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Nicola is an ancient (but still very common) Italian male personal name (from the Greek and Byzantine Νικόλαος) derived from Nikos meaning "victory," and laos meaning "people," therefore implying the meaning "winner of the people." The English form of the same name is Nicholas. Nicola was a frequently given male personal name among the traditional Italian nobility, and was used often in the Middle Ages.
In the UK, Poland, and Germany, the male form Nicola has been used as a female name, which originally came from incorrectly presuming the name's vowel ending 'a' was the female form, as has also occurred with the male given name Andrea (also an Italian male personal name from the Greek meaning 'manly.') The female form of Nicola in Italian is Nicoletta. An excellent reference for the name form and biblical history is The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints. Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275. First Edition Published 1470.
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