The name is a Russian and Macedonian form of the Greek, Nicetas, which is derived from νικη (nike) meaning, “victory.”
It was borne by a 5th-century Serbian saint, considered the patron saint of Romania.
In more recent years it has been associated with Russian General Secretary and Premier of the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 1960s, Nikita Krushchev (1894-1971).
In Russian folklore, it is borne by Nikita the Tanner, who is believed to have rescued a Kievan princess from the clutches of an evil dragon.
Currently, Nikita is the 10th most popular male name in Moscow, Russia (2010) and the 176th most popular male name in Germany, (2011).
In the West, the name has occasionally been used for females, however, it is uncertain if this is a borrowing from the Russian or if it in fact a borrowing from the Indian. The name is coincidentally a feminine Indian name, which is derived from the Sanskrit meaning “earth” or “sleep.” It is sometimes transliterated as Nikhita.
Other forms of the name include:
- Nikita Никита Նիկիտա ნიქითა (Armenian/Bulgarian/Chuvash/Georgian/Macedonian/Romanian/Serbian)
- Mikita мікіта (Belarusian)
- Niketas Νικήτας (Greek)
- Nicetas (Latin/Polish)
- Mykyta Микита (Ukrainian)