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Gender: Female Meaning of Nora: "light" Origin of Nora: Irish, diminutive of Honora, or Greek Nora's Popularity in 2017: #28

The name Nora is a girl's name of Irish origin meaning "light". Nora is ranked #28 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Vintage Baby Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Names on NB that make you go WOW!".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Nora

Nora Ephron, American film director/producer
Eleanor Marie "Nora" Roberts, American novelist
Nora Louise Kuzma, birth name of American actress Traci Lords
Nora Eddington, American actress; wife of actor Errol Flynn
Nora Istrefi, Albanian Kosovar singer
Nora Alicia Oritz Salinas, Mexican actress
Nora Miao, Hong Kong actress
Nora Connolly O'Brien, Irish author and Senator
Nora Barnacle, wife and muse of novelist James Joyce
Nora Lee Guthrie, daughter of singer Woody Guthrie
Nora Arnezeder, French actress
Nora Jansen, inspiration for Alex Vause on TV's "Orange is the New Black"
Nora Lum aka Awkwafina, American rapper
Nora Angela Zehetner, American actress
Nora Volkow, Mexican-American psychiatrist; great-granddaughter of Soviet leader Leon Trotsky
Nora Aunor (born Nora Cabaltera Villamayor), Filipina actress
Nora Kirkpatrick, American actress and musician
Nora Eloise Dunn, American actress/comedienne
Norberta Elisabeth Maria Assunta Josefine Georgine et omnes sancti "Nora," Princess of Liechtenstein, Dowager Marquesa de Mariño
Nora Hewitt, makeup artist and winner of Season 9 of "Face Off"
Nora Ellis (b. 2004), daughter of actor Tom Ellis
Nora Edman (b. 2008), daughter of footballer Erik Edman
Nora Torres (b. 2009), daughter of Spanish footballer Fernando Torres
Nora Kara Kennedy (b. 2013), daughter of American politician Patrick Kennedy
Nora Holroyd (b. 2015), daughter of actors Allison Munn and Scott Holroyd
Nora Elizabeth Egan (b. 2016), daughter of TV chef Kelsey Nixon and Robby Egan

Pop Culture References for the name Nora

Nora, character on TV's "How I Met Your Mother"
Nora Allen, character in DC Universe
Nora Fries, character in DC Universe
Nora Arnold, character in Enid Blyton's Secret Series
Nora Baker, eldest child in the "Cheaper by the Dozen" films
Nora Braverman, character on TV's "Parenthood"
Nora Charles, main character in "The Thin Man" movies
Nora Clark, character in movie "Step Up"
Nora Clayton, character on TV's "Revolution"
Nora Dearly, character in "Dearly, Departed" series by Lia Habel
Nora Estheim, minor character in video game "Final Fantasy XIII"
Nora Gainesborough, character on TV series 'True Blood'
Nora Graham, character in "Ballet Teacher" by Lee Wyndham
Nora Grey, character in the "Hush Hush" saga by Becca Fitzpatrick
Nora Helmer, character in Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House"
Nora Montgomery, character on TV's "American Horror Story"
Nora Sergeant, character on TV's "Being Human"
Nora Thunderman, character on animated series "The Thundermans"
Nora Valkyrie, character voiced by Samantha Ireland on web series "RWBY"
Nora Walker, main character on TV's "Brothers and Sisters"
Nora Hildegard, character on TV series "The Vampire Diaries"
Nora, character in the "St Clare" book series by Enid Blyton
Nora, character in the anime "Noragami"
Nora, baby polar bear at the Columbus Zoo, named after a combination of her parents' names, Nanuq and Aurora
Nora, character in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs"
Nora, character in novel "The Nest"
Nora Martinez, character in film "The Strain"
The Nora, a society in the video game "Horizon Zero Dawn"
Nora Césaire, character in the animated series "Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir"

Norra, Norina, Norah, Norine, 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. :)