Melanie Name Meaning

Beloved for her soft sound and styling, Melanie has been a steady presence on the baby girl name charts. Her popularity has never reached the point of overuse, always hovering in the sweet spot range that allows her to feel familiar but remain fresh.

She’s withstood the test of time, evading feeling trendy or dated. She comfortably matures with her wearer, never feeling too immature. While she can easily stand on her own, Melanie can be shortened to Mel or Melly if you’d like. Lani is another unexpected nickname option.

Her meaning may be dark, literally, but that doesn’t make her unusable. She’s the perfect pick for a night owl of a baby, her sweet sound contrasting her meaning beautifully as well. Melanie’s gentle style lightens her up considerably, similar to many of today’s top picks but different enough to remain unique.

Melanie is popular in pop culture, the name of many high-profile singers and actresses like Melanie Griffith and Melanie Brown. She’s also commonly seen in literature and film, appearing as Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind and Melanie Bush in Doctor Who.

Variants of Melanie include her alternative spelling Melany as well as the grand Melania. Similar names that are well-known but not overused are Vanessa, Valerie, and Brooke.

Infographic of Melanie name meaning, which is Melanie is derived from the Greek melas meaning black, in reference to the Greek goddess who mourned all winter for the return of spring.
Ask your friends & family about Melanie…

Melanie Name Popularity

How popular is the name Melanie? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 0 0%
1911 0 0%
1912 0 0%
1913 0 0%
1914 0 0%
1915 0 0%
1916 0 0%
1917 0 0%
1918 0 0%
1919 0 0%
1920 1,476 6 0.0005%
1921 0 0%
1922 1,689 5 0.0004%
1923 0 0%
1924 0 0%
1925 0 0%
1926 1,729 5 0.0005%
1927 1,654 5 0.0005%
1928 1,681 5 0.0005%
1929 0 0%
1930 0 0%
1931 0 0%
1932 0 0%
1933 0 0%
1934 0 0%
1935 0 0%
1936 0 0%
1937 984 20 0.002%
1938 1,182 11 0.0011%
1939 928 23 0.0023%
1940 479 153 0.0144%
1941 400 249 0.0221%
1942 355 345 0.0273%
1943 362 348 0.0267%
1944 410 259 0.0209%
1945 397 276 0.0226%
1946 382 352 0.0239%
1947 351 480 0.0288%
1948 242 926 0.058%
1949 217 1,178 0.0732%
1950 233 1,009 0.0627%
1951 244 983 0.058%
1952 210 1,331 0.0763%
1953 209 1,403 0.0793%
1954 178 1,861 0.1018%
1955 141 2,645 0.1438%
1956 143 2,692 0.1425%
1957 152 2,468 0.1283%
1958 157 2,518 0.1332%
1959 148 2,825 0.1487%
1960 124 3,661 0.1932%
1961 123 3,756 0.1989%
1962 106 4,278 0.233%
1963 101 4,268 0.2378%
1964 105 3,939 0.2238%
1965 122 3,108 0.1901%
1966 116 3,043 0.1949%
1967 110 3,106 0.2047%
1968 94 3,643 0.2426%
1969 92 3,922 0.2546%
1970 91 4,330 0.2721%
1971 66 5,140 0.3421%
1972 42 6,295 0.4622%
1973 43 6,079 0.4689%
1974 51 5,483 0.4219%
1975 52 5,368 0.4177%
1976 53 5,240 0.4066%
1977 53 5,372 0.3985%
1978 54 4,998 0.3717%
1979 53 5,021 0.3561%
1980 60 4,843 0.3312%
1981 66 4,473 0.3043%
1982 65 4,254 0.2847%
1983 79 3,547 0.2404%
1984 85 3,513 0.2362%
1985 88 3,129 0.2062%
1986 96 2,972 0.1969%
1987 102 2,735 0.1792%
1988 99 2,827 0.1814%
1989 88 3,621 0.2244%
1990 85 3,809 0.2298%
1991 96 3,579 0.2196%
1992 98 3,343 0.2094%
1993 110 2,971 0.1906%
1994 120 2,674 0.1742%
1995 117 2,635 0.1748%
1996 118 2,652 0.1771%
1997 127 2,496 0.1688%
1998 135 2,449 0.1636%
1999 126 2,641 0.1764%
2000 114 2,948 0.193%
2001 117 2,887 0.1916%
2002 94 3,467 0.2314%
2003 93 3,538 0.2326%
2004 89 3,568 0.2341%
2005 92 3,480 0.2276%
2006 85 4,011 0.2562%
2007 82 3,972 0.2517%
2008 85 3,696 0.2391%
2009 94 3,462 0.2316%
2010 83 3,468 0.2407%
2011 89 3,267 0.2293%
2012 78 3,440 0.2414%
2013 84 3,454 0.2426%
2014 82 3,675 0.2522%
2015 81 3,470 0.2385%
2016 82 3,464 0.2403%
2017 90 3,205 0.2296%
2018 104 2,818 0.2051%
2019 109 2,563 0.1893%
2020 105 2,458 0.1931%
2021 129 1,993 0.163%
2022 130 2,139 0.1621%

