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.
For more on this name, 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)
Marisa, Marissa (#473 in 2014), Maritza and Nereida are the prominent variation forms of Nerissa (#unlisted). Usage of these girl names reached its most widespread in 1994 (usage of 0.5885%) and is now significantly lower (usage 0.1318%, down 77.6%), with the forms Marisa, Maritza and Nereida becoming less trendy. Marissa (#473) is the most fashionable birth name here. Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Nerissa and associated names. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)