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Noel Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Noel including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Noel Overview

  • Meaning: The name means “Christmas” or “born of or near Christmas.”
  • Gender: Noel is a unisex name. The name is more commonly used for boys. A variation spelled Noelle is commonly used for girls.
  • Origin: The name Noel is of Latin and French origin.
  • Pronunciation: “NO-ell”
  • Popularity: Noel is not a very popular name. The highest rank in popularity is in 1938 when it ranked 267th most popular boy name.
  • Nicknames: Ell, Elly, Nell, Nelly, No, Nol, No-No.
  • Variations: Natal, Natale, Natalie, Natalia, Noele, Noeli, Nollaig, Nowell.
  • Namesakes: Noel Blanc, Noel Cabangan, Noel Clark.

What Does Noel Mean?

The name Noel means Christmas. It is often used for boys or girls that are born close to Christmas day. It is sometimes used to refer to Jesus Christ of Nazareth whose birth is marked by Christmas (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Noel?

The name Noel originated from the Latin language. In Latin, the word nael meant birth. The Old French language co-opted this word and changed the spelling to Noël. In Old French, the word Noël meant Christmas. Over time, the French began to use the word for children born close to the Christmas holiday (2).

How Popular Is the Name Noel?

The name Noel has been in use for centuries. It has waxed and waned in popularity over the decades. Noel is not a very popular name. It reached peak popularity in 1938 as the 267th most popular name for boys in the United States. At the current time, the name is not popular, ranking 337th with the Social Security Administration (3).

In other countries, the name Noel or other variations are common. Most instances of Noel as a name are in European nations or nations formerly colonized by European countries.

How Do I Pronounce Noel?

Noel is phonetic. You pronounce Noel as “NO-ell.”

Is Noel a Boy or Girl Name?

Noel is a unisex name. It is used more often for boys, but it’s not rare for a girl’s name. The female variation of Noel is spelled Noelle.

Variations of Noel

Thanks to its ties to a Christian holiday, Noel has variation in most nations with large Christian populations. Here are some variations of the name Noel:

  • Natal (Spanish)
  • Natale (Italian)
  • Natalie (Greek)
  • Natalia (Russian)
  • Noele (French)
  • Noeli (Swahili)
  • Nollaig (Irish)
  • Nowell (English)

Nicknames for Noel

Noel is a simple and short name. Because the name only has two syllables, nicknames are not very prolific. Below are some examples of nicknames for Noel:

  • Ell
  • Elly
  • Nell
  • Nelly
  • No
  • Nol
  • No-No

Similar Names to Noel

Here are some examples of names that are similar to the name Noel:

Middle Names for Noel

Noel is a short and simple name. This simplicity means that it pairs well with a variety of middle names.

Some recommended middle names for Noel are:

Sibling Names for Noel

Noel is a timeless name that sounds best with other classic names. Here are a few examples of sibling names that sound great when said alongside Noel:

Famous People Named Noel

Noel is a name that has been in use for hundreds of years. Because of this, there are many Noel namesakes. Public figures named Noel have accomplished feats in sports, film, and other areas.

Some notable examples of people named Noel are listed below:

  • Noel Blanc: American voice actor.
  • Noel Cabangan: Filipino singer.
  • Noel Clark: English writer.
  • Noel Coward: British actor.
  • Noel Devine: American football player.
  • Noel Fisher: Canadian actor.
  • Noel Hood: British actress.
  • Noel Langley: South African writer.
  • Noel Rosa: Brazilian songwriter.
  • Noel Thatcher: British athlete.

Noel in Popular Culture

The name Noel is found throughout popular culture. There are characters named Noel in all forms of entertainment media.

Listed below are some of the most well-known instances of fictional characters named Noel:

  • Noël: Comic series of the same name by Andre Franquin.
  • Noel Ehrlichkeit: Character from the video game “Triangle Heart.”
  • Noel Vermillion: Character from the video game “BlazBlue.”
  • Noel Shempsky: Character from the American television show “Frasier.”
  • Noel Sonagi: Character from the anime series “Sora No Woto.”

Noel FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Noel and its origins.

Is Noel a Biblical Name?

The name Noel is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. Noel was not yet used as a name when the Bible was written. The name does have Christian connotations as it is rooted in the holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

Is Noel the Name of Santa Claus?

The name Noel is not the name of Santa Claus. The myth of Santa originates from a Saint named Nicholas, not Noel. The confusion about the name Noel and Santa most likely arises from Noel meaning Christmas.

Does the Name Noel Have Any Lucky Numbers?

According to Hindu numerology, the name Noel has number one. This is the name’s lucky number. People with the lucky number one are thought to be ambitious, driven, accomplished, and confident.

Is There a Saint Named Noel?

There is a saint named Noël Chabanel. He was from France and immigrated to Canada when it was under the control of the French. Noël was a part of the Jesuit order. He was sent South to assist other members of the faith. Saint Noel was martyred for spreading the gospel by a Huron Native American (4).

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