Melanocytic naevi are common melanocytic proliferations that may simulate the appearance of cutaneous melanoma. Naevi commonly harbour somatic mutations implicated in melanomagenesis but in most cases lack the necessary genomic alterations required for melanoma development. While the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and ultraviolet radiation strongly contribute to naevogenesis, the somatic mutational landscape of dermoscopic naevus subsets distinguishes some of the molecular hallmarks of naevi in relation to melanoma. We herein discuss the classification of naevi and theories of naevogenesis and review the current literature on the somatic alterations in naevi and melanoma. This review focusses on the clinical-dermoscopic-pathological and genomic correlation of naevi that shapes the current understanding of naevi.