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Names Like Melanie

If you like Melanie, you’ll love these other names like Melanie.

What names are diminutives of Melanie?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Melanie sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Melanie, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender

Smooth brow; black, dark-skinned; bee; honey; brave strength



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned; bee; honey; brave strength



Black, dark-skinned; bee; honey; brave strength


What names are variants of Melanie?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Melanie.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender

Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Dark flower



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned



Black, dark-skinned





What names sound like Melanie?

If you like how Melanie sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Melanie.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender

Of the sea








What names are similar to Melanie?

Find a name that’s like Melanie, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender




Decoration; valley; justified; spear ruler















Wonderful; peace; propserous






“The virgin one,” ultimately from the Greek monies, solitary, in allusion to the chastity of a solitary life.



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Lists With Melanie

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Melanie.

Siblings of Melanie

Mamas with kids named Melanie also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender




Helmet of will



House of figs



Brave lion



Gift of God



  1. My name is Melanie and I was the only child out of five my father named. All my other siblings were named after a relative. I got called Watermelon by school boys and when someone called me Mel my mom would become furious. She said, “If I wanted you to be called Mel, I would have named you Mel. That’s a boy’s name.” I replied, But mom, Dad named me and why do my brothers and sisters have nicknames? You never call them by their given names. She gave me the evil eye. (Lol) By the way…I HATE winter and adore Spring! It’s my favorite season!

  2. Melanie was a name I heard once as a kid and it stuck with me. I loved the sound of Melanie and at the time it was not a common name. I named my first born Melanie.

  3. My mom told me when she saw “Gone with the Wind” as a young teenager, at the movie theater, she knew if she had a daughter, Melanie would be her name.
    She said mostly she wanted her daughter, to be just as sweet as that Melanie.
    Often times my mom said, “too bad I turned out to be much more like Scarlett.”

    • Same! That’s where my name came from too.

  4. I have always loved my name. My mother heard it and said that it was beautiful and wanted it for me.
    My dad and a couple of close friends call me Mel which is fine. The only thing that bothers me is if someone I don’t know well calls me Mel. Funny, today reading this I found out about the Greek goddess and her love of Spring. That is so ME! I love everything about Spring….the weather warming, the birds, the flowers and the overall feeling of renewal.

    • I use Lanie for a nickname. Don’t like Mel. Lah-nee not Lay-nee

      • OMG same!! my grandma came up with the nickname Lanie and that’s what I have always been

  5. I love my name. It has a beautiful sound. Someone told me once that my name was French in origin because it has 3 syllables, I thought that was interesting at the time and today I looked up my name I n Wikipedia and learned that the spelling did come from France. So I guess they were right. Also liked reading that it’s origins are from a Greece goddess who mourned for the return of Spring…I can relate. LOL

  6. Fellow…Melanie…right here! Just looking up name meanings so, naturally looked into the meaning of my name. I had looked up the meaning years ago, when trying to name my first child. I thought the coolest thing on this website was the names most similar, the very fist name that comes up to my version of (Melanie) was, Cora?this was the name of my Great-grandmother, a selfless woman who was a temporary foster parent for so many various children for years, there’s not a specific count because there were too many to remember! That to me is truly amazing and an individual I can look up to and be proud knowing that she is forever part of me??

