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Updated May 9, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

What does Maya mean and stand for?


  • Hebrew: Water
  • Greek: Mother; Greek goddess
  • Nepali: Love
  • Sanskrit: Illusion
  • Hindi: God's divine creative power
  • Hawaiian: Precious one
  • English: Month of May

Gender: Female

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Maya is pronounced my-ah

The name Maya is rich with historical and cultural significance. Deriving from multiple languages, its meanings range from "water" in Hebrew, "mother" in Greek, "love" in Nepali, to "illusion" in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism, among other meanings, highlighting its universal appeal and adaptability. This name's multifaceted origins reflect the beauty and complexity of the identities it represents.

In Greek mythology, Maya was the mother of Hermes, son of Zeus. The month of May was also named after Maya, as Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring to the Romans.

How Popular Is The Name Maya

Family name origins & meanings


Spanish (from Basque): a habitational name from Maya del Baztán in Navarre province, from Basque Amaiur.

Catalan: variant spelling of Maià, a habitational name from Maià de Montcal and other places (see Maia).


Famous people with this first name

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Maya in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

Popularity of the Name Maya

According to Social Security Administration data, the name Maya has been showing a steady presence in the top 100 names over the past years, reflecting its enduring popularity. While specific rankings can fluctuate yearly, Maya has been admired for its simplicity and cross-cultural appeal. The name Maya can be attributed to various sources, including the Latin word for "great" or as a variant of Maia, the Greek goddess of spring and fertility, which adds to its international charm.

Historical figures with the name Maya include Maya Angelou, an influential American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, whose works such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings have left a significant mark on literature and society. In addition to Angelou, the name has been borne by notable individuals across various fields, underscoring its versatility and timeless appeal.

In entertainment, Maya has been a popular choice for fictional characters, appearing in films, television series, and books that span genres and audiences. From Maya the Bee, a beloved children's series, to more contemporary portrayals in series such as Pretty Little Liars and Grey's Anatomy, the name Maya remains a favorite for character names, demonstrating its ongoing relevance and appeal in popular culture.

Where Is the Name Maya Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Maya

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • May
  • Ya

Maya Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

People Who Like the Name Maya Also Like

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