Of the 26 letters, M is one of the most common first initials for both baby girls and boys. The “mmm” sound is very familiar to humans globally, featuring in what is one of the first words many babies say—a version of “mama.” We love that M names can be short, sweet, bold, unique, familiar, and so many other things. There are first names starting with M from every corner of the earth, some you know and love, and plenty of new ones to meet.

If you’re on a mission for the perfect M names for baby girls and boys from cute to dignified, rare to popular, scroll our list of the best baby names that start with M.

Boy Baby Names That Start With M

Mack: Short for a host of other names, including many Irish surnames often given in the first spot, on its own this one means “son of,” making it a cute nod to Dad or Mom and a friendly, fun first name. 

Madhav: The charming Sanskirt moniker for boys translates to “honey” in its ancient spelling and is also known as a nickname for Krishna, an Indian divinity. The name is quite rare and lends to adorable nickname possibilities, including Havi.

Mahir: An Arabic baby boy name meaning “skillful” that rolls off the tongue.

Major: This is one of those names that jumps off the page and makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner! While it is an English word name, the root is actually from the Latin meaning “greater,” and of course alluding to military rank.  

Mansell: It’s a very old French name for boys that you don’t hear often, marking homage to a Norman area called Le Mans. A great idea if you’re looking for a rare French boys’ name, or an excuse to nickname your little guy Manny.

Marcel: Also from the French, this handsome baby boy name is a shortened version of Marcellus, meaning “little warrior.”

Marlin: A cool nature name after the fish, it’s got beachy vibes and an adjacency to the wizardry pick Merlin, which we also love.  

Mario: The Italian name has vintage gamer appeal and intergalactic relevance—translating to “Mars.”

Marshall: This French baby boy name means “one who looks after horses,” and its short form, Marsh, is a nature name as well.  

Matteo: We love the Italian version of the Hebrew Matthew (also a common M pick for boys!); both mean “gift of God.”

Merrion: The Welsh name for Mars, the god of war, has a duality of feeling from its battle-ready meaning and the fact that it contains the root “merry” for joy or happiness.  

Merritt: Such a cute name that has an associated meaning from the word merit—“goodness, high standards”—and is also an English surname meaning “boundary gate.” 

Meyer: Californians and Floridians might crush hard on this baby boy name for its association with the warm weather-grown lemon, and the beautiful moniker also means “bringer of light” in Hebrew.  

Miles: This one is gaining speed alongside Aiden and Noah; it’s a name that’s been around for quite a while and feels quite timely now. The origins are from the Latin Milo (a cute boys’ name in its own right), translating to both “soldier” and “merciful.” 

Mills: Close enough to Miles that it almost didn’t make the list, but we couldn’t resist! Mills has that surname sturdiness and a wind-whipped feel. Like Bridges and Brooks, it’s a pluralized word name with heaps of charm. 

Montgomery: Oh, little Monty will have the absolute most adorable name in kindergarten and beyond. After the legendary actor Clift, or just because it’s refined and endearing, the Norman name meaning “man power” earns high marks.

Morris: We love a vintage name that feels current rather than dated; the English take on the French Maurice meaning “dark-skinned” is a definite yes. 

Moses: The Biblical name has risen and fallen in favor over the years but will never not be relevant. If you like the name but want a twist, consider Musa, the Arabic/Turkish/Persian version. 

Muhammad: Globally, it is one of the most popular names given to boys, with an estimated over 150 million Muhammads (or some spelling variation of said) currently living, after the Islamic prophet.

Girl Baby Names That Start With M

Mabelle: We adore the French variation of Mabel (“lovable”), not only for its lovely sound and meaning but also the adjacency to the French term, “my beauty”—ma belle

Macy: The English surname is a version of Massey, meaning “hill;” if you’re a fan of MTV’s Teen Mom series you might also be familiar with the less traditional spelling, Maci. Both are cute M names for girls.

Madeline: It’s no wonder that the sweet name given to the protagonist in Ludwig Bemelmens’ famed book series has remained a favorite for decades; this variation on Magdalene meaning “high tower” or “woman from Magdala” is lyrical, sturdy, and beautiful with multiple nickname options (Maddie being #1).

Maisie: Another vintage name that modern parents are loving, the Scottish diminutive of Margaret meaning “pearl” is precious. Margot, the French version of Margaret, is another nice idea.

