The name Nelson is a boy's name of English origin meaning "son of Neil". Nelson is ranked #633 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Geek Chic Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "Spelling Bee Name Game".
From the experts:
Nelson is a rather stiff and dated surname name that is sometimes used to honor distinguished South African activist Nelson Mandela, as Celine Dion did for one of her twin boys. Other notable associations are with the British Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, novelist Nelson Algren and movie operetta star Nelson Eddy. It was also the given name of "Rabbit" Angstrom, protagonist of John Updike's series of novels.
Nelson's highest popularity was in the 1930s and forties, when it was in the Top 200.