Nigel \n(i)-gel\ as a boy's name is pronounced NYE-jel. It is of Irish and Gaelic origin, and the meaning of Nigel is "champion". Variant of Niall. Also possibly (Latin) "black". The name traveled well. Niall in Ireland and Scotland became Njal in Scandinavia, became Latin form Nigellus in Normandy, then became Nigel in England. Niguel (ni-GEL) is a Spanish variant. Actor Nigel Havers.