Maggie: There are so many beautiful M names that cute Maggie can be short for, whether you want to go traditional with Margaret, old-school yet whimsical with Magdalena, or flaunt some flower power with sweet Magnolia.

Malika: The Arabic baby girl name meaning “master” is a stunning choice for a baby girl; if you’re having a son and like the sound, you might consider Malik. 

Maren: She’s so elegant, your little girl will adore growing into her power. Maren means “sea” with French roots. 

Marina: Another sea-faring baby girl name with an M, this one is Latin meaning “from the sea,” and is also an English word name referring to a dock. 

Matilda: Ever since Roald Dahl put this lovely girls’ name on the map, literature fans have used it adoringly. The German baby girl name meaning “battle-ready” offers up nicknames Mattie, Tilda, and Tillie.  

Maya: One of the more popular girl names on our list, Maya is a name of multiple cultural origins and meanings. She appears in Greek mythology as a shy nymph who gave birth to Hermes; serves as the Latin version of May; the Spanish diminutive Amalia; a spelling variation of Maia from the Hebrew meaning “water;” and appears as the name of an Empire among the Central American Indians. 

Meadow: An appealing word name from nature that conjures long grasses, pretty flowers, and frolicking! This one would be perfect for a spring-time baby or any parents who love outdoor adventures.    

Melinda: It has an earthy, almost 70’s vibe and was actually invented in the 1840’s putting together Mel and Linda for the combined meaning, “sweet honey.” Mindy, its nickname, is just as apt and delightful a choice.  

Meryl: After Streep, or just because it’s powerful and pretty at once—the feminine take on Muriel meaning “blackbird” is a soulful choice. 

Mia: This short and lovely baby girl with Italian roots meaning “mine” is an absolutely adorable name idea with M for your little girl. It is also a shortened form of Maria, from Mary, giving it a Biblical association if you’re going that route. 

Michelle: While not nearly as popular as it was in the 1980’s, this French classic deserves a spot on our list. The girly version of Michael meaning “who is like God'' isn't likely to ever disappear off the charts. Michelle Obama has given it a recent boost.  

Millie: A darling little antique name that works as a nickname for Mildred or Millicent, or on its own for a more contemporary feel. It means “gentle strength” or “strength in work.”

Minnie: Another sweet nickname that absolutely can stand alone; Disney fans might swarm to this precious pick, and if you like it but want something longer for formal use, Minerva is its long version that’s so vintage it actually sounds cool again. 

Mitzi: There’s always going to be more than one Mary version of a list of the best M names for girls, and the German take is a strikingly good one!

Gender-Neutral Baby Names That Start With M

MacLaine: It’s preppy and powerful, and we’re here for it! MacLaine is an Irish surname that works well as a modern gender-neutral choice. 

Madison: One of the more heard, but still beloved baby names for boys and girls, the English moniker meaning “son of Matthew” is a nice way to pay homage to a Matthew in the family, or simply a cute name for your little guy or girl just because you love it. 

Makoto: The gorgeous Japanese baby name is perfect for a boy or girl, translating to “sincerity, truth” with numerous nickname possibilities. 

Maxwell: Traditionally in boys-only territory, celebrity Jessica Simpson boldly chose it for her daughter and the name’s been rising for girls ever since. Maxwell is a Scottish name meaning “great stream.” 

Meredith: The gender-neutral Welsh name meaning “great ruler or chief” has been steadily relevant but not overused ever since the 1860’s.  

Micah: A favorite unisex Hebrew name, it translates to “who is like the Lord.” 

Milan: This stylish Italian place name is a stunner to consider for a son or daughter. 

Miller: Something about Miller just makes you wanna say, “Aw!” It’s an endearing English occupational name (“grinder of grain”) that might be the perfect pick for your little guy or girl.

Monet: Art history buffs or anyone who adores the work of Claude Monet might consider this romantic-sounding French surname. 

Monroe: Also best known as a surname (as in Marilyn), this stately M name for boys and girls means “mouth of the Roe river” with Scottish roots.  

Morgan: One of the best known unisex M names for babies, it’s a Welsh name with oceanic meanings—“sea-born, sea-song, sea-circle, defender of the sea, and sailor/captain.”

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