CATO (1) m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen meaning "wise" in Latin. This name was bestowed upon Cato the Elder (Marcus Porcius Cato), a 2nd-century BC Roman statesman, author and censor, and was subsequently inherited by his descendants, including his great-grandson Cato the Younger (Marcus Porcius Cato Uticencis), a politician and philosopher who opposed Julius Caesar.
CAVAN m English
Either from the name of the Irish county, which is derived from Irish cabhán
"hollow", or else from the Irish surname CAVAN
CEALLACH m Irish
Irish name of uncertain origin, traditionally said to mean "bright-headed". Alternatively it could be derived from Old Irish ceallach
"war, strife" or ceall
CECIL m English
From the Roman name Caecilius
). This was the name of a 3rd-century saint, a companion of Saint Cyprian. Though it was in use during the Middle Ages in England, it did not become common until the 19th century when it was given in honour of the noble Cecil family, who had been prominent since the 16th century. Their surname was derived from the Welsh given name Seisyll
, which was derived from the Roman name Sextilius
, a derivative of SEXTUS
CECILIA f English, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Romanian, Finnish, German
Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius
, which was derived from Latin caecus
"blind". Saint Cecilia was a semi-legendary 2nd- or 3rd-century martyr who was sentenced to die because she refused to worship the Roman gods. After attempts to suffocate her failed, she was beheaded. She was later regarded as the patron saint of music and musicians.... [more]
CEDAR f & m English (Rare)
From the English word for the coniferous tree, derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κεδρος (kedros)
CEDRIC m English
Invented by Sir Walter Scott for a character in his novel 'Ivanhoe' (1819). Apparently he based it on the actual name Cerdic
, the name of the semi-legendary founder of the kingdom of Wessex in the 6th century. The meaning of Cerdic
is uncertain, but it does not appear to be Old English in origin. It could be connected to the Brythonic name CARATACOS
. The name was also used by Frances Hodgson Burnett for the main character in her novel 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' (1886).
CEINWEN f Welsh
Derived from the Welsh elements cain
"lovely" and gwen
"white, fair, blessed".
CELESTINE f & m English
English form of CAELESTINUS
. It is more commonly used as a feminine name, from the French feminine form Célestine
CELIA f English, Spanish
Feminine form of the Roman family name CAELIUS
. Shakespeare used it in his play 'As You Like It' (1599), which introduced the name to the English-speaking public at large. It is sometimes used as a short form of CECILIA
CELINDA f English (Rare)
Probably a blend of CELIA
. This is also the Spanish name for a variety of shrub with white flowers, known as sweet mock-orange in English (species Philadelphus coronarius).
CELSUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name meaning "tall" in Latin. This was the name of a 2nd-century philosopher who wrote against Christianity. It was also borne by an early saint martyred with Nazarius in Milan.
CEMRE f Turkish
From a term used in Turkish folklore referring to the warming of temperature at the end of winter, thought to occur in three stages affecting air, water, then earth.
CENK m Turkish
Means "battle, war" in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
CENNÉTIG m Irish
Old Irish byname meaning "armoured head" or "misshapen head". This was the name of an Irish king, the father of Brian
CEPHALUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κεφαλος (Kephalos)
, which was derived from κεφαλη (kephale)
meaning "head". In Greek legend he remained faithful to his wife Procris even though he was pursued by the goddess Eos.
CEPHAS m Biblical, Biblical Latin
Means "rock" in Aramaic. The apostle Simon
was called Cephas by Jesus
because he was to be the rock upon which the Christian church was to be built. In most versions of the New Testament Cephas
is translated into Greek Πετρος (Petros)
(in English Peter
CEPHEUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek Κηφευς (Kepheus)
, which is of unknown meaning. In Greek legend he was a king of Ethiopia, the husband of Cassiopeia. After he died he was made into a constellation and placed in the sky.
CERES f Roman Mythology
Derived from the Indo-European root *ker
meaning "to grow". In Roman mythology Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, equivalent to the Greek goddess Demeter
CERI (1) m Welsh
Possibly derived from Welsh caru
meaning "to love".
