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What does Neil mean?

Neil Pronunciation of 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. Also form of Cornelius.


ASSOCIATED WITH irish, champion, scottish, famous, king


VARIANTS Neal, Neale, Neall, Nealle, Nealon, Neel, Neilan, Neile, Neill, Neille, Neils, Nels, Nial, Niall, Niel, Nile, Niles, Oneal



FEMININE FORMS Neila, Neilina, Nilsine, Nyla



Neil Zane (N.Z.), ..

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 #626. (2018 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?

Cornelius (#1696 THE PREVIOUS YEAR), Neal (#1609), Neale, Neel (#1777), Neill, Nels, Nelson (#671), Niall (#1667), Niel, Niels, Nile (#1973), Niles, Nils and Oneal are the prominent variation forms of Neil (#626) ranked in the Top 2000. Usage of these relations of Neil was more pronounced among parents 88 years ago (AVERAGE #1217) and has become significantly reduced since (#1734, 71%), 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-sounding 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.