Michelle Name Meaning

Smiling toddler with pig tails

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The name Michelle is the anglicized version of the French name Michele. It means “who resembles God." If you are parents of faith, this name might have strong appeal. But you don't have to be religious to appreciate this versatile name.

Michelle has been around for almost a century and was an extremely popular choice for parents in the 1960s and 70s. So, not only are plenty of today's parents (and even some grandparents) named Michelle but there are also many Michelles to be found on the big screen.

Who knows, maybe your Michelle will be the next Pfeiffer or Rodriquez? Or perhaps she'll be the next Obama? But, no matter who your Michelle turns out to be, she will have a classic name to make all her own.

  • Origin: French/Hebrew
  • Gender: The name Michelle is most often given as a girl's name.
  • Pronunciation: Mish-ell

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular is the Name Michelle?

The name Michelle arrived on the top 1000 charts in 1938, in 963rd place. It gradually made its way up the charts until 1954 when it reached the top 100. From there, Michelle continued to rise in popularity and in 1966 it reached the top 10, where it remained until 1981.

Michelle's most popular years were 1968, 1969, 1971, and 1972 when it sat in 2nd position. In 2008, Michelle dropped out of the top 100. As of 2020, it sits at 336th position.

Name Variations

There are some variations of the name Michelle, including:

  • Machell (French)
  • Micheline (French)
  • Mychelle (French)
  • Mikaela (Hebrew)
  • Shelley (Old England)

Similar Names

Here are some names with a similar vibe to Michelle:

  • Ashley
  • Amanda
  • Charlotte
  • Claire
  • Danielle
  • Erica
  • Katelyn
  • Kathleen
  • Kirsten
  • Leanne
  • Maureen
  • Paula
  • Rachael
  • Sarah
  • Suzanne

Other French names to consider:

  • Anais
  • Avril
  • Camille
  • Collette
  • Chantelle
  • Chloe
  • Denise
  • Elodie
  • Fleur
  • Jeanne
  • Manon
  • Monique
  • Nicolette
  • Oceane
  • Yvonne

Other names that start with M:

  • Madison
  • Margot
  • Marla
  • Marlow
  • Martine
  • Maxine
  • Melissa
  • Melanie
  • Mila
  • Morgan
  • Monica
  • Montana
  • Manda
  • Myleen
  • Mya

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for Michelle include:

  • Chelle
  • Shell
  • Shelly
  • Mich
  • Mish
  • Mischa

Suggested Sibling Names

Potential sibling names for Michelle could be: 

  • Abigail
  • Adam
  • Bethany
  • Carter
  • Dani
  • Elliot
  • Frankie
  • Gigi
  • Harry
  • Isabella
  • Kate
  • Leo
  • Nicholas
  • Owen
  • Stephanie
  • Zoe

Famous People Named Michelle

Here’s a list of famous people who are also named Michelle:

  • Michelle Branch, an American singer
  • Michelle Borth, an American actress
  • Michelle Dockery, an English actress
  • Michelle Kwan, an American Olympic figure skater
  • Michelle Monaghan, an American actress
  • Michelle Monkhouse, a Canadian model
  • Michelle Obama, the Former First Lady of the United States
  • Michelle Pfieffer, an American actress
  • Michelle Rodriquez, an American actress
  • Michelle Williams, an American actress

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Hanks P, Hardcastle K, Hodges F. A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press; 2016.

  2. Social Security Administration. Get Ready for Baby: Popularity of a Name. Updated 2020.

By Shannon Day
Shannon Day is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle, and women's humor. She has been published in several online parenting and lifestyle sites as well as in print. Shannon is also the co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!