Mavis is a female given name. Its usage was initiated by Marie Corelli's 1895 novel The Sorrows of Satan which featured a character named Mavis Clare whose first name is said to be "rather odd" but suitable for Miss Clare as "she sings quite as sweetly as any thrush". Corelli patently was utilizing the common noun mavis which refers to the song thrush and was long obsolete by the 19th century, but known from its poetic use, as in Robert Burns's Ca' the Yowes ("Hark the mavis evening sang/Sounding Clouden's woods amang") written in 1794; also the popular love song "Mary of Argyle", written circa 1850 by lyricist Charles Jefferys features the line "I have heard the mavis singing its love-song to the morn." Mavis had its height of popularity between the 1920s and 1940s. Its usage declined thereafter, and the name has become rather unfashionable since the 1960s.
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