Maeve Name Meaning

Lastest Updated January 22, 2024
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Here’s everything about Maeve name meaning and origin to better understand this Irish name. Maeve has long been a popular name in Ireland, whose meanings still resonate with modern trends.

However, the name might be less frequently heard of in the US (perhaps it still needs some more famous namesakes to put it further in the spotlight). Maeve doesn’t come only with beautiful meanings; it also has intriguing stories that you might want to check out!

Girl In Cotton Dress
Maeve is a name rich in history from Ireland.

An Overview Of The Name Maeve

Before going into detail, you can take a closer look at the basic information about the name Maeve to grasp all the basic facts about it. Here’s the summary you’ll need!

Meaning “She who intoxicates”, “she who rules”, and “intoxicating”.
OriginIrish
Pronunciation/meɪv/
GenderDating back to medieval times, Maeve is traditionally a female name.
PopularityIn the US, this Irish name ranked 124th in 2022 on the baby name chart. Once a fairly neglected name, Maeve has become fairly common these days.
VariationsMayve, Maive, Mave, Mava, Maev, Maiv, Meabh, Maiv, Maiven, Mayvie, Maeva, Majvie, etc.
NicknamesEve, Evie, Mae, May, Vi, Vivi, Mayo, Maeby, Mae-Mae, Mavie, Vee, Maevey, etc.
Similar NamesEve, Mabel, Mae, Maisy, Mazie, etc.
Sibling NamesFor Boys: Elliot, Miles, Riley, Rowan, Tristan, etc.

For Girls: Iris, Marie, Nora, Sloane, Virginia, etc.
Middle NamesEloise, Kayleigh, Renee, Sabrina, Sage, etc.

A Breakdown Into The Origin, History, And Meanings Of Maeve

Maeve is a name stepping out of Irish mythology. It’s a derivation of the Old Irish name “Medb” and translates to “she who rules”, “the intoxicating one”, “intoxicating”, and “she who intoxicates”.

There is also another potential etymology of this name. Some believe Maeve emerges from the Proto-Celtic root “medu”, pointing to an ancient alcoholic beverage called “mead” (1). Therefore, “intoxicating” can be an acceptable way to interpret Maeve.

The name Maeve, first and foremost, is closely attached to Queen Maeve (or Medb) of Connacht, also known as the Warrior Queen. Her legend first appeared around medieval times in Ireland.

Irish mythology depicts this queen as a powerful, decisive, and ambitious leader who managed to steal the prize bull of Ulster in the Cattle Raid of Cooley. “Intoxicating” is also the proper description of this beautiful and seductive ancient queen.

What Gender Is The Name Maeve?

Girl Sniffs Bunch Of Daisies
Maeve is a name given most often to baby girls.

As sweet and elegant as it sounds, Maeve is a name meant for baby girls. Its most iconic bearer, Queen Maeve of Connacht, also gives this name an edgy touch and an intriguing backstory to tell.

Maeve rarely serves as a boy name; at least, that’s what the SSA records show. The name hasn’t been on the name chart in any given year starting from 1900 with this role.

The Popularity Of Maeve Over The Years

Maeve is a long-time favorite in its homeland Ireland, where it secured a spot in the top 100 choices in 2020. The name also gained success in neighboring Scotland, Wales, and England, among the top 100 in these areas.

This ancient name, however, took quite a long time to reach the other side of Atlantics. It was not until 1997 did this girl name have a spot on the Social Security Association chart (but still humbly at 955th).

Since then, Maeve has grown in popularity, slowly but surely. In 2013, Maeve was in the top 500 most-used names. In 2021, the Irish girl name was more trendy than ever before, reaching its highest ranking at 124th (2).

Other Spelling Versions Of This Irish Name

Maeve has been fairly fashionable in Ireland since the Middle Ages. Its popularity, however, also reaches other English-speaking countries. With time, this amiable Irish name has embraced many spelling variants, including:

  • Mayve, Maive, Mave, Mava, Maev, Maiv, Meabh (Irish)
  • Maiv, Maiven, Mayvie (English)
  • Majvie (Swedish)

Catchy Nicknames And Similar Names To Maeve

Short and sweet on its own, Maeve doesn’t ask for any nickname. But if you’re searching for one, you have plenty of options to consider!

  • Eve
  • Evie
  • Mae
  • May
  • Vi
  • Vivi
  • Mayo
  • Maeby
  • Mae-Mae
  • Mavie
  • Vee
  • Maevey

Many M-starting names carry a similar vibe or sound to Maeve. Just in case you’re still looking for a perfect choice, take a look at the names below!

