Michelle Name Meaning & Origin


Pronunciation: mi-SHEHL (key)

Origin of the name Michelle:

Feminine form of the French Michel, a cognate of Michael (Who is like God?).

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Related Names:

Micaela, Michaela, Michele, Mishelle

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US Popularity of Michelle Over Time

Sister & Brother Names

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Comments and insights on the name Michelle

Slate claims Michelle is Washington's power name for women... but BabyNameWizard.com says that honor goes to Barbara or Diane. --- As long as it doesn't go to Hillary!



It's very interesting to see the life cycle of a name. It starts out as a unique, virtually unknown name with roots in history. Then, it gets picked up by a few trendy families. Other families pick up on those, and all of a sudden it's extremely popular! There's some years of that, then it passes out of use, then into middle names. Michelle is one of those names that is now a middle name, in my opinion. I know TONS of middle aged Michelles and a lot of age 20 and down women/girls with Michelle/Michele as their middle name (Alyssa Michele, Jenna Michele, Dominique Michele, Hannah Michelle, Brianna Michelle, Leah Michelle, Elise Michelle, Alexandra Michelle). Another one of these names I'm seeing is Lauren. I know a lot of Laurens in their 20s or so or in their late-mid teens, but I am seeing a lot of new babies with Lauren as a middle name (Talia Lauren, Arabella Lauren, Emma Lauren). A name I see heading into this stage is Olivia. This name is sort of an exception because, right now, it's in the height of its popularity. I see just a few girls with Olivia as a middle name (Jade Olivia, Danielle Olivia), but that's more than I can say for some other names. Sorry for my rambling, I just found that interesting.


"Michelle" has become a "modern classic", IMO - not a fleeting trend, but almost unknown before the 60s so that it's not a true classic. I am in my late 20s (as of writing this in 2011), and my name was far from out of style as a kid. There was always at least one other Michelle in the classroom. I notice the following generations had less & less Michelles, so that now, it's neither rare nor a common choice for a baby's first name. In regards to the above entry, yes, Michelle seems more common for a middle name now than a first name when it comes to new babies, but in reality, it is still just below the top 100 names (around 103 last I checked).

Personal experiences with the name Michelle

I was born in 1985 and named Michelle after my father (Michael). I was lucky: I was only Michelle in my grade throughout my educational experience. In elementary school, the teachers and administration always sang "Michelle (Ma Belle)" to/at me. I found this incredibly embarrassing as I was pretty shy and these impromptu acapella sessions would happen in front of a room full of my peers. I also didn't know what they were singing until I was in 9th grade and I finally heard the song. I have grown to love my name and the song and the singing it sometimes prompts.


My cousin's name is Allison Michelle. She usually goes by Allie, but she went through this phase where she wanted to go by Michelle because the Olsen twins played Michelle Tanner on Full house. Michelle turned to Michy (Mee-she), then Miley (?), and finally Allichelle, until she eventually got over it and went by Allie again.

My sisters name is Michelle. And ever since I was a little girl and couldn't pronounce her name correctly we have been calling her Mimi (Mee-Mee). Or Mich (Meesh)

My mother's name is Ella and my father's name is Michael, they liked the name Michelle since it kinds of combines their 2 names together.So they named me Michelle.

Michelle Danielle, and my cousin has Michelle as her middle name. I really like the name except my brother has the same name right down to the middle name, except the manly version, of course. Please DON'T EVER name a younger sibling the femine version of their older sibling's name! The name was unique, and up until I was in my teens I hadn't heard of another Michelle and now it's very popular, and more common as a middle.
My family pet name was Chell because my brother had a hard time saying my full name.

My middle name is Michelle, and I always liked it until I found out that my biological father, whom I never met, had a daughter by another woman whose middle name is also Michelle. I never met the girl but I looked at her Facebook page and she's not much of a looker. Now I think the name sucks.


Written by Michelle Telfo (VariousTrends)


My first name is Michelle. I have no middle name. Growing up, I have never seen another Michelle in one of my classrooms and I am currently (Aug 2012) in the eleventh grade. Although, I've attended relatively small schools over the course of my education. I currently attend a school of about eight hundred students and, besides myself, there is only one other Michelle. When telling people my name, many comment that their mother has the same name. It might have been more popular in their generation. Michelle is the 103rd most popular name in the United States currently. My brother's name is Miguel, which to some is vaguely considered the male version of my name. My sister's name is Jennifer, which I see is quite popular.


