Know Anything About the Name Nixzaliz?

A few years ago, the Language Log asked readers for information on Nixzaliz, a personal name used in Puerto Rico.

Several commenters mentioned that “liz,” which we also see in names like Idaliz and Marializ, comes from Elizabeth (or a related name).

Only one commenter, Johan Rodriguez, offered any insight on “Nixza”:

[T]he name Nixza is used here in PR. It was created around mid 40’s. But its origin is from indian natives that used the letter X in their names a lot like Guarionex or Caguax. I’ve met women called Anixza or Anixa or just plain Nixza. Actually to be more specific its my next door neighbor, shes was born around late 40’s or early 50’s, and she’s called Nixza.

Can anyone else shed more light on Anixza, Anixa and Nixza? Are these names found mainly in Puerto Rico, or are they used elsewhere (e.g. Cuba, the Dominican Republic) as well?


2 thoughts on “Know Anything About the Name Nixzaliz?

  1. This is sad, I know, but I remember a few years ago, there was a terrible story in the news about a little girl named Nixzmary from Brooklyn. I won’t go into the case, but I will say the name stuck with me – I had never seen anything like it until your post here about Nixzaliz.

  2. I just came here to post that, Caitlin. I, too, always wondered where her parents got the name “Nixzmary” (but, to sum up the case VERY succinctly, her unusual name was the least of the girl’s concerns when it came to her parents.)

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