MAGGIE: A shortened form of Margaret. It has been used as an independent name since the nineteenth century. Relatives: Maggy, Magee, Mag. Namesakes: Maggie Smith, "Maggie."
MAGNOLIA: The magnolia flower and tree are named for French botantist Pierre Magnol. This fragrant blossom is associated with the deep South. Relatives: Maggie, Nola, Nolia, Nolie, Enola. Namesake: Enola Gay.
MAGNUS: Latin for "great." Relatives: Manus, Magnuson, Magnum, Magna, Magnilda. Namesake: King Magnus of Norway.
MAHALA: From the Hebrew for "tenderness" and Arabic for "marrow." The name appears in the Old Testament (Numbers 26:33). It is also transalated as "woman" in a North American Indian language. Relatives: Mahalah, Mahalar, Mahela, Mahalia, Mahelia, Mehala. Namesake: Mahalia Jackson
MAIDA: Old English for "maiden." Thomas Hardy used "Maidy" in his novels as a form of address to a young woman. Relatives: Maidie, Maidy, Mady, Maidel, Mayda.
MAIRE: A Scottish or Welsh version of Mary. Relatives: Mair, Mare, Mairwen (Welsh for "lovely Mary"), Mairead. Namesake: Mare Winningham.
MAISIE: Derived from Margery or Margaret and has always been popular in Scotland as an independent name. Relatives: Maisy, Maysie, Mysie, Mazey, Maizie.
MAITLAND: Old English for "dweller in the meadow" and a Norman place name. Although the derivation is rather bland, the name itself is strong and forthright. Namesake: Maitland Jones.
MAJOR: Latin for "greater." Giving a child a "rank" name such as Major poses a problem if he or she chooses a military career. Joseph Heller had fun with the possibility in his novel Catch-22, naming his character Major Major. Relatives: Majeur, Majors, Majorie. Namesakes: Lee Majors, Major Barbara, Majordomo, Constellation Ursa Major.