Nora originally started out as a nickname for names ending in -nora such as Annora (a medieval English spelling of Honora which is a variant spelling of Honoria, the feminine form of Honorius meaning “honor”), Eleanora or Lenora (both of which derive from Eleanor which is the Old French form of Occitan Aliénor which could mean “the other Aenor” from Latin alia meaning “another” and the given name Aenor, possibly a Germanic name of unknown meaning, though it’s been linked to Adenorde or Adenor, made up of Germanic elements adal (noble) and nord (north), or even as a contracted form of Azenor, a Breton name of uncertain meaning and etymology though it could also be derived from Breton enor “honor”. Another possible origin of Eleanor is that it originated from the name Helen, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”.
It’s also possible that Nora could be based as a variant spelling of Nura, an Arabic female name meaning “light”. Nora is also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used such as:
- no 乃 (a possessive particle) + ra 羅 “gauze; thin silk; Rome” (乃羅);
- no 乃 (possessive particle) + ra 良 “good” (乃良).
Written in hiragana it’s のら. There are likely other meanings depending on the kanji used. Nora is also an Italian and German surname, either derived as a shortened form of Eleanora or as a locational name from a place named Nora. It’s also a Portuguese surname.
Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Breton, Ancient Greek, Arabic, Japanese
- Norah (English, Irish)
- Nóra (Hungarian, Irish)
- Norina (Italian diminutive of Nora)
- Noreen (English, Irish)
- Norene (English, Irish)
- Nóirín (Irish)
Nura نورة (Arabic)