Nora Name Meaning

Small in size but mighty at heart, Nora has a powerful meaning that makes parents swoon: honorable one. She originally started out as a diminutive of similar names like Honor and Eleanor before setting out on her own as a freestanding name. Before catching on stateside, little Nora was a long-time favorite in England and Ireland.

Nora was long-seen as an old lady name in the U.S. before turning a new leaf in the mid-2000s, her spunk finally catching on alongside similar names like Amelia and Lillian. She’s also effortlessly chic, on-trend with the fashionable Harper and Charlotte. Her short, spunk size also work well with chart darlings Luna and Nova.

Nora manages to sound both vintage and modern, allowing her to mix well both in the classroom and working world. Despite rising in the old-lady chic era, she’s remained outside the parameters of being trendy, allowing her to avoid the timestamp seen on Tiffany or Carrie. She’s also oozing with femininity but lacking frill, making her the perfect choice for parents seeking a girl name without girly-girl feels.

A variant spelling of the name is Norah and related names include Noreen and Noor. Longer name for Nora also include Leonora and Eleanora.

Infographic of Nora name meaning, which is An English diminutive of names like Honora and Eleanor, Nora means honorable one.
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Nora Name Popularity

How popular is the name Nora? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Nora was the 30th most popular girls name, representing 0.4221% of girl births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Nora has been the 281st most popular girls name, representing 0.0838% of girl births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 111 728 0.2068%
1911 116 733 0.1968%
1912 130 852 0.1689%
1913 137 856 0.151%
1914 142 1,019 0.1462%
1915 143 1,282 0.1411%
1916 155 1,285 0.133%
1917 153 1,334 0.1333%
1918 158 1,368 0.1275%
1919 160 1,359 0.1298%
1920 157 1,452 0.1306%
1921 167 1,328 0.116%
1922 181 1,186 0.1065%
1923 177 1,210 0.108%
1924 172 1,316 0.1133%
1925 171 1,294 0.1145%
1926 176 1,165 0.1059%
1927 189 1,059 0.0957%
1928 192 1,050 0.0981%
1929 191 998 0.0964%
1930 190 988 0.0946%
1931 205 863 0.0874%
1932 189 933 0.0944%
1933 198 845 0.0907%
1934 202 850 0.0879%
1935 192 876 0.0901%
1936 209 766 0.0795%
1937 201 811 0.0823%
1938 202 832 0.0813%
1939 204 826 0.0812%
1940 208 816 0.0768%
1941 211 817 0.0726%
1942 227 822 0.0651%
1943 227 828 0.0634%
1944 224 821 0.0662%
1945 226 810 0.0664%
1946 229 951 0.0645%
1947 225 1,065 0.0638%
1948 224 1,060 0.0664%
1949 218 1,167 0.0725%
1950 224 1,092 0.0678%
1951 222 1,137 0.0671%
1952 234 1,098 0.0629%
1953 238 1,119 0.0632%
1954 237 1,133 0.062%
1955 254 1,026 0.0558%
1956 243 1,139 0.0603%
1957 250 1,150 0.0598%
1958 253 1,156 0.0612%
1959 243 1,245 0.0655%
1960 237 1,321 0.0697%
1961 271 1,090 0.0577%
1962 273 1,049 0.0571%
1963 278 1,036 0.0577%
1964 278 1,012 0.0575%
1965 304 845 0.0517%
1966 296 822 0.0526%
1967 320 694 0.0457%
1968 332 654 0.0436%
1969 336 667 0.0433%
1970 360 645 0.0405%
1971 375 580 0.0386%
1972 368 552 0.0405%
1973 370 525 0.0405%
1974 370 536 0.0412%
1975 376 505 0.0393%
1976 389 481 0.0373%
1977 402 472 0.035%
1978 371 536 0.0399%
1979 403 499 0.0354%
1980 403 525 0.0359%
1981 406 513 0.0349%
1982 410 524 0.0351%
1983 418 472 0.032%
1984 396 503 0.0338%
1985 413 506 0.0333%
1986 449 435 0.0288%
1987 419 492 0.0322%
1988 395 569 0.0365%
1989 428 544 0.0337%
1990 433 541 0.0326%
1991 443 536 0.0329%
1992 474 481 0.0301%
1993 477 490 0.0314%
1994 477 483 0.0315%
1995 467 501 0.0332%
1996 448 523 0.0349%
1997 451 527 0.0356%
1998 482 492 0.0329%
1999 454 546 0.0365%
2000 504 491 0.0321%
2001 454 577 0.0383%
2002 474 559 0.0373%
2003 366 796 0.0523%
2004 304 1,023 0.0671%
2005 271 1,185 0.0775%
2006 245 1,365 0.0872%
2007 240 1,461 0.0926%
2008 215 1,529 0.0989%
2009 197 1,653 0.1106%
2010 157 1,931 0.134%
2011 137 2,226 0.1562%
2012 107 2,888 0.2027%
2013 82 3,507 0.2463%
2014 49 4,738 0.3252%
2015 41 5,319 0.3656%
2016 36 5,583 0.3872%
2017 28 6,036 0.4325%
2018 30 5,799 0.4221%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Nora

