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 variant 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 English
English form of COSMAS
. 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.
CROFTON m English (Rare)
From a surname which was derived from a place name meaning "town with a small enclosed field" in Old English.
CRONUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κρονος (Kronos)
, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ker-
meaning "to cut". Cronus was the Titan who fathered the Greek gods. As his wife Rhea
gave birth to the gods, Cronus swallowed them fearing the prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of his children. However Rhea hid Zeus
, her last child, who eventually forced his father to disgorge his siblings. Cronus and the rest of the Titans were then defeated by the gods and exiled.
ČRTOMIR m Slovene
Derived from the Slavic elements črt
"hatred" and miru
"peace, world". This is the name of the hero in the Slovene national epic 'Baptism on the Savica' (1835) by France Prešeren.
CRUZ f & m Spanish, Portuguese
Means "cross" in Spanish or Portuguese, referring to the cross of the crucifixion.
CRYSTAL f English
From the English word crystal
for the clear, colourless glass, sometimes cut into the shape of a gemstone. The English word derives ultimately from Greek κρυσταλλος (krystallos)
meaning "ice". It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
CSABA m Hungarian
Possibly means either "shepherd" or "gift" in Hungarian. According to legend this was the name of the son of Attila
CSENGE f Hungarian
Possibly derived from Hungarian cseng
meaning "to ring, to clang".
CSILLA f Hungarian
Derived from Hungarian csillag
meaning "star". This name was created by the Hungarian author András Dugonics for an 1803 novel and later used and popularized by the poet Mihály Vörösmarty.
CTIRAD m Czech, Slovak
Derived from the Slavic elements chisti
"honour" and rad
"happy, willing". In Czech legend this was the name of one of the men tricked by Šárka
CUÁN m Irish
Means "little wolf" or "little hound" from the Irish element cú
"wolf, hound" combined with a diminutive suffix.
CUAUHTÉMOC m Native American, Nahuatl
Means "falling eagle" in Nahuatl. This was the name of the last Aztec emperor, ruling until he was captured and executed by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the year 1525.
CÚCHULAINN m Irish Mythology
Means "hound of Culann" in Irish. This was the usual name of the warrior hero who was named Sétanta at birth, given to him because he took the place of one of Culann's hounds after he accidentally killed it. Irish legend tells of Cúchulainn's many adventures, including his single-handed defense of Ulster against the army of queen Medb
CUIMÍN m Irish
Possibly from Celtic cam
meaning "bent, crooked". This was the name of a 6th-century Irish saint.
CULHWCH m Welsh, Welsh Mythology
Means "hiding place of the pig" in Welsh. In Welsh legend he was the lover of Olwen
the daughter of the giant Yspaddaden. Before the giant would allow Culhwch to marry his daughter, he insisted that Culhwch complete a series of extremely difficult tasks. Culhwch managed to complete them, and he returned to marry Olwen and kill the giant. This tale appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
CUNOBELINUS m Ancient Celtic
Possibly means "hound of Belenus" from the old Celtic element koun
"hound" combined with the name of the god BELENUS
. This was the name of a 1st-century king of southeast Britain.
CUPID m Roman Mythology (Anglicized)
From the Latin Cupido
meaning "desire". This was the name of the Roman god of love, the son of Venus
. He was portrayed as a winged, blindfolded boy, armed with a bow and arrows which caused the victim to fall in love. His Greek equivalent was Eros
CURTIS m English
From an English surname which originally meant "courteous" in Old French.
CUSTODIO m Spanish
Means "guardian" in Spanish, from Latin custodia
CUTHBERT m English (Rare)
Derived from the Old English elements cuþ
"famous" and beorht
"bright". Saint Cuthbert was a 6th-century hermit who became the bishop of Lindisfarne, an island off the coast of England. He was known as performer of healing miracles. Because of the saint, this name remained in use in England even after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the Protestant Reformation, but it was (briefly) revived in the 19th century.
CVETKA f Slovene
Derived from Slovene cvet
meaning "blossom, flower".
CYBELE f Near Eastern Mythology (Hellenized)
Meaning unknown, possibly from Phrygian roots meaning either "stone" or "hair". This was the name of the Phrygian mother goddess associated with fertility and nature. She was later worshipped by the Greeks and Romans.
CYBILL f English (Rare)
Variant of SIBYL
. This name was borne by actress Cybill Shepherd (1950-), who was named after her grandfather Cy and her father Bill.
CYNEBURG f Anglo-Saxon
Means "royal fortress" from Old English cyne
"royal" and burg
"fortress". Saint Cyneburga, a daughter of a king of Mercia, was the founder of an abbey at Gloucester in the 7th century.
CYNTHIA f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθια (Kynthia)
which means "woman from Kynthos". This was an epithet of the Greek moon goddess Artemis
, given because Kynthos was the mountain on Delos on which she and her twin brother Apollo
were born. It was not used as a given name until the Renaissance, and it did not become common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century.
CYNWRIG m Ancient Celtic
Derived from Welsh cyn
meaning "chief" and gwr
meaning "hero, man", plus the suffix -ig
indicating "has the quality of".
CYPRIAN m Polish, English (Rare)
From the Roman family name Cyprianus
which meant "from Cyprus" in Latin. Saint Cyprian was a 3rd-century bishop of Carthage and a martyr under the emperor Valerian.
CYRA f History
Meaning unknown. Saint Cyra was a 5th-century Syrian hermit who was martyred with her companion Marana.
CYRANO m Literature
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient Greek city of Cyrene, which was located in North Africa. Edmond Rostand used this name in his play 'Cyrano de Bergerac' (1897). He based his character upon a real person, Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a French satirist of the 17th century.
CYRUS m English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
From Κυρος (Kyros)
, the Greek form of the Persian name Kūrush
, which may mean "far sighted" or "young". The name is sometimes associated with Greek κυριος (kyrios)
"lord". It was borne by several kings of Persia, including Cyrus the Great, who conquered Babylon. He is famous in the Old Testament for freeing the captive Jews and allowing them to return to Israel. As an English name, it first came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.