Niels, Nils

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Scandinavian

The name has traditionally been attributed as being a Scandinavian form of Nicholas but has also been connected with the Celtic, Niall.

He was a very popular name in Medieval Scandinavia, being the progenitor of the surnames Nilsson, Neilson and Nilson. It was fairly common among Scandinavian royalty and nobility, being worn by King Niels of Denmark (1064-1135).

Currently, Nils and Niels are the 32nd most popular male names in Germany, (2011). Niels rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 37 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 38 (Nils, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 63 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 276 (Nils, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 244 (Nils, France, 2009)
  • # 489 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Niels (Faroese/Danish/Dutch/German)
  • Niilo (Finnish)
  • Nils (German/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish)
A Danish feminine form is Nielsine.