English: 1. nickname for a person considered prodigious in some way, from Middle English, Old French merveille ‘miracle’ (Latin mirabilia, originally neuter plural of the adjective mirabilis ‘admirable’, ‘amazing’). The nickname was no doubt sometimes given with mocking intent. 2. (of Norman origin): habitational name, from places called Merville. The one in Nord is named from Old French mendre ‘smaller’, ‘lesser’ (Latin minor) + ville ‘settlement’; that in Calvados seems to have as its first element a Germanic personal name, probably a short form of a compound name with the first element mari, meri ‘famous’.