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Origin of the name MARY.
Etymology of the name MARY.
Meaning of the baby name MARY.


MARY.  Biblical.  [N.T. Greek Mariam, from Hebrew Miryam = "Miriam" (q.v.)], probably meaning "bitter." (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual, Hunter, 1894).  Usage: America, England, Ireland, Scotland.

... It is only during the last three centuries that Maria has reigned supreme in Roman Catholic countries, marking the exaggerated devotion paid to the original.  Indeed, the Italian proverb, answering to the needle in a bottle of hay, is 'Cercar Maria in Ravenna,' so numerous are the Marias there.  Even in Ireland there were few Marys till comparatively recent times; but now the Môr that in some parts of the island was translated by Sarah, is changed into Mary.
     Since Marys have been thus multiplied, the attributes of the first Mary have been adopted into the Christian name, and used to distinguish their bearer.  The earliest and best of these was the Italian Maria Annunciata, or Annunziata, contracted into Nunziata; and followed up in Spain by Maria Anonciada; and in France, by Marie Annonciade.  Soon there followed Maria Assunta, in honour of her supposed assumption bodily into glory, but this never flourished beyond Italy, Spain, and her colonies.
     France has Marie des Anges, at least as a conventual appellation; as in Spain the votaress of the merciful interceding patroness is called Maria de Mercedes; and she whose parents were mindful of the Seven Sorrows supposed to have pierced the heart of the Holy Mother, would choose for their child Maria de Dolores.
     With us, the Blessed Virgin's name, having come through the French, was spelt in their fashion till the translation of the Bible made our national Mary familiar.  Mary II. was the first of our queens who dropped the ie. (History of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884).


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