Nerissa meaning, girlNerissa

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Meaning and name origin

Nerissa \n(e)-rissa, ner(is)-sa\ as a girl's name is of Italian origin, and the meaning of Nerissa is "black-haired". From Nericcia. Created by Shakespeare for the name of Portia's waiting woman in "The Merchant of Venice". Also possibly derived from Nereida (Spanish, Greek) "sea nymph" or a variant based on Marisa or Marissa.


Nerissa has 4 variant forms: Narissa, Naryssa, Nericcia and Neryssa.

For more information, see also the related girl name Nerine.


Nerissa is a somewhat popular first name for females (#2774 out of 4276, Top 65%) but an uncommon surname or last name for all people (2000 U.S. Census).

Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Nerissa and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Marissa (#473), Nereida and Marisa. (2014 statistics).

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Marisa, Marissa, Nereida in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Marisa, Marissa outside U.S.

Similar Names

Nerissa is also pronounced similarly to Norissa. Other suggested similar baby names are Cerissa, Lerissa, Merissa, Neris, Neriss and Neryss. These names tend to be less commonly used than Nerissa.