Melina

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek/Italian/Bosnian

The name is of various origins depending on the bearer of the name. In Greek, it is most likely derived from melos meaning “honey.” In Italian, it is an abstraction of Carmelina, which is an elaborate form of Carmel. In former Yugoslavia, it is associated with the name of a city, located in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The name was borne by famous Greek actress Melina Mercouri (1920-1994) and Greek-American actress, Melina Kanakaredes (b.1967).

It is currently the 30th most popular female name in Argentina, (2009), the 59th most popular in France, (2009), the 60th most popular in Bosnia & Herzegovina (2010) and the 502nd most popular in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include the French Mélina and Méline.

Carmel

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “garden; orchard.”
Eng; (KAHRmel); (kahr-MEL)

There’s Candy and Cinnamon, so why not this? It sounds exactly like the yummy sugary snack, but has no relation to the word whatsoever. Spelled Carmel, it is the name of a place in Israel where alleged sightings of the Virgin Mary occurred way back in the Middle Ages. The miraculous visions gave its name to the Carmelite order.

Carmel is a derivative of the Hebrew karmel כַּרְמֶל. meaning “garden; orchard.” If you find the religious connotations too strong, and you love flowers, you now have the perfect excuse to use this name. Its designated name day is July 16.

As a given name, its spread throughout the Catholic world and the only English speaking country it ever gained any ground in, was Ireland, way back in the 1950s.

There’s the popular Italian version of Carmela, (also used by Spanish-speakers), which came to everyone’s attention as the name of Carmela Soprano on the hit HBO series.

There is also the obscure French form of Carmelle. Carmelita and Carmelina are popular Spanish diminutives, often used as independent names.

Other forms include:

  • Carme (Catalan/Galician)
  • Carmel (English: commonly used in Ireland)
  • Carmèle/Carmelle (French)
  • Karmela (German: rare)
  • Karméla (Hungarian)
  • Karmelina (Hungarian)
  • Carmela (Italian/Spanish)
  • Carmelina (Italian/Spanish)
  • Carmelinda (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Carmelita (Spanish: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Karmni (Maltese)
  • Carmo (Portuguese)
  • Carmen (Spanish: actually has a different etymology, but has been used as a cognate for centuries)

Spanish masculine forms are Carmelino, Carmelito and Carmelo and an Italian male form is Carmelio.

Common compound names include: the Spanish, Maria Carmen and Maria Carmel, the Italian, Maria Carmela and the Portuguese, Maria da Carmo.