Nicholas, Nickolas, Nikolas, Nikolaus or Nicolas is a male given name, derived from the Greek name Νικόλαος, a compound of νίκη nikē 'victory' and λαός; laos 'people'.
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The name became popular through Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, the inspiration for Santa Claus.
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day.
Saint Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek maritime city of Myra in Asia Minor during the time of the Roman Empire.
Lycia was a geopolitical region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey, and Burdur Province inland.
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The Greek word laos originates from the word root -las, as found in the word λα-τομεῑο la-tomeio meaning "stone" or "rock" and the name can be understood to mean victory of the people.
A root is a word that does not have a prefix in front of the word or a suffix at the end of the word.
The name Nikolaos pre-existed the Bishop of Myra who became Saint Nicholas, by several centuries.
Nikolaos is a common Greek given name which means "Victor of People", a compound of νίκη nikē 'victory' and λαός laos 'people'.
The Athenian historian Thucydides mentions that in the second year of the Peloponnesian war between Sparta and Athens, the Spartans sent a delegation to the Persian king to ask for his help to fight the Athenians; Nikolaos was one of the delegates.
The customary English version of spelling "Nicholas", using an "h", first came into use in the 12th century and has been firmly established since the Reformation, though "Nicolas" is occasionally used.
In the United States, Nicholas – and its variations – was the 17th most popular male name given to babies in 2006.
Roughly 0.7151% of the baby boys born that year, or 15,414, were given that name.
It is decreasing in popularity, from a high in 1997, when 27,248 males in the United States were given the name Nicholas.
That year was the most popular year for Nicholas since 1880, when U.S. records were kept for given names.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Churches celebrate Saint Nicholas every year on December 6, which is the name day for "Nicholas".
The Eastern Orthodox Church, also known as the Orthodox Church, or officially as the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church and one of the oldest extant religious institutions in the world.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017.
A name day is a tradition in some countries in Europe, Latin America, and Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries in general.
In Greece, the name and its derivatives are especially popular in maritime regions, as St. Nicholas is considered the protector saint of seafarers.