MARISSA: From the Latin for "of the sea." If derivations are important to you, you might enjoy giving this name to a future surfer. A pretty choice with fine nicknames. Relatives: Marisa, Maris, Mari, Marina, Maressa, Maritza, Merisa, Merrisa, Marissah. Namesakes: Saint Marina, Princess Marina of Greece, Marisa Berenson, Marina Del Rey (Calif.).
MARJORIE: From the Old French for "pearl" and a variation of Margaret. Relatives: Marjory, Marjorey, Marjary, Margery, Margey, Margie, Marge, Margo, Marje, Marjy, Marcail. Namesakes: Marjorie Merriweather Post, "My Little Margie," Marjorie Morningstar.
MARK: From the Latin relating to Mars, the god of war, it also translates as "hammer." Mark is a solid choice, and the relatives offer room for unique variations. Relatives: Marc, Marcus, Marcel, Marcellus, Marcello, Marcellino, Marceau, Marque, Marco, Marek, Marko, Marus, Markos, Marks, Marx, March, Marius, Marquette, Marquis, Marky, Markie. Namesakes: Saint Mark, Mark Twain, Marco Polo, Marc Chagall, Mark Harmon, Markie Post.
MARLENE: a German form of Madeline or a blending of Mary or Margaret with Lena or Helen. This may be pronounced with either two or three syllables. Relatives: Marlena, Marleen, Marline, Marly, Marlie, Marla, Lene, Lena. Namesakes: Marlene Dietrich, Marla Hansen, "Lili Marlene."
MARLON: A French name related to Merlin and Merle. This could translate into a name for either sex. Relatives: Marlin, Marlyn, Marly, Marlo, Marlis, Marlys. Namesakes: Marlon Brando, Marlo Thomas.