NICOLE f French, English, Dutch, German
French feminine form of NICHOLAS
, commonly used in the English-speaking world since the middle of the 20th century. A famous bearer is American-Australian actress Nicole Kidman (1967-).
NIELS (1) m Danish
Danish form of NICHOLAS
. A famous bearer was Niels Bohr (1885-1962), a Danish physicist who investigated the structure of atoms.
NIEVES f Spanish
Means "snows" in Spanish, derived from the title of the Virgin Mary Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
meaning "Our Lady of the Snows".
NIGEL m English
, a medieval Latinized form of NEIL
. It was commonly associated with Latin niger
"black". It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to Sir Walter Scott's novel 'The Fortunes of Nigel' (1822).
NIKAU m Maori
From the name of a type of palm tree found in New Zealand (species Rhopalostylis sapida).
NIKEPHOROS m & f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "carrying victory" from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and φερω (phero)
"to carry, to bear". This name was borne by several Byzantine emperors, including the 10th-century Nikephoros II Phokas. Besides being a masculine personal name, it was also a title borne by the goddess Athena
NIKETAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικητης (niketes)
meaning "winner, victor". Saint Niketas was a 4th-century bishop of Remesiana in Serbia. He is a patron saint of Romania.
NIKIAS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek νικη (nike)
meaning "victory". This was the name of an Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian war.
NILI f Hebrew
Acronym of the phrase נצח ישׂראל לא ישׁקר (Netzach Yisrael Lo Yishaker)
meaning "the eternity of Israel will not lie". This phrase appears in the Old Testament in Samuel 15:29. It was used as the name of a Jewish spy network in Palestine during World War I.
NIMROD m Biblical
Meaning unknown, possibly of Akkadian origin or possibly meaning "rebel" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Nimrod is a renowned hunter, the great-grandson of Noah
. He was the founder of Babylon.... [more]
NIMUE f Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown. In Arthurian legends this is the name of a sorceress, also known as the Lady of the Lake, Vivien, or Niniane. Various versions of the tales have Merlin
falling in love with her and becoming imprisoned by her magic. She first appears in the medieval French 'Lancelot-Grail' cycle.
NINA (1) f Russian, Italian, English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian
Short form of names that end in nina
, such as ANTONINA
. It was imported to Western Europe from Russia and Italy in the 19th century. This name also coincides with the Spanish word niña
meaning "little girl".
NINA (2) f Near Eastern Mythology
Meaning unknown. This was the name of a Babylonian and Assyrian fertility goddess who was identified with Ishtar
. She was the patron goddess of the city of Nineveh. Her name was written using a character representing a fish surrounded by a character representing a house.
NINEL f Russian
Reversal of the name Lenin
. Lenin was the founder of the former Soviet state. This name was created by Communist parents who were eager to reject traditional names.
NING f & m Chinese
From Chinese 宁 (níng)
meaning "peaceful, calm, serene", as well as other characters pronounced in a similar way.
NINIAN m Scottish, Irish, Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown. It appears in a Latinized form Niniavus
, which could be from the Welsh name NYNNIAW
. This was the name of a 5th-century British saint who was apparently responsible for many miracles and cures. He is known as the Apostle to the Picts.
NIOBE f Greek Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Greek mythology Niobe was the daughter of Tantalos, a king of Asia Minor. Because she boasted that she was superior to Leto
, Leto's children Apollo
killed her 14 children with poison arrows. In grief, Niobe was turned to stone by Zeus
NITYA f & m Indian, Hindi
Means "always, eternal" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the feminine form नित्या
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
) and the masculine form नित्य
NIV m Hebrew
Means either "speech, expression" or "fang, tusk" in Hebrew.
NJORD m Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njörðr
, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner
meaning "strong, vigourous". Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr
he was a member of the Vanir.
NNAMDI m Western African, Igbo
Means "my father is alive" in Igbo. This name is given to a child when it is believed that he is a reincarnation of his grandfather.
NNENNA f Western African, Igbo
Means "father's mother" in Igbo. This name is sometimes given to a child when it is believed that she is a reincarnation of her paternal grandmother.
NNENNE f Western African, Igbo
Means "mother's mother" in Igbo. This name is sometimes given to a child when it is believed that she is a reincarnation of her maternal grandmother.
NOA (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 乃 (no)
, a possessive particle, and 愛 (a)
meaning "love, affection". This name can also be constructed from other kanji or kanji combinations.
NOAH (1) m English, Biblical
Derived from the Hebrew name נוֹחַ (Noach)
meaning "rest, comfort". According to the Old Testament, Noah was the builder of the Ark that allowed him, his family, and animals of each species to survive the great Flood. After the Flood he received the sign of the rainbow as a covenant from God. He was the father of Shem
NOAH (2) f Biblical
Derived from the Hebrew name נוֹעָה (No'ah)
meaning "motion". In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Zelophehad.
NOAM m & f Hebrew
Means "pleasantness" in Hebrew. A famous bearer is Noam Chomsky (1928-), an American linguist and philosopher.
