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nicholas

Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English and Dutch: from the personal name (Greek Nikolaos, from nikān ‘to conquer’ + laos ‘people’). Forms with -ch- are due to hypercorrection (compare Anthony). The name in various vernacular forms was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, largely as a result of the fame of a 4th-century Lycian bishop, about whom a large number of legends grew up, and who was venerated in the Orthodox Church as well as the Catholic. In English-speaking countries, this surname is also found as an Americanized form of various Greek surnames such as Papanikolaou ‘(son of) Nicholas the priest’ and patronymics such as Nikolopoulos.
  2. The colonial official and revolutionary patriot Robert Carter Nicholas was from a prominent VA family on both sides. His father was a British navy surgeon who emigrated in about 1700 from Lancashire, England, to Williamsburg, VA.
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