Melissa Origin and Meaning

The name Melissa is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "honeybee".

Melissa derives from the Greek word mélissa, meaning "bee," which was taken from the word for honey, meli. In Greek mythology, Melissa was a nymph who nursed the infant god Zeus with honey. Melissa was used as a given name by the early Greeks, as well as for fairies by Italian Renaissance poets.

Most parents today think of Melissa as one of the fashionable names during their childhoods, and indeed for years it was one of the most popular girl names starting with M. But there are still plenty of little Melissas around and Melissa is also a more classic name than you might think, used in the U.S. since the eighteenth century and originating as the name of a nymph in Greek mythology.

Melissa was the name of the good witch in Ariosto's major 1532 narrative poem Orlando Furioso. Later, it can be found in the works of a wide range of writers, including Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and Lawrence Durrell.

# 377 in the US

Melissa Rank in US Top 1000

# 644 on Nameberry

Melissa Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Melissa Popularity

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Famous People Named Melissa

  • Melissa BenoistAmerican actress
  • Melissa FumeroAmerican actress
  • Melissa "Missy" HigginsAustralian singer and actress
  • Melissa Rose "Melrose" BickerstaffAmerican model
  • Melissa Joan HartAmerican actress
  • Melissa EtheridgeAmerican singer
  • Melissa Claire EganAmerican actress
  • Melissa GeorgeAustralian,American actress
  • Melissa RosenbergAmerican actress
  • Melissa Grimesfashion designer & contestant on "Under the Gunn"
  • Melissa OrdwayAmerican actress
  • Melissa GilbertAmerican actress
  • Melissa McCarthyAmerican actress
  • Melissa 'Missy' FranklinUS Olympic Gold Medal swimmer
  • Melissa McBrideAmerican actress
  • Melissa Sue AndersonAmerican actress
  • Melissa Arnette "Missy" ElliottAmerican singer
  • Melissa MathisonAmerican film & TV screenwriter
  • Melissa Margaret PetermanAmerican actress & comedian
  • Melissa Ivy RauchAmerican actress & comedian
  • Melissa Chessington LeoAmerican actress
  • Melissa LynnL.A. stylist and fiancee of actor Jonathan Sadowski
  • Melissa Trncostume designer and wife of actor Brett Dalton
  • Melissa "Missy" (Hollister) LanningAmerican vlogger as part of "Daily Bumps"
  • Melissa Palma Julie TancrediCanadian soccer player
  • Melissa Susanne HendersonAmerican soccer player
  • Melissa Marie Ortiz MatallanaColombian football player
  • Melissa Anne BarbieriAustralian soccer player
  • Melissa Hoopercompetitor on E! reality show "Bridalplasty"
  • Melissa ZieglerGisoni, mother of Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler, featured on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms”

Melissa in Pop Culture

  • "Melissa" by the Allman Brothers
  • "(Is that you) Melissa?" by Mercyful Fate
  • Melissa Hastingsolder sister of Spencer from ''Pretty Little Liars''
  • Melissa ArtemisGreek dancer & prostitute in "The Alexandria Quartet"
  • Melissa Normanfrom the movie "Room 6"
  • Melissa Nelsonfrom "Malicious"
  • Melissa Webberfrom "Packin' It In"
  • Melissa Scullycharacter on FOX's "X,Files"
  • Melissaheroine in Barbara Cartland's book An Arrow of Love
  • Melissa Galecharacter in the game "Siren: Blood Curse"
  • Melissa "Lissa" Daniels the main character from Kody Keplingers "Shut Out"
  • Melissa McCallmother of Scott from MTV's "Teen Wolf"
  • Melissa Lewiscommander of the Ares 3 mission in "The Martian"
  • Melissa 'Oregon' Shawcrosscharacter in TV's "Fresh Meat."
  • Melissa Lycancharacter in Aphmau's YouTube series