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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Marilyn

Marilyn is the Latin form of the Greek Miriam or Mariam. Marilyn is often considered the combination of Marie or Mary and Lyn or Lynn. It has several divine meanings, including ‘star of the sea,’ ‘drop of the sea,’ and ‘ beloved lake.’ It could also be traced to the ancient Egyptian origin mr or mry, which means ‘love’ or ‘beloved.’ In Hebrew, it could mean ‘wished-for child.’ In Anglo-Saxon, the name means tempestuous sea. The Hebrew Marah also translates into ‘bitter.’

The name has been popular due to its relation to the revered name Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, some people may refrain from naming their children Mary or its associated names as they may consider it to be too holy for a name.

The first instance of this recorded name was Marilyn Spencer Foster in England in 1510. However, the name was used quite rarely before the 20th century. It gained popularity only in the early 20th century.

This name has several variations, such as Maralyn, Marelyn, Marilynn, Marlyn, Marylyn, Marrilyn, Marillyn, Marilyn, Merrylyn, and Merrilyn. In addition, you can use many nicknames for Marilyn, such as Mimi, Mari, Lynn, Mar, Mal, Mally, Merry, Min, Mimi, Lynnie, and Maz.

This name has found many appearances in pop culture. Marilyn Lee is the central character in Celeste Ng’s debut novel, Everything I Never Told You. Marilyn Lovell is a character in the film Apollo 13. Marilyn Whirlwind is the Tlingit receptionist of Joel Fleishman in the American TV series Northern Exposure. Marilyn Truman is a character in the American sitcom Will and Grace. Marilyn was also the name of the only “normal” or non-monster character in the 1960s TV series, The Munsters. Marilyn is the name of an opera by composer Lorenzo Ferrero.


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Hebrew - Wished for child; Sea of bitterness; To Swell; A variant form of Maria; As Mary;
 M..  Ma..  Mar..  Mer..  Man.. 

How To Pronounce Marilyn?


Famous People With The Name Marilyn

  • NameProfession
  • Marilyn MonroeAmerican actress, model, and singer (born Norma Jean) known for her roles in The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot
  • Marilyn MillerFamous British Broadway musical performer known for her role in Sally
  • Marilyn BergmanPart of an American songwriting duo, she won several prestigious awards such as Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys
  • Marilyn MilianAmerican television personality, lecturer, and retired judge who appeared on the American courtroom TV series The People’s Court
  • Marilyn SingerAmerican author known for her books in genres such as children’s picture books, mysteries, and poetry

Marilyn On The Popularity Chart

The name Marilyn was popular in the early 1900s. These graphs show how the name has fared in the last 4 decades.

Popularity Over Time

Marilyn has been fairly popular over the years though never in the top 100. Track the name’s oscillating popularity in this graph.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The rank of the name Marilyn has seen a lot of fluctuations over the years. Find out where the name ranks now in the graph here.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Marilyn

If the name Marilyn attracts your attention, here are some other names that sound similar to Marilyn. They may have different meanings.

Names With Similar Meaning As Marilyn

The name Marilyn is a classic and meaningful name. Here are some names with similar meanings.

Name Numerology For Marilyn

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