Melba \m(e)-lba, mel-ba\ as a girl's name. Created as a surname by opera diva Nellie Melba (born Helen Mitchell), named after her hometown, Melbourne Australia. Such was her fame that many dishes were named after her, including Melba Toast and Peach Melba. The city of Melbourne takes its name from British politician William Lamb Melbourne (19th century) and means "border". Actress Melba Moore.