Last name origins & meanings:
- French and English: from the popular medieval female personal
name, Latin Maria. This was the name of the mother of Christ in
the New Testament, as well as several other New Testament figures. It
derives from Aramaic Maryam (Biblical Hebrew Miryam),
but the vernacular forms have been influenced by the Roman family name
Marius (which is of uncertain origin). The Hebrew name is
likewise of uncertain etymology, but perhaps means ‘wished-for child’,
from an Egyptian root mrj with the addition of the Hebrew
feminine diminutive suffix -am. St. Jerome understood it as a
compound of mar ‘drop’ + yam ‘sea’, which he rendered as
Latin stilla maris, later altered to stella maris ‘star
of the sea’, whence the medieval Christian liturgical phrase.
- French (Marié): nickname for a man newly married, from
the past participle of marier ‘to marry’.
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