The only free and comprehensive online etymological dictionary of the Spanish language
nene (Noun) "child;" (slang) "cutey"
18th cent. Of unknown origin. Probably related to niño and probably by way of reduplication of the first syllable *ne- during the late Vulgar Latin period. A time when <i> and <e> were markedly unstable in Iberia when representing short vowels.
Variants
Colunga nenín, nenucu, nenón.
nervio m. (Noun) "nerve"
13th cent. Borrowed from Medieval Latin nervium 'id.,' from Latin nervus of the same meaning. From Proto-Italic *nēuro- "nerve," "sinew." From Proto-Indo-European *snéh1- 'id.'
Indo-European
Romance
Asturian nerviu, Portuguese nervo, Galician nervio, Catalan nervi, French nerf, Italian nervo
Hellenic
Ancient Greek νεῦρον (neûron) "sinew"
Armenian
Armenian neard "sinew"
Indo-Iranian
Sanskrit snā́van "sinew," Young Avestan snāuuarə "sinews"
Tocharian
B ṣñaura "sinews"
nervioso (Adjective) "nervous"
Very late 15th cent. From nervio.
Indo-European
Romance
Asturian nerviu, Portuguese nervo, Galician nervio, Catalan nervi, French nerf, Italian nervo
ni (Adverb) "neither;" "not even," "even"
From Latin nec "not," an apocopated form of neque "and not," from ne "not" and -que "and." See no and -que respectively for further etymology.
Indo-European
Romance
Asturian nin, Portuguese nem, Galician nin, Catalan ni, French ni, Italian
nieto (Noun) "grandchild"
Nieta, 12th cent; nieto, 11th cent. The feminine nieta is the original form, tracing back to Vulgar Latin nepta "granddaughter," from Latin neptis 'id.' From Proto-Italic *nepti- 'id.' From Proto-Indo-European *h2nep-t-ih1/2 'id.'
Indo-European
Balto-Slavic
Old Lithuanian neptė "granddaughter"
Indo-Iranian
Sanskrit neptī́- "granddaughter," Young Avestan napti- 'id.'
nieve f. (Noun) "snow"
13th cent. From Vulgar Latin *neve 'id.' From Latin nivem, accusative of nix 'id.' From Proto-Italic *snik- 'id.' A feminine from Proto-Indo-European *sni̯gwh- 'id.'
Indo-European
Romance
Asturian nieve, Portuguese neve, Galician neve, Catalan neu, Italian neve
Celtic
Old Irish snigid "to snow," Middle Welsh nyf "snow"
Germanic
Gothic snaiws "snow," Old Norse snær 'id.,' Old High German snēo 'id.,' Old Saxon snēo 'id.,' Old English snāw 'id.' (English snow)
Balto-Slavic
Old Church Slavonic sněgь "snow," Russian sneg 'id.,' Czech sníh 'id.,' Polish śnieg 'id.,' Slovene snẹ̑g 'id.,' Old Prussian snaygis 'id.,' Lithuanian sniñga "it snows," Latvian snìegs "snow"
Hellenic
Ancient Greek νίφειν (níphein) "to snow"
Indo-Iranian
Sanskrit asnihat "to lie down," Young Avestan snaēža- "to snow"
The snow-lexicon of the Indo-Europeans was basic and broad; of few words and with little nuance. As Mallory & Adams (2014) point out, however, the language of Proto-Uralic - the Indo-European's neighbors to the north - was varied and complex.
There were at least two dialect variants for "snow" in Vulgar Latin. Aromanian neao "snow," Romanian nea 'id.,' Sardinian ni 'id.' reflect Vulgar Latin *nive 'id.' (Dictionnaire Étymologique Roman).
niñeta f. (Noun) (rare) "pupil (of the eye)"
Derived from a secondary meaning of niña, meaning the pupil of an eye. Compare Basque nini "child," "pupil of the eye."
"El tercer grupo es el más numeroso de todos, pues las denominaciones más habituales, según los datos de los atlas, para referirse a la pupila en español, catalán o gallego son derivados o formas complejas. La mayoría de las formas derivadas son apreciativo-diminutivas (niñeta, niñilla, bolica, santiño, señorita), formadas con los sufijos –ete ~a e –illo ~a; unos sufijos que, por sus características connotativas e históricas, permiten muy fácilmente que los sustantivos a los que se adjuntan se lexicalicen. . . . A excepción de niñota, todas las formas derivadas que se recogen en los atlas lingüísticos del concepto ‘pupila’ surgen de un proceso de derivación apreciativa de valor diminutivo en el que intervienen los siguientes sufijos." ~ C. J. Luna, "Los nombres de la "pupila" en los atlas regionales de la Península Ibérica" (2009)
ninguno (Adjective) "none"
10th cent. Old Spanish niguno, nenguno. From Latin nec unum "not one." For the etymology of nec, see ni; for the etymology of unum, see uno.
Ningun is an apocopation of ninguno, used before masculine singular nouns.
Indo-European
Romance
Portuguese nenhum, Catalan ningú
niño (Noun) "child"
12th cent. Old Spanish nino, also in the name Ninno Macellero; 13th cent. niño. From Vulgar Latin *ninnus 'id.' Of unknown origin. Possibly borrowed from a pre-Indo-European language or of nursery origin. Consider also a late Latin word nonnus "monk" but also "elderly person" (see ñoño).
Also the origin of the surname Niño, first given as a nickname and later formalized as a surname.
Variants
Miranda de Duero nino, Colunga nin (< Vulgar Latin *ninus)
Indo-European
Romance
Italian nino
nivel m. (Noun) "level"
15th cent. Borrowed from Catalan nivell 'id.,' dissimilated from Vulgar Latin *libellum 'id.,' from Latin libra "balance" (see libra).
Indo-European
Romance
Portuguese nivel, Galician nivel, Catalan nivell, French niveau, Italian livello, Romanian nivel