fem. proper name, from Latin (Maria) Magdalena, "Mary of Magdala," the companion and supporter of Jesus, from Greek Magdalene, literally "woman of Magdala," from Aramaic (Semitic) Maghdela, place on the Sea of Galilee, literally "tower" (compare Hebrew migdal "tower," from gadal "be great or high"). The vernacular form of the name, via French, has come to English as maudlin.
fem. proper name, variation of Madeline. The kind of small, rich confection is attested from 1845, said in OED to be named for Madeleine Paulmier, 19c. French pastry cook; any use with a sense of "small thing that evokes powerful nostalgia" is due to Proust (1922).