fem. proper name, Old English Maria, Marie, name of the mother of Jesus, from Latin Maria, from Greek Mariam, Maria, from Aramaic Maryam, from Hebrew Miryam, name of the sister of Moses (Exodus xv), a word of unknown origin, said to mean literally "rebellion."
The nursery rhyme "Mary had a Little Lamb" was written early 1830 by Sarah Josepha Hale of Boston and published September 1830 in "Juvenile Miscellany," a popular magazine for children. Mary Jane is 1921 as the proprietary name of a kind of low-heeled shoe worn chiefly by young girls, 1928 as slang for marijuana.
updated on November 28, 2018