Cornelia, Cornelius

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “horn.”
Eng (kore-NEE-lee-ah); (kore-NEE-lee-us).

The names are ultimately derived from a Roman clan name, known as the Cornelii, they were one of the most distinguished and influential clans in both the Roman Republic and Empire. Infact, it is believed that over %30 percent of all consulships were held by members of the Cornelii.

The name is believed to be derived from the Latin word cornu meaning “horn.”

The name is found in the New Testament, in the Acts, as the name of the first gentile convert to Christianity. The female counterpart was borne in history by Cornelia Africana, (2nd century B.C.E), the mother of the reformers known as the Gracchi brothers.

Other forms of the names include:

  • Kerneels (Afrikaans)
  • Kornel (Czech/Polish/Slovak)
  • Cornelis/Kornelis (Dutch)
  • Corneel/Korneel (Dutch)
  • Cees/Cor/Corné/Kees/Neel/Nelis (Dutch: diminutive forms that are sometimes used as independent given names)
  • Cornel/Cornelius (English)
  • Corneille (French: more common form)
  • Cornélius (French)
  • Cornelius/Kornelius (German: diminutives include, Corni, Corny, Neli and Nelli).
  • Niels (German/Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Kornél (Hungarian: 59th most popular male name of 2005 in Hungary)
  • Cornelio (Italian: diminutive form is Nello)
  • Korneli/Korneliusz (Polish: diminutive is Kornelek)
  • Cornélio (Portuguese)
  • Cornel/Corneliu (Romanian)
  • Cornel (Romansch)
  • Cornelio (Spanish)

Feminine forms include:

  • Kornelia (Czech/German/Polish: Polish diminutive form is Kornelka)
  • Cornelia (Dutch/English/German/Italian/Romanian/Spanish/Swedish: Dutch diminutive forms are Cokkie. In 2007, Cornelia was the 61st most popular female name in Sweden)
  • Neele (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Cornélie (French)
  • Nele (German: initially a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name, and currently very trendy in German speaking countries NEL-e)
  • Kornélia (Hungarian/Slovakian)

English diminutive forms for males are Corey and Neil, and for females they are usually Corey, Nell or Nellie.

Name-days are September 16/November 16 (Austria/Germany), December 17 (Slovakia)

2 thoughts on “Cornelia, Cornelius

  1. Two other Polish masculine forms are listed in my name book – Korneli and Korneliusz. Diminutives listed are Kornelek from Kornel and Kornelka from Kornelia.

    (By the way, the book I always mention is Księga Imion by Bogdan Kupis, Bogna Wernichowska, and Jan Kamyczek. It was published in 1975)

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