Melissa

Melissa is the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who helped nurse the infant Zeus along with Amalthea, when he was hidden from his father Cronus. She fed him honey and was also credited with the art of bee-keeping.

Melissa is also the name of a 3rd century BC Pythagorean philosopher and mathematician although very little is known of her life- actually, nothing at all.

Melissa is also the name of a good sorceress in the Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso and features in the Matter of France (a body of medieval literature and legendary material associated with France, especially involving Charlemagne). 

Melissa is the name of a genus of plants which also includes the lemon balm.

The name means “bee” or “honeybee” via Ancient Greek mélissa μέλισσᾰ (bee; honey) which derives from PIE *mélit (honey) and *leyǵʰ- (to lick).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “bee, honeybee”

Usage: Ancient Greek, English, French

Nicknames:Mel, Lissa, Lissy, Melly/Melli, Missy

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Variants:

  • Melyssa (English)
  • Melisa (English, Spanish, Bosnian, Turkish)
  • Melitta (Ancient Attic Greek)
  • Melita (Latinized Ancient Greek)
  • Melite (Ancient Greek)
  • Melisa (Turkish)
  • Melis (Turkish)
  • Melika (Hawaiian)
  • Mélissa (French)
  • Melissza (Hungarian)

Male forms:

  • Melissos (Ancient Greek)
  • Melissus (Ancient Greek)
  • Melisseus (Ancient Greek)

Dora

Dora is often used as a shortened form of names ending or beginning with dora such as Theodora (meaning “god’s gift”), Isadora (“gift of Isis“), Pandora (“all-giving”, “all gifts” or “all-gifted”), Medora (possibly a shortened form of Greek Metrodora “mother’s gift”), Nymphodora (“gift of the nymph” or “gift of the bride”), Menodora (“gift of the moon”), or Dorothy, Dorothea (“gift of god”), etc.

Dora could also simply be used as a given name on its own simply meaning “gift” which comes from Ancient Greek doron (gift) derived from a PIE root word.

Dora is also an Old English word meaning “bee, bumblebee” or “humming insect” via Proto-Germanic *durô (bumblebee, humming insect) derived from a PIE root word. For fans of Harry Potter, dumbledore is a dialectical word from Hampshire, Cornwall, for a bumblebee.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: often a nickname for names beginning or ending with Dora, or could simply be used on its own, simply meaning “gift; is also an Old English word for “bee, bumblebee”

Usage: English, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Croatian, Serbian, Dutch

Variants:

  • Dory (English)
  • Dorie (English)
  • Doree (English)
  • Doria (English)
  • Doreen (English)
  • Dorina (English, Hungarian, Romanian)