Most likely a combination of Nicole and Michelle. Popularized by the American actress Nichelle Nichols, who appeared in the popular Star Trek TV series. However, Nichelle was only her stage name, she was born Grace Nichols. Michelle is a French feminine form of Michel, which is a French form of Michael. It used to be extremely popular only in France at first, in the English-speaking countries it has been popular since the 1940s. The name Michel is ultimately derived from Hebrew and means "which man is like God?", which is a rhetorical question suggesting a negative answer. Michelle can also be used as a surname.