CLANCY m Irish, English (Rare)
From the Irish surname Mac Fhlannchaidh
which means "son of Flannchadh". The Gaelic name Flannchadh means "red warrior".
CLARA f Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, English, Swedish, Danish, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus
which meant "clear, bright, famous". The name Clarus
was borne by a few early saints. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara
in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages, originally in the form Clare
, though the Latinate spelling Clara
became more popular in the 19th century.
CLARE f English
Medieval English form of CLARA
. This is also the name of an Irish county, which was originally named for the Norman invader Richard de Clare (known as Strongbow), whose surname was derived from the name of an English river.
CLARENCE m English
From the Latin title Clarensis
which belonged to members of the British royal family. The title ultimately derives from the name of the town of Clare in Suffolk. As a given name it has been in use since the 19th century.
CLARIBEL f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix bel
. This name was used by Edmund Spenser in his poem 'The Faerie Queene' (in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play 'The Tempest' (1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled 'Claribel' (1830).
CLARICE f English
Medieval vernacular form of the Late Latin name Claritia
, which was a derivative of CLARA
CLARINDA f English
Combination of CLARA
and the popular name suffix inda
. It was first used by Edmund Spenser in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
CLARISSA f English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Latinate form of CLARICE
. This was the name of the title character in a 1748 novel by Samuel Richardson. In the novel Clarissa is a virtuous woman who is tragically exploited by her family and her lover.
CLARITY f English (Rare)
Simply means "clarity, lucidity" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clarus
CLARK m English
From an English surname meaning "cleric" or "scribe", from Old English clerec
which originally meant "priest". A famous bearer of the surname was William Clark (1770-1838), an explorer of the west of North America. It was also borne by the American actor Clark Gable (1901-1960).
CLAUDE m & f French, English
French masculine and feminine form of CLAUDIUS
. In France the masculine name has been common since the Middle Ages due to the 7th-century Saint Claude of Besançon. It was imported to Britain in the 16th century by the aristocratic Hamilton family, who had French connections. A famous bearer of this name was the French impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926).
CLAUDIUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman family name which was possibly derived from Latin claudus
meaning "lame, crippled". This was the name of a patrician family prominent in Roman politics. The ancestor of the family was said to have been a 6th-century BC Sabine leader named Attius Clausus, who adopted the name Appius Claudius upon becoming a Roman citizen. The family produced several Roman emperors of the 1st century, including the emperor known simply as Claudius. He was poisoned by his wife Agrippina in order to bring her son Nero (Claudius's stepson) to power. The name was later borne by several early saints, including a 7th-century bishop of Besançon.
CLAY m English
From an English surname that originally referred to a person who lived near or worked with clay. This name can also be a short form of CLAYTON
CLAYTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from various English place names, all meaning "clay settlement" in Old English.
CLEDWYN m Welsh
Derived from the Welsh element caled
"rough" combined with gwyn
"white, fair, blessed".
CLEMATIS f English (Rare)
From the English word for a type of flowering vine, ultimately derived from Greek κλημα (klema)
CLEMENCE f English
Feminine form of Clementius
). It has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it became rare after the 17th century.
CLEMENCY f English (Rare)
Medieval variant of CLEMENCE
. It can also simply mean "clemency, mercy" from the English word, ultimately from Latin clemens
CLEMENT m English
English form of the Late Latin name Clemens
(or sometimes of its derivative Clementius
) which meant "merciful, gentle". This was the name of 14 popes, including Saint Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers. Another saint by this name was Clement of Alexandria, a 3rd-century theologian and church father who attempted to reconcile Christian and Platonic philosophies. It has been in general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, though it was revived in the 19th century.
CLEOPATRA f Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κλεοπατρα (Kleopatra)
which meant "glory of the father", derived from κλεος (kleos)
"glory" combined with πατηρ (pater)
"father" (genitive πατρος
), This was the name of queens of Egypt from the Ptolemaic royal family, including Cleopatra VII, the mistress of both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Augustus she committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp. Shakespeare's tragedy 'Antony and Cleopatra' (1606) is based on her.
CLETUS m English
Short form of ANACLETUS
. This name is sometimes used to refer to the third pope, Saint Anacletus. It can also function an an Anglicized form of KLEITOS
CLEVELAND m English
From a surname which was derived from an Old English place name meaning "hilly land". This was the surname of American president Grover Cleveland (1837-1908). It is also the name of an American city, which was founded by surveyor Moses Cleaveland (1754-1806).
