Maeve, Maev or Maiv is a female given name of Irish origin. It comes from the Irish name Méabh, which was spelt Meadhbh in early modern Irish (pronounced [mɛɣv]),[2] Meḋḃ or Meaḋḃ in Middle Irish, and Medb in Old Irish (pronounced [mɛðv]). It may derive from a word meaning "she who intoxicates", "mead-woman", or alternatively "she who rules".[3] Medb is a queen in Irish mythology who is thought to have originally been a sovereignty goddess.[4]

Queen Maeve and the Druid, by illustrator Stephen Reid from the 1904 book The Boys' Cuchulainn by Eleanor Hull.[1]
Pronunciation/mv/ MAYV
Region of originEurope


Maeve (in that spelling) was a Top 100 girls' name in Ireland for all but 12 of the 46 years between 1964 and 2009, and Meabh ranked 99th on the list of the most popular Irish girls' names of 2020. In Northern Ireland, Maeve was a Top 100 girls' name between 1997 and 2004, and Meabh ranked 44th in 2017. It ranked 218th on the list of most popular names for girls in England and Wales in 2020 and had risen in popularity to 94th position in 2020 in those countries. It has ranked among the top 100 names for girls since 2020 in Scotland, where it was the 72nd most popular name in 2021. It has also increased in usage in the Netherlands, where it was among the top 500 names for girls in 2014 and again between 2017 and 2021. It was the 44th most common name for newborn Dutch girls in 2021.[5] [6] Maeve has ranked among the 1,000 most popular names for girls born in the United States since 1997, among the top 500 names since 2013, and among the top 150 names since 2021.[7] [8]

People with the given nameEdit


In popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ "The boys' Cuchulain; heroic legends of Ireland". 1910.
  2. ^ nic Bryan, Mari Elspeth (4 January 2004). "Index of Names in Irish Annals: Meadhbh". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  3. ^ Irslinger, Britta. "Medb 'the intoxicating one'? (Re-)constructing the past through etymology". Ulidia 4: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, 2013.
  4. ^ Ó hÓgáin, Dáithí. Myth, Legend & Romance: An encyclopaedia of the Irish folk tradition. Prentice Hall Press, 1991. pp.294-295
  5. ^ Nickerson, Eleanor (25 August 2018). "Name of the Week: Maeve: A sleek and sturdy perennial Irish choice with a fascinating warrior-queen goddess namesake. Ripe for export". British Baby Names. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  6. ^ Campbell, Mike. "Popularity for the name Maeve". Behind the Name.
  7. ^ "Popular Baby Names".
  8. ^ Mitchell, Alex (29 December 2021). "The craziest baby name trends of 2022 from Athena to Wilder". New York Post. Retrieved 21 May 2022.