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Nora Name Meaning

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

Nora Overview

  • Meaning: The name “Nora” means “honor.” It can either be a shortening of Eleanor, Eleanora, or Honora. In the north of the United Kingdom, it is the female iteration of the name “Norman.” Originally, the Greek name “Eleanora” meant “light.” It is likely that “Nora” was a diminutive of Eleanora. The Arabic version of the name, “Noora,” has the same meaning.
  • Gender: Nora is typically given to girls, though there are male versions such as “Norman.”
  • Origin: Nora has Latin origins from the original name “Honora” or “Honoria.” It was Anglo-Normanacized as “Nora,” or “Norah,” another common spelling. All versions came from the Latin word “honor.”
  • Pronunciation: “Nora” is most commonly pronounced as, “nor-uh,” with the final syllable ending in a lazy sound rather than a strong “a” sound. Other pronunciations include “naw-ruh.”
  • Popularity: Nora has been increasing in popularity since 2000. It has been popular in Scandinavia and is a top 30 name in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Ellie, Nellie, Nelly, Nor, Nory, No No, Rah.
  • Variations: Eleanor (Greek and French), Eleonora (Italian), Honoria (Latin), Leanora (Greek), Lenora (English), Noor (Arabic), Noora (Arabic), Noorah (Arabic), Noortje (Dutch), Norah (Latin), Norene (Irish), Norina (English), Norma (English), Norman (male).
  • Namesakes: Nora Arnezeder (actress), Nora Lum (actress and musician), Nora Roberts (author).

The name Nora is a classic that has seen renewed popularity in recent years. But where does it come from, does it have any variations, and how is it pronounced? Read on to find out the answers to these and more.

What Does the Name Nora Mean?

The name “Nora” means “honor.” This comes from Latin roots and can either be a shortening of Eleanor, Eleanora, or Honora. In the north of the United Kingdom, it is the female iteration of “Norman.”

Originally the Greek name “Eleanora” meant “light.” It is likely that “Nora” was a diminutive form of Eleanora. The Arabic version “Noora” has the same meaning (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Nora?

Nora is a name of Latin origin. It came from the original name “Honora” or “Honoria” and was Anglo-Normanacized as “Nora.” “Norah” is another common spelling of the name.

These versions of “Nora” stem from the Latin word “honor.”

How Popular Is the Name Nora?

Nora increased in popularity at the turn of the 21st Century. Since then, it has gained momentum in many regions, especially in Scandinavian countries.

In the United States, it trailed behind many other names. However, in 2017, it jumped to number 28 (2).

How Do I Pronounce Nora?

“Nora” is most commonly pronounced as “nor-uh,” with the final syllable ending in a lazy sound rather than a strong “a” sound.

Other pronunciations include “naw-ruh.”

Is Nora a Boy or Girl Name?

Nora is a name given to girls. It has male iterations, however, such as “Norman.”

Variations of Nora

There are plenty of regional variations for the name Nora. A sample, but not all, includes:

  • Eleanor (Greek and French)
  • Eleonora (Italian)
  • Honoria (Latin)
  • Leanora (Greek)
  • Lenora (English)
  • Noor (Arabic)
  • Noora (Arabic)
  • Noorah (Arabic)
  • Noortje (Dutch)
  • Norah (Latin)
  • Norene (Irish)
  • Norina (English)
  • Norma (English)
  • Norman (male)

Nicknames for Nora

But for how many variations there are, only a few nicknames exist.

Some of those include:

  • Ellie
  • Nellie
  • Nelly
  • Nor
  • Nory
  • No No
  • Rah

Similar Names to Nora

There are also a handful of names similar to Nora, such as:

Middle Names for Nora

Nora is a strong name and can pair well with others. Some options include:

Sibling Names for Nora

Many names go great alongside Nora for a sibling, whether boy or girl. Some of them include:

For a Brother:

And for a Sister:

Famous People Named Nora

There are also many famous people named Nora. The first person that comes to mind these days might be Nora Ephron, the American journalist, writer, and filmmaker.

Some other of the most famous Noras include:

  • Nora Arnezeder: An award-winning French actress.
  • Nora Lum: An American actress, comedian, and musician known by her stage name “Awkwafina.”
  • Nora Roberts: An American author.
  • Nora Waln: An American writer.
  • Princess Nora of Liechtenstein: A princess of Liechtenstein.

Nora in Popular Culture

Today, many Noras have appeared as characters in pop culture.

You might recognize:

  • Nora Allen: A character from “The Flash” comic books.
  • Nora Bing: A character from the US television sitcom “Friends.”
  • Nora Carpenter: A character in the film “Final Destination 2.”
  • Nora Darhk: A fictional character in the television shows ”Arrow” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.”
  • Nora Hanen: Acharacter on the American soap opera series “One Life to Live.”
  • Nora Walker: A character in the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”
  • Nora Gainesborough: A character from the television series “True Blood.”

Nora FAQs

There might be some other questions in your mind about the name Nora. Let’s look at some.

Is Nora a Pretty Name?

Nora connotes images of class and warmth. It has been the name of many strong female lead characters in films and TV series. Nora feels upscale without any snobbery attached. It is a pretty name and desirable today.

Is Nora an Irish Name?

Nora is an Irish name. It is spelled “Nóra” and is most likely derived from “Honora.” Nóra is also dimunitized from Nóirín. It is one of many anglicized forms, also including “Noreen,” “Norene,” and “Norine.”

Is Nora an Old-Fashioned Name?

Nora might be seen by some as an old-fashioned name, but it is still a contemporary choice for girls as well.

What Does the Name Nora Mean for Personality?

Noras tend to be expressive and vocal. They can communicate ideas and help you understand them well. They have a forward-looking attitude and are ready for anything, and can charm but steal the show if it’s their time.

Is Nora a Biblical Name?

Nora is not a biblical name. Norah has Latin roots rather than Hebrew. It is, however, popular amongst Christian communities.

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