Melanie is a feminine given name with Greek origins. After looking into its origins, I’ve discovered the meaning of the name Melanie and what it represents.
Meaning of the name Melanie:
Derived from the Greek name Melania, the meaning of the name Melanie is “black” or “honey.” The name Melania has since been borne by two saints.
Origins of the Name Melanie
The name Melanie originated in Europe where it derived from the Old Greek name Melania. Etymologists believe that the Old Greek name Melania, itself, was derived from the Greek word melas, meaning “dark.” During the Middle Ages, melas was converted into Melania, and then Melania was converted into the feminine given name Melanie.
When the Normans invaded England during the Middle Ages, they brought with them the name Melanie. As a result, two saints were eventually given the name Melanie, including Melanie the Elder and Melanie the Younger.
Even after landing in England – as well as being used by two saints – Melanie wasn’t a common given name when it was initially introduced. It took several centuries for Melanie to become popular. Today, it’s a common feminine given name in England, the United States, Canada and many other English-speaking countries.
Popularity of the Name Melanie
Melanie has become an increasingly popular girls’ name in recent years. In 1900, however, birth records show only 13 newborn girls in the United States were given this name, making Melanie the 1,088th most popular girls’ name in the country during that year. In 1920, Melanie was even less popular, ranking as the 1,651st most popular girls’ name in the United States. But Melanie began to trend in the opposite direction around the mid-1930s, with more and more parents choosing to name their daughters Melanie.
In 1937, Melanie was the 1,155th most popular girls’ name in the United States. In 1938, Melanie was the 982nd most popular girls’ name in the country. In 1940, Melanie was the 481st most popular girls’ name in the United States. Melanie peaked in 1972 when it ranked as the 42nd most popular girls’ name in the country.
Famous women named Melanie include Canadian singer and songwriter Melanie Ford, Austrian tennis player Melanie Klaffner, Canadian actress Melanie Merkosky, American musician Melanie Thornton, British tennis player Melanie South, American actress Melanie Mayron, American actress Melanie Martinez and American actress Melanie Griffith.
Popular variants of the name Melanie include Mel, Melania, Melani, Melenia and Melany.
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