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(36 Posts)
Gwennan Fri 28-Sep-12 10:27:45

Just 50 baby girls were named Melanie in 2011.

I think it looks and sounds very pretty but:
1. Is the nickname Mel inevitable?
2. Is it a bit mumsy?

What do you think?

MadBusLady Fri 28-Sep-12 10:59:09

1. Yes. You could make an effort with Linny/Lanie I guess, but it would be effort.
2. Yes, it's a 1970s/80s name and the contrast will only get worse. It would be like someone who's twenty now being called Denise or Janice. Just thirty years wrong. I think names need a good 50 year cycle to come back.


YouMayLogOut Fri 28-Sep-12 11:12:01

I think it's a lovely name. I do think Mel is inevitable.

RosehipJam Fri 28-Sep-12 13:27:47

A name that's pleasing to the ear. In answer to your question, I would think it slips under the wire of being assigned soley to a particular decade. I've got my name books out today because I'm trying to decide on some shortlist names myself so it's hardly any trouble to add some quotes from them. The reasons I think it's fairly non-faddy are:

i) It is an ancient name. Melania was used by both the Greeks and the Romans.

ii) It is a saint's name. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Names, it was the name of the two Roman saints of the 5th century, a grandmother and a grandaughter. St Melania the Younger was the daughter of a patrician family. It states 'she led an austere and devout Christian life and, on inheriting her father's wealth, she emancipated her slaves, sold her property, and she gave the proceeds to the poor. She also established several contemplative houses, including one on the Mount of Olives, to which she eventually retired.'

iii) It has been established in this country for a long time making it a lot less faddy than many names. It has had an ebb and flow of popularity but it didn't zoom in from nowhere in the late 20th century. The Oxford Dictionary of Names says that 'the name Melanie was introduced to England from France in the Middle Ages.' The Collins book of First Names states that it was introduced in the mid-17th century.

I'm inclined to go lean towards the first reference however, the point is that it's been used in England certainly from the time of the Magna Carta to the reign of Charles I

She doesn't have to be called Mel if you don't want her to be; it's the same argument with Elizabeth, Abigail, Catherine and other names and their diminutives. I know a Melanie who's often called Anie if that is any help.

mayanna123 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:33:05

"Just thirty years wrong"

Why on earth does a name HAVE to be fashionable and current? Why add yet another Sophie or Ellie to the thousands out there already? Melanie makes a refreshing change and her classmates won't even know that it was trendy 30 years ago!

I think Melanie is a beautiful name that works well in most languages - German, French, Spanish and English. Great choice imo!

mayanna123 Fri 28-Sep-12 13:34:20

"Just 50 baby girls were named Melanie in 2011."

That just goes to show how 'fashion' driven many of us are when we name our children.

MadBusLady Fri 28-Sep-12 13:55:00

The opposite of "thirty years wrong" isn't "fashionable". I just mean it's an awkward interval of time. It's close enough that the name could feel odd and ageing in twenty years or so, there hasn't been enough distance created for people to see it in a new light. I just see it as a name from my generation, and I wouldn't give it to a child now any more than my mum would have given me one of the names that was fashionable in her generation. (Obviously some names are classics and are used in every generation, but Melanie isn't one of them).

BoerWarKids Fri 28-Sep-12 13:57:55

I like Melanie, but love Melissa and Melody. They're still 'Mel' names but not so dated.

5inthebed Fri 28-Sep-12 14:00:26

I'm a Melanie and get called Mel an awful lot despite introducing myself as Melanie.

Otoh, I have only met two other Melanies and nobody else had the same name at school.

Pancakeflipper Fri 28-Sep-12 14:04:09

I like it.

The more I say it the more I like it.

mayanna123 Fri 28-Sep-12 14:17:02

"I just see it as a name from my generation, and I wouldn't give it to a child now any more than my mum would have given me one of the names that was fashionable in her generation."

See, I have an 'unfashionable' name for my generation and love it! I honestly don't understand why so many of you would rule out a name simply because it is not 'fashionable' at the moment....confused.

dreamingofsun Fri 28-Sep-12 14:22:49

agree with madbus. i have a name from my mother's era and i hate it with a passion.

MadBusLady Fri 28-Sep-12 14:26:18

As I said, I'm not ruling it out because it's "not fashionable". I don't like super-fashionable names either.

RosehipJam Fri 28-Sep-12 14:37:59

On the 1901 cenus, there were 1194
On the 1911 census, there were 1253 in this country.

OP, I'm not sure if these stats will allay your fears or confirm them!

The name has been in use consistently if not in quantity. It had a quiet time in the 1860s, when there were 51 on the census.

amck5700 Fri 28-Sep-12 14:38:54

The only Melanie I know is 50 so right on the button then for revival. smile

She does get called Mel - but only on her terms!!

She is dark which is the meaning of the name so suits it perfectly - it would feel wrong on a blond child to me.

Melody sounds similar if you've been put off.

RosehipJam Fri 28-Sep-12 14:51:39

I agree amck5700, it probably works better with children with golden or olive complexions, just as I always imagine a Lucy or an Astrid to be fair.

On the other hand, now I'm thinking about it, there isn't a rule that says that it must be literal, it could just mean 'dark' as in contemplative and complex as her samesake saint was.

Not sure about Melody being similar, although the first half is identical, it is a bit too Kimberley for my liking.

I don't like Melissa, I don't know why. Perhaps it is just a bit too aspirant, a bit 80s rotary club, navy blazer and brass buttons, like Amanda.

amck5700 Fri 28-Sep-12 14:58:10

lol - the Melanie I know has a sister Melissa. I meant that it sounded alike Rosehip smile

...and as regards the colouring, I have a Ciar which has a similar meaning, I'm dark, my OH more so and when he was born he had dark hair and colouring........then went blond! at age 11 now he is darkening down a fair bit.

RosehipJam Fri 28-Sep-12 17:29:54

Sorry for any confusion, amck, I meant to say that I was responding to BoerWarKids' comment too!

It's odd with a child's colouring, they can go from red haired to blond to dark, all before they're teenagers and then they decide to start dying their hair and they're back to what they began life with!

jellybeans Fri 28-Sep-12 23:06:16

I like it. But do prefer Melissa and Melody. I think Mel is inevitable though.

StellaNova Fri 28-Sep-12 23:08:52

1. Yes
2. No. I don't know any mums called Melanie. And even if it was, all it takes is one super cool actress/ model/ fictional character with the name to pop up in a few years time and suddenly it will be all trendy.

Puremince Sat 29-Sep-12 00:03:29

I know a 19 year old Melanie. I've never thought her name sounded dated.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 10:18:14

I used to absolutely love this name when I was a child but it does sound a bit dated now.
I'm not into the whole idea of everyone naming their children the latest 'fashionable' names but I definitely think certain names are 'dated' as opposed to 'old fashioned' and go through a period where they just have a middle aged vibe about them eg Jackie, Yvonne, Debbie.

TittyWhistles Wed 03-Oct-12 10:20:26

It's just bleh.

DawnOfTheDee Wed 03-Oct-12 10:38:23

I think it's a very pretty name.

OrangeFireandGoldashes Wed 03-Oct-12 11:05:45

If more people used the name they liked regardless of where it was in this apparent 30-50 year 'cycle' rather than being too concerned whether it was 'mumsy' or 'dated' then fewer names would BE 'mumsy' or 'dated' because more people of all ages would have that name. Or something...

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