Maria is one of the most common Greek female names, probably the most common one. Maria is a name indispensably associated with the Orthodox and Christian religion in general, and its etymology reveals a great theology according to the experts. It is basically dedicated to Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
Male Version of name Maria: Marios
Nameday of name Maria: August 15th and November 21st
Origin of Name Maria
Although it is clear that the name Maria is used by the Orthodox Church to honor Mary, mother of Christ, the Holiest of the Holies as described, the origins of the name are a subject of dispute.
According to many, name Maria comes from the New Testament Greek Name Mariam, which comes from the Hebrew name Ayam. The meaning of word Ayam and Mariam are not positively known, although there are theories that Maria refers to a sea of bitterness, or the “wish for child”.
There is also the theory that Maria is actually an Egyptian name, referring to the man who is beloved.
The most commonly accepted theory is that Maria does come from the Hebrew Ayam and it means the Lord. This theory suggests that as mother of Lord, Maria has the power to dominate everything on earth. Name Maria means almightiness and omnipotence, but it also refers to wisdom, kindness and mildness. Probably the fact that mother of Jesus was named Maria was the ground for the development of many theories regarding her name.
The Greek Orthodox Church recognizes Maria as the Holy Mother and celebrates its memory on both August 15th – when she died – and November 21st when Mary’s parents took her to the Temple for the first time.
Local customs about the name day of Maria in Greece
Maria is, as we mentioned, a very common name and it can be found everywhere in Greece. What is interesting though is that women with name Maria and origin from the Peloponnese Peninsula usually celebrate their name day on November 21st and not on August 15th, as the vast majority of women with this name in Greece.
Things are different in Crete too: only married Marias celebrate their nameday on August 15th, while the non married ones celebrate their nameday on November 21st. This custom is not common in any other place in Greece.
Nickames deriving from name Maria
Maria has quite many nicknames and diminutives; the most common ones are: Maraki, Mairy, Maira, Mario, Mairoula, Mairaki, Maro, Marika, Marsia, Marousa, Marigo, Marietta, Maritsa, Mania, Menia, Manio, Marigoula
The Names’ Fairy reveals the meaning of the name Maria
Maria is a responsible person and has a tendency to perfection. She likes seeming very capable and skilled and she counts other people’s opinion a lot. Maria can also be quite selfish and serious.