Gender: Feminine
Origin: Italian
Meaning: “ash tree.”

The name was created by Italian writer Gabriele d’Annunzio for his 1904 novel La Figlia di Jorio. It is believed to be derived from the Tuscan word for “ash tree.”

It is most famously borne by Italian actress, Ornella Muti (b.1955).

It is currently the 49th most popular female name in Argentina, (2009) and the 316th most popular in France.

A Romanian and Greek form is Ornela.



Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Μελια
Meaning: “ash tree; honey.”
ENG (MEE-lee-ah)

The name is derived from the Greek  μελι meaning “honey” and is also the word for the ash tree. In Greek the tree gets its name from the sugary sap that it produces.

In Greek mythology, it is the name of a group of nymphs known collectively as the Meliae, they were formed from the blood of Uranus’ castration and were the nymphs of the ash tree.

It was also borne by a daughter of Oceanos, she was a naiad nymph whom Apollo loved and who bore him two sons. She was revered as a minor goddess of the Ismenian spring.

Currently, Melia is the 113th most popular female name in Quebec, Canada (2010) and the 421st most popular in France, (2009).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Melija Мелия (Bulgarian/Lithuanian)
  • Mèlia (Catalan)

It is also the name of a type of ash tree which gets its name from the group of nymphs.


  1. http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheMelia2.html
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/name/melia