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Updated May 9, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

What does Nora mean and stand for?


  • English: Honour
  • Irish: Light
  • Latin: Dignified
  • French: Nobleman
  • Greek: The bright one; honor; light

Gender: Female

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Nora is pronounced nor-uh

The name Nora, often a diminutive form of Honora or Eleanora, embodies grace and tradition. It has roots stretching back to English and Irish origins, where it is typically associated with honour and light. This duality of heritage reflects the name's broad appeal and timeless quality, making it a cherished choice for many parents today.

How Popular Is The Name Nora

Family name origins & meanings



Italian and German: from a short form of the feminine personal name (E)leonora.

Southern Italian: perhaps a habitational name from localities named Nora in Modica and Scicli.

Portuguese: habitational name from any of the numerous places called Nora, from nora "draw well."



Nora in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Nora Helmer from A Doll's House - A complex woman who challenges societal norms and seeks independence in Henrik Ibsen's groundbreaking play.
  • Nora Darhk from Legends of Tomorrow - A former villain with magical powers, who finds redemption and becomes a hero in this DC Comics television series.
  • Nora Valkyrie from RWBY - A cheerful and energetic member of Team JNPR in the animated web series, known for her incredible strength and hammer-wielding skills.
  • Nora Grey from Hush, Hush - The protagonist of Becca Fitzpatrick's novel series, a high school student who finds herself drawn into a world of fallen angels and forbidden love.
  • Nora Gainesborough from True Blood - A vampire and the sister of Eric Northman on the HBO series, involved in complex political intrigue within the vampire community.

Popularity of the Name Nora

According to the Social Security Administration data, the name Nora has seen a significant rise in popularity over the years, making its way steadily up the rankings. This classic name has been a favorite among parents for its simplicity and elegance. Historically, Nora has roots in both Irish and Latin, meaning "light" and "honor," which adds to its appeal for many families seeking a name with depth and significance.

Nora has been celebrated in various cultural references, making it a well-recognized name across literature, film, and history. One of the most famous historical figures with this name is Nora Barnacle, the wife and muse of James Joyce, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. In literature, Nora Helmer is the protagonist of Henrik Ibsen's groundbreaking play A Doll's House, which caused widespread discussion about gender roles and individual rights in the late 19th century. The play is considered a critical work in feminist literature.

Where Is the Name Nora Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Nora

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Nor
  • Nory
  • Rah

Nora Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

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