The name Melissa is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "honeybee". Melissa is ranked #273 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Greek Baby Names for Modern Kids and discussed in our forums with posts like "Girls Makeover - Two Middles".
From the experts:
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: the mythical Melissa was nursemaid to the infant god Zeus.
Melissa was used as a given name by the early Greeks, as well as for fairies by Italian Renaissance poets--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.