Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Melanie

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, French, Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 84
Simple meaning:
Black, dark

Characteristics of Melanie

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Melanie

The name Melanie was brought to England by way of the Norman-French after the Conquest of 1066. Mélanie is essentially the French version of the Latin Melania, both of which are derived from the Greek “melaina” (μελαινα), a descriptive adjective meaning “black, dark.” The Medieval French adopted the name in honor of a 5th century Roman saint, St. Melania the Younger. Melania was born into one of the wealthiest families in the Roman Empire circa 383 A.D.; she would later convert to Christianity upon the early deaths of two of her children. After inheriting her father’s vast wealth, Melania used all the money to endow and aid Christian churches across Europe and the Middle East. She also freed her slaves, sold her property and gave her money to the poor. She became symbolic of the ephemeral value of material wealth, and her legend and cult grew in the Middle Ages. The French readily bestowed the name Mélanie as they did with so many other venerated early saints. The name was picked up by the English by way of the French although it had become rare by the later Middle Ages. Melanie came out of hibernation in the late 1930s thanks to Margaret Mitchell’s character Melanie Wilkes in her novel “Gone with the Wind” (1936) and the blockbuster movie adaptation that followed (1939).

Popularity of the Name Melanie

Melanie hit the American female naming charts in 1938 – saw enormous gains after the release of “Gone with the Wind” (1939) – and then landed a position on the U.S. Top 100 in 1968. The height of the name’s popularity came in the early 1970s when Melanie achieved position #42 on America’s Top 100 list (1972). Since then, she has been bouncing up and down the charts and averaging around #90 in terms of ranking. Melanie feels like a “good girl” name given its association with such a pious saint, as well as the gentle and kind character we know as Melanie Hamilton from “Gone with the Wind.” A modern classic with medieval French flavor, the name has both sophistication and cuteness going for it. The name’s etymological meaning (black, dark) makes it a good choice for baby girls with dark complexions and/or black hair.
Popularity of the Girl Name Melanie
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Melanie

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Melanie

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Melanie

    Melanie Hamilton Wilkes (Gone with the Wind) Melanie is the lovely counterpart to Scarlett O’Hara in Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel, Gone With The Wind, and her image is inextricably intertwined with Olivia de Haviland, who played her in the 1939 movie. Surely Melanie is one of the most loved modern American fictional characters. She is not “too good to be true”, she is good and true, an unfaltering, loyal and loving pillar of support to all the other pivotal characters in the story. Born of an aristocratic, inbred Southern family, both she and her cousin/husband, Ashley Wilkes, have been raised in the genteel, mythic atmosphere of the Old South in all its glory. While this results in a kind of namby-pamby indecisiveness in Ashley, in Melanie it seems to have provided a backbone of steel under all the naivete and crinolines. She is kind and gentle, but not above shooting a Yankee soldier when he threatens those she loves. She stands up for Scarlett’s reputation and provides a bridge back to sanity for Rhett Butler when his daughter dies, all the while performing her duties as the perfect wife and mother that she is. In the crucial scene where Melanie meets her death, it is perhaps Scarlett who mourns her most, realizing finally how much she has relied upon this good woman, how much she has needed her, and how loathe she is to let her go.

  • Popular Songs on Melanie

    Popular Songs on Melanie

    Melanie - a song by Donna Summer

    Melanie - a song by Toto

    Melanie - a song by Weird Al Yankovic

    Melanie Banks Where Can You Be? - a song by Diesel Boy

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Melanie

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Melanie

    A Home for Melanie (Joanna Campbell) - Is Melanie leaving the only place that's ever felt like home? Melanie Graham expected Whitebrook Farm to be the most boring place in America. And she thought her cousin, Christina Reese, would be a snob. But after an entire summer at Whitebrook, Melanie has changed her mind. Whitebrook isn't dull--it's amazing! There are so many beautiful horses, especially Trib, her favorite pony. Plus, Christina is totally cool--she's the first true friend Melanie has ever had. Now Melanie can't imagine living anywhere else. There's just one problem: Melanie's dad wants her to return to New York City. How can she convince him to let her stay at Whitebrook--forever? Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Melanie and the Modeling Mess (Elaine L. Schulte) - A new face has moved into Santa Rosita Estates, and her name is Melanie Lin. Becky, Cara, Tricia, and Jess are very impressed when they discover that their beautiful new Asian friend is also a model but inside, Melanie is far from confident about herself. With a wacky Chinese aunt and a younger brother who runs around karate-chopping her friends, Melanie wishes her family wouldn't make their heritage so obvious. More than anything, she wants to feel as if she belongs, and she's sure that being part of the Twelve Candles Club will do just that. Determined to fit in, Melanie offers to get modeling jobs for her new friends but when Tricia, Becky, Jess, and Cara show off their modeling skills, it looks as if the fashion show might be heading for disaster! Watch Out! Melanie's Stuck Her Foot in Her Mouth Again! Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Melanie Mouse's Moving Day (Cyndy Szekeres) - Poor Melanie Mouse! She’s crying, because today is moving day and she has to say goodbye to all her friends—the peeping chicks, the sobbing piglets, the precious puppies. What will her new home be like? Will she have anyone to play with? Cyndy Szekeres’s charming story, and her irresistible animals, will provide comfort and reassurance to any child who has to move to a new neighborhood. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    The Diary of Melanie Martin (Carol Weston) - Ten-year-old Melanie Martin and her family are going to Italy for spring break. Her diary begins shortly before their European adventures start, and continues as they travel across Italy and back home again. As on many family vacations, the two kids fight, the parents argue, pickpockets strike, children go missing, new things are tried, but, ultimately, everyone has a memorable trip. Melanie's diary has an authentic ring: she grumbles about her brother, her parents complain that she is a grump, but by journal's end she has gained a maturity that often accompanies a trip abroad. Sections of the book are laugh-out-loud funny and Weston's descriptions will have readers wanting to see the country for themselves. An enjoyable read. Part of a series. Recommended for ages 8-12.

  • Famous People Named Melanie

    Famous People Named Melanie

    Famous People Named Melanie - Melanie Griffith (actress); Melanie Brown (singer/Spice Girl); Melanie Chisholm (singer/Spice Girl); Melanie Blatt (singer); Melanie Fiona (singer); Melanie Thornton (singer); Melanie Oudin (tennis player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Melanie

    Children of Famous People Named Melanie

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Melanie - Gilles Villeneuve (race car driver); Peter Gabriel Musician); Rodney Dangerfield (comic/actor); Vanessa Williams (actress); William Shatner (actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Melanie - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Melanie - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Melanie.

Personality of the Girl Name Melanie

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Melanie

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