MERRY: Middle English for "joyful." This name never attained the same popularity as Joy but is pretty on its own and may be used as a substitute for Mary. Relatives: Merri, Merrie, Merrilee, Merrily, Merrita, Merrielle. Namesake: Merry Christmas.
MESSINA: From the Latin for "middle child." Relative: Messena. Namesake: Jim Messina
MIA: Derived from Maria and Michaela; also "mine" in Italian. This sweet name blends nicely with a long surname. Namesake: Mia Farrow.
MICHAEL: From the Hebrew for "who is like god?" The name Michael jumped into the top ten in the forties, having been a dark horse before then. If you are nervous about using so popular a name, peruse the list of variations. Relatives: Michail, Mikhail, Mikas, Mikel, Michel, Miguel, Michelangelo, Micah, Michiel, Micha, Mischa, Mitchell, Mitch, Michau, Mihon, Mikhos, Mihal, Mick, Mickey, Mike, Mikey. Namesakes: The Archangel Michael, Michael Caine, Michael J. Fox, Michael Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Mike Tyson, Mick Jagger, Miguel de Cervantes, Mikhail Baryshnikov, "Mickey Mouse."
MICHAELA: From the Hebrew for "who is like God?" and a feminine version of Michael. Relatives: Michaelina, Michaeline, Michelina, Micaela, Mikaela, Miguela, Michael, Mike, Mickey, Micki, Mikey. Namesake: Michael Learned
MICHELLE: A French feminine version of Michael. A child named Michelle will consider the Beatles' classic of a lullaby written just for her. This name was number one in the United States in 1970 but has dropped off recently. Relatives: Michele, Michal, Michel, Micheline, Michelyn, Midge, Mickie. Namesakes: Michelle Pfeiffer, Michelle Phillips, Midge Dichter, "Michelle, Ma Belle."