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Nicholas (m) Gaelic Neacal, Macneacail. A Greek
name composed of elements meaning ‘victory’ and ‘people.’ Nicol was the early spelling leading its use in ‘Scotland to surnames such as MacNicoll. The intrusive h appeared in the Middle Ages and has remained unnecessarily ever since. During the last hundred years neither form of the name has appealed greatly to Scottish parents, though Nicholas has been extremely well used in England and Wales since 1955. The pet form Cohn is now used as an independent name. Another diminutive in former times was Colley. A correspondent, Mr Willie McRobert, of Ayr, reports that Nicholas was used as a girls’ name in the Galloway region until fairly recently.

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