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Mary (f) Gaelic Main, Moire or Muire. After centuries
of intensive usage throughout the English-speaking world
(and in its various forms, throughout the Christian world),
this name is slowly but definitely going out of fashion
everywhere. In Scotland the name usually ran a close
second to Margaret, but in 1958 Elizabeth pushed it into
third place. A count made in 1975 showed that it had
dropped away very considerably since then, as it has in the rest of Britain, the U.S.A., Canada and Australia.

The original meaning of the name is impossible to decipher; all that can be said for certain is that Mary
represents the Greek form of Miriam. The reasons for the
name’s immense popularity, in a Christian context, are
obvious. The reasons for its decline are not necessarily
connected with a turning away from Christianity; it is just
a general fact that since the 1940’s parents everywhere
have been naming children less conservatively, using a
much wider range of names than ever before and breaking away from names borne by relations. Mary is still with us, and will probably be increasingly used as a middle name. Those bearing the name are often known by a pet form such as May, Minnie, Molly or Mamie.

Moira (f) A phonetic form of the Irish Maire, ‘Mary.’
Moira was in 33rd position in Scotland in 1935 and again
in 1958. Moyra occurs as a variant.

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