Molly Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

The Meaning and Origin of Molly

The name Molly has medieval origins and is derived from the Hebrew name “Mary,” which means “bitter.” In medieval times, Molly was used as a familiar form or nickname for Mary, and over time, it evolved into a name in its own right.

The History of Molly

The history of the name Molly can be traced back to medieval England, where it was first used as an affectionate nickname for Mary. In the Middle Ages, names like Molly were commonly used as endearing forms of more formal names.

Throughout history, the name Molly has remained popular, experiencing periods of heightened popularity and then resurging in different eras. Its association with Mary and its timeless charm have contributed to its enduring appeal.

The Popularity of Molly

The name Molly has seen consistent popularity in various regions and cultures. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Molly was a widely used name, especially in English-speaking countries.

In more recent times, Molly has experienced a revival in popularity as parents seek vintage and classic names with historical significance. Its friendly and endearing sound, as well as its connections to famous literary characters and notable individuals, have contributed to its recognition and admiration.

Variations of Molly

The name Molly, with its warm and friendly aura, has inspired several variations that add cultural diversity and unique twists to the name. Here are five notable variations of the name:

  1. Mollie: An alternate spelling of Molly, Mollie offers a more traditional and classic twist to the name. It has gained popularity as a name with timeless appeal.
  2. Mary: The name from which Molly originated, Mary retains the same meaning and essence while offering a more formal and historical choice. Mary has been a beloved name for centuries, carrying significant religious and cultural importance.
  3. Maolmhuire: This variation hails from Irish Gaelic origins, where it is used as a given name for girls. Maolmhuire carries the same sweetness and affection as Molly while adding a touch of Irish heritage.
  4. Mari: A variation popular in Spanish and Basque-speaking regions, Mari retains the same meaning and essence as Molly while offering a different cultural flair. Mari has been a favored choice for parents seeking a name with Spanish or Basque roots.
  5. Malia: A Hawaiian variation, Malia showcases the name’s adaptability and appeal in different linguistic settings. It has gained popularity as a name with a touch of Polynesian heritage.
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Five Famous People Named Molly

Molly has graced numerous notable individuals, leaving a mark in various fields. Here are five famous namesakes:

  1. Molly Ringwald: An American actress, singer, and author, Molly Ringwald gained fame for her roles in popular 1980s films like “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “Pretty in Pink.”
  2. Molly Sims: An American model and actress, Molly Sims has appeared in various fashion campaigns and television shows, including her role as Delinda Deline on “Las Vegas.”
  3. Molly Shannon: An American comedian and actress, Molly Shannon is known for her work on “Saturday Night Live” and her roles in films like “Superstar” and “Never Been Kissed.”
  4. Molly Ephraim: An American actress, Molly Ephraim is recognized for her roles in television series like “Last Man Standing” and her performances on Broadway.
  5. Molly Malone: While not a celebrity, Molly Malone is a famous fictional character in the traditional Irish song “Cockles and Mussels” (“Molly Malone” or “In Dublin’s Fair City”).


The name Molly, with its charm and sweetness, continues to be a cherished and enduring choice for parents worldwide. Its meaning and historical significance add depth and distinction to the name, making it a name that embodies affection and warmth.

The variations of Molly showcase the name’s adaptability and creative potential, catering to diverse preferences and cultural backgrounds. From iconic actresses and successful models to acclaimed comedians and beloved fictional characters, famous individuals named Molly have left a mark in diverse fields, further enhancing the name’s prestige.

As Molly remains a beloved name representing endearment, charm, and the allure of history, it will undoubtedly continue to hold a special place in the hearts of parents and individuals alike, symbolizing the enduring legacy of affection and joy for generations to come.

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Waqas Anjum
Waqas Anjum

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