Nicholas

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “victory of the people.”

Today is St. Nicholas Day! So, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to blog about the name Nicholas and all his myriad variations.

This is an update of a post I wrote three years ago in December. I thought I would rerun it with some updates.

The name is derived from the Greek, Νικόλαος, (Nikolaos), which is composed of the Greek words νικη (níkē), meaning, “victory” and λαὸς (laos), meaning, “people.” λαὸς (laos) could also derive from the Greek root word, λας (-las) as in “λα-τομεῑο“, which means, “stone” “rock”, as in Greek mythology it was believed that all humans were formed from the stones that Deucalion and Pyrrah threw over their shoulders as they were running.

In the post-Christian world, the name Nicholas was popularized through the cult of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, (the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus). He was known for his acts of charity toward the poor, the most popular story being that he saved a local poor man’s daughters from lives of prostitution by dropping gold nuggets down the man’s chimney so that the man could pay for his debts instead of selling his daughters.

St. Nicholas is a very popular saint in both the Eastern and Western Churches.

The name was introduced into England in the form of Nicholas, though the sans H version has also its share of usage in the Anglophone world. Nicholas first came into usage in England around the 12th-century and remained common even through the period of the Reformation. Currently, Nicholas is the 42nd most popular male name for boys in the United States, (2011). His rankings in all his various forms in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Nika/Nikoloz(i), Georgia, 2011)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Nikolay, Bulgaria, 2009)
  • # 5 (Nikolaos, Greece, 2010)
  • # 6 (Nicolás, Argentina, 2009)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Columbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Mexico, 2011)
  • # 15 (Nicholas/Nick/Nicholai/Nicoló, Malta, 2011)
  • # 16 (Mikołaj, Poland, 2009)
  • # 22 (Nicolò, Italy, 2010)
  • # 22 (Nicolas, Spain, 2010)
  • # 24 (Niklas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 27 (Nikola, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 29 (Nicolas, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 31 (Nikolaj, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 36 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 36 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 45 (Nikolai, Norway, 2011)
  • # 51 (Nicolas, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 56 (Nicolas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 69 (Nicolas, France, 2010)
  • # 72 (Miklós, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 75 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 82 (Nikola, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 93 (Niklas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 94 (Nikola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 168 (Nicolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 181 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 332 (Nicolaas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 451 (Nicolas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 473 (Nikolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 550 (Nickolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 639 (Nikolai, United States, 2011)

Other forms of the name include the following, (divided alphabetically by linguistic origin):

Latinate Forms
Variations used in Latin languages

  • Micolau (Catalan)
  • Nicolau (Catalan/Galician/Occitanian/Portuguese)
  • Niculaiu (Corsican)
  • Nicoty (Brusseler: a French dialect)
  • Colin (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name, not to be confused with the Celtic Colin/Collin which has a completely different etymology and pronunciation)
  • Nicolas/Nico (French: diminutive forms are Colas, Coliche, Colineau, Coya, Koni, Nic, Nico and Nikko)
  • Coletto/Colino (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccola/Nicola (Italian: Cola is a diminutive form)
  • Nicolai (Italian)
  • Nicolao (Italian)
  • Niccolò/Niccolo/Nicolò (Italian)
  • Nicoletto (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccolino/Nicolino (Italian: obscure)
  • Nico (Italian/Romanian/Spanish: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Nicolás/Colás (Leonese)
  • Nicu (Leonese/Romanian: originally diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Nicolaus (Late Latin)
  • Nicolinus (Late Latin)
  • Neculai/Nicolae/Niculae (Romanian: diminutive form is Nicoară)
  • Nicușor (Romanian: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Clà/Clau (Romansch)
  • Niclà/Nicolà/Niculin (Romansch)
  • Nigola (Sardinian)
  • Nicolao/Nicolás (Spanish)

Feminine forms ares

  • Nicolaua (Catalan)
  • Colette (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Coline (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name. The name also coincides with the French word for hill. Diminutive form is Colinette)
  • Nicole (French)
  • Nicolette (French: originally a diminutive form of Nicole, now exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Nicoline (French)
  • Nicolasa (Galician/Spanish)
  • Nicoletta (Italian)
  • Nicolina (Italian)
  • Nicoleta (Romanian)
  • Nicolina/Niculina (Romanian)
  • Nicoleta/Nicolá (Spanish)

