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What does May mean?

May /may/ as a girls' name is pronounced may. It is of English origin, and the meaning of May is "the fifth month".

The month of May was named for Maia, the Roman earth goddess. Also a short form of the names Matthew and Mary. Also a Sanskrit word meaning "illusion". See also Mai. Actress Mae West; writer Maya Angelou; poet May Sarton.


May has 12 variants: Mae, Maelee, Maelynn, Maia, Maj, Mala, Maya, Mayana, Maye, Mayleen, Maylene and Mei.

Related girl names: Annemae, Claramae, Ellamae and September.

May has 48 more relations via Maia, Mary, Maya: Maaja, Maiah, Mair, Maire, Maiya, Maja, Mal, Malia, Mame, Mamie, Manon, Manya, Mara, Mare, Maree, Maren, Maria, Marie, Marin, Marja, Marje, Marla, Marlo, Marya, Maryjo, Marylu, Marysa, Maryse, Masha, Maura, Maure, Mavra, Mayah, Mayme, Maymie, Mayra, Mayria, Miah, Mimi, Minny, Miya, Moia, Moja, Moll, Molly, Morag, Moya and Mya.

Kreatif forms:
(female) Mary, Mey, ..

(male) Mai, Mary, ..

How popular is May?

May is a very popular first name for females (#472 out of 4276, Top 11%) and also a very popular last name for all people (#270 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)


Ranking and usage % can show different trends depending on the distribution of names that year.

Charted below is the birth name history of May for girls. May entered the list in 1880-1889 and reached its apex rank of #61 in the U.S. then, and is at #1581 presently. (Top 2000 Names, 2014)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of May name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of May outside U.S.

Ellamae, Mae (#682 in 2014), Maelynn (#1863), Mai, Maia (#626), Maiya (#1823), Maja, Malia (#345), Mame, Mamie, Mara (#695), Maree, Maren (#1153), Maria (#115), Marie (#579), Marin (#1402), Marla, Marlo, Mary (#120), Maryjo, Matthew, Maura (#1410), Maya (#74), Mayah (#1637), Maye, Mayme, Maymie, Mayra (#1411), Miah (#622), Mimi, Miya (#903), Molly (#122) and Mya (#141) are the popular varying forms of May (#1581 in 2014). Other variants, like Maire, are seldom used. These relations of May reached the top of their popularity a century ago (average #1439) and are now much less conventional (#1332, down 88%), with forms such as Mame becoming less in vogue. The trendier baby names in this compilation are Maia, Mara, Maya, Miah, Miya and Mya.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of May, Ellamae, Mae, Maelynn, Mai in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Maia, Maiya, Malia, Mame, Mamie in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Mara, Maree, Maren, Maria, Marie in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Marin, Marla, Marlo, Mary, Maryjo in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Matthew, Maura, Maya, Mayah, Maye in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Mayme, Maymie, Mayra, Miah, Mimi in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Miya, Molly, Mya in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Maja, Maria, Mary, Maya, Molly, Mya outside U.S.

Similar Names


May is pronounced similarly to Maiyah, Mea, Meya, Mia and Mo. Other suggested similar names are Bay, Cay, Day, Fay, Gay, Jay, Kay, Mab, Macy, Mady, Mag, Mat, Max, Maxy and Ray. These names tend to be less frequently used than May.