NEHEMIAH m Biblical
comforts" in Hebrew, derived from נָחַם (nacham)
meaning "to comfort" and יָה (yah)
referring to the Hebrew God. According to the Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament he was a leader of the Jews who was responsible for the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the return from the Babylonian captivity.
NEIL m Irish, Scottish, English
From the Gaelic name Niall
, which is of disputed origin, possibly meaning "champion" or "cloud". This was the name of a semi-legendary 4th-century Irish king, Niall of the Nine Hostages.... [more]
NEKODA m Biblical
Means "marked" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the head of a family of temple servants.
NELDA f English
Possibly an elaboration of NELL
using the popular name suffix da
NÉLIDA f Literature, Spanish
Created by French author Marie d'Agoult for her semi-autobiographical novel 'Nélida' (1846), written under the name Daniel Stern. It was probably an anagram of her pen name DANIEL
NELL f English
Medieval diminutive of names beginning with El
, such as ELEANOR
, ELLEN (1)
. It may have arisen from the medieval affectionate phrase mine El
, which was later reinterpreted as my Nel
NELSON m English
From an English surname meaning "son of NEIL
". It was originally given in honour of the British admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he destroyed a combined French and Spanish fleet, but was himself killed. Another notable bearer was the South African statesman Nelson Mandela (1918-2013). Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla
; as a child he was given the English name Nelson
by a teacher.
NEMANJA m Serbian
Possibly from Slavic ne maniti
meaning "not deceiving, not luring, not attracting". Another theory states that it means "without possessions", derived from Serbo-Croatian nemati
meaning "have not". This was the name of a 12th-century Serbian king, and the name of the dynasty he began.
NEMESIS f Greek Mythology
Means "distribution of what is due, righteous anger" in Greek. In Greek mythology Nemesis was personification of vengeance and justice.
NEMO m Literature
Means "nobody" in Latin. This was the name used by author Jules Verne for the captain of the Nautilus in his novel 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea' (1870). It was later used for the title character (a fish) in the 2003 animated movie 'Finding Nemo'.
NENAD m Serbian, Croatian
Means "unexpected" in Serbian and Croatian. In the Serbian folk song 'Predrag and Nenad' this is the name of Predrag
NEPHELE f Greek Mythology
From Greek νεφος (nephos)
meaning "cloud". In Greek legend Nephele was created from a cloud by Zeus
, who shaped the cloud to look like Hera
in order to trick Ixion, a mortal who desired her. Nephele was the mother of the centaurs by Ixion, and was also the mother of Phrixus and Helle by Athamus.
NEPHTHYS f Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian Nebt-Het
meaning "lady of the house", derived from Egyptian nbt
"lady" and hwt
"house". This was the name of an Egyptian goddess associated with the air, death and mourning. She was wife of the desert god Seth
NEPTUNE m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Neptunus
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly related to the Indo-European root *nebh
"wet, damp, clouds". Neptune was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, approximately equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon
. This is also the name of the eighth planet in the solar system.
NEREIDA f Spanish
Derived from Greek Νηρειδες (Nereides)
meaning "nymphs, sea sprites", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NEREUS m Greek Mythology, Ancient Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Derived from Greek νηρος (neros)
meaning "water". In Greek myth this was the name of a god of the sea, the father of the Nereids. It is mentioned briefly in the New Testament, belonging to a Christian in Rome. This was also the name of a Roman saint of the 1st century, a member of the army, who was martyred with his companion Achilleus because they refused to execute Christians.
NERGÜI m & f Mongolian
Means "no name" in Mongolian. This name was traditionally given in order to mislead bad spirits.
NERISSA f Literature
Created by Shakespeare for a character in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596). He possibly took it from Greek Νηρεις (Nereis)
meaning "nymph, sea sprite", ultimately derived from the name of the Greek sea god NEREUS
, who supposedly fathered them.
NERO (1) m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen, which was probably of Sabine origin meaning "strong, vigourous". It was borne most infamously by a tyrannical Roman emperor of the 1st century.
NERSES m Armenian
Armenian form of Narseh
). Saint Nerses was a 4th-century patriarch of the Armenian Church.
