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What does Nerissa mean?

Nerissa /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.

Associated with: black, greek, sea, nymph (goddess)


Nerissa has 4 variants: Narissa, Naryssa, Nericcia and Neryssa.

Related girl name: Nerine.

Nerissa has 13 more related forms via Marisa, Marissa, Nereida: Maressa, Marisa, Marisha, Marisse, Marrissa, Maryssa, Meris, Merissa, Meryssa, Morisa, Morissa, Nereyda and Nerida.

Kreatif forms:
(female) Nerisca, Norsa, ..

(male) Nerisin, Nerissim, ..

How popular is Nerissa?

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)


Ranking and usage % can show different trends depending on the distribution of names that year.

Marisa (#1352 in 2014), Marisha, Marissa (#473), Marrissa, Maryssa, Merissa and Nereida are the prominent variation forms of Nerissa (not ranked). Other variants, like Morisa, are seldom used. Usage of these relations of Nerissa reached its most widespread in 1995 (median #1221) and is now significantly reduced. Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Nerissa and associated names. (Top 2000 Names, 2014)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Marisa, Marisha, Marissa, Marrissa, Maryssa in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Merissa, 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 names are Brissa, Carissa, Cerisa, Cerissa, Cerisse, Chrissa, Clerissa, Corissa, Crissa, Darissa, Delissa, Denissa, Jelissa, Jeressa, Karissa, Korissa, Krissa, Larissa, Lerissa, Lorissa, Melissa, Narcissa, Narkissa, Narsissa, Nerice, Nerina, Neris, Neriss, Neriya, Nerys, Neryss, Nessa, Nissa, Parissa, Sarissa, Sherissa, Teressa and Trissa. These names tend to be less commonly used than Nerissa.