    • Oh guys I finally know “what name means”?? and I’m proud about myself Melanie it is a good name

  7. I love my name & the unique way it’s spelled. No one else spelled it like mine in the 40s so I know the younger-named Mehlanies got it from my name. Back then there was a saying, “fine & mellow” and my dad wanted me named Mehlanie because he just knew his daughter would be that attractive. (smile)

  8. I love my name. I didn’t appreciate it as a kid & imagined changing it when I grew up. Thank goodness I didn’t! BEST NAME EVER. Some of my friends call me Mellie or Melly, but I love when people call me Mel. Although the name Melanie is so beautiful, it’s a little formal. When people call me Mel it feels like we are best buds even if we just met. Hey to all the Melanies out there ya’ll!

    • I love my name and have always been interested in the spelling of other Melanie’s. It’s a name that also means “sweet deposition”. When I hear others say my name I am reminded of the uniqueness of our name. I think my name is very fitting and I appreciate it even more when I write it down on paper or when I earn an achievement. I of course love when my husband, parents and siblings call me “Mel“, and my friends and family call me Melly Mel”. ? Hello as well to all my Melanie’s (despite the difference in spelling).

    • I can relate lol

    • I didn’t like my name as a child either. People always pronounced it wrong and would constantly call me Melody. I like it now.

      • I liked Melanie, don’t like Mel. I do like Lanie prounced Lah-nee. Not Lay-nee

  9. Named after my late grandmother– never minded the name as a kid, but thinking about the younger Melanie’s makes me feel proud, we’re a unique people. Love your name ladies!! and I love how you can butch it up with ‘Mel’ too

  10. My mom named me Melanie because she loved the name, I not so much liked as a kid but I love it now as an adult. After realizing the meaning at first did not like because “black” is sooo not me, but it’s after a Greek Goddess who was tired of dead of winter and mourned the return of life of Spring. ?

  11. My name is Melanie and I really love the name I am 12yrs old and we are actually learning about Greek history in school and the name Melanie originated in Greece/Greek

    • i once looked up that Melanie is a reference to a minor goddesses that is the daughter of Persephone and Zeus. Zeus dressed as hades and tricked Persephone, making her the goddess of death. i was also told that one of the Percy Jackson books he’s her in it, can someone who has read the books tell he if its true or not.

  12. My name is Melanie. And u really like my name but not the meaning so much. But I was named after my dad’s cousin’s daughter that died 15 min after birth and the name still goes through our family. I luv all my nicknames and all the silly things I have been called and in total there are more than 6 Melanie’s in our family. But our family is very big so I don’t know them all.

    • My name is Melanie and when I first realized the meaning I didn’t like it much either but then I thought about it….we are named after a Greek Goddess ?that could not wait for Spring to arrive…she obviously loved Spring rain, Spring flowers, birds, everything that has to do with life. I think that is beautiful!

  13. my name’s melanie. I get called a lot of nicknames and its just annoying sometimes like people just say my name correctly. i get called mel most often but sometimes people call me melon which i dont really like that much. once i read this article i was straight away caught with the name lani. Its also a bit creepy because im sort if a dark person but i never thought my name related to this.

    • I’m Melanie also and when I was a kid I got watermelonie ?. Most use Melanie but some try and call me Mel but I really don’t like it so I politely ask that they call me “Melanie “. I have never had anyone think that it was a big deal.

      • I got called “watermelony” too. Boys in middle school sexually harassed me and used that name to refer to my breasts. It was awful. But I absolutely love my name.

    • I can understand this. Growing up my brothers would always call me smelly melly or melonhead

  14. Its a really nice name :)) You can shorten it to Mel or Lani

  15. My mom’s name was Melanie, and she passed away when I was 15 years old so we thought we’d use her namesake ?

  16. I love that name also

  17. My daughters name is Melanie. She is 13 years old and I still love her name. It is fitting to her personality. She is loosely named after the character Melanie, from Gone with the wind. The only thing about this thing that I don’t like is that it is often abbreviated to Mel

    • my name is melanie and i love it it’s just that it’s so easy to say and sometimes i wish people would say my name wrong just so i can correct them ?

      • I actually really like the name too !

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