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Molly Name Meaning – What Does The Name Molly Mean?

What does the name Molly Mean? In this quick guide, we will explore the origin, history, popularity, and meaning of the name Molly. Let's get started.

What does the name Molly Mean? In this quick guide, we will explore the origin, history, popularity, and meaning of the name Molly. 

Let’s get started. 

Meaning of The Name Molly

Molly is a popular English given name for female children which originated as a pet form of Mary. The name Molly is believed to have derived from the Hebrew word for “bitter”, and was often used as a nickname for Margaret in the 16th century. T

he name Molly was quite popular during the 1920s and 1930s in the United States and Canada, with its popularity peaking in 1937. It has since become one of the most common names for British-American girls and is still very popular today.

Its meaning varies depending on who you ask; some say it means “sea of bitterness” while others believe that it means “star of the sea” or “star of the wave”. It can also mean “beloved” or “my joy” as well as being an Irish variant of Mary meaning “bitter” or “sea of bitterness”. Molly has been known to be used to abbreviate other religious names such as Malka (queen) and Malke (queen).

It can also be short for Mollenhauer (praise god) or Malchen (daughter). This versatility makes it an incredibly versatile name that has been used throughout history in different cultures.

History and Origin of The Name Molly

The name Molly derives from the Latin word mollis, meaning “soft”. In Europe, it became popular as part of the Old English name Moll or Mollie.This is a diminutive of Mary, coming about in the 16th century when parents added “ie” to their daughter’s formal name as a term of endearment, creating variations such as Millie and Tilly from Matilda. Anne and Ellen have also given rise to diminutives including Nellie and Annie.

Molly was first used as a pet name in England in the 18th century and continued to be found throughout the 19th century. It became an independent given name in the 20th century, reaching its peak in popularity during the 1970s and becoming one of the top 50 most common female names in 1983.

Gender of The Name Molly

The name Molly is a feminine name of English origin. It is often used as an independent given name, or as a diminutive form of other names such as Mary, Amelia and Margaret. Molly’s root verb is “Mol,” which means young orphan girl.

The gender of the name Molly is female, making it popularly used in the United States and Britain since the late 1800s. The popularity of this particular name has risen steadily over time and has become a top 100 most popular girls’ name in many countries.

Molly can also be used to refer to young women more generally, especially in terms of their youthful spirit or impulsive behavior, regardless of their actual name. As an independent given name however, it has strong connotations with femininity and playful carelessness.

Popularity of The Name Molly

The name Molly has risen in popularity in recent decades, particularly in the United States. Currently, it is among the top 10 most popular names for female babies in the U.S., ranking in at number six in 2020 (down from its peak of number two from 2005- 2008). Molly has also been popular throughout other English-speaking countries such as Canada and Australia. Its derivations can all be traced back to Hebrew and Gaelic roots, which both indicate “the beloved.”

Variations of The Name Molly

The name Molly has its roots in several languages, such as Hebrew, Latin, and Irish. It has been traced back to the Latin malleus meaning “hammer,” the Gaelic mo meaning “bitter,” and Roman’s mollis meaning “soft.” In many languages it is also a variation of the name Mary.

Molly can be translated into other languages with various feminine names derived from it. Here are some variations of Molly in other languages:

  • English: Mallory, Mollie
  • Hebrew: Malka
  • French: Malou
  • German: Malin, Mallin
  • Irish: Maolíosa or Maolmhuire
  • Italian: Malia
  • Scandinavian: Målfrid
  • Spanish/Portuguese: Molina

Famous People Named Molly in History

Molly is an English name that is derived from the Old English language and can be translated as “beloved”. It has been used as a given name for both boys and girls, although it is more commonly given to females. The name Molly has seen a resurgence in the United States in recent times, due to its endearing quality and easy pronunciation. There have been a number of famous people named Molly throughout history.

Some historical individuals with the name Molly include Queen Elizabeth I’s courtier Mary FitzGerald (1545-1604), also known as Lady Mary of Portlaoise; British actress Marylyn Redlin (1858-1936); American suffragist Mary Garrett Hay (1857-1913); American educator Mary Eleanor Fitzgerald Poe (1881-1963); and British decorator and designer Mary Woollams (born 1955).

