First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Mail

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Mail mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Mail

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Mail
A spot.
noun Mail
  1. A small piece of money; especially, an English silver half-penny of the time of Henry V. (Obs) Alt. spell.: maile maille
  2. Rent; tribute.(Obs., except in certain compounds and phrases, as blackmail, mails and duties, etc)

Etymology: F. maille, OF. also maaille, LL. medalia. See Medal

noun Mail
  1. A flexible fabric made of metal rings interlinked. It was used especially for defensive armor.
  2. Hence generally, armor, or any defensive covering.
  3. [Naut] A contrivance of interlinked rings, for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  4. [Zoöl] Any hard protective covering of an animal, as the scales and plates of reptiles, shell of a lobster, etc."We . . . strip the lobster of his scarlet mail." [Gay.]

Etymology: OE. maile maille, F. maille a ring of mail, mesh, network, a coat of mail, fr. L. macula spot, a mesh of a net. Cf. Macle Macula Mascle

verb Mail
  1. To arm with mail.
  2. To pinion.(Obs)
noun Mail
  1. A bag; a wallet.(Obs)
  2. The bag or bags with the letters, papers, or other matter contained therein, conveyed under public authority from one post office to another; the whole system of appliances used by government in the conveyance and delivery of mail matter."There is a mail come in to-day, with letters dated Hague." [Tatler.]
  3. That which comes in the mail; letters, etc., received through the post office.
  4. A trunk, box, or bag, in which clothing, etc., may be carried.(Obs)

Etymology: OE. male bag, OF. male, F. malle bag, trunk, mail, OHG. malaha malha, wallet; akin to D. maal male; cf. Gael. & Ir. mala, Gr. molgo`s hide, skin

verb Mail
To deliver into the custody of the postoffice officials, or place in a government letter box, for transmission by mail; to post; as, to mail a letter.

Note: ☞ In the United States to mail and to post are both in common use; as, to mail or post a letter. In England post is the commoner usage.

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. (Middle Ages) flexible armor made of interlinked metal rings
  2. A conveyance that transports the letters and packages that are conveyed by the postal system
  3. The system whereby messages are transmitted via the post office ("the mail handles billions of items every day", "he works for the United States mail service", and "in England they call mail `the post'")
  4. The bags of letters and packages that are transported by the postal service
  5. Any particular collection of letters or packages that is delivered ("your mail is on the table")
  6. Cause to be directed or transmitted to another place ("I'll mail you the paper when it's written")
  7. Send via the postal service ("I'll mail you the check tomorrow")

From Middle English male, from Anglo-Norman male, Old French male (“bag, wallet”), from Frankish *malha (“bag”), from Proto-Germanic *malhō (“bag, pouch”), from Proto-Indo-European *molko- (“leather pouch”). Compare Dutch maal.

  1. (now regional) A bag or wallet. [from 13thc.]
  2. A bag containing letters to be delivered by post.
  3. The material conveyed by the postal service. [from 17thc.]
    Don't forget to pick up the on your way.
  4. (dated) A stagecoach, train or ship that delivers such post.
  5. The postal service or system in general. [from 17thc.]
    He decided to send his declaration by .
  6. (chiefly US, uncountable) The letters, parcels etc delivered to a particular address or person. [from 19thc.]
  7. (uncountable) Electronic mail, e-mail: a computer network–based service for sending, storing, and forwarding electronic messages. [from 20thc.]
  8. A trunk, box, or bag, in which clothing, etc., may be carried.

From Middle English maille (“mail armor”), a borrowing from Old French maille (“loop, stich”), from Vulgar Latin *macla, from Latin macula (“blemish, mesh”), probably from Proto-Indo-European *smh₁-tleh₂, from *smeh₁- (“smear, rub”).

  1. (uncountable) Armour consisting of metal rings or plates linked together.
  2. (nautical) A contrivance of interlinked rings, for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  3. Any hard protective covering of an animal, as the scales and plates of reptiles, shell of a lobster, etc.
  4. (obsolete, rare) A spot on a bird's feather; by extension, a spotted feather.

Middle English mal, male from Old English māl (“speech, contract, agreement”) from Old Norse mál (“agreement, speech, lawsuit”). Akin to Old English mǣl (“speech”).

  1. (chiefly Scotland) A monetary payment or tribute.
  2. (chiefly Scotland) Rent.
  3. (chiefly Scotland) Tax.

    mail was also found in the following language(s): Dalmatian, Dutch, Fiji Hindi, French, German, Italian, Romansch, and Spanish

    Notable Persons Named Mail

    Notable Persons With the Last Name Mail

    Wolf Mail is a blues rock, soul music, and jam band musician. He plays Samick. His most notable accomplishments were from 1999 to present. Wolf was born Wolf Mail on March 29th, 1972 in Montreal.


    Greg was born on April 29th, 1978 in Penrith, New South Wales.


    David Mail is a soccer player for the Aston Villa F.C., Blackburn Rovers F.C., Hull City A.F.C., and Brigg Town F.C. David was born on September 12th, 1962 in Bristol, England.


    Josh was born on December 18th, 1974 in Adelaide.


    Where is the name Mail popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of Mail as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Mail as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Indiana, Illinois, or New York.

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Mail U.S.
      White 65.56% 64.26%
      African American 5.56% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 17.78% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 6.11% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Mail

    People with the last name Mail are most frequently White or American Indian and Alaska Native

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Mail

    • How Popular is the name Mail? As a last name Mail was the 100,302nd most popular name in 2010.
    • When was the first name Mail first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Mail is Sunday, December 10th, 1893.
    • How unique is the name Mail? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Mail. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Mail: Your name in reverse order is Liam. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Mali. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Mail? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 180 people with the last name Mail.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Mail? Mail is one of the most unique last names recorded.

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.