If you’re considering naming your child Mae, or just curious about the origins and meanings of this name, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the history and significance of the name Mae, its various cultural associations, and some tips for parents considering this moniker for their new bundle of joy.
What is the origin of the name Mae?
Mae is a name with several possible origins, depending on the culture and language in question. Here are a few possibilities for the etymology of this name:
- In English, Mae is a variant spelling of the name May, which is derived from the Old French word mai, meaning “the fifth month.” May was originally used as a name for girls born during the month of May, but it later became popular as a standalone given name.
- In Irish, Mae is a diminutive form of the name Mary or Margaret. Mary comes from the Hebrew name Miriam, which means “bitter,” while Margaret means “pearl.”
- In Chinese, Mae can be spelled 梅 (méi) and means “plum.” Plum blossoms have long been associated with resilience and perseverance in Chinese culture.
Who has the name Mae?
Mae is a fairly common name in many English-speaking countries, including the United States, where it ranked 493rd among girl’s names in 2020. Some notable people with the name Mae include:
- Mae West, an American actress, playwright, and sex symbol of the early 20th century.
- Mae Jemison, an American engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut who became the first Black woman to travel to space in 1992.
- Mae Whitman, an American actress known for her roles in TV shows like “Parenthood” and “Arrested Development.”
What are the pros and cons of naming your child Mae?
As with any name, there are both advantages and drawbacks to choosing Mae for your child. Here are a few potential pros and cons:
- Short and simple: Mae is a four-letter name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, making it a good choice for parents who prefer simple, straightforward names.
- Classic and timeless: Despite its relative popularity in recent years, Mae has a classic, old-fashioned feel that gives it a timeless quality.
- Cultural significance: Depending on the meaning and origin of the name you choose, Mae can have cultural significance that may be meaningful to you or your family.
- Popularity: While not among the most popular girl’s names, Mae is still fairly common, which may be a turnoff for some parents who prefer more unique monikers.
- Lack of variety: With only four letters, there aren’t many possible nicknames or variations of the name Mae, so your child may be stuck with the same name for their entire life.
- Potential confusion: The spelling of Mae can be confused with other similar-sounding names like May and Mea, which could lead to mispronunciations or misspellings.
How to choose a middle name for Mae?
If you’ve decided to name your child Mae but are unsure about what middle name to pair it with, here are a few tips to consider:
- Balance the length: Since Mae is a short, one-syllable name, pairing it with a longer middle name can create a nice sense of balance. For example, Mae Elizabeth or Mae Alexandra both have a nice flow to them.
- Consider family names: Using a family member’s name as a middle name can be a nice way to honor their legacy and keep their memory alive. If there’s a particular family member you’d like to pay tribute to, consider using their name as Mae’s middle name.
- Look for meaning: If you’re interested in finding a middle name that complements the meaning of Mae, consider searching for names with similar origins or connotations. For example, if you like the idea of Mae meaning “pearl,” you could pair it with a middle name like Pearl or Margaret.
Alternatives to the name Mae
If you love the sound and feel of the name Mae but aren’t sold on it as your child’s given name, here are a few alternatives to consider:
- June: Like May, June is another month-based name that has a classic feel and a similar one-syllable structure.
- Rose: This floral name has a timeless quality like Mae and can also be spelled with only four letters.
- Eve: Another short, simple name with a classic feel, Eve means “life” and has biblical roots.
Step-by-step guide to naming your child Mae
If you’ve decided that Mae is the perfect name for your little one, here’s a step-by-step guide to naming them:
- Consider the origin and meaning of the name Mae, and make sure it aligns with your values and preferences2. Think about the potential pros and cons of naming your child Mae, as well as any alternatives you may prefer.
- Discuss the name with your partner or other family members to get their input and feedback.
- Narrow down your list of potential middle names to pair with Mae, using the tips and considerations listed above.
- Practice saying the full name out loud to make sure it flows well and feels natural.
- Once you’ve chosen a name, make sure to register your child’s birth certificate with the chosen name.
Tips for parents considering the name Mae
If you’re still on the fence about whether Mae is the right name for your child, here are a few tips to help you make a decision:
- Say the name out loud in different contexts to see how it sounds and feels. Imagine calling your child by their full name to get a sense of how it will sound day-to-day.
- Consider the nicknames that might arise from the name Mae, if any. Will your child be called “Mae-Mae” or “May-May” by family members or friends?
- Look up the popularity of the name Mae in your area or country to see how common it is. If you’re looking for a more unique name, Mae may not be the best choice.
- Think about the cultural or personal significance of the name Mae and whether it resonates with you or your family.
The best middle names to pair with Mae
If you’ve decided to name your child Mae but are struggling to choose a middle name, here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Mae Elizabeth
- Mae Olivia
- Mae Isabella
- Mae Amelia
- Mae Victoria
- Mae Charlotte
- Mae Annabelle
- Mae Grace
- Mae Catherine
- Mae Abigail
Choosing a baby name is an important decision that can be both fun and challenging. If you’re considering the name Mae for your child, it’s important to understand its origins and meanings, as well as the potential pros and cons of choosing this moniker. By following the tips and suggestions listed above, you can feel confident in your choice and give your child a name that they will love for years to come.
- Is Mae a popular name?
- Yes, Mae is a fairly common name in many English-speaking countries.
- What are some alternatives to the name Mae?
- Some alternatives to Mae include June, Rose, and Eve.
- Can Mae be used as a middle name?
- Yes, Mae can make a lovely middle name paired with a longer first name.
- Does Mae have any cultural significance?
- Depending on the meaning and origin of the name you choose, Mae can have cultural significance in various cultures.
- How do I choose a middle name for Mae?
- Consider balancing the length, looking for family names, or finding a middle name with a similar meaning or connotation to Mae.
We’re Emma Carole Paradis and Kimberly Carole, the owners and designers of Impeccable Nest, based in Bedford, New Hampshire. A mother-daughter team with a love of design. Originally from Manhattan Beach, California, now based in Bedford, New Hampshire, we bring a Southern California cool and New England tradition to our design. Not only do we work together…we also live together in a multi-generational home…and a home that they are known to design for others.