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PronouncedPron.kər-NEE-lee-əs English
kawr-NAY-lee-us Dutch
kawr-NE-lyuws German

Meaning & History

Roman family name which possibly derives from the Latin element cornu "horn". In Acts in the New Testament Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.
VariantsCornelis, Kerneels Dutch
DiminutivesConnie English Cees, Corné, Kees, Niels Dutch
Feminine FormsCornelia Ancient Roman Cornelia English Cornelia Dutch Cornelia, Kornelia German
Other Languages & CulturesKornel Czech Cai, Caj, Kai, Kaj, Kay Danish Kai Finnish Corneille French Kai, Kay Frisian Korneli Georgian Kornél Hungarian Cornelio Italian Cai, Caj, Kai, Kaj, Kay Norwegian Kornel Polish Cornélio Portuguese Cornel, Corneliu Romanian Kornel Slovak Cornelio Spanish Cai, Caj, Kai, Kaj, Kay Swedish


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Entry updated July 2, 2017   Contribute