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Melanie Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Melanie including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Melanie Overview

  • Meaning: The name Melanie means “blackness” and “dark.”
  • Gender: People most commonly give the name Melanieto female babies.
  • Origin: Melanie has Latin roots.
  • Pronunciation: “MEL-uh-nee.”
  • Popularity: The name Melanie is popular in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Elle, Laney, Mel, Mela, Mellie, Melly, Mila.
  • Variations: Melani, Melania, Melanee, Melaneigh, Melaney, Melvin.
  • Namesakes: Mélanie Bernier, Melanie Klein, Melanie Martinez.

What Does Melanie Mean?

The name Melanie means “blackness” and “dark.” These meanings come from the Greek words “μελανία (Melania)” and “μέλας (Melas),” meaning the same (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Melanie?

Melanie comes from Latin origins, emerging onto the scene from the two saints, “Melania the Elder” and her granddaughter “Melania the Younger.”

From that point, the name was popular in religious communities. The French began to use it commonly, which made its way to England when the Normans brought it over.

How Popular Is the Name Melanie?

The name Melanie is popular in the United States, and it significantly increased in popularity when Margaret Mitchell released Gone With the Wind. The book introduced Melanie Hamilton, one of its most famous characters, and Hollywood would later release a film based on the book.

From 1936’s Gone With the Wind release, the name increased in popularity until the 1970s. Melanie reached the 80th most popular name position for women in the 50s and has stayed there ever since. The name’s popularity is comparable in France, though Melanie became popular earlier there than in the United States.

Today, Melanie ranks in the top 130 names (2).

How Do I Pronounce Melanie?

You pronounce Melanie as “MEL-uh-nee.” There are no standard alternate pronunciations for this spelling.

Is Melanie a Boy or Girl Name?

People most commonly give the name Melanie to female babies, and the closest name for male babies is “Melvin.”

Variations of Melanie

There are many different iterations of Melanie as well. Some of the most popular include:

  • Melani (Latin)
  • Melania (Slavik)
  • Melanee (Irish)
  • Melaneigh (Irish)
  • Melaney (Irish)
  • Melvin (masculine; Irish)

Nicknames for Melanie

There are also many fun ways to turn Melanie into a pet or nickname. Some of the ones that came to mind include:

  • Elle
  • Laney
  • Mel
  • Mellie
  • Melly
  • Mila

Similar Names to Melanie

If Melanie isn’t quite what you’re looking for in a baby name, try some of these names instead:

Middle Names for Melanie

Melanie is also a great and straightforward name to pair with a second or middle name. A few that come to mind include:

Sibling Names for Melanie

It can be hard to pair sibling names up. If you are looking for a brother or sister name for Melanie, give these some thought:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Melanie

Because of how widespread the name Melanie is, many people who have become famous have it. Some of the most recognizable names are:

  • Mélanie Bernier: French actress best known for her work in the films “Love Addict” and “Blind Date.”
  • Mélanie Bonis: French Romantic-period composer best known for her chamber music and piano compositions.
  • Melanie Brown: English singer and member of the Spice Girls known as “Mel B.”
  • Melanie Chisholm: English singer and Spice Girl known as “Mel C.”
  • Melanie Counsell: Director, installation artist, and sculptor from Wales.
  • Melanie Klein: Austrian-British writer and psychoanalysis who focused her studies on object-relations theory.
  • Melanie Martinez: American singer-songwriter best known for her debut album, “Cry Baby.”

Melanie in Popular Culture

Like there are several famous people with the name, plenty of characters take on the persona of Melanie as well. Some of them are:

  • Melanie Barnett: A personality in the TV series “The Game.”
  • Melanie Stryder: A personality from the novel The Host by author Stephenie Meyer.
  • Melanie Bush: A personality in the TV program “Doctor Who.”
  • Melanie Walker: A personality from the animated series “Batman Beyond.”
  • Melanie Hamilton: A primary character from the movie and book Gone with the Wind.
  • Melanie Jonas: A personality from the daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”
  • Melanie Marcus: A personality in the TV program “Queer as Folk.”

Melanie FAQs

Is “Malania” a Closely Related Name to “Melanie?”

Yes, “Malania” is very closely related to “Melanie.” They have the same origin and meaning as “Darkness” or “Black.”

What Sort of Personality Does a Melanie Have?

Melanie’s are free-spirited and loving. They look at like through a different lens and do things their way, which typically comes in a positive, constructive way.

They don’t like to waste time and go on adventures whenever they can. They also prefer to think deeply about something very quickly and come up with a sensible solution.

Was the Name Melanie Popular Between Its Original Fame in France and Gone With the Wind?

When the name first became popular in France, it stayed that way until this day. However, it only had a tiny bit of popularity until Gone with the Wind was released when it got to England.

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