The Meaning and Significance of the Name Molly


Choosing a name for a child can be a daunting task. Parents often spend countless hours searching for the perfect name that will suit their child and have personal significance. One popular name many parents choose is Molly. This article will explore the meaning and significance behind the name Molly, as well as its popularity and famous figures who bear the name.

The Origin and Meaning of the Name Molly

Molly is a female given name of Irish origin, which means “star of the sea.” The name is believed to have originated from the Latin word “marinus,” which means “of the sea.” Therefore, it is no surprise that the name Molly is commonly associated with the ocean and maritime themes. The name has been used in English-speaking countries since the 18th century.

Popularity of the Name Molly

The name Molly experienced a surge in popularity during the 1990s. It ranked among the top 100 most popular girl names in England and Wales for over two decades. In the United States, it was one of the top five most popular names for girls in the 1990s and continued to rank highly in the early 2000s. However, its popularity has since declined but remains a popular choice for baby girls.

Famous Figures Named Molly

Throughout history, there have been numerous notable figures named Molly, including:

  • Molly Bloom: A character in James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses.”
  • Molly Brown: An American socialite and philanthropist who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
  • Molly Ivins: An American political commentator and journalist.
  • Molly Shannon: An American actress and comedian.

Molly as a Nickname

Molly is also commonly used as a nickname for Mary or Margaret. In some cases, it is used as a diminutive form of these names, while in others, it is used interchangeably. Famous figures named Mary or Margaret who have gone by the name Molly include:

  • Margaret Mitchell: The author of “Gone with the Wind,” who went by the nickname Molly.
  • Mary Tyler Moore: An American actress and television producer who was sometimes referred to as Molly.

Molly in Literature and Pop Culture

The name Molly has appeared in numerous works of literature and pop culture, including:

  • “Ulysses” by James Joyce: As previously mentioned, Molly Bloom is a character in this novel.
  • “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”: A Broadway musical about the life of Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic.
  • “Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism”: A children’s book series by Georgia Byng about a young orphan girl named Molly Moon who discovers she has the power to hypnotize people.

Naming Your Child Molly

If you are considering naming your child Molly, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to consider the popularity of the name. While Molly may not be quite as popular as it once was, it is still a fairly common name. If you are looking for a more unique name, Molly may not be the best choice. Additionally, it is worth noting that the name Molly is often associated with youthfulness and playfulness, so it may not be the best fit for a more serious or professional sounding name.


In conclusion, Molly is a popular female given name of Irish origin that means “star of the sea.” It has been used in English-speaking countries since the 18th century and experienced a surge in popularity during the 1990s. The name is commonly associated with the ocean and maritime themes and has been used in literature and pop culture. Whether you choose to name your child Molly or not, there is no denying the beauty and significance behind the name.


  1. What is the meaning of the name Molly?
  2. The name Molly means “star of the sea” and has its origins in Irish culture.
  1. Is Molly a popular name?
  2. Yes, Molly was quite popular during the 1990s and early 2000s but has since declined in popularity.
  1. Can Molly be used as a nickname for other names?
  2. Yes, Molly is commonly used as a nickname for Mary or Margaret.
  1. Who are some famous figures named Molly?
  2. Famous figures named Molly include Molly Bloom, Molly Brown, Molly Ivins, and Molly Shannon.
  1. Should I name my child Molly?
  2. Ultimately, the decision to name your child Molly is up to you. It is important to consider the popularity of the name and whether it fits the image you have in mind for your child’s name.

I am Patricia Mann, an experienced professional in the art of naming children. With a wealth of knowledge in the field of baby names, I aim to assist parents in choosing a meaningful and beautiful name for their little ones. My expertise lies in the Name Meaning section, where I delve deep into the origins and significance of names, providing valuable insights that I hope will be beneficial for parents.

Understanding the profound impact a name can have on a child's life, I strive to offer comprehensive guidance. The Name Meaning section is not just a repository of information but a resource where parents can discover the rich tapestry of meanings associated with different names. It is my belief that a child's name is more than just a label; it encapsulates the desires, hopes, and love of the parents.

In this journey of baby naming, my goal is to make the process enjoyable and meaningful for parents, ensuring that the chosen name resonates with the family's values and cultural background. I invite you to explore the Name Meaning of Impeccable Nest section as we embark on the delightful and important task of naming the newest members of your family.

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