NamePronunciationMeaningOrigin
Eve/eev/ /ee-v/Animal, life, living, to breathe, to liveHebrew
Mabel/m-ai-b-uh-l/ /ma-bel/Dear, lovableLatin, British
Mae/mae/ /m-ai/ /may/ /mey/May, pearl, the goddess of spring growthBritish
Maisy/mai-sy/Child of light, pearlGreek, Scottish
Mazie/ma-zie/Pearl, child of lightScottish

Here Are The Best Sibling Names For Maeve

Naming a child after Maeve can be a different experience. Your roster might have plenty of choices you love, but you will want a name that doesn’t only sound great standing alone but also when paired with Maeve.

For Sons

The masculine names will work best for Maeve’s brothers. You only have to pin down the perfect match in your mind.

Elliot: An intellectual-sounding name of Hebrew origin, Elliot means “Jehovah is God” and “the Lord is my God”. It comes from the biblical name “Elijah”, which belongs to a prominent prophet who helped restore the Isearlites’ faith in God.

Elliot can go with the extra “t”, as in the name of Hollywood actor Elliott Gould, or with only one “l”, like poet T.S. Eliot. The meanings remain unchanged in these cases.

Miles: As a British form of Milo, this name means “merciful” and “soldier”. Miles is a stylish name that hasn’t been overused these days. It’s also made more familiar by 2020’s action video game Marvel’s Spider-man Miles Morales.

Riley: Riley is a name coming from nature and means “rye clearing”. Yet, it otherwise denotes “valiant” and “courageous”, as a transferred use from the Irish surname “Raghailleach”. Riley sounds upbeat and amiable to both boys and girls.

Rowan: There are plenty of Irish names related to the red hue, but Rowan seems like an outstanding choice.

This boy name translates to “little redhead” and “red-haired”. Rowan also closely connects to rowan trees, which are still worshiped in Celtic cultures today.

Tristan: This name derives from the French word “triste”. While the definitions of “sorrowful” and “sad” might sound discouraging, Tristan still managed to be in 208th place on the SSA chart.

For Daughters

When naming a sister of Maeve, you don’t want a name that clashes or sounds overly matchy to the Irish name. There’s no need to look elsewhere for inspiration, as these monikers will pair well with Maeve!

Iris: In Greek mythology, Iris is the goddess of the rainbow who swiftly flies across the sky to send messengers of Gods to humanity. The name, therefore, typically means “rainbow”. Iris is also the pigmented part of the eyes and the name of a purplish flower.

Marie: From the glamorous Queen Marie Antoinette of France to the Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie, your little girl will be in good company bearing this name.

People will know better about the name Mary, borne by the holy virgin mother of Jesus. Just two letter ways, Marie is its French variation, and similarly means “bitter”, “rebelliousness”, “beloved”, and “drop of the sea”.

Nora: Nora can be a shortening of longer names like “Eleanor” or “Eleanora”. But, as a stand-alone name, it was the 27th most common choice in 2021. “Light” and “the divine light” are the meanings behind this Irish name.

Sloane: Sloane is a unisex name of Irish origin. Its translations – “warrior” and “raider” – sound pretty badass, confident, and cool. The name itself arises from the ancient Irish clan called Ó Sluaghadháin.

Virginia: V names often come with a distinct aura, and Virginia is no exception. This Latin name has a meaningful story behind it.

Roman tales have it that Virginia was a beautiful woman killed by her father to protect her from Appius Claudius, an event that eventually led to the formation of the Roman Republic. Today, the name commonly goes with the meanings of “virgin”, “pure”, and “maid”.

Middle Names To Accompany The Name Maeve

If you’re wondering what to give as a middle name for Maeve, here are some nice suggestions to keep in mind. This short and sweet Irish name is compatible with several other names; you can go for a one-, two-, or even multi-syllable middle name as you see fit!

Happy Little Blonde Girl
If you need a perfect middle name for Maeve, jot down these items to your name list.

Eloise: Eloise combines strength and femininity in one if that’s what you’re after in a baby name. As a French and British form of Heloise, Eloise means “wide” and “healthy”. It’s an Old German name that translates to “famous warrior”.

Kayleigh: Kayleigh comes from the Irish Gaelic “caol” for “slender”, “fair”, and “slim”. It’s a dainty name that can fit any gorgeous little lady. While Kayleigh is never a hit on the popularity chart, it’s still a lovely choice as a middle name.