CERIDWEN f Welsh
Possibly from Welsh cyrrid
"bent" or cerdd
"poetry" combined with ven
"woman" or gwen
"white, fair, blessed". According to medieval Welsh legend this was the name of a sorceress or goddess who created a potion that would grant wisdom to her son Morfan. The potion was instead consumed by her servant Gwion Bach, who was subsequently reborn as the renowned bard Taliesin
CERNUNNOS m Celtic Mythology (Latinized)
Means "horned" in Celtic. This was the name of the Celtic god fertility, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was usually depicted having antlers, and was identified with the Roman god Mercury
CHAD m English
From the Old English name Ceadda
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly based on Welsh cad
"battle". This was the name of a 7th-century English saint. Borne primarily by Catholics, it was a rare name until the 1960s when it started to become more common amongst the general population. This is also the name of a country in Africa, though it originates from a different source.
CHADWICK m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of towns in England, meaning "settlement belonging to CHAD
" in Old English.
CHAE-WON f Korean
From Sino-Korean 采 (chae)
meaning "collect, gather, pluck" combined with 原 (won)
meaning "source, origin, beginning". Other hanja combinations are possible.
CHAN m & f Khmer
Means "moon" in Khmer, ultimately from Sanskrit.
CHANCE m English
Originally a diminutive of CHAUNCEY
. It is now usually given in reference to the English word chance
meaning "luck, fortune" (ultimately derived from Latin cadens
CHANDA m & f Hinduism, Indian, Hindi
Means "fierce, hot, passionate" in Sanskrit. This is a transcription of both the masculine form चण्ड
and the feminine form चण्डा
(an epithet of the Hindu goddess Durga
CHANDLER m & f English
From an occupational surname that meant "candle seller" in Middle English, ultimately from Old French.
CHANDRA m & f Hinduism, Bengali, Indian, Assamese, Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Nepali
Means "moon" in Sanskrit, derived from चन्द (chand)
meaning "to shine". This is a transcription of the masculine form चण्ड
(a name of the moon in Hindu texts, which is often personified as a deity) as well as the feminine form चण्डा
CHANEL f English
From a French surname that meant "pipe". It has been used as an American given name since 1970s, influenced by the Chanel brand name (a line of women's clothing and perfume), which was named for French fashion designer Coco Chanel (1883-1971).
CHANG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 昌 (chāng)
meaning "flourish, prosper, good, sunlight" (which is usually only masculine), 畅 (chàng)
meaning "smooth, free, unrestrained" or 长 (cháng)
meaning "long". Other Chinese characters are also possible.
CHANTAL f French, English, Dutch
From a French surname that was derived from a place name meaning "stony". It was originally given in honour of Saint Jeanne-Françoise de Chantal, the founder of the Visitation Order in the 17th century. It has become associated with French chant
CHAO m & f Chinese
From Chinese 超 (chāo)
meaning "surpass, leap over" (which is usually only masculine), 潮 (cháo)
meaning "tide, flow, damp", or other characters that are pronounced similarly.
CHARES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek χαρις (charis)
meaning "grace, kindness". This was the name of a 4th-century BC Athenian general. It was also borne by the sculptor who crafted the Colossus of Rhodes.
CHARISSA f English
Elaborated form of CHARIS
. Edmund Spencer used it in his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene' (1590).
CHARISSE f English
From a French surname of unknown meaning. It was used as a given name in honour of American actress and dancer Cyd Charisse (1921-2008).
CHARITY f English
From the English word charity
, ultimately derived from Late Latin caritas
meaning "generous love", from Latin carus
"dear, beloved". Caritas
was in use as a Roman Christian name. The English name Charity
came into use among the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation.
CHARLEMAGNE m History
From Old French Charles le Magne
the Great". This is the name by which the Frankish king Charles the Great (742-814) is commonly known.
CHARLES m English, French
From the Germanic name Karl
, which was derived from a Germanic word meaning "man". However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic name element hari
meaning "army, warrior".... [more]
CHARLIE m & f English
Diminutive or feminine form of CHARLES
. A famous bearer is Charlie Brown, the main character in the comic strip 'Peanuts' by Charles Schulz.
CHARLIZE f Southern African, Afrikaans
Feminine form of CHARLES
using the popular Afrikaans name suffix ize
. This name was popularized by South African actress Charlize Theron (1975-), who was named after her father Charles.
CHARLTON m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "settlement of free men" in Old English.
CHARMAINE f English
Meaning unknown, perhaps a combination of CHARMIAN
or the English word charm
with the aine
suffix from LORRAINE
. It was (first?) used for a character in the play 'What Price Glory' (1924), which was made into a popular movie in 1926.
