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Gheorghe Tattarescu - Sfantul Nicolae.jpg
MeaningVictory of the people
Other names
DerivedΝικόλαος (Nikolaos), a combination of Greek words "victory" (νίκη; nikē) and "people" (λαός; laos)
See alsoNicolas, Nicolaas, Niccolò, Nikolas, Nickolas, Nikolaos, Nikolay/Nikolaj/Nicolay/Nicolae, Nicolau/Nicolao Nicola/Nikola, Nikolaus, Nikolla, Nikollë, Nicole/Nicolle/Nichole, Nico, Nikos, Nikita, Nicanor, Nicander, Miklós

Nicholas is a male given name and a surname.

The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Churches celebrate Saint Nicholas every year on December 6, which is the name day for "Nicholas". In Greece, the name and its derivatives are especially popular in maritime regions, as St. Nicholas is considered the protector saint of seafarers.


The name is derived from the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos),[1] understood to mean 'victory of the people', being a compound of νίκη nikē 'victory'[2] and λαός laos 'people'.[3] An ancient[3] paretymology of the latter is that originates from λᾶς las (contracted form of λᾶας laas) meaning 'stone' or 'rock',[4] as in Greek mythology, Deucalion and Pyrrha recreated the people after they had vanished in a catastrophic deluge, by throwing stones behind their shoulders while they kept marching on.

The name became popular through Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, the inspiration for Santa Claus, but it predates said Bishop by several centuries: the Athenian historian Thucydides for example, mentions that in the second year of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) between Sparta and Athens, the Spartans sent a delegation to the Persian king to ask for his help to fight the Athenians; a certain Nikolaos was one of the delegates.[5]

The customary English spelling Nicholas, using a ch, as though the word were spelled in Greek with a chi, first came into use in the 12th century and has been firmly established since the Reformation, although the spelling Nicolas is occasionally used.

Male variations[edit]

Variations for males include:[6][7]

Female forms[edit]

Female forms include:[6]

People known as Nicholas[edit]

Single name (rulers, popes, patriarch and antipopes)[edit]

Given (first) name[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Saint Nicholas: The story behind the legendary figure that inspired the modern-day Santa". Newshub. Retrieved 2023-01-02.
  2. ^ νίκη. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  3. ^ a b λαός in Liddell and Scott.
  4. ^ λᾶας in Liddell and Scott.
  5. ^ Thucydides. "2.67". History of the Peloponnesian War. At the Perseus Project digital library.
  6. ^ a b "Nicholas". Behind the Name.
  7. ^ "Nikolai". Nordic Names.
  8. ^ Makaleler. Turuk Dergisi.