Nice Family History
Nice Name Meaning
English and Scottish: nickname from the Middle English adjective nis modern nice. This word has undergone a remarkable series of changes in meaning. The Middle English word meant ‘silly ignorant’ (from Latin nescius ‘not knowing’) later ‘slothful wanton fussy self-indulgent’ and a range of other negative meanings (French niais). In the 14th century the English word also acquired the sense ‘wanton’ and in the 15th century ‘coy shy’ both of which meanings may be reflected in the surname. The sense ‘fastidious precise paying minute attention to detail’ developed only in the 16th century probably too late to have affected the surname. The present-day sense as a word expressing general approval is not clearly attested until the late 19th century. Americanized form of German Neuss and also of Neiss or Neis . Compare Nyce . French: nickname from Old French nice ‘foolish simple’ (from Latin nescius ‘not knowing’). Compare 1 above.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022