NERTHUS f Germanic Mythology
Latinized form of Nerþuz
, the Germanic (feminine) equivalent of Njǫrðr
). Nerthus was a Germanic goddess of fertility as described by the Roman historian Tacitus in the 1st century.
NERVA m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from Latin nervus
"strength". This is the name by which the 1st-century Roman emperor Marcus Cocceius Nerva is commonly known.
NERYS f Welsh
Perhaps an elaboration of Welsh ner
"lord", with the intended meaning of "lady".
NESTAN-DAREJAN f Literature
Created by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli for a character in his 12th-century epic 'The Knight in the Panther's Skin'. Rustaveli derived it from the Middle Persian phrase نیست اندر جهان (nist andar jahan)
meaning "unlike any other in the world" or "unique". In the poem Nestan-Darejan is a princess loved by Tariel.
NESTOR m Greek Mythology, Russian
Means "homecoming" in Greek. In Homer
's 'Iliad' this was the name of the king of Pylos, famous for his great wisdom and longevity, who acted as a counselor to the Greek allies.
NETHANIAH m Biblical
has given" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the father of Ishmael
(the assassin of Gedaliah), as well as other minor characters.
NEVADA f English
From the name of the American state, which means "snow-capped" in Spanish.
NEVAEH f English (Modern)
The word heaven
spelled backwards. It became popular after the musician Sonny Sandoval from the rock group P.O.D. gave it to his daughter in 2000.
NEVILLE m English (British)
From an English surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Norman French. As a given name it is chiefly British and Australian.
NEVIO m Italian
Italian form of the Roman family name Naevius
, which was derived from Latin naevus
"mole (on the body)". A famous bearer was the 3rd-century BC Roman poet Gnaeus Naevius.
NEWTON m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "new town" in Old English. A famous bearer of the surname was the English physicist Isaac Newton (1643-1727).
NGAIO f Maori
Maori name that is derived from the name of a type of tree, also called the mousehole tree. This name was borne by New Zealand crime writer Dame Ngaio Marsh (1895-1982).
NGAIRE f Maori
Possibly from the name of the town of Ngaere
in New Zealand, of Maori origin meaning "wetland".
NICCOLÒ m Italian
Italian form of NICHOLAS
. A famous bearer was Niccolò Machiavelli, a 16th-century political philosopher from Florence.
NICHOLAS m English
From the Greek name Νικολαος (Nikolaos)
meaning "victory of the people", derived from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and λαος (laos)
"people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, as well as Greece and Russia. He formed the basis for the figure known as Santa Claus (created in the 19th century from Dutch Sinterklaas
), the bringer of Christmas presents.... [more]
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.
NIKOSTRATOS m Ancient Greek
Means "army of victory" from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and στρατος (stratos)
"army". This was the name of a Roman saint martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian at the end of the 3rd century.
NİL f Turkish
From the Turkish name for the Nile River, derived from Greek Νειλος (Neilos)
, possibly of Semitic origin meaning "river".
NIL m Catalan, Russian (Rare)
Catalan and Russian form of NEILOS
(and also of the Nile River). This name was borne by a 15th-century Russian saint, Nil Sorsky.
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, Biblical Hebrew
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 nearly coincides with the Spanish word niña
meaning "little girl".
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.
NINGAL f Sumerian Mythology
Means "great lady", from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and 𒃲 (gal)
meaning "big, great". This was the name of a goddess of reeds in Sumerian mythology. She was the daughter of Enki
and the wife of Nanna
NINHURSAG f Sumerian Mythology
Means "lady of the mountain", from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and 𒉺𒂅 (hursaĝ)
meaning "mountain". This was the name of the Sumerian mother and fertility goddess, the primary consort of Enki
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.
NINO (2) f Georgian
Meaning unknown, possibly from a Greek feminine form of NINOS
. Saint Nino (sometimes called Nina) was a Greek-speaking woman from Asia Minor who introduced Christianity to Georgia in the 4th century.
NINOS m Ancient Assyrian (Hellenized)
Probably from the name of the ancient city of NINEVEH
in Assyria. According to Greek historians this was the name of the husband of Semiramis
and the founder of Nineveh. In actuality he does not correspond to any known Assyrian king, and is likely a composite character named after the city.