NOBLE m English
From an English surname meaning "noble, notable". The name can also be given in direct reference to the English word noble
NOBORU m Japanese
From Japanese 登 (noboru)
meaning "rise, ascend" or other kanji pronounced in the same way.
NOBU m Japanese
From Japanese 信 (nobu)
meaning "trust", 延 (nobu)
meaning "prolong, stretch", or other kanji and kanji combinations. It is sometimes a short form of longer names beginning with this sound.
NOBURU m Japanese
From Japanese 伸 (noburu)
meaning "extend, stretch" or other kanji having the same pronunciation.
NOBUYUKI m Japanese
From Japanese 信 (nobu)
meaning "trust" and 幸 (yuki)
meaning "happiness". Other kanji combinations are possible as well.
NOËL m French
Means "Christmas" in French. In the Middle Ages it was used for children born on the holiday. A famous bearer was the English playwright and composer Noël Coward (1899-1973).
NOELANI f Hawaiian
Means "heavenly mist" from Hawaiian noe
"mist" and lani
"heaven, sky, royal, majesty".
NOKOMIS f New World Mythology
Means "my grandmother" in Ojibwe. In Anishinaabe mythology this is the name of Nanabozho
's grandmother. It was used by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the grandmother of Hiawatha
in his poem 'The Song of Hiawatha' (1855).
NOLAN m Irish, English
From an Irish surname which was derived from Ó Nualláin
meaning "descendant of NUALLÁN
". The baseball player Nolan Ryan (1947-) is a famous bearer of this name.
NOLWENN f Breton
From the Breton phrase Noyal Gwenn
meaning "holy one from Noyal". This was the epithet of a 6th-century saint and martyr from Brittany.
NON f Welsh
Possibly derived from Latin nonna
meaning "nun". This was the name of the mother of Saint David.
NONA (1) f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin nonus
meaning "ninth", referring to the nine months of pregnancy. This was the name of a Roman goddess of pregnancy. She was also one of the three Fates (or Parcae).
NORBAER m Limburgish
Limburgish form of NORBERT
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Norbert.
NORI m Japanese
From Japanese 儀 (nori)
meaning "ceremony, rites" or other kanji which are pronounced the same way.
NORIKO f Japanese
From Japanese 法 (nori)
meaning "law, rule" or 典 (nori)
meaning "rule, ceremony" combined with 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations are possible.
NORMA f English, Italian, Literature
Created by Felice Romani for the main character in the opera 'Norma' (1831). He may have based it on Latin norma
"rule". This name is also frequently used as a feminine form of NORMAN
NORMAN m English, Ancient Germanic
From an old Germanic byname meaning "northman", referring to a Viking. The Normans were Vikings who settled on the coast of France, in the region that became known as Normandy. In England the name Norman
was used before the Norman conquest, first as a nickname for Scandinavian settlers and later as a given name. After the Conquest it became more common, but died out around the 14th century. It was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to a character by this name in C. M. Yonge's novel 'The Daisy Chain' (1856).
NORTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "north town" in Old English.
NORWOOD m English
From a surname which was originally taken from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.
NOVA f English
Derived from Latin novus
meaning "new". It was first used as a name in the 19th century.
NUADA m Irish Mythology
Possibly means "protector" in Celtic. In Irish myth he was an Irish god and a leader of the Tuatha De Danann. He was killed in battle against the Fomorii.
NUAN f Chinese
From Chinese 暖 (nuǎn)
meaning "warm, genial" or other characters with a similar pronunciation.
NUBIA f Various
From the name of the ancient region and kingdom in Africa, south of Egypt. It possibly derives from the Egyptian word nbw
NUNO m Portuguese, Medieval Portuguese
Medieval Portuguese and Spanish name, possibly from Latin nonus
"ninth" or nunnus
"grandfather". Saint Nuno was a 14th-century Portuguese general who defeated a Castilian invasion.
NUNZIO m Italian
Masculine short form of ANNUNZIATA
. It also coincides with the related Italian word nunzio
"messenger" (ultimately from Latin nuntius
NUR AD-DIN m Arabic
Means "light of religion", from Arabic نور (nur)
meaning "light" combined with دين (din)
NÚRIA f Catalan, Portuguese
From a Catalan title of the Virgin Mary
, Nostra Senyora de Núria
, meaning "Our Lady of Nuria". Nuria is a sanctuary in Spain in which there is a shrine containing a famous statue of Mary.
NURISLAM m Kazakh
From Kazakh nur
meaning "light" (of Arabic origin) combined with Islam
, the name of the religion (ultimately from Arabic إسلام
NURIT f Hebrew
Means "buttercup flower" in Hebrew (genus Ranunculus).
NYALA f Various
From the name of a type of African antelope, ultimately derived from the Bantu word nyálà
NYDIA f English (Rare), Spanish, Literature
Used by British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton for a blind flower-seller in his novel 'The Last Days of Pompeii' (1834). He perhaps based it on Latin nidus