NEWELL: Old English for "from the manor" and Old French for "kernel." Relatives: Newall, Newlin, Newlyn (Old Welsh for "pool"), Newland, Newbold, Newgate, Newton. Namesakes: Andrew Newell Wyeth, Isaac Newton.
NEWMAN: Old English for "newcomer." What is a baby boy if not a new man? Relatives: Neuman, Neumann, Numen, Newmie. Namesakes: Cardinal Newman, Paul Newman, "Alfred E. Neuman."
NICHOLAS: Greek for "victorious people" and Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. Long a favorite in Greece and Russia, Nicholas has soared up the popularity charts in the 1970s and 1980s. It's one of those names that sounds good in any language. Relatives: Nicolas, Nikolaus, Nicklaus, Nicola, Nick, Nicky, Nikki, Nikita, Nikos, Nike, Nikolai, Nikola, Nicholai, Nicanor, Nikos, Nicos, Nichol, Nichols, Nicolson, Nicol, Nicolo, Nicko, Nicodemus, Nils, Niles, Nixon, Cole, Colin, Colet, Claus. Namesakes: Nick Carter, Nick Danger, Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Jack Nicklaus, Nikos Kazantazkis, Cole Porter, "Nick Adams," Nicholas Nickleby.
NICOLE: A variation of Nicholas. Like the Gaelic cousins Danielle and Michelle, Nicole has maintained a steady position in the top-ten lists for the past two decades. Relatives: Nichole, Nicola, Nikki, Nika, Nickie, Nicky, Nichola, Nicci, Nichelle, Nikolia, Nicoline, Nicolette, Nike (Greek for "victory"), Colette, Collette, Cosette. Namesakes: Nicole Gregory, Nikki Giovanni, Nicolette Larsen, "Colette."
NIGEL: From the Latin for "dark one." This is pronounced "Nie-jil" -- not "Knee-gul." Ask any Englishman. Namesakes: Nigel Bruce, Nigel Dempster.