Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Nina is a traditionally feminine name, and for good reason: In Spanish it means "little girl." Nina also has roots in Hebrew and Russian; in Russian, Nina is a version of the name Anne. Other meanings include "favor" and "grace." Nina was also the name of a Babylonian ocean goddess, and an Incan goddess of fire.

Names with similar meanings include Amara, Carissa, Anita, Jessica, Nancy, and of course Grace. Or stick with names with that central "N" like Lena, Helena, Elena, Sheena, Hannah, Marina, Mina, and Anna. Nina can also be a nickname for Giannina, Catalina, Janina, Karina, Antonina, and plenty more.

Famous Ninas in history and pop culture include musician Nina Simone (born Eunice), journalist Nina Garcia, and actor Nina Dobrev. In literature, Nina Zarechnaia is a character from Anton Chekhov's 'The Seagull,' plus there are characters named Nina in 'Vile Bodies' by Evelyn Waugh and 'Phineas Finn' by Anthony Trollope.

The name Nina has enjoyed pretty consistent popularity in the U.S., remaining in or around the top 100 names for most of a century. Nina was popular in the 1880s and declined but only slowly until its least popular year, 1978, before skyrocketing to its all-time peak in 1980. It's currently on the decline again, as the 322nd most popular girls' name in 2018. However, Nina is currently in the top 100 in New Zealand, Germany, France and The Netherlands.

Nina in quotes:

"I had spent many years pursuing excellence, because that is what classical music is all about... Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important." — Nina Simone

"In me is the spirit of the great Alexander, the spirit of Napoleon, of Caesar, of Shakespeare, and of the tiniest leech that swims. In me the consciousness of man has joined hands with the instinct of the animal; I understand all, all, all, and each life lives again in me.”
― Nina, Anton Chekhov's 'The Seagull'

Meanings

English Baby Names Meaning:

In English Baby Names the meaning of the name Nina is: Favor; grace. Introduced to Britain in the 13th century.

Hebrew Baby Names Meaning:

In Hebrew Baby Names the meaning of the name Nina is: Grace.

Russian Baby Names Meaning:

In Russian Baby Names the meaning of the name Nina is: Russian version of the name Anne, meaning favor or grace.

Spanish Baby Names Meaning:

In Spanish Baby Names the meaning of the name Nina is: Girl.

Search by a specific category

Or search by baby name