NINSUN f Sumerian Mythology
From Sumerian nin-sumun-a(k)
meaning "lady of the wild cow", derived from 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lady" and the genitive form of 𒄢 (sumun)
meaning "wild cow". In Sumerian mythology Ninsun was the divine mother of Gilgamesh
NINURTA m Sumerian Mythology, Semitic Mythology
Derived from Sumerian 𒊩𒌆 (nin)
meaning "lord" and 𒅁 (urta)
meaning "ear of barley". In Sumerian and Akkadian mythology Ninurta was a god of agriculture, hunting and healing, later associated with war. He was also called Ningirsu
, though they may have originally been separate deities.
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
NİSA f Turkish
From Arabic نساء (nisa)
meaning "women". This is the name of the fourth chapter of the Quran (surah an-Nisa).
NISUS m Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown. According to Virgil
's 'Aeneid', this was the name of the son of the Trojan Hyrtacus (himself mentioned in the 'Iliad', though Nisus is not). In the 'Aeneid' Nisus is the friend of Euryalus
. After Euryalus is captured by the Rutuli, both are slain when Nisus attempts to save him.
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.
NIXON m English (Modern)
From an English surname meaning "son of NICK
". It was borne by the American president Richard Nixon (1913-1994).
NJERI f Eastern African, Kikuyu
Means "travelling one" in Kikuyu. Njeri (or Wanjeri) is the name of one of the nine daughters of Mumbi
in the Kikuyu origin legend.
NJINGA m & f Central African, Mbundu
Possibly from a Bantu root meaning "to twist, to wrap" (kujinga
in Kimbundu), alluding to the wrapping of the umbilical cord around the neck of the newborn. This name was borne by kings and queens of the African kingdoms of Ndongo and Kongo, notably a 17th-century queen of Ndongo who resisted the Portuguese.
NJORD m Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njǫrðr
, 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 (3) 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
From the Hebrew name נֹחַ (Noach)
meaning "rest, repose", derived from the root נוּחַ (nuach)
. 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
From the Hebrew name נֹעָה (No'ah)
meaning "motion". In the Old Testament this is the name of a daughter of Zelophehad
. In English this name is typically spelled the same as the name of the male biblical character Noah
, though in Hebrew they are written distinctly.
NOAM m & f Hebrew, French
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" or 伸 (nobu)
meaning "extend, stretch, open" combined with 行 (yuki)
meaning "row, line" or 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".
NOGA f & m Hebrew
Modern Hebrew transcription of NOGAH
, usually used as a feminine name.
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 that 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 that 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 that was originally derived from a place name meaning "north town" in Old English.
NORWOOD m English
From a surname that 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 "to acquire" in Celtic. In Irish mythology he was a divine leader of the Tuatha De Danann. After he lost an arm in battle it was replaced with one made from silver. He was later 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
NURAY f Turkish
Means "bright moon" in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic نور (nur)
meaning "light" and Turkic ay
NURCAN f Turkish
Means "bright soul" in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic نور (nur)
meaning "light" and Persian jan
meaning "soul, life".
NURGÜL f Turkish
Means "radiant rose" in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic نور (nur)
meaning "light" and Persian گل (gol)
meaning "flower, rose".
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 нұр (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).
NURLAN m Kazakh
From Kazakh нұр (nur)
meaning "light" (of Arabic origin) and ұлан (ulan)
NURSULTAN m Kazakh
From Kazakh нұр (nur)
meaning "light" and сұлтан (sultan)
meaning "sultan, king" (both words of Arabic origin).
NURTEN f Turkish
Means "radiant skin" in Turkish, ultimately from Arabic نور (nur)
meaning "light" and Persian تن (tan)
NURZHAN m Kazakh
From Kazakh нұр (nur)
meaning "light" (of Arabic origin) and жан (zhan)
meaning "soul" (of Persian origin).
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
NYNNIAW m Ancient Celtic
Meaning unknown, presumably of Welsh origin. According to the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, this was the name of a Welsh prince who fought against the invading forces of Julius Caesar. It was also borne by an 8th-century Welsh historian, usually known by the Latinized form Nennius
NYOMAN m & f Indonesian, Balinese
Possibly from a Balinese word meaning "end, remainder". This name is traditionally bestowed upon the third-born child.
NYSSA f Various
From the name of an ancient town of Asia Minor where Saint Gregory was bishop. Nyssa is also the genus name of a type of tree, also called the Tupelo.
NYX f Greek Mythology
Means "night" in Greek. This was the name of the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Khaos and the wife of Erebos.