The modern name Melinda is a combination of "Mel" with the suffix "-inda". "Mel" can be derived from names such as Melanie meaning "dark, black" in Greek, or from Melissa meaning "honeysuckle" in Greek. It is also associated with the Greek word meli, meaning "honey", and with Linda, meaning "gentle, soft, tender" in the Germanic languages. Three possible nicknames for Melinda may be "Mindy" or "Meli" or "Mel".
The typical English pronunciation of Melinda is /məˈlɪndə/. In Romanian, the stress is also on the second syllable: [meˈlinda]. In Hungarian however, the stress is on the first syllable: [ˈmɛlindɒ].
Usage and popularity
The name Melinda is used in English, Romanian and Hungarian. In the United States, its popularity peaked in 1973 at No. 72. In 1990 it was in the top 1000 names in the US, and in 2002 it was in the top 100 names in Hungary. Since its peak the popularity of the name Melinda has been gradually declining in the United States, to last be seen on the top 1000 list in 2002 at No. 932. Variations in spelling include Melynda, Melyndah, Malinda, and Milinda.
József Katona, Hungarian playwright and poet, used the name Melinda first in 1815 in his legendary historical tragedy Bánk bán.