Of Greek origin.
From the Greek name “Νικόλαος”, Nikolaos, often shortened to Nikos.
The meaning of the name is “victory of the people”. From the Greek words “νίκη”, nike, meaning victory and “λαός”, laos, meaning “people”.
In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory, daughter of the Titan Pallas. In the “War of the Giants”, she was driving Zeus’s chariot and in ancient art she was depicted holding a palm branch as a symbol of victory.
The name Nicholas was widely used in the Christian world, due to Saint Nicholas.
He was Nikolaos of Myra, a 4th century saint, Greek Bishop of the city of Myra, in Asia Minor. He was also known as “Nikolaos the Wonderworker”, due to the many miracles that were attributed to his prayers.
Sources mention him as the model for Santa Claus and Sinterklaas, because of his reputation as a secret gift giver, such as putting coins in the shoes of people who would left them out of the house for him.
He is the patron saint of sailors, merchants and schoolchildren.
Five popes and two Russian czars were named Nicholas.
Alternative forms of the name are: Nikos, Nik, Nicolas, Nikolas, Nick, Nikolai, Niko, Nico, Nicol, Nicolao, Nicolo, Nicu, Nikolaas, Klaus, Miklós, Niklas, Niccolò, Niki, Mikula, Claus, Caj, Colin, Collin, Niels.
Famous bearers are Nicolas Cage, Nicolas Sarkozy, Nicolas Maduro, Nick Nolte, Nick Cave, Nicolas Roeg, Niki Lauda, Nick Hornby, Nicolas Anelka, Nicholas D’ Agosto, Nicholas Lea, Nick Rhodes, Nick Drake, Nicolas Jaar, Nick Wechsler, Nick Stahl, Niccolò Paganini, Niccolò Machiavelli, Niccolò Canepa.
Nicholas is a popular name in Greece, Italy and Canada.