If you like Nora, you’ll love these other names like Nora.


What names are diminutives of Nora?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Nora sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Nora, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Nonie

He (God) has favored me; ninth

Latin

Nor
Nore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Norry

Woman of honor

Latin


What names are variants of Nora?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Nora.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Eleanora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

#941 (0.0143%)  
Lanora

Compassion; light

Greek

Noora

English

#2,836 (0.0007%)  
Norah

Honorable one

Latin

#138 (0.1443%)  
Noreen

Irish

#2,540 (0.0009%)  
Norella

English

Norelle

English

Norissa

English


What names sound like Nora?

If you like how Nora sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Nora.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Annora

Honor

Latin

#2,452 (0.0011%)  
Cora

Maiden

Greek

#73 (0.2601%)  
Eleanor

Of unknown meaning

English

#32 (0.4145%)  
Honor

Woman of honor

Latin

#1,717 (0.0035%)  
Nera

Candle

Hebrew

Nira

Plowed field

Hebrew

#3,276 (0.0004%)  
Noura

Light

Aramaic

#2,351 (0.0013%)  
Nura

Light

Aramaic

#2,449 (0.0011%)  

What names are similar to Nora?

Find a name that’s like Nora, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Betty

A diminutive form of Elizabeth.

Hebrew

#1,072 (0.0108%)  
Emma

Whole or universal

German

#1 (1.3602%)  
Evelyn

Desired one

English

#10 (0.7552%)  
Katie

Pure

English

#428 (0.0495%)  
Lily

Lily flower

English

#31 (0.4153%)  
Lola

The sorrows

Spanish

#226 (0.0972%)  
Lucy

Of the light

English

#51 (0.3169%)  
Olivia

Olive tree

Latin

#2 (1.3044%)  
Sadie

Princess

Hebrew

#87 (0.2363%)  
Sarah

Princess

Hebrew

#67 (0.2709%)  

Lists With Nora

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Nora.


Siblings of Nora

Mamas with kids named Nora also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Aaron

High mountain

Hebrew

#60 (0.4326%)  
Calvin

Hairless one

English

#143 (0.1999%)  
Dahlia

Dahlia flower

Scandinavian

#401 (0.0514%)  

11 Comments

  1. We loved how it was an older, classic name and not very common. We loved its meaning too: “light”.

  2. All 3 of our daughters names mean “light”. And their middles names are Faith, Hope and Grace. Nora is an older name that you don’t hear much anymore. It was beautiful to me and went so well with our other children’s names. It was the perfect choice for her! I am still obsessed with it!

  3. It was just name my husband and I could agree on. We’ve had it picked out for probably 4-5 years before Nora was born

  4. great grandmother’s name

  5. When we picked out her name we wanted something simple but also that isn’t that common. My husband and I both love old names. So came along Nora Leona. We both love it ?

  6. The name Nora means bright or light. My daughter is definitely a shining light. She has a lot of love and compassion that she freely gives to others. Sometimes I do have to spell her name for others because they think I’m saying Laura. However, that doesn’t happen often!

  7. We named Nora after her great grandmother and love that the name means “light” and is derived from a name that means “honor”. We also like that it isn’t so common that you hear it often but it is common enough that it sounds familiar to most.

  8. We chose the name Nora after my husbands mother who passed on. She always wanted grandchildren and since our Nora was the first we wanted to name our daughter In her honor.

    I love that Nora is simple and classic. It’s different and pretty.

    • you posted this a day before my birthday and my name is nora

      • mine too

  9. I simply feel in love with this name after meeting a little girl full of sunshine and life, and knew I would name a little girl Nora. She’s also full if sunshine and life, plus a little sass.


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