A collection of the most popular traditional and modern baby names beginning with the letter C
The name rose to popularity as a given name in Wales due to the popularity of a 7th century saint, Cadell ab Urien who founded the “Church of Cadell” in Glamorgan.
Cain can be traced to have multiple origins, but in the boys form it takes on a biblical sense, Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, killed his brother in jealous anger and spent the rest of his life as a wanderer in exile.
A biblical name, Caleb was one of Moses’ followers on the journey to the promised land, he was noted for his astute powers of observation and fearlessness in the face of overwhelming odds. The name was popular among the Puritans, and was introduced by them to America.
Notable namesakes include: American Author, Caleb Carr.
Origin: Latin, Gaelic
Ranked 28 in the UK Callum is a popular boy’s name. It was popular among early Christians due to the link between the dove and gentleness, peace and purity. Today the name has multiple spellings: Calumn, Calum and Colum.
Originally a French surname, Calvin has become a relatively frequently used given name. It is believed that the name’s success in modern times is largely owed to the success of designer fashion label Calvin Klein.
Other famous namesakes include: Calvin Harris (singer, songwriter).
Meaning: Crooked nose
Origin: Scottish, Gaelic
A transferred use of the surname, Cameron is a unisex name. It is in the top 100 boys names in terms of popularity. The name derived from the facial feature which highlands clan used to distinguish themselves and it is the surname of one of the oldest Clans in Scotland.
Famous namesakes include, Actor Cameron Mathison (All my Children) and director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous).
Meaning: Helper to the Priest
It is the masculine form of the name Camilla. There is a Saint Camillus de Lellis who was a 16th-century Italian founder of hospitals, and is patron saint of nurses and the sick.
There are a number of saints who are the bearers of this name, one of which is the sixth century founder of the town Kilkenny.
Meaning: Free man
This boys name is the German version of the English name Charles, and this spelling is a variant of the more popularly spelt Karl.
Carmine is the Italian masculine version of Carmen. “Carmine” also means “purplish red” from an Aramaic word meaning “crimson”.
Meaning: Son of the Marsh dwellers
Origin: Old English
This contemporary boys name is thought to be a derivation of the Scottish, old English name Carson. Its current popularity (it has been climbing the US top 1000 names since 2002) is most likely due to the trend of creating ‘original’ names which sound like surnames.
Meaning: Free Peasant Setting
Origin: Old English
A variant of Carlton, but is more commonly used as a surname than a first name.
Meaning: Cart Transporter
Once again originally a surname that is more frequently being used as a Christian name, the origin is an occupational surname.
A famous name bearer is Carter Woodson who was the African American historian that founded Black History Month.
Meaning: Pretty Brook
Origin: Old English
At first a place name based on the Celtic name of a nearby river it later made the transfer to surname and finally in the twentieth century to given name. It is also an Irish saint name from the sixteenth century.
Famous name bearers include actor Cary Grant.
Meaning: Alert, watchful
Possibly a derivation of the Irish surname Ó Cathasaigh. The name was made famous through a song honouring ‘Casey’ Jones, who died while saving the lives of passengers on board the ‘Cannonball Express’. In his case, Casey was a nickname acquired because he was raised in the town of Cayce, Kentucky.
A famous namesakes include, Casey Affleck (Oceans trilogy).
This name traditionally belonged to one of the three Magi or wise men who visited Christ, though it derived from the name Jaspar. The name was made famous through the children’s cartoon, Casper the friendly ghost.
Meaning: Curly, Clever
Cassidy is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic surname Ó Caiside (‘descendant of Caiside’). This surname is currently also used as a first name for both genders. It was the surname of Wild West bank and train robber Butch Cassidy.
Meaning: Empty, hollow, vain
Cassius is a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin Cassus. This name was borne by several early saints. In modern times, it was the original first name of boxer Muhammad Ali, who was named after his father Cassius Clay, who was himself named after the American abolitionist Cassius Clay.
Meaning: Battle rule
Derived from the Gaelic elements cath “battle” and val “rule”. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint and the name of king of both Munster and Connacht.
Meaning: Thin, Slender
Origin: Gaelic; American
Modern name of unclear origin, it is suggested that it derives from the name Caleb or was a surname. Notable name bearer is race driver, Cale Yarborough.
Meaning: Kindly, Loved
Origin: Old English
The name was invented by Sir Walter Scott for the character Cedric of Rotherwood in the book “Ivanhoe” (1819). It appears to be from Cerdic, the name of the traditional founder of the kingdom of Wessex. Cerdic was a Saxon, and his name could also have been of Germanic origin, though it is uncertain.
Famous name bearers include: Fictitious Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and actor Cedric ‘the entertainer’ Kyles.
Meaning: Head of Hair
This boys name is steadily increasing in popularity and is thought to be a variant of the Spanish name Caesar. A famous bearer was the American labour organizer César Chávez.
Meaning: Candle maker
Origin: Old French, English
Chandler is a transferred surname used by those with occupations involving making and/or selling candles. The name is associated with one of the stars of hit TV sitcom ‘Friends’, Chandler Bing. It is derived from the Old French word ‘Chandele’.
Meaning: Free Man
This popular boys name is derived from the German name Karl, and has been the given name to numerous sixteenth century kings and the current heir to the English throne. The name Charles is known slightly differently in many languages, Carlos in Spanish and Portuguese and Carlo in Italian. An abbreviated version of the name is Charlie and Chuck, which is now a given name in its own right.
The name was originally a surname and occupational nickname but is becoming an increasingly popular given name, particularly in America.
Famous namesakes include, Gossip Girl actor, Chace Crawford.
Chester was originally a surname, derived from the name of the city Chester, whose name originates from the Latin word for ‘Fort’, as it is famous for its fort connected with Hadrian’s wall.
A famous namesake is Chester Bennington, lead vocalist for the band Linkin Park.
Meaning: Follower of Christ
Thought to be derived from Latin Christianus, originally a girl’s name in the Middle Ages that became used as a male name, possibly due to the success of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” (1684), whose hero is called Christian.
Famous namesakes include fashion designer Christian Dior and actor Christian Slater (The good Shepherd).
Meaning: Bearing Christ
From Khristophoros, that was popular among early Christians. The legend of Saint Christopher as the patron saint of travelers grew from the story of a giant who made his living carrying people across a river. According to the legend, one day he carried across a child whom he discovered was actually Christ. Revived in the 1940s by the popularity of A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”, whose human hero is called Christopher Robin.
European forms include: Christofer, Christoffer (German), Christophe (French) and Christoph (Spanish).
Meaning: Bright headed
An Irish boys name that has become more popular in recent years in Ireland with an anglicized form in Killian.
A famous namesake is actor Cillian Murphy (Inception).