Nicaise (family name)

firebreather

New Member
USA, English
I've been wondering about this for a long time...
What would be the English translation of the surname Nicaise (This is my father's mother's maiden name.)?

I'm not sure how far back it goes.

I would be extremely grateful if someone was able to tell me.
 
  • OlivierG

    Senior Member
    France / Français
    How could we translate a surname ?
    Only a few surnames have an obvious meaning.
    For example the French "Dupont" (of the bridge) or the English "Smith" (forgeron).
    But for all the others, the etymology is complex, often multiple, sometimes from pre-French origin, and there is no way to translate them.
    Nicaise seems to be in this case. Its origin is unknown for me, and it does not means anything in French, sorry.
     

    ishatar

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Hu hu.

    Nicod - Anciennement Nicody. Du prénom Nicodème, latin Nicodemus (du grec nikêdemos, victoire du peuple). Robert-Nicod et Robert-Nicoud sont des branches de la famille neuchâteloise Robert, avec adjonction du prénom. Gronicod (= gros Nicodème) est un patronyme de Château-d’Oex. Nicaty et Nicati, deux familles parentes de Moudon, d’origine dauphinoise, viennent soit de Nicodème, soit du prénom latin Nicasius, Nicaise, dérivé lui aussi du grec nikê, victoire. (3.5.92)
    source: http://www.sites-romands.ch/patronymes/patronymes_n.htm

    So, in short, your mother's surname comes from Nike (the Greek goddess, not the sportswear firm :p ) and it means victory.
     

    valerie

    Senior Member
    France, French & Spanish
    It seems that Nicaise has been a surname, as well as a masculine and feminine name. Origin:latin name Nicasius from greek nikê, victory
    There was a Saint Nicaise, bishop of Reims, martyr in the 5th century Here is his story
    http://www.patrimoinedefrance.org/ico003.htm
    Apparently, the catholic church also honours another Saint Nicaise, martyr in the 3rd century
     

    Lucas

    Senior Member
    France, français
    ishatar said:
    (the Greek goddess, not the sportswear firm :p )

    BTW the sportswear firm is named after the deity...
    As well as Ajax was a Greek mythology hero before becoming a detergent brand.
    Sic transit gloria mundi. :rolleyes:
     

    firebreather

    New Member
    USA, English
    One, thank you to those who helped out. :)
    That means a lot to me (FYI: it's my grandmother's surname...not my mother's.).
    Two, I wasn't aware of the connection between the name and Nike...ya learn something new each day!
    (I was aware, though, of the two saints. That was cool when I found that out!)

    I thank y'all again...I really appreciate it!
     
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