Nelson

First Name
77k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
425k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
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How to Pronounce Nelson

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Nelson mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Nelson

"Nelson" is a name of English origin, and it means "Son of Neil or Nell". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Any of several wrestling holds in which an arm is passed under the opponent's arm from behind and the hand exerts pressure on the back of the neck
  2. English admiral who defeated the French fleets of Napoleon but was mortally wounded at Trafalgar (1758-1805)
Wiktionary

From Middle English Neil +‎ -son and Nell +‎ -son.

  • In the U.S. also an Anglicisation of Scandinavian surnames such as Nilsen, Nielsen, and Nilsson, equivalent to "son of Nicholas".
  1. Lord Nelson (1758-1805), a British admiral.
  2. A patronymic surname​.
  3. A male given name transferred from the surname.
  4. A city in British Columbia
  5. A city in Georgia, USA
  6. A village in Illinois
  7. A town in Lancashire, England
  8. A city in Minnesota
  9. A city in Missouri
  10. A city in Nebraska
  11. A census-designated place in Nevada
  12. A town in New Hampshire
  13. A town in New York
  14. A city and region in New Zealand, named after Horatio Nelson.
  15. A town in Victoria, Australia
  16. A village in Wisconsin

Nelson was also found in the following language(s): Portuguese

Notable Persons Named Nelson

Nelson Mandela was a 1st President of South Africa. Nelson was given the name Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18th, 1918 in Mvezo. Nelson is also known as Mandela and Rolihlahla. He breathed his last breath on December 5th, 2013.

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Nelson Rockefeller was a Vice President of the United States and Governor of New York. Nelson was given the name Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller on July 8th, 1908 in Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S. He left this life on January 26th, 1979.

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Nelson Piquet is a formula one racer.

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Nelson Peltz is a chief executive officer & founding partner of trian fund management and l.p. Nelson was born on June 24th, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, United States.

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Nélson Oliveira is a soccer player for the Nottingham Forest F.C., S.L. Benfica, Santa Maria F.C., S.C. Braga, Rio Ave F.C., F.C. Paços de Ferreira, Deportivo de La Coruña, Stade Rennais F.C., Swansea City A.F.C., Portugal national under-16 football team, and Portugal national under-17 football team. Nélson was born on August 8th, 1991 in Barcelos, Portugal.

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Nelson Riddle was a traditional pop music, jazz, and big band arranger, composer, bandleader, orchestrator, arrangement, and orchestration. His most notable accomplishments were from 1940 to 1980. Nelson was given the name Nelson Smock Riddle, Jr. on June 1st, 1921 in Oradell, New Jersey, U.S. He died on October 6th, 1985.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Nelson

Prince is a musician. He has been prominent since 1976. Prince was given the name Prince Rogers Nelson on June 7th, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.

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Willie Nelson is a country music, outlaw country, and rock music musician, songwriter, producer, actor, activist, singer, record producer, and singing. He plays Vocals, guitar, and Trigger (guitar). He holds the title Hello Walls", Shotgun Willie introduction", and On the Road Again". He has had major accomplishments since 1956. Willie was given the name Willie Hugh Nelson on April 29th, 1933 in Abbott, Texas, U.S.

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His military service ended in 1805. The was born on September 29th, 1758 in Burnham Thorpe. The is also known as Nelson and Horatio (without title). He breathed his last breath on October 21st, 1805.

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The Lord Rutherford of Nelson was a President of the Royal Society and List of presidents of the Royal Society. The was born on August 30th, 1871 in Brightwater. He passed away on October 19th, 1937.

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Rick Nelson was a rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, pop, folk, country, rock, roll, folk music, and country music musician. His most notable accomplishments were from 1949 to 1985. Rick was given the name Eric Hilliard Nelson on May 8th, 1940 in Teaneck, New Jersey, US. He left this life on December 31st, 1985.

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Judd Nelson is an actor, producer, screenwriter, and film producer. He has had major accomplishments since 1983. Judd was given the name Judd Asher Nelson on November 28th, 1959 in Portland, Maine, United States.

