Its source is a Greek expression meaning "Bee or honey."
The name Milissa ranked 1734th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name appears on the 1990 U.S. Census lists, it is used by only a small percentage of the general population.
Used as a name in ancient times, Melissa has continued to attract the attention of poets, playwrights and songwriters throughout the centuries.
The Italian epic poet Ariosto chose Melissa as the name for a good witch in his Orlando Furioso of 1537. The 19th-century novelist Charles Dickens and his contemporaries, the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the musical theatre team of Gilbert and Sullivan, all made use of the name.
These set the stage for its great popularity in the 20th century. When guitar virtuoso Gregg Allman penned his rock ballad ''Sweet Melissa'' in the 1960s, he continued the longstanding artistic tradition of celebrating this name.