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Meaning and Origin of: Nicholas

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Greek : Victorious people

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English and Dutch : from the personal name (Greek Nikolaos, from nikān ‘to conquer’ + laos ‘people’). Forms with -ch- are due to hypercorrection (compare Anthony). The name in various vernacular forms was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, largely as a result of the fame of a 4th-century Lycian bishop, about whom a large number of legends grew up, and who was venerated in the Orthodox Church as well as the Catholic. In English-speaking countries, this surname is also found as an Americanized form of various Greek surnames such as Papanikolaou ‘(son of) Nicholas the priest’ and patronymics such as Nikolopoulos.
  • The colonial official and revolutionary patriot Robert Carter Nicholas was from a prominent VA family on both sides. His father was a British navy surgeon who emigrated in about 1700 from Lancashire, England, to Williamsburg, VA.

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