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.



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.




You must be wondering why I would blog about a name that was invented in the 17th-century, well, I figure, over the centuries, Pamela has made such an impact on English literature that she deserves a post on Legitimate Baby Names.

The name, as mentioned above, was invented by Sir Philip Sidney for his Greek inspired work Arcadia.  It is believed that he created the name out of the Greek elements, pan (all) and meli (honey). It was also originally intended to be pronounced (puh-MEE-lah)!

A century later, another British author, Samuel Richardson, used the name for his heroine in his epistology Pamela also known as Virtue Rewarded (1740).  The novel recounts the forbidden love between a British nobleman and his servant, Pamela.

It was used as the nickname for Lady Edward FitzGerald (1773-1831), the wife of Lord Edward, and a bold supporter of Irish independence. Her real name was Stephanie Caroline Anne, and it is unknown as to why she was referred to as Pamela for most of her life, but it is the first time Pamela makes an appearance as a given name in the real world.

Pamela did not break out in popularity until the 1920s, even then, she ranks at a very low 848. By 1953, she made it in the top ten, coming in as the tenth most popular female name in the United States. Currently, Pamela only ranks in as the 983rd most popular female name (2010).

In recent years, due to several famous bearers, the name has recently made an appearance in other countries.  She has been used in Germany, Poland, France, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Sweden and in Spanish-speaking countries. There is even a French equivalent, Pamèle.  Though the name is inspired by Greek, it has yet to make an introduction into Greece.

Its common diminutive is of course Pam and the most famous bearer is Pamela Anderson.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian/Hungarian
Meaning: “honey.”

The name is derived from the Estonian word mesi meaning “honey.” Its designated name-day is August 9. Melita and Deboora are often used as a variations. It’s also used as a diminutive form of Emese is Hungary, in which case, it is pronounced as (MESH-ee-keh).


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovak/Slovene
Meaning: “golden; honey coloured.”

The name is derived from the Slavic word, zlata, meaning, “gold.” This form of the name referes to the honey brown golden colour. The designated name-day in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is June 12th; in Bulgaria, its October 18. Feminine versions include: Zlata and Zlatka. Another masculine form is Zlatan.

The name was borne by famous Croatian violinist, Zlatko Balakovic (1895-1965)

Melior, Meliora, Melora

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin/Breton
Meaning “better”or “honey-maker.”
Pronunciation (mel-YORE); (mel-YORE-uh); (meh-LORE-uh).

The name is somewhat debated, it may come directly from the Latin adjective melior meaning “better” or its possibly a medieval French corruption of the Breton, Meler, which means “honey-maker.”

The name has evolved to the more modern form of Melora.

Melior is found in French folklore, it was the name of the sister of Mélusine and Palatyne. She was cursed to keep a sparrow hawk in a palace in Armenia until she was rescued.

Possible nickname options include Mel, Liora, Lior, Ora, Lora or Lori.