20 Baby Names That Begin With N & Are More Than Just Nice
With zillions of options to choose from, sometimes parents in search of a name for their baby need to use specific criteria to narrow it down. You might decide you're only going to look at names that have a certain number of syllables, or names with a special meaning, or names that begin with a particular letter like "N." If you haven't explored that section of your baby name book yet, you should: There are plenty of
baby names that start with "N," from old-fashioned to modern, from one syllable to many.
easier to find than "Z" names or "X" names, "N" names come from all over the world, and there are quite a lot of them that haven't been overused to the point of becoming generic. (That's apparently a big deal to moms and dads today: Recent research found that as many as one in five millennial parents or — 20% — changed or considered changing their baby's name based on what domain names were free.) Of course, there are also a few classics on this list, because some names just never go out of style. So whether you're trying to be trendy, traditional, or something in between, you'll find an "N" name that's more than just nice.
Romantic and theatrical, Nina has several potential
origins and corresponding meanings, according to Babble: strong (Native American), dreamer (Russian), and little girl (Spanish). You could name your daughter Nina after any famous Nina who inspires you — think Nina Simone, Nina Flowers, or Nina Dobrev, for starters. With a name so timeless, you can’t go wrong.
A Hebrew name meaning "
gift of God," as Nameberry noted, Nathaniel has a distinguished ring to it (but can easily be shortened to Nathan, Nate, or Nat, as in Nat King Cole). In the Bible, the name is typically spelled Nathanael. Whether you’re naming your baby after Nat Turner or Nathaniel Hawthorne, or just because you like it, it’s a dignified choice.
Nat can be a nickname for girls, too, especially if you go with Natalie. Originally
given to baby girls born on Christmas Day, explained Baby Name Wizard, this name was derived from diēs nātālis (meaning natal day, or Christmas). The Greek word "anatoly" is related to the name as well, which means "sunrise," so the name Natalie also signifies a new start.
traditionally a boy's name, according to Babble, but would definitely work for girls, too. From Ireland, the meaning is "holy" (but don't expect your kid to be an angel all the time). Nevan was a minor saint in Irish folklore, and remains pretty rare, so it’s great for parents who love Evan or Kevin, but want something a little different.
With or without an "h" at the end, this name has
roots in various cultures, as Baby Center explained: It was short for Honora, an Anglo-Norman name (Latin for "honor"), and Eleanora, a Greek name meaning "light." Meanwhile, over in Scotland, Nora is the girl's version of Norman. It’s a classic name that will never feel dated.
Another Irish name, this one means "champion," according to Nameberry, and it's
rising in popularity: Nolan's current rank on Nameberry's popularity charts is #67. Safely within the top 100. If you like it but aren’t totally on board, maybe the similar name Noah is more of what you’re looking for for your little champ.
Meaning "people's victory," Nicolette is a less common variation of Nicole, noted SheKnows. As you might have guessed,
it's also a French name, and a gorgeous one at that. BabyNames.com says it’s a derivation of the name Nicolle, and currently ranks 1,000 in the U.S., so your girl’s preschool class won’t be full of other Nicollettes.
OK, so the Roman emperor who went by the same name maybe wasn't the best emperor ever... but that's fine, because this
ancient name's surprisingly hipster vibe is cool enough to make up for the history. From the Latin, Nero means "stern," according to Nameberry. Go on with your bad self, little king.
Parents who love the name Naomi will appreciate this one, too. The Spanish version of Naomi,
Noemi means "pleasant" or beautiful (and hopefully your kid will turn out to be just that). It's pronounced no-EH-mee, with an emphasis on the last syllable, explained Babble. If you’re a free-spirited couple looking to name your baby girl, Noemi is a strong contender.
It just doesn't get much cooler than Nash, a name that all but guarantees your kid will grow up to be a rockstar, Olympic snowboarder, or something else edgy and awesome. It means
“dweller by the ash tree," according to BabyNames.com, and is currently ranked the 256th most popular name in the U.S.
Short but sweet, Nia can be traced to both
Gaelic and Swahili origins and means "lustrous, goal, or purpose," explained The Bump. For parents looking to raise driven girls who become strong women, Nia is a strong, feminine name with the perfect meaning behind it. It’s great for families who might love the name Mia, but think it's overused.
If you like Neil, consider this less frequently heard variation. Meaning "champion or passionate," Niall has
Irish and Scottish roots, according to Babble, so you don’t have to be a Niall Horan stan to appreciate the moniker. Baby Name Wizard’s data shows this name has never been in the Top 1,000 baby names in the U.S.
at its most popular in the '40s, noted Nameberry, but it could be poised for a comeback (especially with parents who aren't too young to have Nancy Drew nostalgia). Of French origin, the meaning of Nancy is "grace." Frank Sinatra dedicated a song to his daughter called "Nancy with the Laughing Face” if you’re looking for some #inspo.
If you like names like Nicholas or Nick, Nikko is a similar boys’ name with a bit of unique flair. It means
"people of victory," so if you’re looking to raise a son who stands up for others, this moniker may be the perfect fit. Nico is an alternate spelling option. Nixon is a British name that literally means “son of Nicholas,” so this is an especially cute name choice for a baby with a dad named Nick. It's peaked in popularity in recent years, so it doesn’t sound totally out-of-left-field, but is still unique enough to stand out from the crowd.
Is there a cuter name for a Christmastime baby? No way. Little
Noelle comes from the world “noel,” meaning Christmas, and has been on the baby name charts since the mid-1960s. It's so sweet, and gives very warm and cozy vibes thanks to its meaning. Imagine all the cute red onesies for this babe.
Nova is derived from the Latin word for new, making it the perfect name for the new love in your life. It’s also a nod to astronomy for any STEM-loving parents, since a
nova is a star that suddenly releases a huge burst of energy, making it extraordinarily bright.
What could be better for your little sunshine than a
name that means sun ray? Nellie peaked in popularity in the 1880s and hasn’t picked up the same steam since, so it’d be a unique choice today. It’s a precious nickname for Helen or Eleanor, or can stand on its own. It looks cute spelled Nelly, too.
The meaning of Noble is pretty straightforward, so if your new baby is
the little prince of the house, you know he’ll wear this name like his very own crown. I think it could work both boys and girls though, and has a very sweet, charming punch to it as a gender neutral choice.
The name Nevaeh
first popped up in the late ‘90s, and is actually the word ‘heaven’ spelled backwards. It came about when the lead singer of Christian rock band P.O.D. named his daughter Nevaeh. It’s been a mainstay name in the Top 100 most popular baby names ever since and shows no signs of slowing down.
This article was originally published on
Aug. 22, 2018