I have always been extremely intelligent. My skills are inconceivably impressive. I won't attribute this quality completely to my name however, because I am also a virgo. Every description I've ever read of a virgo is awe-strikingly correct. I believe my intelligence is very much dependent on my star sign. In the Chinese calender, I was born in the year of the mouse. This description is also extremely accurate. It describes that I would be best in sales or as a writer, critic, or publicist. Writing is one of my many exemplary talents and I do enjoy leaving criticisms on internet articles and journalism. I find I can get my opinion across eloquently and I often get my way, seeing as I am always right. At least, my logical words make it seem so.

I am also considerably shy and quiet. It is difficult for me to be myself at first, though my personality is wonderful. I care a lot about what others think about me. I love to help. And I love to love. The concept and feel of it intrigues me and I seek it constantly. I am often told that I am very beautiful. I am very close to God, as the name indicates. I have a marvelous singing voice. I also learn quickly and turn out to be good at everything that I do. I am very critical of my surroundings, constantly putting labels on things. I have a philosophy or an effective method for just about anything and everything. I continue to formulate these as I encounter new experiences in life. I have a very logical mind. Music is also a very significant part of my life.


There was a girl in my Geometry class whose name is very similar to mine, as is her personality. Her name, Michaela, is of the same branch and in some respects, she is my mirror image. She too has an amazing singing voice, a brilliant brain, and is very beautiful. She has a wonderful personality and is very on top of things. She too, can sometimes be very quiet, which I take to be her analytical phase. She reminds me very much of myself, which I believe is largely due to our similarities in name.


The people who were born under the sign of Virgo have the strongly advanced analytical mind and all the time trying to glue labels on everything they see. They have sharp feelings of taste, time, hearing and sense of smell. The symbol of this sign is Virgo. It does not mean, that they are pure and sinless . It means that heir amazing abilities to observe allow them to see all the human lacks. Usually they do not like everything that they see, and they withdraw like Virgo.

The symbol for Virgo is the virgin. It is often a symbol for someone who seeks to serve (or help) others and who does not have great ego demands on life. Virgos are detailed, analytical and critical. This means that they tend to analyse things so they can understand their parts. They are critical in the sense that critical means to evaluate. They are also synthesising in that they take the analysis or the parts and generalise it to a rule. Virgos can take a single incident and turn it into a law of nature!

Another source:

Braggity-brag-brag, brag-brag

Chinese Year of the Mouse
You are imaginative, charming, and truly generous to the person you love. However, you have a tendency to be quick-tempered and overly critical. You are also inclined to be somewhat of an opportunist. Born under this sign, you should be happy in sales or as a writer, critic, or publicist.

Nicknames for Michelle

Mitchie, Mickie, Mish, Mishi/Michi, Mishy, Shell, Shelly, Shelley, Chelle, Mickey, Mich, Michy, Meko, Mimi, Elle, Ella, Melly, Miley, Mica/Mika.
Meesha, Michelley, Michellie

Meanings and history of the name Michelle

The meaning to the name Michelle is actually a question not a word. Michelle means "Who is like God?"

The Origin of the name is French.

Alternate spellings include: Mechelle, Michele, and Mechele

Famous real-life people named Michelle

Michelle Obama, First Lady and wife of Barack Obama
Michelle Williams, actress (Dawson's Creek, Brokeback Mountain)
Michelle Williams, singer (Destiny's Child)
Michelle Dockery, English actress (Downton Abbey)
Michelle Pfeiffer, actress
Michele Lee, actress
Michelle Yeoh, actress
Michelle Trachtenberg, actress
Michelle Phillips, actress, singer, and member of The Mamas and The Papas
Michelle Monaghan, actress
Michelle Bridges, Personal Trainer (The Biggest loser Australia)
Michelle Rodriguez, actress
Michelle Ryan, actress
Michelle Leslie, model
Michelle Kwan, figure skater
Michelle Duggar, reality TV star (TLC's "19 Kids and Counting")
Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile
Michelle Branch, singer
Michelle Smith, Olympic Swimmer

Michelle in song, story & screen

"Michelle" by the Beatles.
"My Michelle" by Guns'n'Roses
Michelle Tanner, in the show "Full House"
Michelle Chang, character in the Tekken (series).
Michelle Dessler, character on the TV series, 24 (TV series)
Michelle Dubois, character on the TV series, 'Allo 'Allo!
Michelle Flaherty, character in the American Pie film series
Michelle Richardson, character on the TV series, Skins
Michelle Scully, character on the Australian soap opera Neighbours
Michelle Kaioh (English dub of Michiru Kaioh), character from Sailor Moon

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