Maisie: Baby Name of the Day


Maisie

This post was originally published on December 23, 2009. It was substantially revised and re-posted on February 16, 2015.

This short form of Margaret is big in the UK, and could fit right in with Sadie and her sisters in the US.

Thanks to Laura for suggesting Maisie as our Baby Name of the Day, and to Audra, for suggesting the update!

Maisie: Short and Sweet

The enduring Margaret has many a nickname: Maggie and Meg, Peggy and Daisy, Greta, Gretchen, and, of course, Maisie.

In Scottish and Irish, Margaret became Mairead – you can listen to the two most common pronunciations here. Maisie first evolved as a nickname for Mairead.

It’s also spelled Maisy and Maizie and you can probably find a Mayzee, too, if you look long enough. But this name has long been undiscovered by American parents. In England and Wales, however, Maisie has spent the last few years in their Top 100.

Maisie: Real and Fictional

There are plenty of Maisies, especially if you count the fictional:

  • Henry James’ 1897 novel What Maisie Knew chronicles the early years of a young girl whose parents divorce and generally behave badly. It became a critically acclaimed movie in 2012.
  • Actress Maisie Smith played the future Queen Elizabeth I as a child in The Other Boleyn Girl and went on to appear on EastEnders.
  • Maisie Wylde was a character on British soap opera Emmerdale.
  • Maisy Mouse stars in a series of children’s picture books, with friends like Tallulah the Baby Chicken.  A show based on the books aired on Nick Jr.
  • Dr. Seuss’s Daisy-Head Mayzie is about a schoolgirl who sprouts a yellow flower from his head.
  • Jacqueline Winspear gave us Maisie Dobbs, a nurse in the Great War who returns to London and sets up a detective agency.
  • Game of Thrones also has a claim on this name, thanks to young actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the HBO series.

Maisie

But the best known Maisie was Ann Sothern’s character, born on the big screen and later given her own radio show.

Sothern’s character was Mary Anastasia O’Connor, an aspiring dancer who answered to the stage name Maisie Ravier.

The fictional Maisie never quite got her big break.  But Maisie made Sothern a star.

The first film debuted in 1939.  Several big screen sequels followed in the 1940s, and migrated to CBS radio.

If you’ve ever uttered the phrase “Likewise, I’m sure,” then you’ve channeled the memorable Maisie Ravier.

Maisie: Sadie’s Sister

While many women might have used this short form for Margaret over the years, there’s no way to know for sure.

What we do know is that Maisie was poised just outside of the US Top 1000 in 2013. 214 newborn girls were given the name – a new high.

With names like Sadie and Hattie racing up the popularity charts, it’s no surprise to find sweet Maisie catching on, too. Factor in the rising popularity of Mae and Maeve, and it’s easy to imagine this Mae name appealing to many parents.

Just like Molly now feels like a name completely separate from Mary, it’s tough for many to connect the dots between Maisie and Margaret in 2015.

If you’re after a short, sassy name less common than Lucy, with a decidedly retro feel, Maisie is one to consider.

What do you think of Maisie? Is it more of nickname, or does this name work on its own?

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38 Comments

My toddler is Margaret nn Maisy, and we love it. We get good feedback except some people think it’s “Macy” and really can’t seem to hear a difference. Also no on ever guesses the right spelling. We call her Maize or Maisy-may. My parents call her Daisy. Whenever I have to explain her name to someone, I say “it’s just like Daisy, but with an m.” We picked the y spelling instead of ie because it seemed slightly less cutesy. But we like having Margaret as her real name in case she ever wants more options or a more serious name.

Another prominent Maisy is the child actress on the show Nashville, who is also a musician with her sister Lennon.

I would love to read your post on Maisie. Has it disappeared? 🙂

It’s on our short list for future daughter names to go with our little Hugo James. Hubby said he’d want to name her something more proper and nickname her Maisie, but I think it can stand on its own. I thought with a classic middle name it would work. Maisie Charlotte or Maisie Louisa.

We also thought of using a name like Mabel and then giving a middle name with a Z or S sound. How cool would Mabel Zelda or Mable Suzanne be nn Maisie?