CHARMION f Ancient Greek
Greek name derived from χαρμα (charma)
meaning "delight". This was the name of one of Cleopatra's servants, as recorded by Plutarch.
CHARON m Greek Mythology
Possibly means "fierce brightness" in Greek. In Greek mythology Charon was the operator of the ferry that brought the newly dead over the River Acheron into Hades.
CHASE m English
From a surname meaning "chase, hunt" in Middle English, originally a nickname for a huntsman.
CHASTITY f English
From the English word chastity
, which is ultimately from Latin castus
"pure". It was borne by the daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher, which probably led to the name's increase in popularity during the 1970s.
CHAUNCEY m English
From a Norman surname of unknown meaning. It was used as a given name in American in honour of Harvard president Charles Chauncey (1592-1672).
CHAYIM m Hebrew
Derived from the Hebrew word חַיִּים (chayyim)
meaning "life". It has been used since medieval times.
CHE m Spanish
From an Argentine expression meaning "hey!". This nickname was acquired by the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto Guevara while he was in Cuba.
CHELSEA f English
From the name of a district in London, originally derived from Old English and meaning "landing place for chalk or limestone". It has been in general use as an English given name since the 1970s.
CHEN (1) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 晨 (chén)
or 辰 (chén)
, both meaning "morning". The character 辰
also refers to the fifth Earthly Branch (7 AM to 9 AM), which is itself associated with the dragon of the Chinese zodiac. This name can be formed from other characters as well.
CHENG m & f Chinese
From Chinese 成 (chéng)
meaning "completed, finished, succeeded" or 诚 (chéng)
meaning "sincere, honest, true", as well as other characters that are pronounced similarly.
CHER f English
Short form of CHERYL
. In the case of the American musician Cher (1946-), it is short for her real name CHERILYN
CHERIE f English
Derived from French chérie
meaning "darling". In America, Cherie
came into use shortly after the variant Sherry
, and has not been as common.
CHERNOBOG m Slavic Mythology
Means "the black god" from Slavic cherno
"black" and bogu
"god". Chernobog was the Slavic god of darkness, evil and grief.
CHEROKEE f & m English (Rare)
Probably derived from the Creek word tciloki
meaning "people of a different speech". This is the name of a Native American people who live in the east of North America.
CHERRY f English
Simply means "cherry" from the name of the fruit. It can also be a diminutive of CHARITY
. It has been in use since the late 19th century.
CHESLEY m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "camp meadow" in Old English.
CHESTER m English
From a surname that originally belonged to a person who came from Chester, an old Roman settlement in Britain. The name of the settlement came from Latin castrum
CHEYENNE f & m English
Derived from the Dakota word shahiyena
meaning "red speakers". This is the name of a Native American people of the Great Plains. The name was supposedly given to the Cheyenne by the Dakota because their language was unrelated to their own. As a given name, it has been in use since the 1950s.
CHI (2) m & f Mythology, Western African, Igbo
Means "god, spiritual being" in Igbo, referring to the personal spiritual guardian that each person is believed to have. Christian Igbo people use it as a name for the personal Christian god. This can also be a short form of the many Igbo names that begin with this element.
CHIARA f Italian
Italian form of CLARA
. Saint Chiara (commonly called Saint Clare in English) was a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi.
CHIDI m & f Western African, Igbo
Means "God exists" in Igbo. It is also a short form of Igbo names beginning with Chidi
CHIHIRO f & m Japanese
From Japanese 千 (chi)
meaning "thousand" and 尋 (hiro)
meaning "search, seek", as well as other kanji combinations.
CHIKA (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 千 (chi)
meaning "thousand", 智 (chi)
meaning "wisdom, intellect" or 散 (chi)
meaning "scatter" combined with 佳 (ka)
meaning "good, beautiful" or 花 (ka)
meaning "flower". Other kanji combinations are also possible.
CHIKAKO f Japanese
From Japanese 千 (chi)
meaning "thousand", 香 (ka)
meaning "fragrance" and 子 (ko)
meaning "child". Other kanji combinations can be possible.
CHINA f English (Modern)
From the name of the Asian country, ultimately derived from Qin
, the name of a dynasty that ruled there in the 3rd century BC.
CHINATSU f Japanese
From Japanese 千 (chi)
meaning "thousand" and 夏 (natsu)
meaning "summer", as well as other kanji combinations.
CHIP m English
Diminutive of CHARLES
. It can also be from a nickname given in reference to the phrase a chip off the old block
, used of a son who is similar to his father.