Elaboration of Mary, with the addition of the productive suffix -lyn (see Lynn). It is recorded in the 18th century, possibly as a blend of Mary and Ellen, but first came into regular use in the 20th century, peaking in the 1940s and 50s. Since then its use has been surprisingly moderate, considering the enduring popularity of the film star Marilyn Monroe (1926–62), baptized Norma Jeane Baker.
English and Scottish: topographic name for someone who lived on the slope of a hillside or by a riverbank, from northern Middle English banke (from Old Danish banke). The final -s may occasionally represent a plural form, but it is most commonly an arbitrary addition made after the main period of surname formation, perhaps under the influence of patronymic forms with a possessive -s.