Nerissa meaning, girlNerissa

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What does Nerissa mean?

Nerissa \n(e)-rissa, ner(is)-sa\ as a girls' 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 variants: Narissa, Naryssa, Nericcia and Neryssa.

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

Nerissa has 24 more related forms via Marisa, Marissa, Nereida: Mareesa, Mareisa, Maressa, Maricia, Marisa, Marisabel, Marisha, Marisse, Maritza, Mariza, Marrissa, Marysa, Marysia, Maryssa, Meris, Merissa, Meryssa, Moreisa, Morisa, Morissa, Morysa, Nereyda, Nerida and Nireida.


Nerissa is a somewhat prominent first name for women (#2774 out of 4276, Top 65%) but an uncommon surname for both adults and children. (2000 U.S. Census)

Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Nerissa and associated names. Marisa, Marissa (#473 in 2014), Maritza and Nereida are the prominent variation forms of Nerissa (#unlisted). Usage of this girl name reached its most widespread in the year 1994 and is now significantly lower, with the forms Marisa, Maritza and Nereida becoming less trendy. Marissa (#473) is the most fashionable birth name here. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)

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

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

Similar Names

Nerissa is alike in pronunciation to Norissa. Other recommended similar baby names are Cerissa, Lerissa, Neris, Neriss and Neryss. These names tend to be less commonly used than Nerissa.