CLIFFORD m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "ford by a cliff" in Old English.
CLIFTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "settlement by a cliff" in Old English.
CLÍMACO m Spanish
Spanish form of Climacus
, derived from Greek κλιμαξ (klimax)
"ladder". The 7th-century monk Saint John Climacus (also known as John of the Ladder) acquired this name because he wrote a book called 'The Ladder of Divine Ascent'.
CLINT m English
Short form of CLINTON
. A notable bearer is American actor Clint Eastwood (1930-), who became famous early in his career for his western movies.
CLINTON m English
From a surname which was originally from an Old English place name meaning "settlement on the River Glyme". A famous bearer of the surname was American president Bill Clinton (1946-).
CLÍODHNA f Irish, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "shapely" in Irish Gaelic. In Irish legend this was the name of a beautiful goddess. She fell in love with a mortal named Ciabhan and left the Land of Promise with him, but when she arrived on the other shore she was swept to sea by a great wave.
CLIVE m English
From a surname meaning "cliff" in Old English, originally belonging to a person who lived near a cliff.
CLODAGH f Irish
From the name of a river in Tipperary, Ireland.
CLOELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CLOELIUS
. In Roman legend Cloelia was a maiden who was given to an Etruscan invader as a hostage. She managed to escape by swimming across the Tiber, at the same time helping some of the other captives to safety.
CLOPAS m Biblical
Meaning unknown, probably of Aramaic origin. In the New Testament Clopas is mentioned briefly as the husband of one of the women who witnessed the crucifixion, sometimes identified with Alphaeus
CLOTILDE f French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
French form of the Germanic name Chlotichilda
which was composed of the elements hlud
"fame" and hild
"battle". Saint Clotilde was the wife of the Frankish king Clovis, whom she converted to Christianity.
CLOVER f English (Rare)
From the English word for the wild flower, ultimately deriving from Old English clafre
CLYDE m English
From the name of the River Clyde in Scotland, which is of unknown origin. It became a common given name in America in the middle of the 19th century, perhaps in honour of Sir Colin Campbell (1792-1863) who was given the title Baron Clyde in 1858.
COCO f Various
Diminutive of names beginning with Co
, influenced by the word cocoa
. However, this was not the case for French fashion designer Coco Chanel (real name Gabrielle), whose nickname came from the name of a song she performed while working as a cabaret singer.
CODY m English, Irish
From the Gaelic surname Ó Cuidighthigh
, which means "descendant of CUIDIGHTHEACH
". A famous bearer of the surname was the American frontiersman and showman Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917).
COHEN m English
From a common Jewish surname which was derived from Hebrew כֹּהֵן (kohen)
meaning "priest". This surname was traditionally associated with the hereditary priests who claimed descent from the biblical Aaron
COLA m Anglo-Saxon
Old English byname meaning "charcoal", originally given to a person with dark features.
COLBY m English
From a surname, originally from various English place names, derived from the Old Norse nickname Koli
(meaning "coal, dark") and býr
COLE m English
From a surname which was originally derived from the Old English byname COLA
COLETTE f French
Short form of NICOLETTE
. Saint Colette was a 15th-century French nun who gave her money to the poor. This was also the pen name of the French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954).
COLLEEN f English
Derived from the Irish word cailín
meaning "girl". It is not commonly used in Ireland itself, but has been used in America since the early 20th century.
COLMÁN m Irish
Diminutive of Colm
). This was the name of a large number of Irish saints.
COLOMBINA f Italian
Italian feminine diminutive of COLUMBA
. In traditional Italian pantomimes this is the name of a stock character, the female counterpart of Arlecchino (also called Harlequin). This is also the Italian word for the columbine flower.
COLUM m Irish
Irish form of COLUMBA
. This is also an Old Irish word meaning "dove", derived from Latin columba
COLUMBA m & f Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "dove". The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christianity. This was the name of several early saints both masculine and feminine, most notably the 6th-century Irish monk Saint Columba (or Colum) who established a monastery on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He is credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity.
COLUMBAN m Irish
Possibly an Irish diminutive of COLUMBA
. Alternatively, it may be derived from Old Irish colum
"dove" and bán
"white". The 7th-century Saint Columban of Leinster was the founder of several monasteries in Europe.
COLUMBANUS m Late Roman
This name can be viewed as a derivative of COLUMBA
or a Latinized form of COLUMBAN
, both derivations being approximately equivalent. This is the name of Saint Columban in Latin sources.
COLWYN m Welsh
From the name of a river in northern Wales.
