Usage Medieval English (Rare)
Other Forms FormsMelyor, Mellear, Mellior
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Contributor Contrib.SeaHorse15 on 7/18/2012
Older form of MELIORA, thought to come from Latin melior "better". Melior occurs as both family name and given name in Christian inscriptions of the Roman Empire. A Saint Meliorius gave his name to a church in Cornwall, which may account for the tradition that Meliora is an exclusively Cornish name. In fact it was generally used by the Puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries, often as Melyor, Mellear, etc. By the 19th century it had acquired its final -a and was regarded, according to Mrs Craik's remark in her bestselling novel 'Olive', as "eccentric". But wherever Meliora went, Mrs Craik tells us, 'she always brought "better things" - at least in anticipation.' The name is now rare.