A place name and a given name used after the 16th century that's often associated with the Virgin Mary by Roman Catholics because of her title "stella maris" which means "star of the sea." It became a literary name used by 16th century poet sir Philip Sidney in his famed collection of sonnets and Jonathan Swift during the 18th century in his "Journal to Stella.""Astrophel and Stella." The name is best remembered in Tennesee Williams' 1947 "Streetcar Named Desire" for character "Stella Kowalski," portrayed by actress Kim Hunter in the 1951 film adaptation. Another notable bearer is English fashion designer Stella McCartney, the daughter of Beatle Paul McCartney. Also the name of a Belgian and Egyptian beer, a brand of guitars, and a line of Italian cheeses.

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