Renee: “Reborn” or “born again” is the interpretation behind Renee. While this French name is not as fashionable as it was in the 20th century, it’s an easy-going middle name that can flow well with many other names, including Maeve.

Sabrina: This feminine name took inspiration from a figure in Celtic mythology. Sabrina often means “legendary princess” but can also refer to “the River Severn” (the longest river in Great Britain).

Sage: Sage goes beyond the name of an aromatic spice. One prevalent interpretation of this name is “wise”. In this case, this Latin name refers to Seven Sages of Greece – an ancient Greek title bestowed on seven wise men (3).

It also means “healthy”, and sage leaves were once believed to bring a long healthy life by early Arab physicians.

Some Famous Namesakes Of Maeve

This Irish name is shared by many famous women inside and outside Ireland. Below are just a few examples.

Medb: Sometimes spelled as Meadhbh, legendary Queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology.

Maeve Binchy (1940–2012): Irish novelist, journalist, and playwright.

Maeve Fort (1940-2008): English diplomat appointed as High Commissioner in South Africa from 1996 to 2000.

Maeve Harris (born 1976): American abstract painter.

Maeve Higgins (born 1981): Irish comedian.

Maeve Hillery (1924-2015): Irish anesthetist and spouse of 6th President of Ireland Patrick Hillery.

Maeve Kinkead (born 1946): American soap opera actress, writer, and poet.

Maeve Murphy (unspecified): Irish film director and screenwriter.

The Popularity Of Maeve In Pop Culture

Inspired by the Irish mythological persona, Queen of Connacht, many fictional characters with this name are also associated with magical power. Here are some examples!

Maeve: a character in the American drama series Make It Or Break It.

Maeve: the leader of female warriors in the Dustlands series by Moira Young.

Maeve: a Celtic witch on the TV series The Adventures of Sinbad.

Maeve Colleary Ryan: a fictional character on the ABC soap opera Ryan’s Hope.

Maeve Donovan: girlfriend of Dr. Spencer Reid, appearing in the eighth season of the drama series Criminal Minds.

Maeve Millay: the main character in the American TV series Westworld.

Maeve Wiley: the main character in the comedy-drama series Sex Education.

Queen Maeve: a villain in the novel series Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

FAQs

Do you find the name Maeve fascinating? If the answer is yes, here are some related facts about it to help you make a better choice!

What does Maeve mean in the Bible?

There’s no known connection between Maeve to the Bible. Instead, it’s an ancient Irish name, initially belonging to an Irish queen who later became a goddess in Irish mythology.

What is the personality type of a person named Maeve?

The name Maeve is the number 1 in numerology. Maeves are independent in nature, and they also value personal freedom. With leadership qualities and an innovative mindset, people attached to the number 1 can easily succeed in what they set their minds to.

Is there any royal with the name Maeve?

While there is no royal in real life with this name, Maeve is worn by a mythical queen – the cunning and powerful Queen of Connacht. She’s also known as a warrior who launched the Cattle Raid of the Cooley to claim possession of Ulster’s prize bull.

Is Maeve a unique name choice?

From 1998 backward, you can consider Maeve a unique name in the US, as it wasn’t popular enough to hit the SSA chart. However, the two recent decades have seen the name’s growth in popularity, and it’s now more frequently used than ever.

Is Maeve a pretty name?

The answer comes down to your preferences. However, considering its meanings, “she who intoxicates” and “she who rules”, Maeve sounds like an exotic and empowering choice. Its attachment to a powerful queen also gives extra appeal to the name.

Maeve Has The Old Charm That You Might Love!

While Maeve sounds delicate and feminine, the name comes with empowering meanings and namesakes. It’s a wonderful choice for American parents with Irish heritage. Otherwise, if you’re after an antique name, Maeve deserves a spot on your list.

So, what do you think about this Irish name? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’re still finding the best Irish name, like Maeve, don’t forget to check out other name analyses. Before leaving, please share this post with more soon-to-be parents. Thank you!

References

  1. britannica.com. 2024. mead, alcoholic beverage
  2. ssa.gov. 2024. The Popularity Of A Name
  3. wikipedia.org. 2024. Seven Sages of Greece
Helen Doanna

Helen Doanna

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Helen is an experienced educational specialist and content creator, known for her innovative approach to children’s learning. With a background in literature and child development, she crafts engaging educational content for SimpleKids.net. Her work emphasizes creativity, engagement, and simplicity, aiming to make learning enjoyable and accessible for children and their families.

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