[ 3 syll. me-la-nie, mel-an-ie ] The baby girl name Melanie is pronounced as MEHL-ah-Niy (English) or MEH-Laa-Niy (German) †. Melanie is largely used in Dutch, English, French, and German, and it is derived from Old Greek origins. The name is derived via Old French from Melania (Latin), itself of the Greek 'melas' (meaning black, dark). It was originally given to children with dark complexion, hair, or eyes. It was borne by two Roman saints, Saint Melania the Younger (383-439) and Melania the Elder (-410). The name was used by English speakers in the Middle Ages, introduced via French settlers, but its use did not persist. It saw a revival in the mid 17th century, and received another boost in the 20th century from a character of the same name in the highly popular Margaret Mitchell novel Gone with the Wind (1936) and subsequent film.
Melanie is a widely used name; it has 58 variant transcriptions that are used in English and other languages. English variant transcriptions include Malanea, Malaney, Malania, Malanie, Meila, Meilani, Meilin, Melaena, Melaine, Melainey, Melainie, Melane, Melanea, Melanee, Melanney, Melayne, Meleney, Meleni, Melenia, Melenie, Meleny, Mella, Mellany, Melleney, Melleny, Melli, Melly, Melonea, Melonnie, and Melya. Other English forms include the contracted forms Mel and Mela (used in Polish too), the diminutive form Mellie, and the spelling variants Melaney, Melani (used in Armenian, Dutch and German too), Melannie, Melany, Mellanie, Melloney, Mellony, Meloney, Meloni, Melonie, and Melony.
Variation transcriptions of Melanie used in other languages include Ela (Polish), Melaina (Greek), Melana (Russian), Melania (Italian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish), Melaniya (Russian), Melanka (Russian), Melanya (Russian), Melashka (Russian), Melasya (Russian), Melena (Slavic), Melka (Polish), Mélanie (French), and Milya (Russian).
See also the related form, Melinda (English and German).
Melanie is popular as a baby name for girls. The name's popularity increased from the 1930s up to the 1970s; before that, it was of very light use only. At the modest peak of its usage in 1973, 0.391% of baby girls were named Melanie. It ranked at #43 then. The baby name has since experienced a loss in popularity. In 2012, its usage was 0.180% and its ranking #77, but it was nevertheless the most popular out of all girl names in its group. In 2012, 5 times more girls were named Melanie than the subsequent ranked name, Melany.
Baby names that sound like Melanie include Melanee, Melaney, Melani, Mellanie, Melonie, Melony, Maelen, Maiolayne, Malana, Malena, Malin, Malina, Maline, Malinee, Maliney, Malini, Malinie, Maliny, Maloney, and Malonie.
† Pronunciation for Melanie: M as in "me (M.IY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)"
Details of famous persons named Melanie:
Actress Melanie Griffith, born 9 August 1957, New York, New York.
Singer Melanie (Mel B) Brown, born Melanie Janine Brown, 29 May 1975, West Yorkshire, England.
Singer Melanie (Mel C) Chisholm, born Melanie Jayne Chisholm, 12 January 1974, Lancashire, England.