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Subject: Re: Question about Melissa
Author: Cleveland Kent Evans   (Authenticated as clevelandkentevans)
Date: February 3, 2010 at 1:48:14 PM
Reply to: Question about Melissa by Melissa
I don't know for sure how this started, but it doesn't seem to be correct. I don't own a specifically Persian name dictionary, but this name isn't in the general Islamic name dictionaries I have, which do contain other names of Persian origin.

There are some websites which say that Malissa or Melissa is a Farsi name meaning "lemon balm". This seems to be closer to the truth (especially since those sites are using the proper modern word for the language, Farsi, instead of just saying "Persian"). However, Melissa isn't derived from a Persian word, but instead Melissa is the scientific name for the genus of plants that includes lemon balm. Some Persian parents who were familiar with scientific names for plants may have named daughters Melissa after the lemon balm plant, but the derivation of that is from the Greek word for "honey bee".

http://www.urbanherbal.com/herb_gardening/lemon_balm_8_07.html

I think someone got confused between roses and lemon balm myself, and this misinformation has been simply copied over and over again on the web by people who think anything they find in print must be correct. :)

Erica happens to be the scientific name for the heather plant, and some parents have named daughters Erica with that in mind, even though the original derivation of Erica was simply as a feminine form of Eric. Some parents in Iran may have named daughters Melissa in a similar way, but that doesn't make Melissa originally a "Persian name".

This message was edited by the author on February 3, 2010 at 1:49:22 PM

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