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Names to Substitute for Nicholas

Baby boy name you love but fear is overused? Here are some possible substitutes.
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MiloHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin and Old German
  • Meaning:

    "soldier or merciful"
  • Description:

    Milo is most commonly considered to be Germanic name derived from the Latin word miles, meaning “soldier.” However, there is evidence to suggest it also may have independently spawned from the Slavic root milu, meaning “merciful.” Milo predates brother name Miles, a variation that evolved when the name immigrated to the British Isles in the Middle Ages. Mylo is an alternate spelling.

TheoHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Theodore
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Many modern parents use Theo as the short form for Theodore rather than the dated Ted--including some celebs, such as Dallas Bryce Howard-- but others bypass the Grandpa name Theodore entirely and skip right to the hip nickname Theo. Short and ultra-chic, Theo's a cool, contemporary baby name choice.

ThomasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "twin"
  • Description:

    Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.

LucasHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin form of Luke
  • Meaning:

    "man from Lucania"
  • Description:

    Lucas is the Latin derivation of the Greek name Loukas. The meaning of the name references Lucania, an ancient territory in Southern Italy. Lucas is related to the names Luke and Luca; however, Lucius and Lucian derive from a different root and have a different meaning.

TobiasHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek from Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is good"
  • Description:

    Tobias is the Greek form of the Hebrew Tobiah, which was derived from the name Toviyah. Toviyah was created from the elements tov, meaning “good” and yah, representing the Hebrew God. Tobias is the name of several biblical figures but is primarily associated with the story of Tobias and the Angel.
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NicoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian diminutive of Nicholas, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "people of victory"
  • Description:

    Nico is one of the great nickname names, full of charm, energy and effortless cool -- a neo Nick.

NathanielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Nathaniel was derived from the Hebrew name Netan’el, meaning “gift of God,” composed of the elements natan, meaning “to give,” and ’el, in reference to God. The name is featured several times in the Old and New Testaments, typically spelled Nathanael. In the New Testament, Nathanael is also known by his other name, Bartholomew.

AlexanderHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Alexander is derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, composed of the elements aléxein, meaning “to defend,” and aner, meaning “man.” According to Greek legend, the first Alexander was Paris, who was given the nickname Alexander by the shepherds whose flocks he defended against robbers. He was followed by Alexander the Great, aka Alexander III, who conquered much of Asia.

ColeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "swarthy, coal black"
  • Description:

    Cole -- a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth -- has long been associated with the great songwriter Cole Porter. It's quite popular in Scotland.

NicholasHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "people of victory"
  • Description:

    Nicholas is derived from the Greek Nikolaos, a name that evolved from the components nikē, meaning “victory”, and laos, “people.” It shares origins with Nike, the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Nicholas is also a New Testament name that is well-used in literature, such as in Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby.
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PatrickHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "noble, patrician"
  • Description:

    Patrick, long tied to a hyper-Irish image, is enjoying something of a renaissance as a stylish classic, as it has long been considered in England. Along with such choices as Charles and George, Patrick has escaped overuse in recent decades.

ColinHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "pup"
  • Description:

    Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.

MatthiasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic variation of Matthew
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    With Matthew sounding somewhat exhausted, and ancient endings sounding new again, this New Testament apostolic name makes an appealing and recommended choice. Both Mathias and Matias are well used in the Hispanic community, and throughout Europe. Will Ferrell and his Swedish wife chose Matias for their second son.

SpencerHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "house steward, dispenser of provisions"
  • Description:

    Spencer is a name that has everything: it's both distinguished sounding and accessible, dignified but Spencer Tracy-like friendly. Picked by several celebrities (a couple of times even for a girl), adding up to an enthusiastically recommended choice.

MarcusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "warlike"
  • Description:

    Though ancient, Marcus now sounds more current than Mark, in tune with today's trend towards us-ending Latinate names.
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AndreasHeart

  • Origin:

    Original New Testament Greek variation of Andrew
  • Meaning:

    "strong and manly"
  • Description:

    Andreas is a beautiful name, with the patina of an Old Master painting, one that could make an exotic namesake for an Uncle Andrew.

TimothyHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "honoring God"
  • Description:

    A second-tier classic, the New Testament Timothy moves in and out of fashion more than John and James. But though it peaked in the 1960s, many modern parents still appreciate its familiarity and lively rhythm. And the short form Tim feels eternally boyish.

ChristianHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "follower of Christ"
  • Description:

    Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.

NikolaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of Nicholas
  • Description:

    Russian forms, like Russian supermodels, are hot these days. This is a strong, exotic way to make Nicholas new; it was chosen for his son by Barry Bonds, Jr.

NoamHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "pleasantness, charm, tenderness"
  • Description:

    Noam is an underused modern Hebrew name with any number of attractive attributes attached to its meaning; it doesn't have the biblical weight of Noah, but could make a more distinctive alternative to that popular choice. Noam is a Top 10 boys' name in Israel.
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NivenHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "little saint"
  • Description:

    Excellent candidate for use as an undiscovered surname name. Niven is the Anglicized spelling of the Irish name Naomhan, a diminutive of the word naomh which means saint. This handsome but unusual name was given to only six boys in the US last year. Your parents may be familiar with actor David Niven.

DominickHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Latin Dominic
  • Meaning:

    "belonging to the Lord"
  • Description:

    This is the second-to-the-original spelling of a name that's part Jersey Shore, part upper-crust British. Dominick gets you more directly to nickname Nick.

HomerHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "security, pledge"
  • Description:

    Homer is a name that has traveled from the ancient Greek scribe of the great classical epics to Bart Simpson's doltish dad, and has also become the surprise hot celebrity pick of such parents as Richard Gere (his father's name), Bill Murray, and Anne Heche. Simpsons creator Matt Groening has both a father and a son named Homer.

NikosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, diminutive of various names beginning with the element Niko-
  • Description:

    Attractive, approachable, and more striking Nick alternative.

KenyonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "white haired or blond"
  • Description:

    Kenyon is a very engaging British surname name, the middle y giving it a kind of southwestern canyonesque undertone.
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AlexiosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    Very popular on its native turf, foreign-sounding here.

PlatoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "broad-shouldered"
  • Description:

    The name of one of the greatest Western philosophers is often used as a first name in its land of origin, Greece, and would make a really interesting, thought-provoking choice here. It is remembered here as the nickname of the memorable character played by Sal Mineo in the classic film "Rebel Without a Cause."

ChristosHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, diminutive of Christopher
  • Description:

    A Greek classic.

NicolHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish and English, medieval variation of Nicholas
  • Description:

    Often used in England, but here likely to be confused with the feminine Nicole. Nicol Williamson was a Scottish-born actor once described by playwright John Osborne as "the greatest actor since Marlon Brando".

NicholsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Nicol"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a Nicholas substitute or namesake, Nicholson would make a more distinctive path to the likable nickname Nick, fitting in with other newer patronymics like Anderson and Harrison. Unusual but not outlandish, it is associated with writer Nicholson Baker, library advocate and author of Vox. And as a surname, of course, with Jack.
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