August 5, 2015

Nicholas

Nicholas ~ Victory of the People ~ Greek

History
The English form of the Greek Nikolaos (nikē meaning victory, and laos meaning people) has endured over centuries, particularly because of this guy:

Vintage Swiss postcard
courtesy of St. Nicholas Center
Saint Nicholas, a 4th century bishop who is credited with starting our Christmas traditions and inspiring our baby names since (at least) the dawn of the 12th century. He is said to have been born to wealthy parents, and after their early deaths, he gave his inheritance away to the poor and to children, often in secret. There are lots of legends about the famed saint, but little is known about the details of his gift giving. Many have used their imaginations over the years, eventually creating an immortal jolly, old soul who travels down chimneys to deliver presents to good children on Christmas Eve.

Nicholas is most famously the patron saint of Greece, Russia, children, sailors, and prisoners, among a multitude of others. He's a prominent figure of Russian Orthodox liturgy, as prayers are said to him each week. It's been the name of choice for five popes and two czars of Russia.

You may be wondering where the saint got his name to begin with. Like many Greek names, it's ancient and even biblical. Yes, there is a Nicolas briefly mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible (Acts 6:5, to be exact). He may not have been the focus of any important stories, but this reference goes to show you just how old the name is.

To say that Nicholas is a classic name almost feels like an understatement. It's steeped in a rich history, Greek heritage, Christian tradition, and appreciated the world over among many different cultures. This name has been passed down to new generations in one form or another for ages.

Popularity
Nicholas may have hit a peak in 1999 as the 5th most popular name in the country, but it's always been a classic and has still going strong. It's never been below the 200 mark, and today it sits at 57.

Variations & Nicknames
The most popular nicknames derived from Nicholas are Nick and Cole. But we can dig much deeper than that!
  • Cole
  • Colin
  • Klaus
  • Micolas
  • Miklos
  • Mykolas
  • Nicholaus
  • Nick
  • Nickolas
  • Nico
  • Nicola
  • Nicolas
  • Niels
  • Nikolas
  • Nikos
  • Niels
  • Nils
Modern Famous Namesakes & Celebrity Babies
  • Nicolas Cage
  • Nicholas (Nick) Cannon
  • Nicholas Hoult
  • Nicholas (Nick) Lachey
  • Nicholas Sparks
  • Nicholas Santo Pietro, son of Vanna White

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