Melanie

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek μελαινα
Meaning: “black, dark.”
Brit/Amer Eng (MEL-ah-NEE); Aus Eng (meh-LAH-nee); Fre (may-lah-NEE); Germ (MEL-ah-nee)

The name is derived from the Latin, Melania, which is derived from the Greek, μελαινα (melaina), meaning, “dark; black.”

In Greek Mythology, Melaina was the name of a nymph.

In the early Christian Church, the name was popularized by two 5th-century Roman saints, a grandmother and her granddaughter. Melanie the Younger is known for giving all her wealth to charity.

The name was introduced into England by the conquering Normans, but was never really common. The name became rather common in both the United States and in Britain starting in the early 20th-century, whether it was a French import, or if the character of Melanie Wilkes in Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone with the Wind (1936), are attributable to its popularity is up to conjecture.

Currently, Melanie is 89th most popular female name in the United States, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 54 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 60 (Argentina, 2009)
  • # 237 (France, 2010)
  • # 376 (Netherlands, 2011)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Melanya (Armenian)
  • Melanija Меланија Мелания (Croatian/Macedonian/Russian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Melánie (Czech: meh-LAHN-ye)
  • Melanie (Dutch/English/German)
  • Mélanie (French)
  • Melaina Μελαινα (Greek)
  • Melánia (Hungarian/Slovak)
  • Melani (Hungarian)
  • Melania (Italian/Late Latin/Polish/Spanish)
A common German short form is Mellie.

Italian masculine forms are: Melanio and Melaneo.

Polish diminutives are: Melanka, Melcia and Melusia.

The name is also borne by:

British pop singer, Melanie Brown, (former Spice Girl) b.1975. Melanie Chrisholm, aka Sporty Spice, b. 1974. American actress, Melanie Griffith (b.1957) and French actress and star of Inglorious Bastards, Mélanie Laurent (b. 1983).

The designated name-days are: January 10 (Hungary), January 13 (Poland), June 30 (Slovakia) and December 31 (France/Germany/Poland).

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/top/search.php?terms=melanie
  2. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/melanie?view=uk
  3. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10154a.htm
  4. http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=103701
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Maurice

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “dark; black”
Fr. (moh-REESE) Eng (MOR-ris).

He may seem a bit dated to some, but parents looking to vintage names like Leo and Brice/Bryce might see the appeal in this. Traditionally nicknamed Maury, parents who opt for the French pronunciation have the advantage of using Reese. Look past Maury Povich and the cartoon character in Madgascar, and you will find that the name has a long and rich history.

He is a derivative of the Roman name Mauritius, which is derived from the Latin Maurus meaning, “dark-skinned; dark complexion.”

The name was borne by Emperor Maurice of Byzantium (539-602). Known in Greek as Maurikios and in his native Armenian as Morik, he was one of the most influential and decisive rulers of the Byzantine Empire, so much so that he is a national hero in his native Armenia till this day.

StMaurice2 (1)The name is also borne by a very popular 3rd century saint. St. Maurice was an Egyptian by birth and a Roman citizen. He served in the Roman army and was apart of the Theban legions, which had been stationed in Switzerland at the time of the saint’s martyrdom. According to legend, Emperor Maximian ordered Maurice and his legions to destroy a local Christian community, when Maurice and his followers refused to harass fellow Christians, the emperor ordered them to be executed. The area of martyrdom is now known as Saint Maurice-en-Valais and the Abbey of Saint Maurice-en-Valais supposedly houses the saint’s relics.

800px-St._Moritz_by_nightThe saint also gave his name to another town in Switzerland: St. Moritz, (Top of the World), is a beautiful little resort town that sits in the Valley of Engadine and the canton of Graubünden. Their coat of arms actually features the legendary saint. St. Maurice is also venerated among Coptic Christians. In fact, the names Maurice and Maurikios are fairly common among Egyptian Christians.

The German form of Moritz is found in the popular German children’s series Max and Moritz written by Wilhelm Busch in 1865. The humorous duo is still a common pop icon in German speaking countries. Other notable appearances include a novel by E.M. Forster, (Maurice) written in 1913, a tale of same sex love in early 20th-century England.

The Island of Mauritius or L’île Maurice in French, is a former French colony off the coast of Africa. It was named in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau, the Stadtholder of the Netherlands.

The designated name-day is September 22

Currently, Maurice is the 150th most popular male name in Germany, (2011), and he still lurks within the U.S top 1000 coming in as the 445th most popular male name, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Morik Մորիկ (Armenian)
  • Moïc (Breton)
  • Maurici (Catalan)
  • Maurikios (Coptic/Greek)
  • Maric Мариц (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Maurits (Dutch/Scandinavian)
  • Mauri (Finnish)
  • Maur (French)
  • Maurice (French/English)
  • Moriz (German: archaic)
  • Moritz (German/Scandinavian)
  • Móric (Hungarian/Slovakian)
  • Mór (Hungarian)
  • Muiris (Irish)
  • Maurizio (Italian)
  • Mauro (Italian/Portuguese/Romansch)
  • Mauritius (Late Latin)
  • Maurus (Latin/Romansch)
  • Morics (Latvian)
  • Maurycy (Polish)
  • Maurício (Portuguese)
  • Maurin (Romansch)
  • Murezi (Romansch)
  • Murezzan (Romansch)
  • Mauricio (Spanish)
  • Meuric/Meurig (Welsh)

Its feminine counterparts are Maura, Mauricia and Maurizia.

Common English short forms are  Maury, Moe and Morry.

Kali

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Indian काली
Meaning: “black; time.”
(KAH-lee)

The name comes from the Sanskrit काली (Kālī), which means “black” and is also associated with the  Sanskrit word काल (Kāla) denoting a fixed point in time.

In Hinduism, the name is borne by the goddess and destructive consort of Shiva. She is usually depicted with dark blue skin, four arms and holding a severed head.

Currently, Kali ranked in as the 535th most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

Source

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/kali