Girl name origins & meanings
- Greek : High tower
- Hebrew : Woman from Magdala; variation of Magdalene
- English : Flower; month of May
- Latin : Great
- Hebrew : Bitter; rebellion
- French : Dark; dark-haired
- Irish : Bitter
- English : Month of May
- Hebrew : Bitter
- Latin : Great
Girl name variations
Family name origins & meanings
- English, French, Danish, Dutch, and German : from a short form of the personal name Matthias (see Matthew) or any of its many cognates, for example Norman French Maheu.
- English, French, Dutch, and German : from a nickname or personal name taken from the month of May (Middle English, Old French mai, Middle High German meie, from Latin Maius (mensis), from Maia, a minor Roman goddess of fertility). This name was sometimes bestowed on someone born or baptized in the month of May; it was also used to refer to someone of a sunny disposition, or who had some anecdotal connection with the month of May, such as owing a feudal obligation then.
- English : nickname from Middle English may ‘young man or woman’.
- Irish (Connacht and Midlands) : when not of English origin (see 1–3 above), this is an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Miadhaigh ‘descendant of Miadhach’, a personal name or byname meaning ‘honorable’, ‘proud’.
- French : habitational name from any of various places called May or Le May.
- Jewish (Ashkenazic) : habitational name from Mayen, a place in western Germany.
- Americanized spelling of cognates of 1 in various European languages, for example Swedish Ma(i)j.
- Chinese : possibly a variant of Mei 1, although this spelling occurs more often for the given name than for the surname.
- Cape May, at the mouth of Delaware Bay, is named after the Dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobsen May.