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What does Neil mean?

Neil Pronunciation of Neil [neil] as a boys' name is pronounced neel. It is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Neil is "champion". Scottish variant of Niall. Also possibly "cloud" and "passionate". The most famous Celtic king of Ireland was Niall of the Nine Hostages. See also Nelson and Nyles. Astronaut Neil Armstrong; singers Neil Diamond, Neil Young; playwright Neil Simon; actor Sam Neill.

Associated with: irish, champion, scottish, famous, king.


Neil has 18 variants: Neal, Neale, Neall, Nealle, Nealon, Neel, Neilan, Neile, Neill, Neille, Neils, Nels, Nial, Niall, Niel, Nile, Niles and Oneal.

Related boy names: Niels and Cornelius.

2 more different relations via Nelson: Neilson and Nils.

4 feminine forms: Neila, Neilina, Nilsine and Nyla.

Creative forms:
(male) Nail, Nele, ..

(female) Neilu, Nele, ..

Middle name pairings:
Neil Jean (N.J.), ..

How popular is Neil?

Neil is a very popular first name for males (#234 out of 1220, Top 19%) and also a very popular surname for both adults and children (#3544 out of 150436, Top 2%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Neil reached its peak rank of #157 in the U.S. during 1930-1939, and is presently at #639. (2015 Birth Statistics)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Neil name in U.S.

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

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Cornelius (#1204 the previous year), Neal (#1212), Neale, Neel (#1652), Neill, Nels, Nelson (#631), Niall, Niel, Niels, Nile, Niles, Nils and Oneal are the prominent variation forms of Neil (#639 the previous year) ranked in the Top 2000. Usage of these relations of Neil was more pronounced among parents 85 years ago (average #1217) and has become significantly reduced since (#1689, 73%), with versions such as Neal becoming less stylish.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Neil, Cornelius, Neal, Neale, Neel in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Neill, Nels, Nelson, Niall, Niel in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Niels, Nile, Niles, Nils, Oneal in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Neil, Niall, Nils outside U.S.

Similar Names

Neil is alike in pronunciation to Newall, Newel, Newell, Noel, Noll, Nowel and Nowell. Other suggested similar names are Adil, Akil, Amil, Axil, Bail, Cecil, Egil, Emil, Gail, Gil, Jeril, Kail, Ketil, Meril, Nabil, Naim, Nebo, Ned, Neely, Nemo, Ner, Nev, Nevil, Nevile, Nevill, Nevin, Nic, Nik, Njal, Phil, Sail, Vail and Wil. These names tend to be less frequently used than Neil.

See names
in meaning and etymology.