Molly - a song by Bill Morrissey

    Lee and Molly - a song by Ziggy Marley

    Miss Molly - a song by the Old 97's

    Molly - a song by Garrison Starr

    Molly - a song by John Denver

    Molly - a song by Sponge from Sixteen Candles

    Molly - a song by Mindless Self Indulgence

    Molly Coddled - a song by Tilt

    Molly Darling - a song by Eddy Arnold

    Molly Dee - a song by Kingston Trio

    Molly's Chamber - a song by Kings of Leon

    Molly's Lips - a song by Nirvana

    Run Molly, Run - a song by Kingston Trio

    Song for Molly - a song by Lucy Kaplansky

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Molly

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Molly

    Meet Molly: An American Girl (Valerie Tripp) - While her father is away fighting in World War II, Molly finds her life full of change as she eats terrible vegetables from the victory garden and plans revenge on her brother for ruining her Halloween. Part of the American Girls Series. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Molly in the Garden: With Twinkly Glitter on Every Page! (Kate Pope) - This cheerful little story for toddlers features color illustrations on every one of its sturdy board pages. Each appealing picture's bright colors are further enhanced by scatterings of tiny metallic sparkles embedded on the page to catch and reflect light. Sparkles in the flowers and butterflies in the garden, will bring a fresh sparkle to the eyes of the toddler who picks up this delightful book. Recommended for ages baby to preschool.

    Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism (Georgia Byng) - Molly Moon is an intelligent 11 year old orphan with pink blotchy legs, curly brown hair, a steady droning voice, large, hypnotic, green eyes and a "potato nose". She likes eating ketchup sandwiches and drinking orange squash concentrate. Molly Moon's name derives from the fact that she was found on the doorstep of the Hardwick House Orphanage, (later to be renamed Happiness House), in a Moon's Marshmallows box. She got her name because there was a lollipop stick in the marshmallow box, so Ms. Trinklebury, the orphanage nanny, named her Lolly. Ms. Adderstone, the headmistress, forbid Lolly as a name, so she was renamed Molly. Throughout the series, Molly learns to hypnotize, stop time, time travel, mind read, and morph. Part of a series. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Molly Pitcher: Young Patriot (Augusta Stevenson) - A childhood biography of the Pennsylvania German woman who became a Revolutionary War heroine when she carried water to American soldiers and even fired a cannon herself during the Battle of Monmouth. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Molly The Goldfish Fairy (Daisy Meadows) - The Pet Fairies have one of the most important jobs in Fairyland! They work with their special pets to make sure that all animals find safe homes. But now Jack Frost has stolen the magical pets! Could they be lost forever? Molly the Goldfish Fairy's pet fish, Flash, is missing. Something awfully fishy is going on! Poor Molly needs Rachel and Kirsty's help. Find the magical pet in each book and help keep all the animals safe! Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Molly the Pony: A True Story (Pam Kaster) - Molly the pony waits. She waits in her stall. She waits during the storm. She waits for her owner to return. So begins the true story of a patient pony who is rescued from a south Louisiana barn after Hurricane Katrina and finds a new life on a farm with new animal friends. But Molly's tale of courage does not end here. When a dog on the farm attacks Molly, her front leg is badly injured. For a pony, a damaged leg is life threatening. To the amazement of veterinarians, though, Molly rises to her new challenge. She undergoes a rare surgery for horses: amputation of her front leg. Now fitted with a prosthetic limb, Molly relearns how to walk and embarks again on a new mission in life: making new people friends. This plucky pony's story of survival and friendship will win the hearts of readers young and old. All who have had to start over after displacement, abandonment, injury, or amputation will find a friend in Molly as they follow her story of bringing a smile to everyone she meets. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Molly Who Flew Away (Valeri Gorbachev) - Molly loves when the big fair comes to town. She loves the fun house, the carousel, and the Ferris wheel. But every ride is more fun when she can go on it with one of her friends! She loves her friends. And to show them, she buys them each a balloon in their favorite color. But Molly has so many friends, she needs lots of balloons - so many, in fact, that they carry her off into the sky! It's a good thing she has so many friends, because they are the very ones who catch her and save her from sailing away for good! Valeri Gorbachev's bighearted mouse will sail away with children's fancies in this colorful delight of a book. Part of a series. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (Patty Lovell) - Molly Lou Melon may be tiny, clumsy, buck-toothed, and with a voice "like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor," but she doesn't mind. Her grandmother has utmost confidence in her, and tells her at every turn to believe in herself. "Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy," Grandma says. But Molly Lou's self-assurance is put to the test when she moves to a new town, away from her friends and beloved grandmother. During her first week of school, Ronald Durkin taunts Molly Lou Melon in the dull-witted but sharp-edged manner of career bullies, calling her "shrimpo" and "bucky-toothed beaver." Our heroine barely flinches as she systematically sets out to prove herself, and Ronald Durkin ends up feeling pretty foolish. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook (Joyce Lankester Brisley) - The stories of Milly-Molly-Mandy and her family and friends have charmed generations of children since they first appeared in 1925. This collection of twenty-one classic tales about this resourceful and thoughtful little girl reflect with accuracy the dilemmas and challenges of a child's world. Young children today will love to hear how Milly-Molly-Mandy decides to spend her first penny, looks after a hedgehog, and spends her first night away from home. These timeless stories are perfect for reading aloud, for older children to read by themselves, or as a story before bedtime, and will bring back many happy memories for many parents and grandparents. The book's endpaper feature a two-page map of Milly-Molly-Mandy's village complete with drawings of cottages, fields, streets, and shops making it easy for children to follow Milly-Molly-Mandy from place to place. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Molly

