NINA: Spanish for "girl" and a Russian form of Anne. In spike of its charming brevity, Nina has an exotic cadence to it. And remember, history buffs, it served Columbus's ship well. Relatives: Ninya, Ninette, Ninon. Namesakes: Nina Simone, Nina Ricci.
NIREL: From the Hebrew for "God's field." Nirel is well off the beaten path and has a delightful sound. Relatives: Niriel, Niria, Nira, Nir, Nyree.
NISSA: Scandinavian for "elf" or "fairy." For the child who believes in the fantastic. Relatives: Nisse, Nissi, Nisi (Hebrew for "emblem"), Nissan, Nissim.
NOAH: Hebrew for "comfort" or "wanderer." Like many of the Old Testament names, Noah, the original zookeeper, is making a comeback. Relatives: Noa, Noe, Noach, Noel, Noadiah (Hebrew for "God assembles"), Noam. Namesakes: Noah Webster, Noah Berry, Noam Chomsky.
NOBLE: From the Latin for "honorable one" or"well born." Relatives: Nobel, Nobile. Namesakes: Nobel Peace Prize, Barnes and Noble bookstores.
NOEL: French for "Christmas." This name and the variations work for either a girl or a boy. It may be pronounced "Know-el" or "No-well" and is often seen with an umlaut, Noël. Relatives: Noelle, Nowell, Natale, Natal. Namesakes: Noel Coward, Noel Harrison.
NOLAN: Irsih Gaelic for "noble." Relatives: Nolen, Nolin, Nolyn, Nowlan. Namesakes: Nolan Miller, Nolan Ryan, Lloyd Nolan.
NONA: Latin for "nine." This would work well for a girl born in September.
NORA: Abbreviated form of Eleanora, Lenore, or Honora. An elegant, simple name. Relatifes: Norah, Norine, Noreen, Norina. Namesakes: Norah Lofts, "Nick and Nora Charles."