Its source is Michael, a Hebrew name meaning "Who resembles God."
The French feminine forms of this name have been adopted by a large number of European languages. Though ultimately derived from the Hebrew original, their closest ancestor is the male French name Michel.
Awareness of this name was undoubtedly boosted by the immense popularity of Lennon and McCartney's 1965 ballad ''Michelle.'' Clearly addressed to a French girl (the lyrics rhyme her name with ma belle -- ''my beauty''), it reinforced the exotic, romantic impression this name can make.