Gender: Female Meaning of Nora: "light" Origin of Nora: Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek Nora's Popularity in 2019: #29

Nora Origin and Meaning

The name Nora is a girl's name of Irish origin meaning "light".

Nora has two separate origin stories, as a derivative of both Honora and Eleanor. The Irish and Anglo-Norman version derives from Honora, based on the Latin word honor. The Hungarians spawned Nora as a short form of Eleonora, a variation of Eleanor.

Nora is a lovely, refined name that conjures up images of Belle Epoch ladies in fur-trimmed coats skating in Central Park, the independent Ibsen heroine of A Doll's House, and the female half of the witty Nick and Nora Charles duo, adding up to a most desirable choice.

Nora—long seen as a quintessentially Irish name—is a quietly stylish favorite tiptoeing up the popularity ladder.

One of Nora's most prominent contemporary namesakes is the late witty writer Nora Ephron. Nora Durst was a character on the HBO show The Leftovers.

It can also be spelled Norah, as in Norah Jones.

16 names similar to Nora

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Nora. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Nora, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Nora using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #29

- this week

Famous People Named Nora

Pop Culture References for the name Nora

Norah, Norine, Norra, Norina, Norline, Norie

Nora's International Variations

Niall (Israeli) Noreena, Noreen (Irish) Noora (Finnish) Norlene (Scottish) Norita (Spanish)


rayleemarie Says:


Just wanted to add their is a gorgeous Irish song by Johnny Mcovy Called "Nora" if you have the time I'd highly suggest giving it a listen!!!

Daiseymae Says:


So pretty!

rayleemarie Says:


Haha! I actually find this rather funny as a Nora, not a cat person. But, admittonggly a huge nerd with far from perfect eyebrows and bad acne. As well, not a fan of how popular it's becoming but, nothingless I am the only one around my age I know.

rayleemarie Says:


My name!!! I like it a lot It suits me quite well!

afluffmuffin Says:


i loooove this name. it strikes me as a smart, calm, and friendly little girl's name. i also like norah, although it sounds a little more boyish.

Xiao Casa Says:


First time I ever heard this name was when I met an adorable pair of identical baby girl twins named Ava and Nora. Nora was the quieter of the two, very calm and reserved. I think of the name in that way now - calm and cute.

Daiseymae Says:


I have changed my mind about Nora. I think it is very pretty.

auroracallista Says:


I love this as a nickname for "Oriana" (this name means 'light', Oriana means 'dawn', and they have similar sounds). I had no idea it was this popular!

kittylover777 Says:


I can't decide which I love more: Nora or Norah? Norah is kind of boyish to me, maybe because it's so similar to Noah.

EvaThyssen Says:


I used to dislike this name until I met my dear friend Nóra (she's Hungarian). The positive association is strong!

indiefendi2 Says:


Breaks my heart that this pretty gem is is the 36th most popular name right now.

Faye Says:


I ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT but unfortunately I'm brazilian and it literally means "daughter-in-law" in portuguese and I think it's very strange... if wasn't it, I would happily call my daughter Nora.

KateOconnorbes Says:


My daughters name is Nora, because it was elegant, can mature with her and is Irish at heart 🍀 Shes beautiful and has managed to make the name sassy and spunky for us :)

Chechechelss Says:


I'm really on board with this name. Definitely in my top 3 for girls. My late grandfather's name was Norman which is a nice tribute I think, considering his surname will likely die with me. I like the conciseness of Nora but Norah would assist pronunciation... not sure. One of my pet hates is people who are so extra when spelling their child's name. If I can spell it in 4 letters, why not?

indecisicivemom Says:


I feel the same way. It's my husband's top choice and everyone I ask LOVES it....but it rubs me the wrong way and I wonder if I'm crazy.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I'm starting to love this. Norah is lovely too, but not sure which spelling I prefer now.

EW314 Says:


Beautiful, simple and chic, plus it works on all ages. One of my favourites!

kertheshe Says:


Overused and 'nerdy-sounding' in a bad way. I really don't like it. When I hear it, I think of an old cat-lady with loads of blackheads and mushy eyebrows.

Janice Fisher Says:


Love this name. It's my granddaughter's name and there is nothing old ladyish about her at all.

RoddyThlayli Says:


Although I don't actively dislike the name Nora, it sounds a bit old and sort of snobbish to me. If I was to go with older names, I think I'd say something more like Hazel or Mabel.

Daphodil Says:


Nora is a gorgeous name! I think it would've been in our top 3 if it hadn't been the name of my beautiful niece (we pronounce it no-rah).

Zelliew Says:



emekct Says:


A friend of mine give her daughter the name for that very reason, the reverse of her father's they've opted to spell it Noraa

Norma Campbell Says:


To each his own. I actually like Norma, better than Nora. No offense.

clairels Says:


Good point. I'd actually like Nora a lot more if it weren't so close to Norma (no offense).

Norma Campbell Says:


I can't understand why they fail to mention Norma as a similar name to Nora. Only the M is left out. Strange to me.

mrshume22 Says:


I dont like it either! Personally it sounds old ladyish and too close to Dora.

miriam veblen Says:


I love the name nora

Poppy84 Says:


I've liked the name Nora for a while, but only recently twigged that it is almost "Aaron" backwards. Since I am married to an Aaron, it makes me love the name even more!

Daiseymae Says:


I don't like this name at all.

kendallrhea1 Says:


I prefer Norah.

Leah3456 Says:


For some reason, this name reminds me of nighttime.

Nicole4383 Says:


I think this name is really cute. It's quickly becoming one of my favorites!

hellogoodbye111 Says:



Jenny Sanchez Says:


My daughter's name is Nora Lee. She is named after my great grandmother and her middle name is a family last name on my mother's side. Later I found out that my husbands cousins have a cousin Nora Lee!

AnonymousPerson Says:


I don't much like this name.

unicornluvgirl Says:


Everyone seems to love this name, but it's not my favorite. Bad association with a Nora, I guess.

raevynstar Says:


I would be delighted to meet a little Nora! The meaning is great, too. :)