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How popular is the baby name Nelson in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1880 99 0 99
1881 90 0 90
1882 104 0 104
1883 79 0 79
1884 89 0 89
1885 83 0 83
1886 78 0 78
1887 62 0 62
1888 85 0 85
1889 80 0 80
1890 71 0 71
1891 86 0 86
1892 98 0 98
1893 72 0 72
1894 76 0 76
1895 108 0 108
1896 86 0 86
1897 104 0 104
1898 112 0 112
1899 107 0 107
1900 135 0 135
1901 97 0 97
1902 78 0 78
1903 93 0 93
1904 81 0 81
1905 126 0 126
1906 100 0 100
1907 129 0 129
1908 112 0 112
1909 113 0 113
1910 142 0 142
1911 180 0 180
1912 349 0 349
1913 362 5 357
1914 527 0 527
1915 611 5 606
1916 619 0 619
1917 610 5 605
1918 670 6 664
1919 682 0 682
1920 745 5 740
1921 712 8 704
1922 666 7 659
1923 704 0 704
1924 762 9 753
1925 738 0 738
1926 692 5 687
1927 685 13 672
1928 680 0 680
1929 596 6 590
1930 637 7 630
1931 614 6 608
1932 634 6 628
1933 578 6 572
1934 575 7 568
1935 585 6 579
1936 644 13 631
1937 660 0 660
1938 795 0 795
1939 802 0 802
1940 807 0 807
1941 796 5 791
1942 878 8 870
1943 800 6 794
1944 721 7 714
1945 696 0 696
1946 741 0 741
1947 813 0 813
1948 814 0 814
1949 787 5 782
1950 805 0 805
1951 803 0 803
1952 831 0 831
1953 1,009 0 1,009
1954 950 5 945
1955 913 0 913
1956 920 5 915
1957 950 7 943
1958 953 6 947
1959 1,083 0 1,083
1960 1,021 5 1,016
1961 953 0 953
1962 937 7 930
1963 979 0 979
1964 825 0 825
1965 823 5 818
1966 731 8 723
1967 796 7 789
1968 773 8 765
1969 770 5 765
1970 767 12 755
1971 783 8 775
1972 632 12 620
1973 588 7 581
1974 687 12 675
1975 690 0 690
1976 740 7 733
1977 680 11 669
1978 685 5 680
1979 676 6 670
1980 692 6 686
1981 644 6 638
1982 663 6 657
1983 630 0 630
1984 660 9 651
1985 706 0 706
1986 722 9 713
1987 715 5 710
1988 765 9 756
1989 864 8 856
1990 936 5 931
1991 809 0 809
1992 809 8 801
1993 767 6 761
1994 727 8 719
1995 687 6 681
1996 621 0 621
1997 619 0 619
1998 614 0 614
1999 608 5 603
2000 599 0 599
2001 615 0 615
2002 618 0 618
2003 611 0 611
2004 577 6 571
2005 593 0 593
2006 604 0 604
2007 580 0 580
2008 550 0 550
2009 516 0 516
2010 443 0 443
2011 455 0 455
2012 464 0 464
2013 441 0 441
2014 407 0 407
2015 423 0 423
2016 426 0 426

Explain the Trends

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Where is the name Nelson popular?

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Popularity of Nelson as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Nelson as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Hawaii, New York, or Maine.

Popularity of Nelson as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Nelson as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Minnesota, North Dakota, or South Dakota.

Common last names for Nelson

  • Smith
  • Brown
  • Williams
  • Johnson
  • Jones
  • Davis
  • Miller
  • White
  • Thomas
  • Taylor
  • Moore
  • Harris
  • Lewis
  • Clark
  • Robinson
  • Thompson
  • Anderson
  • Wilson
  • Walker

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Nelson U.S.
  White 77.66% 64.26%
  African American 15.97% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.67% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 1.16% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.00% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.55% 16.26%

Of Last Name Nelson

People with the last name Nelson are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Nelson

  • How Popular is the name Nelson? Nelson is the 763rd most popular name of all time. As a last name Nelson was the 43rd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Nelson have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 76,875 babies born with the first name Nelson in the United States. That's more than enough people named Nelson to occupy the country of Dominica with an estimated population of 71,293 (as of May 14, 2011).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Nelson? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 99 new born babies.
  • When was Nelson first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Nelson is Sunday, June 26th, 1814.
  • What year had the most people named Nelson born? The highest recorded use of the first name Nelson was in 1959 with a total of 1,083 babies. That's a lot of babies named Nelson!
  • Random Nelson Factoid: According to the 1911 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Nelson ranks 103rd in popularity as a baby boy's name in Virginia. Imagine that, 11 babies in Virginia have the same name as you in 1911.
  • Weird things about the name Nelson: Your name in reverse order is Noslen. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Onlsen. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Nelson? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 424,958 people with the last name Nelson.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Nelson? Nelson was ranked as the 43rd most popular last name but is still less than 0.1% of the population!

What Nelsons Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Nelson

Name poster for Nelson(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.