The Meaning of the Name Maeve Origins, Significance, and Popularity

Maeve is a name that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Its origins are ancient and rich, with a variety of meanings and stories associated with it. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of the name Maeve, as well as its popularity and cultural impact.

What is the Origin of the Name Maeve?

The name Maeve has its roots in Irish mythology. It is believed to have come from the Irish name Medb or Meadhbh, which means “intoxicating” or “she who intoxicates.” According to legend, Queen Maeve was a powerful warrior queen who led her people into battle against the legendary hero Cú Chulainn. Her name has since become synonymous with strength and power.

What Does the Name Maeve Mean?

There are a few different interpretations of what the name Maeve means. Here are some of the most commonly accepted meanings:

  • “Intoxicating” or “she who intoxicates”: This meaning comes from the Irish name Medb or Meadhbh, which is the original source of the name Maeve.
  • “Great” or “mighty”: In addition to the previous meaning, Maeve can also be translated as “great” or “mighty,” reflecting the strength and power associated with the legendary Queen Maeve.
  • “Joyful”: Some sources suggest that Maeve may also mean “joyful” or “happy.”

How Popular is the Name Maeve?

While Maeve may be a relatively uncommon name in some parts of the world, it has been steadily rising in popularity in recent years. In the United States, for example, the name Maeve ranked #334 in popularity in 2020 according to the Social Security Administration’s data on baby names. This represents a significant increase in popularity compared to previous years.

Pros and Cons of the Name Maeve

As with any name, there are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing the name Maeve for your child. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Unique: While Maeve has been rising in popularity in recent years, it is still a relatively uncommon name, meaning that your child will likely be one of few with this name.
  • Strong and powerful: The name Maeve has a long history of being associated with strength and power, making it a great choice for parents who want to instill these values in their child.
  • Easy to spell and pronounce: Unlike some more complicated names, Maeve is easy to spell and pronounce, making it a practical choice for parents who want a name that is both unique and accessible.


  • May be difficult to find personalized items: Because Maeve is still a relatively uncommon name, it may be difficult to find personalized items like mugs or keychains with the name on them.
  • May be mispronounced or misspelled: While Maeve is an easy name to pronounce and spell, it may still be mispronounced or misspelled by those who are unfamiliar with it.
  • Lack of historical significance: While the name Maeve has a rich mythology associated with it, it may not have the same depth of historical significance as other names.

Alternatives to the Name Maeve

If you like the sound and style of the name Maeve but aren’t sure if it’s the right choice for your child, here are some alternative names to consider:

  • Ava
  • Eira
  • Freya
  • Isla
  • Luna
  • Niamh
  • Orla
  • Saoirse

How to Choose the Right Name for Your Child

Choosing the right name for your child can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision:

  1. Consider your family’s cultural and religious background.
  2. Think about the meaning and significance of the name you choose.
  3. Consider the sound and style of the name.
  4. Choose a name that will age well with your child.
  5. Get input from family and friends, but ultimately make the decision that feels right for you.

The Best Middle Names for Maeve

If you decide to name your child Maeve, you may also want to consider some middle names to pair with it. Here are some suggestions:

  • Maeve Elizabeth
  • Maeve Grace
  • Maeve Isabella
  • Maeve Olivia
  • Maeve Sophia


The name Maeve has a rich history and a variety of meanings associated with it. Whether you choose this name for your child or opt for an alternative, it’s important to choose a name that has personal significance and cultural resonance. By considering the pros and cons, exploring alternatives, and following some simple tips, you can find the perfect name for your little one.

FAQs About the Name Maeve

  1. Is Maeve a popular nametoday?

Maeve has been steadily rising in popularity in recent years, particularly in the United States and Canada. While it is still a relatively uncommon name, it is becoming more popular among parents who are looking for unique and meaningful names for their children.

  1. What famous people have the name Maeve?

There have been several notable people with the name Maeve throughout history, including the acclaimed Irish author Maeve Binchy and the American artist Maeve Harris. In addition, there are many fictional characters named Maeve, including the character played by Thandie Newton in the HBO series “Westworld.”

  1. What is the significance of Queen Maeve in Irish mythology?

Queen Maeve is a legendary figure in Irish mythology who is known for her beauty, strength, and fierce warrior spirit. According to legend, she led her people into battle against the hero Cú Chulainn, ultimately meeting her downfall at his hands. Despite this, her legacy as a powerful and inspiring leader has endured through the centuries.

  1. Is Maeve a unisex name?

While the name Maeve is traditionally associated with girls, it can technically be used as a unisex name. Some parents may choose to use it as a middle name or combine it with a more gender-neutral first name to create a unique and meaningful combination.

  1. What other names are similar to Maeve?

If you like the sound and style of the name Maeve, there are several other names that you may also enjoy. Some similar names include Neve, Niamh, Ava, Luna, and Orla, all of which share similar characteristics such as uniqueness, simplicity, and a sense of elegance and beauty.

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.

Related Posts

40+ Names That Mean Love and Beauty: Classic or Unique Names

Are you expecting a baby and searching for the perfect name that embodies love and beauty? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the meaning…

30+ Names That Mean God Provides: Filling with Gratitude and Hope in God’s Promises

Are you searching for a name that reflects your belief in a higher power? Look no further than names that mean god provides. These names not only…

20+ Names That Mean Dark Moon: Names Feel Both Timeless and One of a Kind

Are you looking for a name that is both unique and holds a deeper meaning? Look no further than names that mean dark moon. These names have…

40+ Names That Mean God’s Love: Compassion, Generosity and Blessing

God’s love is a powerful force that has been celebrated and revered throughout history. It is a love that knows no bounds, transcending time and space to…

30+ Names That Mean Light Bringer: Truth, Knowledge and Enlightenment

Names that mean “light bringer” have a beautiful and symbolic meaning. They signify hope, brightness, clarity, and guidance. These names are perfect for babies who are expected…

30+ Male Names That Mean Love: From Traditional to Unique

Male names that mean love have been popular among parents for centuries. These names not only hold a special meaning, but also convey a sense of warmth,…