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PronouncedPron.MEL-ə-nee English
ME-la-nee German
me-la-NEE German

Meaning & History

From Mélanie, the French form of the Latin name Melania, derived from Greek μελαινα (melaina) meaning "black, dark". This was the name of a Roman saint who gave all her wealth to charity in the 5th century. Her grandmother was also a saint with the same name.

The name was common in France during the Middle Ages, and was it introduced from there to England, though it eventually became rare. Interest in it was revived by the character Melanie Wilkes from the novel 'Gone with the Wind' (1936) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1939).
VariantsMelany, Mellony English
DiminutivesMalinda, Mel, Melina, Melinda, Mindy, Melantha English
Other Languages & CulturesMelánie Czech Mélanie French Melano Georgian Melaina Greek Mythology Melánia, Melinda Hungarian Melania Italian Melania Late Roman Melanija Latvian Melanija Lithuanian Melanija Macedonian Melania Polish Melanija Serbian Melánia Slovak Melanija Slovene Melania Spanish
Same SpellingMélanie, Melánie


Saint Melania the Younger from a 10th-century miniatureSaint Melania the Younger from a 10th-century miniature


actresses, athletes, black, colors, dark, Gone with the Wind characters, literature, medieval, musicians, pop music, Queer as Folk US characters, RWBY characters, saints
Entry updated December 8, 2017   Contribute