COMFORT f English (Rare)
From the English word comfort
, ultimately from Latin confortare
"to strengthen greatly", a derivative of fortis
"strong". It was used as a given name after the Protestant Reformation.
COMHGHALL m Irish
Means "joint pledge" from Irish comh
"together" and gall
COMHGHÁN m Irish
Means "born together" from Irish comh
"together" and gan
CONALL m Irish, Scottish, Irish Mythology
Means "strong wolf" in Gaelic. This is the name of several characters in Irish legend including the hero Conall Cernach ("Conall of the victories"), a member of the Red Branch of Ulster, who avenged Cúchulainn
's death by killing Lugaid.
CONAN m Irish
Means "little wolf" or "little hound" from Gaelic cú
"wolf, hound" combined with a diminutive suffix. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the author who wrote the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories.
CONCEPCIÓN f Spanish
Means "conception" in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
. A city in Chile bears this name.
CONDOLEEZZA f Various
In the case of American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice it is derived from the Italian musical term con dolcezza
meaning "with sweetness".
CONFUCIUS m History
Anglicized form of the Chinese name Kong Fuzi
. The surname 孔 (Kong)
means "hole, opening" and the title 夫子 (Fuzi)
means "master". This was the name of a 6th-century BC Chinese philosopher. His given name was Qiu
CONLAOCH m Irish Mythology
Possibly derived from Gaelic conn
"chief" and flaith
"lord". This was the name of several characters in Irish legend including a son of Cúchulainn
who was accidentally killed by his father.
CONLETH m Irish
Modern form of the old Irish name Conláed
, possibly meaning "chaste fire" from Gaelic connla
"chaste" and aodh
"fire". Saint Conláed was a 5th-century bishop of Kildare.
CONOR m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Conchobhar
, derived from Old Irish con
"hound, dog, wolf" and cobar
"desiring". It has been in use in Ireland for centuries and was the name of several Irish kings. It was also borne by the legendary Ulster king Conchobar mac Nessa, known for his tragic desire for Deirdre
CONRAD m English, German, Ancient Germanic
Derived from the Germanic elements kuoni
"brave" and rad
"counsel". This was the name of a 10th-century saint and bishop of Konstanz, in southern Germany. It was also borne by several medieval German kings and dukes. In England it was occasionally used during the Middle Ages, but has only been common since the 19th century when it was reintroduced from Germany.
CONSOLATA f Italian
Means "consoled" in Italian. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, María Consolata
CONSTANS m Late Roman
Late Latin name meaning "constant, steadfast". This was the name of a 4th-century Roman emperor, a son of Constantine
CONSTANTINE m History
From the Latin name Constantinus
, a derivative of CONSTANS
. Constantine the Great (272-337) was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern Istanbul).
CONSUELO f Spanish
Means "consolation" in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora del Consuelo
, meaning "Our Lady of Consolation".
CONSUS m Roman Mythology
Possibly derived from Latin conserere
meaning "to sow, to plant". Consus was a Roman god of the harvest and grain.
CONWAY m English
From a surname which was derived from the name of the River Conwy, which possibly means "holy water" in Welsh.
COOPER m English
From a surname meaning "barrel maker" in Middle English.
CORA f English, German, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of KORE
. It was not used as a given name in the English-speaking world until after it was employed by James Fenimore Cooper for a character in his novel 'The Last of the Mohicans' (1826). In some cases it may be a short form of CORDULA
or other names beginning with a similar sound.
CORAL f English, Spanish
From the English and Spanish word coral
for the underwater skeletal deposits which can form reefs. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κοραλλιον (korallion)
CORBIN m English
From a French surname which was derived from corbeau
"raven", originally denoting a person who had dark hair. The name was probably popularized in America by actor Corbin Bernsen (1954-).
CORDELIA f English
, possibly a Celtic name of unknown meaning. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordeilla was the youngest of the three daughters of King Lear and the only one to remain loyal to her father. When adapting the character for his play 'King Lear' (1606), Shakespeare altered the spelling to Cordelia
CORDELL m English
From a surname meaning "maker of cord" or "seller of cord" in Middle English.
CORDULA f German
Late Latin name meaning "heart" from Latin cor
. Saint Cordula was one of the 4th-century companions of Saint Ursula.
CORENTIN m Breton, French
Possibly means "hurricane" in Breton. This was the name of a 5th-century bishop of Quimper in Brittany.
CORETTA f English
Diminutive of CORA
. It was borne by Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), the wife of Martin Luther King.
