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What does Nerissa mean?

Nerissa Pronunciation of 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.

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

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

(male) Nerisin, Nerissim, ..

Middle name pairings:
Nerissa Molly (N.M.), ..

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)

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related girl names. Marisa (#1905 in 2015), Marisha, Marissa (#540), 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. (Top 2000 Names, 2015)

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.

See names
in meaning and etymology.