[ 1 syll. nei(l), ne-il ] The baby boy name Neil is pronounced as NIYL in English †. Neil is used predominantly in the Dutch, English, Irish, and Scottish languages, and it is derived from Latin and Celtic origins. Celtic origin, English, Irish, and Scottish use: Niall (Old Irish) and Nigellus (Latinized) are older forms of Neil. The name is from the Gaelic Niall, itself from the element 'niadh' (meaning champion, cloud, passionate), which is of disputed origin. The name was more popular among the Irish and Scottish in medieval times; among English speakers it was first regularly adopted in the 19th century. It is today used across all English-speaking countries.
In addition, Neil is a pet form (Dutch and English) of the name Cornelius (Dutch, English, and German).
The name Neilina (Scottish) is the female version of Neil.
The name Neil is widely used; it has 39 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Neale, Neall, Nealle, Nealon, Nealy, Neele, Neely, Neihl, Neilan, Neile, Neille, Neils, Neilson, Nels (also used in Scandinavian), Nelson (also used in Dutch), Niele, Niels (also used in Scandinavian), Nigel, Nigellus, Nile, Niles, Nilson, Nyle, Nyles, Oneal, and Teneil. Other English forms include the variant spellings Neal, Neel (also used in Indian), Neill, Nial, and Niel.
Foreign variants of Neil include Nelsen (Scandinavian), Niall (Celtic, Irish, and Scottish), Nil (Russian), Nilo (Finnish), Nils (Scandinavian), Nilsson (Scandinavian), Nilya (Russian), and Njal (Scandinavian).
See also the related form, Janeil.
Neil is a classic favorite. Today it is still a fairly popular baby name for boys, though it was in more widespread use previously. At the modest height of its usage in 1933, 0.098% of baby boys were given the name Neil. Its ranking then was #149. The baby name has since experienced a fall in popularity, and in recent years it is of occasional use. In 2018, its usage was only 0.022% and its ranking #626, but it was nonetheless the most popular within all boy names in its group. In 2018, Neil was more frequently used than the subsequent ranked name, Nelson, by 14% .
† Pronunciation for Neil: N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)"
Details of famous persons named Neil:
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, born 5 August 1930, Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Author Neil Gaiman, born 10 November 1960, Porchester, Hampshire, England.
Political Relative Neil Bush, born 22 January 1955, Midland, Texas.
Rock Musician Neil Young, born 12 November 1945, Toronto, Canada.
Singer Neil Diamond, born 24 January 1941, Brooklyn, New York.