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.
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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%

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Idaho (ID)

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Indiana (IN)

Kansas (KS)

Kentucky (KY)

Louisiana (LA)

Massachusetts (MA)

Maryland (MD)

Maine (ME)

Michigan (MI)

Minnesota (MN)

Missouri (MO)

Mississippi (MS)

Montana (MT)

North Carolina (NC)

North Dakota (ND)

Nebraska (NE)

New Hampshire (NH)

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Nevada (NV)

New York (NY)

Ohio (OH)

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Oregon (OR)

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Tennessee (TN)

Texas (TX)

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Vermont (VT)

Washington (WA)

Wisconsin (WI)

West Virginia (WV)

Wyoming (WY)

Data via SSA.gov.


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
Mel

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

Greek

Mela

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Mella

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melli

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Mellie

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

Greek

Melly

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

Greek


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
Malaney

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Malanie

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melaina

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melaine

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melainey

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melana

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melanee

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melaney

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melani

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melania

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melanney

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melannie

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melantha

Dark flower

Greek

Melany

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Mellanie

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melloney

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Meloni

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melonie

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melonnie

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Melony

Black, dark-skinned

Greek

Milena

Favored

Slavic


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
Malia

Of the sea

Polynesian

Mallory

Unlucky

French

Melody

Song

English


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
Cora

Maiden

Greek

Dina

Decoration; valley; justified; spear ruler

Hebrew

Farrah

Good-looking

English

Jessamine

Jasmine

Persian

Layla

Night

Arabic

Lilah

Night

Arabic

Mira

Wonderful; peace; propserous

Spanish

Miranda

Admirable

Latin

Monica

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

Latin

Rebecca

To join

Hebrew


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
Tristan

Sadness

Welsh

Liam

Helmet of will

Irish

9 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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

  6. I love that name also

  7. 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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