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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Maeve

A traditional Irish name, Maeve boasts of a rich past. It has numerous origins, as a result of which its meaning differs. In Latin, it means ‘purple flower,’ while in old Irish, it means ‘one who rules or intoxicates.’ This name also has Proto-Celtic beginnings from the root word ‘medu,’ which translates to ‘mead.’ Mead, in medieval Ireland, was an important alcoholic beverage consumed during inauguration ceremonies.

In old Irish, Maeve, spelled “Medb” refers to the fabled Queen Maeve of Connaught. She was a fearless and powerful leader who ruled Connaught during the reign of Cuchulainn, one of the greatest Irish warriors. According to Irish mythology, a supernatural woman choosing a king by giving him alcohol is a way for her to show a land’s dominion. As a result, Maeve grants the king sovereignty.

This traditional yet lovely name has rapidly become one of the most preferred first or middle names for girls in the U.S. The name broke the top 200 records in 2020 and gained peak popularity in April 2020. Between 2017 and 2021, it came into the list of the top 500 names for girls in Ireland. Other spelling variants of Maeve are Mave, Maive, Mayve, Meadhbh, and Meabh.

Maeve, a Valg queen in the Throne of Glass novel, with whom Lord Lorcan Salvaterre falls in love, is a famous fantasy fairy tale that sparked the name’s popularity. Other TV series that contributed to its popularity include Westworld, Criminal Minds, and Make It or Break It.

Similarly, Maeve became a favored name after celebrity couples like Terry Kinney and Kathryn Erbe, and Lili Taylor and Nick Flynn picked it for their daughters. Although it’s originally a girl’s name, many accept it as unisex. They prefer it for other genders as well.


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She who is intoxicatingly beautiful
 M..  Ma..  Mah..  Man..  Mon..  Maa..  Mab.. 

How To Pronounce Maeve?

Pronounced as meyv

Famous People With The Name Maeve

  • Maeve BinchyIrish novelist, playwright, and journalist
  • Maeve Kennedy McKeanHuman rights attorney and great-niece of President John F. Kennedy.
  • Maeve HigginsIrish comedian, actress, and writer
  • Maeve TomaltyCanadian-American actress
  • Maeve IngoldsbyIrish playwright and satirist
  • Maeve QuinlanAmerican tennis player
  • Maeve O’BoyleFirst Scottish singer-songwriter
  • Maeve DermodyUK-based Australian actress
  • Maeve KinkeadU.S soap opera actress, poet, and writer
  • Maeve BrennanIrish short story writer and journalist

Maeve On The Popularity Chart

How popular is Maeve as a name and where does it stand on ranking charts? Check out the graphic representation shared here.

Popularity Over Time

Maeve was not a popular name for girls until the late 1990s. From 1980 to 1995, less than 200 babies per million were given this name. Its popularity surged in 2021 when over 2000 newborns were named Maeve.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Maeve’s preference for a baby name has been steadily growing since the early 2000s. From 2014 to 2021, its rank has been in the top 500. Here is a graphic representation depicting its ranking over the years.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Maeve

Does the sound and feel of Maeve appeal to you, but you want a name with some other meaning? Here are some interesting similar-sounding names.

Names With Same Meaning As Maeve

Still not sure if Maeve is the right choice? There are many Irish names with the same meaning for your reference.

Name Numerology For Maeve

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