Saturday, March 11, 2017


This featured name is pulled from the list of names that end with the letters "-ly". This list is one of the longest ones in this series so far. It was full of great options, but I decided to highlight Molly.

Names for girls - nicknames for Mary

Not many people will realize that Molly comes from the name Mary. It developed as a diminutive based on Malle and Molle over time. Polly is in the same boat.

Now, Mary ultimately comes from the Greek Mariam and Maria, which were from the Hebrew Miryam. The meaning of Mary has never been absolutely certain, but meanings such as "sea of bitterness," "rebelliousness," and "wished for child" have been thrown about as possibilities. It's also likely that Mary was originally an Egyptian name derived from mry meaning "beloved". So by association, Molly and all of Mary's other forms, variants and translations, mean the same thing.

In the US, Molly has always fared well as a stand-alone name. Since 1880, it has consistently remained within the top half the Top 1000. Even with all the history, Molly's high-point for most usage in a year came rather recently in 1991 with 4,651 births and a rank of #74. Molly has spent a lot of time in the Top 100 in the past 30 years. However, she's slightly on the decline now as of 2015's data which listed her as the 144th most popular name in the country based on 2,235 births for the year.

This decline in usage could be a result of the drug "ecstasy" being nicknamed molly. Not as many parents are willing to commit to the name, but there's clearly many that still do, whether they are familiar with the association or not. Despite that, there have been many famous Mollys over time and the name is regularly heard throughout pop culture. One of the first associations came from James Joyce's 1920 novel "Ulysses" in which the wife of the main character was called Molly Bloom. 

There's also the American Titanic survivor Margaret Brown who was nicknamed Molly. Additionally, the Irish community have a folk heroine called Molly Malone; and there's a song titled "Good Golly, Miss Molly" by Little Richard. These are just a few references among dozens of other Mollys out there. Do you have a favorite Molly?

What do you think of this name? Is it on your list? If so, here are a few ideas for middle names and sibling names for Molly:

Sibling Name Ideas: 
Sisters: Amelia, Charlotte, Elise, Lucy, Olivia, Sadie, Tessa
Brothers: Arthur, Evan, Henry, Liam, Nathan, Raymond, Warren

Middle Name Ideas:
Molly Abigail
Molly Evelyn
Molly Caroline
Molly Harper
Molly Rae
Molly Vivienne

As a Middle Name:
Alexandra Molly
Christina Molly
Eleanor Molly
Julianne Molly
Sabrina Molly
Viola Molly

What would you pair with the name Molly? Share your thoughts below!

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