Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Nina

Nina is mainly considered a Russian nickname, which developed as a pet form for Antonina (a Slavic feminine equivalent of Anthony which is associated with the Greek word “anthos” meaning ‘flower’). However, there are several other potential meanings of this name. For one, “niña” is the Spanish word for ‘little girl’. Secondly, “nina” means ‘fire’ in the language of the Quechua people indigenous to the Andes in South America. Lastly, Nina is a Babylonian fertility goddess of the watery deep whose name is said to mean ‘enclosure of fish’. She was the daughter of Ea (the spirit of the oceans, rivers and streams). The ancient people who dwelled around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers worshipped her as a life-giver by providing them nourishment with fish to eat. Not only was she the patroness of fisherman, but she was also the goddess of maternity. She had the capability to create and destroy and was so greatly revered by temples built in her honor in Babylonia and Assyria. Her symbols are associated with fish and water and her themes are connected to nourishment, abundance, creation (Life and Death). Nina is still quite a popular name in some Slavic countries (Slovenia, Croatia and Poland) as well as Europe (specifically Austria, Belgium and France).

All About the Baby Name – Nina

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME NINA

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME NINA

In the United States, Nina experienced most of her popularity in the late 1800s and into the first part of the 20th century. As the decades progressed, however, the name Nina slowly declined in usage. There was a good size jump up the charts briefly between 1979 and 1980, thanks to the addition of a pretty character named Nina Cortlandt on the popular daytime soap, “All My Children”. The name has mainly been on a downwards momentum for the past few decades, however. In another pop-culture reference, Nina Sayers (portrayed by Natalie Portman) was the protagonist and antagonist of the 2010 award-winning movie, "Black Swan”. Nina is a simple, short and pretty name even if a bit blandly elegant. It has both a Slavic and European cosmopolitan factor making it quite stylish. It has not been overused so it’s not tiresome. And the name has so many interesting references and possible meanings. Nina is really a lovely choice.

Quick Facts

ON NINA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Polish

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

287

PRONUNCIATION:

NEE-nah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Flower, Little girl, Fire, Enclosure of fish

Characteristics

OF NINA

Cooperative

Considerate

Compassionate

Nurturing

Sensitive

Patient

Loving

Kind

Gracious

Balanced

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Nina

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME NINA

Nina is the central female character in Vladimir Nabokov’s most highly regarded short story “Spring in Fialta” written in Russian in 1936 and later published in English in 1947. The story is narrated by Victor who accidentally bumps into Nina in the fictitious Riviera seaside town of Fialta; he immediately reflects on their first encounter 15 years earlier when they shared a passionate moment outside of a party (Nina had also been engaged at the time). Over the course of the next 15 years, they would keep running into each other by chance or by luck and they carried on an affair while they were both married to other people. Nina is not your typical turn-of-the-century lady. She’s attractive, but aloof and elusive. Victor clearly has strong feelings for her demonstrated by his physical attraction to Nina, his frustration with her lack of attachment to him after their trysts and his obvious jealousy of her husband. But he lacks the conviction of true love. Oblivious and carefree, Nina just goes about her cheerful life while Victor stews in his discontent. Finally, as Nina is preparing the leave Fialta at the end of spring, Victor declares his love. Caught off guard, Nina’s reaction shows no reciprocity. Embarrassed, Victor takes it back. Nina then leaves Fialta and dies in a car crash on the way out of town. Her character is fascinatingly elusive. We struggle to understand her thoughts and feelings. She is ephemeral and carefree. Quite the opposite of the typically expected clingy type of woman. Victor is obsessed with her but can’t make heads or tails of her. Herein lies her mystery and allure.

Popular Songs

ON NINA

Nina Never Knew
a song by Sid Ramin & His Orchestra

Nina
an opera by Giovanni Paisiello

Nina, Pretty Ballerina
a song by ABBA

Oh Nina
a song by The Muffs

Nina Sky Is... (Intro)
an album introduction by Nina Sky

Nina Morena
a song by the Gipsy Kings

Lady Nina
a song by Marillion

La Nina
a song by Aventura

Here Comes Tecca Nina
a song by Tech N9ne

Famous People

NAMED NINA

Nina Simone (musician, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon)
Nina Blackwood (disk jockey)
Nina (Spanish singer)
Nina Anisimova (Russian dancer)
Nina Antonia (British music critic)
Nina Arvesen (actress)
Nina Axelrod (actress)
Nina Baden-Semper (British actress)
Nina Bates (Bosnian figure skater)
Nina Brosh (model)
Nina Byron (silent film actress)
Nina Conti (British actress)
Nina Gordon (singer)
Nina Nastasia (singer/songwriter)
Nina Oulanova (Russian figure skater)
Nina Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg (attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler)
Nina Vance (entrepreneur)
Nina Wang (Chinese billionaire)

Children of Famous People

NAMED NINA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Nina

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME NINA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Nina