Its source is Maria, an English name meaning "Wished-for child."
This girl's name is used in Hawaiian.
Between 1860 and 1967, citizens of Hawaii were required to give their children Christian names. Because the sound system of the Hawaiian language does not correspond to that of English, ''Hawaiianized'' versions of the names evolved.
Among those who revere the mystical naming practices native to Hawaii, these names are not properly Hawaiian at all. However, they have remained in use for over 150 years. Set beside the English names from which they developed, and the ancient Hawaiian names that are now enjoying a revival, they serve as a reminder of Hawaii's continuing effort to preserve its unique identity. The name can also mean ''peaceful'' or ''calm'' in Hawaiian.