Hi Audra – The post on Maisie is fixed! Thanks for finding it – many of my older posts were broken when I moved hosts a few years back. I can still get them from the archive, but it’s tough to figure out which ones aren’t working properly! That said, Maisie could use an update, so I’ll plan to refresh this post next month, on 2/16. And oh, I love the sound of Mabel Zelda or Mabel Suzanne – great ways to get to Maisie! I do think it stands on its own, but I tend to agree with your husband – can’t hurt to have a formal name to fall back on. Best, Abby

Mabel… now there’s another name I could get behind. I think I might just be digging the whole “May-” family. And Mabel Jane is glorious!

Because we will soon have a little Mabel called Maisie in our family, I recently did a search to see if that was a combination used back in the days when Mabel was so popular in the U.S. (Mabel was among the top 25 names for baby girls born between 1880 (and before) and 1903, peaking at #15 in 1891.) I haven’t come across that pairing in the U.S., but have found four in England where Maisie has been more widely used. My favorite of these is Mabel Jane (called Maisie) Comley who was born in 1905: http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ianherbie/wp01_112.htm. I like Maisie best as a nn for the more formal Margaret or Mabel.

I am in love with this name since discovering it here. I also absolutely love the pairing Maisie May. I also quite like the name June. Maisy Mae June sounds like a burst of fresh spring/early summer. I don’t like the names Margaret or Marjorie (I know too many old ladies with those names) but I like most of the diminutives. Daisy is another name crush 🙂

I also noticed, since I am revisiting this post after a few weeks, that only the first three paragraphs are visible. Has the rest been archived?

Hyphenated names, especially for girls, are rather trendy in England right now. On the ranked names of baby girls born in 2011 are
Maisie-Mae: 9 baby girls given the name and
Maisie-May: 3 baby girls.
Maisie May is very cute (and Edwardian with the alliteration), but maybe a little two cute for a grownup.

I know expectant parents who plan to name their daughter Mabel with the nickname Maisie. That nn was suggested by a family member who came across a Mabel/Maisie connection with VP Biden’s granddaughter Roberta Mabel, always called “Maisy”. Mom has loved the name Mabel for years; her husband loves the nn Maisie. (He also loves the name Sadie, but that wasn’t an option for them.)

Another Mazie in the news is the new US Senator from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono. She was born in Japan to a Japanese-American mother and moved to Hawaii at age 8. Her full name is Mazie Keiko Hirono (in Japanese Meiji Keiko).

Just came across an obit for a Mabel called Maisie who was born around 1906:

Fulton. Mabel “maisie” (liggett) Fulton

Mabel “Maisie” (Liggett) Fulton, 89, of West Hartford, widow of James Fulton, died Saturday (May 20, 1995) at home. She was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland…

My name is Maisie and nobody has every called me ‘crazy maisie’ or anything such. I like this name. I get called Maymay may mais etc…… I think its cute for a kid and as a adult and if you really mind it a lot you could go with May as an adult.

My name is Spelled MAZY its my full name my middle name is MAE…MAZY MAE everyone loves it i have never been teased. everyone i meet loves my name they think its so unique and beautiful!!

I think it’s the most beautiful girl’s name out there. My old married last name had a Z in it so I planned that if I ever had a girl she would be Mayzee Eliza Azevedo……..That marriage didn’t work out so Now I have a little Maisy. I like that it looks like Daisy.

We named our daughter Maiza Madeline and her nickname is Maizie may. I adore the name and have never met another Maiza. She is proud of her name and loves that it is unique!

Maisie Mae is what my fiancé and I are planning on using for a girls name in the future. Glad someone else has a name similar and loves it!

Funny, because I am called maisie, and I cannot STAND the name margaret! And as far as I know, my parents had no intention in calling me that. The name maisie isnt a nickname – its a full name as well.
Nicknames for maisie:
Mais
Maz
May (i never thought about this one!)
Maisie moo (most used for me. Its also a bag brand. Look it up on google! I love it)

If you are considering the name maisie, go for it, as it is perfect for babies, girls and women and its just a lovely name, i just think its great, and its really worked out for me, as its such a pretty name. I never get teased about my name really, i just get called “crazy maisie” and “maisie moo” and thats it really!

