The many forms of Nicholas

December seems a germane time to have a post featuring the various forms of Nicholas, since Saint Nicholas is one of the best-known symbols of Christmas. This one of those universal names, with equivalents in so many different languages.

1. Nikolay is the Russian and Bulgarian form, with the cute nickname Kolya.

2. Mykola is Ukrainian.

3. Mikołaj is Polish. This was the real name of the great Copernicus.

4. Mikuláš is Czech and Slovak. Czech-only variants are Mikoláš and Mikula.

5. Nikolajs is Lithanian.

6. Nicolau is Portuguese, Catalan, and Galician.

7. Nikoloz is Georgian.

8. Miklavž is Slovenian.

9. Nicolae is Romanian. A variant form is Neculai. Nicknames are Nicu and Nicușor.

10. Niccolò is Italian. Possibly the most famous bearer is Machiavelli.

11. Nicolás is Spanish. A variant form is Nicolao.

12. Nikolaj is Danish and Slovenian.

13. Nikolaas is Dutch, with the alternate form Nicolaas. Nicknames include Klaas, Kai, Nico, and Niek.

14. Nikolaos is Greek, with the variant form Nikolas. I have a character who’s been going by Nikolas instead of Nikolay since he fell in love with the Ancient Greek philosophers when he was twelve. He’s just that type of head in the clouds intellectual.

15. Niklas is German, Finnish, and Scandinavian. Nicknames include Nils, Claes, Klaus, Kai, Kaj, and Klas.

16. Nikolao is Esperanto. The nickname is Niĉjo.

17. Nicolas is French.

18. Miklós is Hungarian, with the cute nickname Miki. Other nicknames include Miksa (Meek-sha), Mikici (Mee-keets-ee), Mikica (Mee-keets-a), and Mikus (Mee-kush).

19. Nioclás is Irish.

20. Nikora is Maori. This also serves as the Maori form of Nicole.

21. Nikola is Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian, Basque, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Czech, and Hungarian. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see this working well in an Anglophone country, since many people would consider it feminine on account of the -a ending.

22. Niklaus is Swiss-German.


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