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Nikolaos (Greek: Νικόλαος) is a common Greek first name which means "Victory of the People" or "Victor of People". Composed from Niko (stemming from the Greek word "Niki" which was the name of the Greek goddess Nike who personified victory) and Laos (the Greek word for people). In addition, Laos originates from the Greek root "-las", as found in word "λα-τομείο" meaning stone. (In Greek mythology Deucalion and Pyrrha re-created the people after they had vanished in a catastrophic deluge, by throwing stones over their shoulders while they kept marching on). The name of these stones was -"las", and hence " laos " is people. In the Greek language when one wants to denote that they have conquered one says " Niko ". When "Niko" and "Laos" are placed alongside each other one arrives at Nikolaos which means "I win people" or "I win nation". The connotation is people's champion. Some would even go as far as to say that it means "conqueror of people". "Nikos" is defined as "a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated". Another transferred name in which this term is used is "Nicopolis," which is composed of Niko, which means conquest and polis, which means city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory.
If the name is to be spelled Νικόλαος in Greek the ό is emphasized when pronounced. When the ό is emphasized the meaning of the first part of the name means I conquer. It makes more sense to then say that the name Nikolaos means I conquer people as it is derived from this Greek name Νικόλαος. When addressing a person one can not refer to people. It makes no sense to refer to one's self as 'victorious people' but rather 'victor of people' because you are only one person and not a whole nation. If Νικoλαος is written without the ' ό ' and is replaced with a normal ' o ' in Greek it refers to a whole nation and can be used in reference to a whole nation . For example, " South Africans are a nikolaos ", can be paraphrased as ' South Africans are a victorious people ' .
From Greek Νικόλαος, from Ancient Greek Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), from νικάω (nikaō, "I conquer") + λαός (Laos, "people"). Cognate with English Nicholas.
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