Yay xx

I call my Maisy my little Maiser-doodle. Maizers. and her uncle always says “FIRE THE MAZER-BEAM!” (from austin power’s). My 6 year old (the other brother) calls her Maizers and Mays”

Guess this is an old website but couldn,t resist commenting on the name.Hi! My name is Maisie!Really! I am Maisie Elaine Christine.Gone through my whole life with this name and actually like it because it is different so it makes me unique.My parents were born in England although I am Canadian.I often wondered what my name meant and for many years could never find it in those books that give the meaning or origin of names for babies,but have since found out that it seems to be a Scottish diminutive of Margaret.Some people have actually asked me ,quote “But what,s your real name?” They think Maisie is a nickname.I have only ever met 2 other ladies with this name while I was growing up.I married a man whose mother,s name was Daisy so that was at times a bit confusing for some people.I named my daughter Christine,always loved that name.I believe my mother named me after her sister-in-law Maisie in England.My mom,s name was Gertrude and she hated it.Her family called her Joy.So anyway, I am happy to be Maisie for anyone who is interested to know how the name affects some one as they are growing up.I like it and I wouldn,t change it for anything. The other 2 ladies I knew have both died,so no one else I know has this name.I like being different and unique.Someone has a dog with this name!! That is so cute.Funny too!Thx for listening.BFN. Maisie.

I like Maisie but prefer sprightly Daisy as a nickname for my beloved Margery. I don’t know any dogs named Maisie, or any dogs for that matter, we are cat people. 🙂

But yeah, I could see me naming a girl Margery and calling her Maisie – Daisy on a regular basis easily. I find Maisie sweet, if a touch airy. And the mouse doesn’t bother me at all!

I so adore Maisie and think she makes a great alternative to Daisy or Molly. Just love her and would really be pushing for her for this baby if my MIL didn’t have a dog by that name. 🙁

Ah, Maisy. Not for me (I’m sure no one’s surprised). It’s just so cutesy. Fine for a nickname for a child, but as a full name? Nope.

Bek – thank you so much for providing that link! That was very sweet and helpful of you.
I’m new here, so please forgive me and bear with me if I mention names that have been listed before.
But truly, that was very kind of you. Thanks 🙂 I went and commented on it.

Juliet, if you have a name suggestion, do a search (on the upper right side of the page) for the name first. This way, not only can you see if it’s been done, but you can also get the info on the name you’re looking into. If you don’t find the name, email Abby with your request. 🙂

Yes, I did afterwards. I will do that now in the future. Meryl Streep’s real name is Mary. I think the middle name is Louise. I think she combined Mary and Louise to make Meryl. 🙂

Were I ever to have to use the name Margaret, she’d be Maisie 100% of the time. I love the nickname, but can’t really stand the full name. Maisie’s definitely my favorite Margaret nickname. I could get behind Daisy, I guess, but it would take some convincing.

I love the name Maisie too. Found it in 2005 when I was looking for popular British names that are unusual over here in the US. I like the May sound – May / Mae alone wouldn’t work with our last name.

But I couldn’t get my husband to like it. His biggest problem was the rhyme with “crazy”. He said she’d end up being “Crazy Maisie”. (She did end up driving us a little crazy that first year! :P)

I also figured I’d have to spell the name all the time for everyone. Four years on I’m glad we didn’t go with something quite so ‘cutesy’ (I guess the -zee ending does that.) Back then I disliked the name Margaret, but lately I’m starting to like that one some more – though Maggie is the more natural nickname, as you said.

I think it’s funny that you didn’t like the rhyme with Crazy because my little Maisy is CRAZY. She knows it. She calls herself Crazy Maisy. I call tell her “quit being so lazy little maisy” and she giggles.

That is fun! I would have gone with it, but my husband didn’t want to.

Now my daughter is in 4th grade and is friends with Macy, Millie, Maddie, Maggie & Malia. So I’m glad that she doesn’t have a similar sounding name – though she’d probably end up liking it. 😛

Personally, the name doesn’t appeal to me. I know that Meryl Streep’s daughter goes by Maisie.

I find the name a bit gimicky; I don’t know why. It just does not attract me. I think it’s a bit too nicknamey as a full name. This is actually quite odd, since I am very open-minded about names and very few names I honestly dislike.

It also reminds me of the Afrikaans word for girl – meisie. I think the language connotation puts me off it. It would be like calling my daughter “Girl”, for me.

Sorry for those of you who like the name! I truly mean no offense.If you like it – go for it and use it! On a positive note, it would be refreshing to hear amongst the Emma and Avas

🙂

A suggestion for the girl name of the day – Nola
(I hope this hasn’t been suggested before. If I accidentally copied someone, I do apologize )

I love Maisie. I had a great aunt Maisie and she was brilliant. Seriously contemplating calling a daughter Margaret (after my maternal grandmother) just so I can call her Maisie 🙂 Though I love Maggie too so maybe she’d have two nicknames!!