    Famous People Named Molly

    Famous People Named Molly - Molly Ringwald (actress); Molly Shannon (actress); Molly Sims (actress/model); Molly Parker (actress); Molly Picon (actress); Molly Brown (Titanic survivor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Molly

    Children of Famous People Named Molly

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Molly - Carole King (singer); Cybil Shepherd (actress); Erica Jong (author); James Brolin (actor); John Goodman (actor); Kix Brooks (country musician); Mary Beth Hurt (actress); Monica Potter (actress); Roy Scheider (actor); Veronica Webb (model)

  • Historic Figures

    Molly - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Margaret Brown (18 Jul 1867 – 26 Oct 1932) - Even though her name was technically Margaret, she was known better as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” after demonstrating bravery during the Titanic tragedy demanding that her lifeboat return to the ship to rescue more survivors (despite the chance they could be sucked into the vacuum of the sinking ship). She was a feisty Irish woman who married a self-made man. She herself became not only a socialite, but a philanthropist and a fighter for women’s rights, laborers and children’s literacy. She used her fame after the Titanic incident to promote the causes she felt worthwhile.

    Miriam (from the Old Testament) - In the Book of Exodus, we are introduced to Miriam, the older sister of Moses and Aaron, all of whom are descended from the Levites. Her story is an interesting one. When Moses was born, his mother placed the baby in a buoyant reed basket (hence the “Moses basket”) into the Nile river in an effort to hide him from the Pharaoh. You see, it was Pharaoh’s orders that all Hebrew baby boys be killed at birth. One day, as Miriam is watching the baby Moses from afar, she sees the Pharaoh’s daughter (taking pity on the child) retrieve him from the river with plans to take him home. Miriam interjects and suggests the Pharaoh’s daughter use her own mother (i.e., Moses mother) as a hired wet-nurse. This way, Miriam cleverly returns the child back to his own family without detection. Fast forward to the Exodus from Egypt, Miriam is important as she leads the Israeli women, and once across the Red Sea, they sing a triumphant hymn. She is a prophet (along with her brothers) to whom God has spoken directly, and as a result, many Jewish women revere Miriam as a feminist symbol. Her one faux pas was criticizing Moses’ choice for a wife (a Cushite woman) and was therefore struck by God with leprosy. Moses came to the rescue by uttering a five-word prayer (“O Lord, make her well”); which God graciously accommodated, but not without making her suffer for seven days. Still, Miriam goes down as one of Israel’s most influential prophets and one kick-ass lady.

Personality of the Girl Name Molly

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Molly

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