Nikolaos (Greek: Νικόλαος) is a common Greek first name which means "Victory of the People" or "Victor of People". Composed from Niko (stemming from the Greek word "Niki" which was the name of the Greek goddess Nike who personified victory) and Laos (the Greek word for people). In addition, Laos originates from the Greek root "-las", as found in word "λα-τομείο" meaning stone. (In Greek mythology Deucalion and Pyrrha re-created the people after they had vanished in a catastrophic deluge, by throwing stones over their shoulders while they kept marching on). The name of these stones was -"las", and hence " laos " is people. In the Greek language when one wants to denote that they have conquered one says " Niko ". When "Niko" and "Laos" are placed alongside each other one arrives at Nikolaos which means "I win people" or "I win nation". The connotation is people's champion. Some would even go as far as to say that it means "conqueror of people". "Nikos" is defined as "a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated". Another transferred name in which this term is used is "Nicopolis," which is composed of Niko, which means conquest and polis, which means city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory.
The name "Nicolaitans" is derived from the Greek word nikόlaos, a compound of the words nikos and laos. The word nikos is the Greek word that means to conquer or to subdue as already mentioned above. The word laos is also where we get the word laity. When these two words are compounded into one, they form the name Nikolas, which literally means one who conquers and subdues the people. It seems to suggest that the Nicolaitans were somehow conquering and subduing the people.
If the name is to be spelled Νικόλαος in greek the ό is emphasized when pronounced. When the ό is emphasized the meaning of the first part of the name means I conquer. It makes more sense to then say that the name Nikolaos means I conquer people as it is derived from this Greek name Νικόλαος. When addressing a person one can not refer to people. It makes no sense to refer to one's self as 'victorious people' but rather 'victor of people' because you are only one person and not a whole nation. If Νικoλαος is written without the ' ό ' and is replaced with a normal ' o ' in Greek it refers to a whole nation and can be used in reference to a whole nation . For example , " South Africans are a nikolaos " , can be paraphrased as ' South Africans are a victorious people ' .
From Greek Νικόλαος, from Ancient Greek Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), from νικάω (nikaō, "I conquer") + λαός (laos, "people"). Cognate with English Nicholas.
People with first name Nikolaos
- Nikolaos Andriakopoulos, Greek gymnast
- Nikolaos Dorakis, Greek shooter
- Nikolaos Georgantas (1880-1958), Greek athlete
- Nikolaos Georgeas, Greek football player currently playing for AEK Athens FC
- Nikolaos Kaklamanakis, Greek gold-medal winner who lit the Olympic torch in the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics
- Nikolaos Levidis, Greek shooter
- Nikolaos Lyberopoulos (b. 1975), Greek football player
- Nikolaos Michopoulos, Greek professional football player
- Nick Efthimiou, Greek professional soccer/football (1990-2000) 2 championships in 1993,"98 indoor player
- Nikolaos Morakis, Greek shooter
- Nikolaos Siranidis, Greek diver who competed in the synchronised 3 metre springboard competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics
- Nikolaos Tsiantakis (b. 1963), retired Greek football midfielder
- Nicolaos Trikupis, Greek shooter
In other fields:
- Nikolaos Kantarelis, Computer Technician
- Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark (b. 1969)
- Nikolaos Chalikiopoulos Mantzaros (1795-1872), Greek composer
- Nikolaos Damaskenos, Syrian historian and philosopher in the Augustan age of the Roman Empire
- Nikolaos Douvas, (b. 1947), former Chief of Staff of the Hellenic Army
- Nikolaos Kavadias (1910–1975), Greek poet and writer
- Nikolaos Makarezos (1919-2009), Greek army general
- Nikolaos Mantzaros (1795-1872), Greek composer
- Nikolaos Mavrogenis (d. 1790), Phanariote Prince of Wallachia
- Nikolaos Plastiras (1883-1953), General of the Greek army
- Nikolaos Sifounakis, (b. 1949), Greek politician
- Nikolaos Skoufas (1779-1818), member of Filiki Eteria
- Nikolaos Trikoupis, Major General with the Greek Army during the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922
- Nikolaos Xydias Typaldos (1826-1909), Greek painter
- Nikolaos Zachariadis (1903-1973), General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece
- Nikolaos Oikonomides (1934-2000), notable Greek Byzantinist
- Nikolaos is the Master Vampire of the City of St. Louis in Laurell K. Hamilton's novel Guilty Pleasures.
- Nikos, the diminutive form of the name
- Nicholas for use of the name in English
- Agios Nikolaos, various places in Greece and Cyprus
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