More recently, individuals with the first name Molly have made their mark on modern society. These accomplished people include singer/songwriter Molly Drake (1909–1993) – mother of British singer Nick Drake; Canadian Ice Hockey player Molly Engstrom; Australian basketball player Mollie Mason; Irish actor/presenter Mollie King; popular fiction author Mollie E. Reeder; film director Molly Schaneberg; musician/songwriter/producer Molly Kate Kestner, and actress/author Mollie Sugden best known for her starring role in Are You Being Served?

The many examples of famous individuals with the given name Molly demonstrate that someone with this special moniker can achieve numerous incredible accomplishments in life.

Pronunciation of The Name Molly

Molly is a name of English origin derived from the name Mary, meaning ‘bitter’. Although its early history begins with the Latin name Maria, Molly as we know it today was first introduced as an English pet form of Margaret in the 17th century. The name has seen some popularity spike when characters in books, movies or TV series have been given this sweet-sounding moniker.

In terms of pronunciation, Molly is pronounced ‘MOH-lee’ and can be spelled either molli or molly depending on your preferred spelling. In some areas such as rural Ireland and Scotland it is pronounced ‘maw-lee’ and even further variations are found in some Northern dialects such as Welsh and Northern Irish where Molly is pronounced ‘mee-lee’. However these spellsings are not common in other parts of Europe, USA or Australia.

Numerology of The Name Molly

The numerology of the name Molly can reveal much about the character and life path of those carrying it. To calculate your number, add up all the numbers from each letter in your name using their numerical values. For example, a name like Molly would have 4 + 6 + 3 + 3 + 7 = 23. Some people suggest breaking this higher number into two separate numbers — 2 + 3 — to get a more balanced view of numerology traits.

The root number for ‘Molly’ is 5 and this signifies that those with the given name are naturally independent and curious spirits who strive to keep active and embrace new challenges. They have an ambitious nature, often determined to make a difference or be successful in their chosen field but may have difficulty sustaining long-term relationships or friendships due to their conflicting need for freedom.

Those with a 5 root numerology must remember to take time for themselves and acknowledge their feelings as well as their drive towards progress; understanding that balance is key to growth is necessary on this path!

Frequently Asked Questions About The Name Molly

Frequently asked questions about the name Molly can help you better understand the meaning and origin of this popular moniker. Here are some of the most common questions and answers to provide a better understanding of Molly:

Where Does The Name Molly Come From?

The name Molly comes from the Latin word “mollis”, which means soft. It has been used as a girl’s name since medieval times.

What Is The Meaning Behind The Name Molly?

Molly symbolizes gentleness, kindness and compassion – qualities that make it a popular choice for parents who want their daughter to grow up showing these values.

Is There Any Other Person With This Name?

Yes, there is an Irish saint called St. Moling who was known as the “Wise Man of Tara”. His full name is Séánán Mael Móin, which translates to Sean-Molly-Moore in English, so he is sometimes referred to as “Saint Molly”. This figure was said to have been given magical powers by St Patrick. He is also thought to be responsible for creating Ireland’s national flag – caoinesadh cuimhneacháin na hÉireann (the remembrance banner of Ireland).

Are There Any Other Variants for This Moniker?

Yes, there are several variants for Molly, including Molley and Mollie. These names share similar origins and meanings with their parent moniker but also adds uniqueness in spelling variations – which makes them good choices if you want something different but still meaningful and charming.


In summary, the name Molly is of English origin and means ‘bitter’. It is often associated with the character from Irish mythology who embodies sweetness and innocence. This name has been popular for many years, which has prompted its usage as a given name for both boys and girls in recent times.

The popularity of the name has also led to variations such as Mollie, Molley, and more. While this name can bring a lot of positive associations and could make an excellent choice for those looking to honor their heritage or give their child an English name, it can also carry other connotations in some societies which might be good to be aware of.

Ultimately, no matter what the history or usage of this name might imply -Molly is still a sweet sounding and meaningful name that many parents find joy in when they choose it for their children.


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Housam is a content marketing expert with a knack for writing articles. He loves to name and nickname things creatively, so much so that he started a blog in which he writes about names and their meanings. He is also an avid reader, the dad of two wonderful dogs, and a full-time RV traveler with no definite destination.

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