Germanic Forms
Variations used in Germanic based languages

  • Nikolaus (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Claus/Klaus/Niels (Danish: originally diminutive forms but used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicolai/Nikolaus/Nikolaj (Danish)
  • Nilaus/Nis (Danish)
  • Nicolaas/Nikolaas (Dutch)
  • Klaas/Nico/Niek/Niels (Dutch: Originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicholas/Nicolas (English: diminutive forms include: Cole, Nat, Nick and Nicky)
  • Niklas/Niklái (Faroese)
  • Niklaas (Flemmish)
  • Klaas/Klaes (Frisian)
  • Nickel/Nickels (Frisian)
  • Claus/Claas/Klaas/Klaus/Klas (German: originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nickolaus/Nicolas/Nicolaus/ Niklaus/Nikolaus/Niklas (German)
  • Nico/Niko (German)
  • Neikaulaus (Gothic)
  • Néckel/Kleeschen/Klos (Lexumburgish)
  • Klaos (Limburgish)
  • Nikolaas/Nicolaas (Low Saxon)
  • Nicolai/Nikolai (Norwegian)
  • Niels (Norwegian)
  • Nickel (Plattdeutsch)
  • Michlaus (Swabian)
  • Niclas/Nicklas/Niklas (Swedish)
  • Nels/Nils (Swedish)
  • Klas/Claes (Swedish)
  • Chlaus/Glaus (Swiss-German)

Germanic feminine forms are:

  • Nikoline (Danish)
  • Klasina/Klazina (Dutch)
  • Nicole (Dutch/English/German: a borrowing from the French, very popular in the 1980s in German-speaking countries, English-speaking countries, as well as in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In 1980, Nicole was the 7th most popular female name in the United States)
  • Nicolet (Dutch: a bastardization of the French, Nicolette)
  • Nicolien/Nicoline (Dutch)
  • Nicola/Nichola (English: a name that was particularly popular in Great Britain in the 70s and 80s, not to be confused with the masculine versions which are separate evolutions. This is pronounced NIK-uh-lah, and is most likely a feminization of the Scottish Nichol)
  • Nikolina (Faroese)
  • Nikólína (Icelandic)

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavonic languages

  • Mikalai Мікалай (Belarusian)
  • Nikola(y)/Niklen Никола/Николай/Никлен (Bulgarian: diminutive forms are: Kole, Kolyo, Kolyu and Nikùlitza).
  • Nikola/Niko (Croatian: Nikša and Nikica are diminutive forms)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Czech: short form is Mikula )
  • Nikola (Macedonian: diminutive forms are Kole and Nikolče nee-KOL-che)
  • Mikołaj (Polish: diminutive forms are Kola, Mikcio, Mik, Mikołajek, Miki, Miko, Mikoś, Mikuś, Misza, Nicz, Niki and Niko)
  • Nikolai Николай (Russian: Kolya and Nikita are diminutive forms)
  • Nikola Никола (Serbian)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Slovakian)
  • Nikolas (Slovakian)
  • Nikita (Slovakian: a borrowing from the Russian, sometimes used as an independent given name in Slovakia)
  • Miklavž/Niko/Nikolaj (Slovene)
  • Mikławš/Klaws (Sorbian)
  • Mykola Микола/Mykolai Миколай (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikoleta/Nikolina Николина/Николета (Bulgarian)
  • Nikolina/Nika/Nina (Croatian)
  • Nikoleta (Czech/Polish/Slovakian)
  • Nikola (Czech/Polish/Slovakian: currently very popular in all three countries)
  • Nikol (Czech/Polish: a corruption of the French, Nicole, and is a relatively recent form in the Czech Republic and Poland and is also rapidly increasing in popularity)
  • Nikolina (Czech/Polish)
  • Mikuláška (Slovakian: obscure)
  • Nika/Nikolaja (Slovene)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic Countries

  • Nikolaz/Nikolazig (Breton)
  • Nikolas (Cornish)
  • Cóilín (Irish)
  • Nicolás/Nioclás (Irish)
  • Neacel/Nichol/Nicol (Scottish)
  • Niclas (Welsh)

