Origin, Meaning, And History Of Melissa
Melissa is a classic, sweet-sounding name that originates from ancient Greek and means honeybee. Its derived from ‘meli,’ which means honey. The name also refers to a herb from the mint family, lemon balm. Melissa is also believed to have Gaelic origins, deriving from Maoilíosa, which means ‘servant of Christ.’
In ancient Greek mythology, Melissa was the child of a Cretan king, Melisseus. She was a nymph with supernatural powers. Legends say that Melissa found out about the usage of honey and taught it to the bees. It concludes the name’s meaning in its entirety.
Melissa is also a manifestation of the ancient Greek goddess Artemis, the moon goddess, who takes away or alleviates pain during childbirth. It is believed that Melissa may have been an old Goddess. The Greek philosopher Porphyry wrote that the priestesses called The Mellisae were initiates of Melissa as the chthonic goddess.
The name has variations in different cultures and languages. In the Geek, the name’s variants include Malisa, Malissa, Melessa, and Melisa. In French, it is Mélisse, and in Spanish Melosa.
The name has made a mark in popular culture. Writers like Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, and Lawrence Durrell named their charecters Melissa, contributing significantly to popularizing the name. The name also found a place in the lyrics of many hit songs in the 1990s. ‘Melissa’ by the Allman Brothers Band, ‘Melissa’ featuring Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman, and the recent ‘Melissa’s Song’ by Duff Kelly, kept the name’s popularity intact.
Other occurrences of the name in popular culture include the American sitcom ‘Melissa & Joey,’ and Melissa Egan from the movie ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer.’ Melissa Hastings is another character from the hit series ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Notably, May 27 is observed as National Melissa Day to observe all Melissas who graced the world for centuries.
How To Pronounce Melissa?
Famous People With The Name Melissa
- Melissa BenoistAmerican actor who rose to fame after comedy drama Glee
- Melissa EtheridgeAmerican singer-songwriter famous for her single ‘Bring Me Some Water’
- Melissa GilbertAmerican actress and director, former president of the Screen Actors Guild
- Melissa HoughAmerican ballet dancer, principal dancer with the Norwegian National Ballet
- Melissa Rose “Melrose” BickerstaffAmerican model and actress, known for ‘Semiotics of Intimacy’
- Melissa MathisonAmerican TV screenwriter , famous for writing the screenplay of ‘The Black Stallion’
- Melissa Ivy RauchAmerican comedian, known for playing Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory
- Melissa Arnette “Missy” ElliottAmerican singer
- Melissa ‘Missy’ FranklinAmerican Olympic gold medal swimmer
Melissa On The Popularity Chart
Melissa’s popularity peaked in the 1980s. View this chart below to learn about the name’s growth over the years.
Popularity Over Time
Although Melissa remained popular in the past few centuries, the name is seeing a downward trend now. In 1985, over 20,0000 babies per million were named Melisssa, which dropped to about 1000 names in 2020.Source: Social Security Administration
Rank Over Time
The name was among the top five baby names in 1980. However, the name is ranked 360 in 2021.Source: Social Security Administration
Names With Similar Sound As Melissa
Melissa sounds beautiful and melodic. Here are some more names that sound like Melissa.
Names With Same Meaning As Melissa
Do you wish to explore more names that mean honey bee? Check out the options listed below.