Malene is a Scandinavian variant of Magdalene. Magdalene originates in Hebrew language and means "woman from Magdala". It is derived from the name of Jesus's most celebrated and most important woman disciple, Mary Magdalene. She is thought to come from a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Magdala. As a feminine given name it is much more popular in European countries than the United States, where the variant Madeline is usually used instead.