Baltic Forms
Forms used in the Baltic

  • Klaus/Laas/Laus (Estonian)
  • Nigol/Nigulas/Nigul (Estonian)
  • Niilas/Niilo/Niilu (Estonian)
  • Niklas/Nikolai/Niko (Estonian)
  • Nikita (Estonian: a borrowing from the Russian, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Nil/Nillo/Nilo/Nils/Nilus (Estonian)
  • Launo/Niilo/Niklas/Niko (Finnish)
  • Nikolajs/Niks/Nils (Latvian)
  • Klavs/Niklavs (Latvian)
  • Mikalojus/Mikas/Nikalojus (Lithuanian)
  • Miklay Миклай (Mari)
  • Mikuk Микук (Mari)
  • Mikus Микуш (Mari)
  • Nibá (Saami)
  • Nigá/Nigo (Saami)
  • Nihkke/Nihkko (Saami)
  • Niillas/Nilá/Nillá/Nilsa (Saami)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikolė (Lithuanian)
  • Nikoleta/Nikoletė (Lithuanian)

Other Forms
Forms used in other languages

  • Nikolla/Nikollë/Koll/Kol (Albanian)
  • Nikolas ኒኮላስ (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Nikoghayos Նիկողայոս/Nikoghos o Նիկողոս (Armenian)
  • Nikola (Basque)
  • Mikulay/Mikuҫ Микулай, Микуҫ (Chuvash)
  • Nikolaus/Niqwela/Niqewlawes نيقولاوس (Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Niko (Fijian)
  • Nikoloz ნიკოლოზ (Georgian)
  • Nikolaos Νικόλαος/Nikolas Νικόλας/Nikos Νίκος /Nikolis Νικολής (Greek Modern)
  • Niilsi/Niisi (Greenlandic)
  • Nikku/Nikkulaat (Greenlandic)
  • Miklós/Nikola (Hungarian)
  • Nikku/ Nikkii/Nikorasu (Japanese)
  • Nikola (Maltese)

Feminine forms are as follows:

  • Níkē Νίκη/Nikoléta Νικολέτα/Νikolína Νικολίνα (Greek: modern)
  • Nikkuliina/Nikkuliit (Greenlandic)
  • Nikolett (Hungarian)
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MIA

I know I have been missing in action for awhile, but I have been crazy busy with my personal life these past few months. Regardless, I promise to bring a whole new repertoire of names within the next few months, and I am even of thinking of given my blog a little face list. I am open to suggestions.

Violet and her alternatives

Violet has skyrocketed within the last few years, coming out of moldy obscurity to vintage chic. In 1998, she was the 899th most popular female name, the year before, she hadn’t even been seen in the U.S. top 100o since 1982.

As of 2009, Violet was the 141st most popular female name in the United States. To add insult to injury, she was the 66th most popular in neighboring Canada (2009) and the 85th most popular in Australia (2009).

It is inevitable… Violet may become the next Lily.

Loving Violet but fear her popularity? Then you may like these unusual alternatives.

Banafsha (Persian)
Calfuray (Mapuche)
Ia ია (Georgian)
Ione (Greek)
Jolana (Czech/Slovak)
Jolanta (Polish)
Fialka (Ukrainian)
Kannike (Estonian)
Manusha (Albanian)
Melyonen (Cornish)
Sigal/Sigalit (Hebrew)
Viola (Latin)
Violeta (Bulgarian/Croatian/Macedonian/Romanian/Spanish)
Violette (French)
Yolanda (Spanish)
Yolande (French)

These ones may not be very usuable in an English-speaking country, but for curiosity’s sake, here is what people in other countries name their daughters when they are referring to the Violet:

Bənövşə (Azeri)
Temenuzhka (Bulgarian)
Ibolya (Hungarian)
Iole (Greek)
Ljubica (Croatian)
Manushag (Armenian)
Menekşe (Turkish)
Orvo/Orvokki (Finnish)
Wiola (Polish)
Wioletta (Polish)

Legitimate Idaho Births

Only weeded out the babies with legitimate first names, interesting or just plain common. Enjoy!

Male

Christian Joseph
Cormac Axum
Dominic Martinell Pomponio
Jude Micah
Raymond James
Tinian

    Female

    Adria Hope
    Cecilia Violet Grace
    Isla Louise
    Loretta Louise
    Mariposa
    Nova Sage
    Sophia Wren

      Names Spotted in a Recent Read

      I recently read a fabulous faction about the life of St. Radegonde, Women in the Wall, by Julia O’Faolain unfortunately, I believe it is out of print, however, it is easily obtainable on Amazon from other sellers.

