Of Greek origin.
From the Greek word “μέλαινα” (mélena), meaning “of dark color”, “black”.
It was used as a Latin name, in the form of Melania and later as a French name in the form of Mélanie.
The name was introduced in England from France, after the 6th century, and was rarely used.
It wasn’t until the success of Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind” which was made into an enormously successful 1939 film, where the character of Melanie Wilkes is featured, that the name’s popularity started to rise.
Other forms of the name are Melany, Mélanie, Melánia, Mel, Mellony, Melli, Melane, Melannie, Meilani, etc.
Melanie is ranked #72 in Portugal and #82 in U.S.A. and Mexico.
Famous bearers are Melanie Griffith, Melanie Janine Brown known as Mel B, Melanie Jayne Chisholm, known as Melanie C, Melanie Lynskey, Melanie Blatt, Melanie Martinez, Melanie Mayron, Melanie Laurent, Melanie Fiona, Melanie Merkosky, Melanie Margalis.