COREY m English
From a surname which was derived from the Old Norse given name Kóri
, of unknown meaning. This name became popular in the 1960s due to the character Corey Baker on the television series 'Julia'.
CORIANDER f English (Rare)
From the name of the spice, also called cilantro, which may ultimately be of Phoenician origin (via Latin and Greek).
CORINNA f English, German, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Κοριννα (Korinna)
, which was derived from κορη (kore)
"maiden". This was the name of a Greek lyric poet of the 5th century BC. The Roman poet Ovid
used it for the main female character in his book 'Amores'. In the modern era it has been in use since the 17th century, when Robert Herrick used it in his poem 'Corinna's going a-Maying'.
CORMAC m Irish
Possibly derived from Irish Gaelic corb
"raven" or "wheel" and mac
"son". This was the name of a 3rd-century king of Ireland.
CORNELIA f German, Romanian, Italian, Dutch, English, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of CORNELIUS
. In the 2nd century BC it was borne by Cornelia Scipionis Africana (the daughter of the military hero Scipio Africanus), the mother of the two reformers known as the Gracchi. After her death she was regarded as an example of the ideal Roman woman. The name was revived in the 18th century.
CORNELIUS m Ancient Roman, English, Dutch, German, Biblical
Roman family name which possibly derives from the Latin element cornu
"horn". In Acts in the New Testament Cornelius is a centurion who is directed by an angel to seek Peter
. After speaking with Peter he converts to Christianity, and he is traditionally deemed the first gentile convert. The name was also borne by a few early saints, including a 3rd-century pope. In England it came into use in the 16th century, partly due to Dutch influence.
CORONA f Late Roman, Italian, Spanish
Means "crown" in Latin, as well as Italian and Spanish. This was the name of a 2nd-century saint who was martyred with her companion Victor.
CORWIN m English
From an English surname, derived from Old French cordoan
"leather", ultimately from the name of the Spanish city of Cordova
COSETTE f French, Literature
From French chosette
meaning "little thing". This is the nickname of the illegitimate daughter of Fantine in Victor Hugo's novel 'Les Misérables' (1862). Her real name is Euphrasie
, though it is seldom used. In the novel young Cosette is the ward of the cruel Thénardiers until she is retrieved by Jean Valjean.
COSIMO m Italian
Italian form of COSMAS
. A famous bearer was Cosimo de' Medici, the 15th-century founder of Medici rule in Florence, who was a patron of the Renaissance and a successful merchant. Other members of the Medici family have also borne this name.
COSMAS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From the Greek name Κοσμας (Kosmas)
, which was derived from κοσμος (kosmos)
meaning "order, decency". Saint Cosmas was martyred with his twin brother Damian in the 4th century. They are the patron saints of physicians.
COSMO m Italian, English
Italian variant of COSIMO
. It was introduced to Britain in the 18th century by the second Scottish Duke of Gordon, who named his son and successor after his friend Cosimo III de' Medici.
COURTNEY f & m English
From an aristocratic English surname which was derived either from the French place name Courtenay
(originally a derivative of the personal name Curtenus
, itself derived from Latin curtus
"short") or else from a Norman nickname meaning "short nose". As a feminine name in America, it first became popular during the 1970s.
COY m English
From a surname which meant "quiet, shy, coy" from Middle English coi
CRAIG m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname which was derived from Gaelic creag
meaning "crag" or "rocks", originally indicating a person who lived near a crag.
CRAWFORD m English
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "crow ford" in Old English.
CREE m English (Rare)
From the name of a Native American tribe of central Canada. Their name derives via French from the Cree word kiristino
CREIGHTON m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name, originally from Gaelic crioch
"border" combined with Old English tun
CRESCENTIUS m Late Roman
Latin name which was a derivative of the name CRESCENS
. Saint Crescentius was a child martyred in Rome during the persecutions of emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century.
CRESSIDA f Literature
Medieval form of CHRYSEIS
. Various medieval tales describe her as a woman of Troy, daughter of Calchus, who leaves her Trojan lover Troilus for the Greek hero Diomedes. Shakespeare's play 'Troilus and Cressida' (1602) was based on these tales.
CRISPIN m English (Rare)
From the Roman cognomen Crispinus
which was derived from the name CRISPUS
. Saint Crispin was a 3rd-century Roman who was martyred with his twin brother Crispinian in Gaul. They are the patrons of shoemakers. They were popular saints in England during the Middle Ages, and the name has occasionally been used since that time.