Neil - Neill - Neal - Nial - Nigel - Nigellus

Modern Indo-European conventions: writing system, transcription of phonemes and loanwords, accent, etc. Etymological reconstruction of European names and common loanwords into Europe's Indo-European.
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Neil - Neill - Neal - Nial - Nigel - Nigellus

Post by cquiles » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:03 pm

Surname and masc. proper name, from Gael./O.Ir. Niall "champion, hero". Picked up by the Vikings in Ireland (as Njall), brought by them to Iceland and Norway, thence to France, introduced in England at the Conquest. Incorrectly Latinized as Nigellus on mistaken association with niger "black" hence Nigel.

From PIE root nei-, "move vividly, be excited, shine", Indo-European base neito-, "passion, fight, envy", as in Gmc. *nītha- (cf. Goth neiþ, Eng. nið, etc.), Welsh nwyd, or Celtiberic God Nētō, equivalent to O.Ir Nīall.

Probably from IE noun neit-s-los, which derived into O.Ir. God Nīall (gen. Nēill), dubious O.Ind. nētra-. Thus translated as MIE name Néitslos "passionate, fiery".

Equivalents: Neil, Neill, Neal, Nial, Nigel, Nigellus, etc.
Carlos Quiles - Academia Prisca

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