      Since the book is set in 6th-century France and based on real characters, it is a treasure trove of unusual yet legitimate names. Here is a list of the characters in alphabetical order:

      (The author used the Latinate versions of the names, some the names have their French equivalents in parenthesis)

      Female

      Amalaberg
      Aregunda
      Audovera (Audovère)
      Austrasia
      Austrechild
      Basina
      Baudonivia
      Brunhilde
      Chrodechilde
      Clotsinda
      Disciola (Disciole)
      Fredegunda
      Fridovigia
      Galswinthe
      Gerberga
      Gunsildis
      Hiltga
      Ingunda
      Justina (Justine)
      Leuba
      Liliola (Liloïe)
      Marileif
      Merofled
      Nantilde
      Radegunda (Radegonde)
      Vuldetrada

      Male

      Berthefred
      Bertram
      Boethius
      Cassian (Cassien)
      Charibert
      Childebert
      Childeric
      Chilperic
      Chlodecharius
      Chramn
      Clotaire
      Clovis
      Criadus
      Droctulf
      Florius
      Fortunatus
      Garivald
      Gundovald
      Guntram
      Hamalafred
      Launebodus
      Leudast
      Lupus (Loup)
      Magneric
      Mamas
      Maroveus
      Mummolus
      Palladius
      Praetextatus
      Proculus
      Rathar
      Rauching
      Sigibert
      Thaumastus
      Theudebert
      Ursio

      Georgia Births

      Let’s see what legitimate names people in Georgia have been giving their babies the last few months.

      Below are some of the most interesting choices I have seen. Enjoy.

      Male

      • Alonso John
      • Anatole Emile
      • Asher Eric
      • Bruno Alexander
      • Cecil Wynn
      • Dorian Isaac
      • Elisha Thomas
      • Elmer Eugene
      • Eric Giovanni
      • Jeremiah Emmanuel Ezekiel
      • Jeremiah Lewis
      • Jeremias Mateo
      • Rowan Anders
      • Tillman Jethro
      • Timothy Bernard
      • Ulysses Aaron
      • Zachariah Samuel

      Female

      • Abigail Sophia
      • Amalia Juliana
      • Annabelle May
      • Arabella Grace
      • Caitlin Ruth
      • Celia Catherine
      • Charlotte Ann-Louise
      • Charlotte Sarah
      • Dulce Azalea
      • Elizabeth Claire
      • Elizabeth Nikkia
      • Eliza Anne
      • Erlinda Lucia
      • Genevieve Isabella
      • Helen Nadine
      • Johana Elizabeth
      • Joie Isabella
      • Katherine Fernanda
      • Lilah Faith
      • Lillian Charmain
      • Luna Angelica
      • Mary Frances
      • Mercedes Bliss
      • Millie Estella
      • Nora Willow
      • Raina Elisabeth
      • Ruby Catherine
      • Samantha Eleni
      • Sarah Liberty
      • Sarakate Virginia
      • Sharon Elizabeth

      Alaska Births

      Here are some names I recently spotted in Alaska.
      Males

      Charles Clyde
      Lito James
      Phineas John
      Taan Walter
      Zabriel Arthur

      Females

      Annalee Flora
      Arramina Elizabeth Ione
      Eir Danielle (with a daddy named Thor)
      Esme Amanda
      Estella Ryu
      Evelyn Elizabeth
      Geordith Keola
      Liv Signe
      Oriana Lorraine
      Petunia Sue
      Skyliana Marie
      Violet Clarie

      Alabama Births

      Here are some babies I spotted in Alabama.

      Males

      Albert Joseph
      Alexander Christian
      Axel Cash
      Ezra James
      Holden Quinn
      Luca Edgar
      Nicholas Rocco
      Sherman Thomas
      Silas Jude
      Tobin Isaiah

      Females

      Alyssa Esther
      Annie Jane
      April Nadine
      Audrey Madeline
      Cora Rose
      Fiona Skye
      Hannabeth Hagen
      Isis Cynthia
      Julia Delight
      Kathryn Emma
      Lee Marie
      Lily Jane
      Milla Aleksandra
      Zara Alexandra

      Taimo

      Gender: Masculine
      Origin: Estonian
      Meaning: “plant.”
      (TAHEE-mo)

      The name is derived from the Estonian, taim, meaning “plant.”

      Another form is Taimar.

      The designated name-day is May 17.

      Sources

      1. http://online.ectaco.co.uk/main.jsp?do=e-services-dictionaries-word_translate1&direction=1&status=translate&lang1=45&lang2=en&source=taim
      2. http://www.fredonia.edu/faculty/emeritus/EdwinLawson/estoniannames/index.html
      3. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/lists/est.php