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Baby Name ‘Melania’ Flying Up the Charts

Melania and Baby
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty
Washington, DC

“Melania” was among the top five baby names in rising popularity last year, the first year of Melania Trump’s time as first lady of the United States.

The name “Melania” came in just behind  “Ensley,” “Oaklynn,” “Dream,” and “Oaklyn” in rising popularity for 2017, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration. The name Melania flew 720 spots up the chart from 2016 to 2017.

First lady Melania Trump was born Melanija Knavs on April 26, 1970 in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. She moved to New York in 1996 and ten years later because a United States citizen. She married Donald Trump in January 2005 and in March 2006 gave birth to son Barron Trump. Trump has served as chairwoman for several organizations that displayed her love of children. She is the second first lady of the United States to be born outside the U.S. and the first to become a naturalized citizen.

A CNN/SSRS poll released this week revealed the rising popularity of Mrs. Trump. Fifty-seven percent of Americans viewed her favorably in the new poll – a ten percent jump from a January poll, according to Politico. Mrs. Trump’s January 2017 favorability, the month that Donald Trump was sworn in as President, was 36 percent.

Two Christian saints have carried the name Melania. Melania the Elder and granddaughter Melania the Younger lived in the 300s and 400s.

The name is a form of the name Melanie, according to behindthename.com. The site links the name Melanija, the original form of the first lady’s name, as the Serbian, Macedonian, Slovene, Latvian, and Lithuanian version of Melanie. Babynamewizard.com cites the book “A World of Baby Names” in tracing the name Melanie as a derivative of the Greek name Melaina, coming from the root word melas, meaning black or dark.

The Social Security Administration website states that “name data are from Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States.” In 2016, Melania was 1,650 on the list. In 2017 it was 930. The baby name with the fastest rising popularity, Ensley, came in at 965.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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