Anglicized form of the enduringly popular Gaelic name Niall. From the Middle Ages onwards, this name was found mainly in Ireland, the Highlands of Scotland, and the English-Scottish Border region. However, since the 20th century it has spread to enjoy considerable popularity in all parts of the English-speaking world, although in England it has recently been overtaken by the Gaelic form.
Indian (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka): Hindu and Parsi name which goes back to an official title meaning ‘village headman’, pəṭel in Gujarati, Marathi, and Kannada (where it is paṭēla). It comes ultimately from Sanskrit paṭṭakila ‘tenant of royal land’. Among the Indians in the U.S, it is the most common family name.