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
Nikolai is the Russian and Slavic variation of Nicholas and means “victory of the people”. The name derives from the Greek word nikē (meaning “victory”) and loas (meaning “people”). 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.
Nicknames for Nikolai
The name Nikolai evokes feelings of tradition and triumph. For such a strong name, there's a variety of fun nicknames you can use. We've compiled a list of suggestions below, but feel free to choose one that best suits the Nikolai in your life.
Nikolai Name Details
Gender: Nikolai is traditionally considered to be a boys name.
Alternative Spelling for Nikolai
Nikolai Name Popularity
According to the Social Security Administration index, Nikolai was the 547th most popular baby name for boys in 2020.
Related Names for 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 Named 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)