Definition of nisse in US English:

nisse

(also nis)

noun

  • In Scandinavian folklore: a kind of spirit, similar to a brownie or goblin, which frequents barns, stables, and other buildings.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Keightley (1789–1872), historian and author. From Danish nisse and Swedish regional nisse, pet-form of the male forename Nils, shortened form of Nikolaus, the name of St Nicholas; this name replaced earlier Scandinavian names for this spirit, after German uses of a shortened form of the name Nikolaus for a being which brought gifts to good children or scolded naughty children on the eve of St Nicholas' Day.

Pronunciation

nisse

/ˈnɪsə/