Nerissa Meaning and Origin

The girl’s name Nerissa is a Greek name meaning: “sea sprite.” It is primarily derived from Greek and is often considered a variant of the name “Nereida,” which means “sea nymph” or “daughter of Nereus.” In Greek mythology, the Nereids were sea nymphs who were associated with the ocean. The name Nerissa gained popularity through its appearance in William Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice.” Nerissa is a character in the play and serves as the witty and loyal confidante of Portia, the heroine of the story. This literary association has contributed to the name’s appeal. While Nerissa is the most recognized spelling, alternative spellings and variations of the name include Nereida, Nerys, and Neryssa.

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