Origin and Meaning of Nigel

The Nigel name is given to boys and originates from the English. Additional research shows the name Nigel came the Latin name Neil or Nigellus.

The meaning of Nigel is strong, it means “Champion or Black”.


It is a strong name and the popularity of Nigel soared from the early 1820’s through 1994. It reached its peak in the early 1990’s then began a steady downward trend. In 2013 you rarely heard the name. Overall the name Nigel in England ranks 2403 out of 4685. It is not one of the top ten or one hundred names people in England use, but others still enjoy the nostalgia of the name.

Famous People Called Nigel

Famous people fitted for this strong name are Nigel John Taylor, the skilled bass player of Duran Duran. Nigel Worthington is another celebrity given this distinguished name. He is a former football player, and manager for several football teams. Nigel Stock the actor who played Dr. Watson is another example of those who carry the name with premier class and sophistication.

The name Nigel is positively portrayed in Walter Scott’s novel, The Fortunes of Nigel. However, Nigel Pargetter, from The Archers is portrayed as a dimwitted character who is satirised after his death. The meaning of Nigel varies, but still carries a strong impactful meaning.

Useful Resources

See the meaning and popularity of other boys’ names on our website.