Nikolai is a commanding and compelling first name. With its balanced combination of hard consonants and firm vowels, it is an appealing alternative to names like Nicholas and Colin. Nikolai has an authoritative tone that makes it traditional favorite among royalty in countries ranging from Russia to Denmark. The name also has a fun role in entertainment and popular culture. Nikolai is a character on television's Six Feet Under), and Nikolai Delphiki is an important character in the Ender's Game series. Keep reading to learn more about this baby name.

Meaning of the name Nikolai:

Greek: Victory of the people

Origin of the name Nikolai:

Nikolai is the Russian and Slavic variation of Nicholas. The name derives from the Greek word nikē (meaning “victory”) and loas (meaning “people”).

Symbolism of the name Nikolai:

Nikolai is the name of the patron saint of Russia. This saint is also a patron of children, sailors, merchants, and the poor. According to legend, Nikolai anonymously threw three bags of gold through the window of a poor man's house, thereby providing the daughters with dowries and sparing them a life of disgrace. These stories of gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas (the Dutch word for “Sint-Nicolaas” or “Saint Nick”). Symbols for Nikolai include the crozier (a hooked staff for shepherding) and gold coins to disperse to the poor.

Baby name Nikolai

Style of the name Nikolai:


Gender of the name Nikolai:

Nikolai is a boy's name.

Pronunciation of the name Nikolai:


Number of syllables in the name Nikolai:


Emotion evoked from the name Nikolai:

The name Nikolai evokes feelings of tradition and triumph.

Alternative spellings for the name Nikolai:

  • Nicolai
  • Nikolae
  • Nicolae
  • Nikolay
  • Nikolaj

Nicknames for the name Nikolai:

Popularity of the name Nikolai:

According to the Social Security Administration index, Nikolai was the 547th most popular baby name for boys in 2020.

Related names for the name Nikolai:

Great middle names for Nikolai and their meanings:

  • Anwar (luminous, radiant, bright)
  • Arthur (bear, king)
  • Cass (treasurer, curly, clever)
  • Constantine (steadfast, constant)
  • Dimitri (follower of Demeter)
  • Evander (good man, strong man)
  • Felix (happy, fortunate, lucky)
  • Giorgio (farmer)
  • Maximilian (the greatest)
  • Xander (defender of men)

Famous people with the name Nikolai:

  • Nikolai Nikolaevich Baskakov (painter)
  • Nikolai Davydenko (tennis player)
  • Nikolai Philippe Fraiture (bassist)
  • Nikolai William Alexander Frederik (Danish prince)
  • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (novelist)
  • Nikolai Khabibulin (hockey player)
  • Nikolai Kinski (actor)
  • Nikolai Matveevich Pozdneev (painter)
  • Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky (composer)
  • Nikolai Volkoff (wrestler)

Nikolai in popular culture:

  • Nikolai (character on Six Feet Under)
  • Nikolai Jetty Carpathia (central character in the Left Behind series)
  • Nikolai Petrovich Kirsanov (character in the novel Fathers and Sons)
  • Nikolai Delphiki (supporting character in the Ender's Game series)
  • Nikolai Lantsov (character in the Grisha series)