Candida f Late Roman, English
Late Latin name derived from candidus
. This was the name of several early saints, including a woman supposedly healed by Saint Peter
. As an English name, it came into use after George Bernard Shaw's play Candida
Caprice f English
From the English word meaning "impulse"
, ultimately (via French) from Italian capriccio
Cara f English
From an Italian word meaning "beloved"
or an Irish word meaning "friend"
. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century, though it did not become popular until after the 1950s.
Carey m & f English
From an Irish surname that was derived from Ó Ciardha
meaning "descendant of Ciardha"
Carina 1 f English, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from cara
meaning "dear, beloved"
. This was the name of a 4th-century saint and martyr. It is also the name of a constellation in the southern sky, though in this case it means "keel" in Latin, referring to a part of Jason
's ship the Argo.
Carl m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
German form of Charles
. Two noteworthy bearers of the name were the German mathematician Carl Gauss (1777-1855), who made contributions to number theory and algebra as well as physics and astronomy, and the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), who founded analytical psychology. It was imported to America in the 19th century by German immigrants.
Carlisle m & f English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from the name of a city in northern England. The city was originally called by the Romans Luguvalium
meaning "stronghold of Lugus
". Later the Brythonic element ker
"fort" was appended to the name of the city.
Carmel f English, Jewish
From the title of the Virgin Mary Our Lady of Carmel
(Karmel) (meaning "garden" in Hebrew) is a mountain in Israel mentioned in the Old Testament. It was the site of several early Christian monasteries. As an English given name, it has mainly been used by Catholics.
Carol 1 f & m English
Short form of Caroline
. It was formerly a masculine name, derived from Carolus
. The name can also be given in reference to the English vocabulary word, which means "song" or "hymn".
Carson m & f English
From a Scottish surname of uncertain meaning. A famous bearer of the surname was the American scout Kit Carson (1809-1868).
Carter m English
From an English surname that meant "one who uses a cart"
. A famous bearer of the surname is former American president Jimmy Carter (1924-).
Cary m & f English
Variant of Carey
. A famous bearer was the British-American actor Cary Grant (1904-1986).
Casey m & f English, Irish
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Cathasaigh
meaning "descendant of Cathasach"
. This name can be given in honour of Casey Jones (1863-1900), a train engineer who sacrificed his life to save his passengers. In his case, Casey
was a nickname acquired because he was raised in the town of Cayce, Kentucky.
Cash m English
From an English occupational surname for a box maker, derived from Norman French casse
. A famous bearer of the surname was American musician Johnny Cash (1932-2003).
Casimir m English, French
English form of the Polish name Kazimierz
, derived from the Slavic element kaziti
"to destroy" combined with miru
"peace, world". Four kings of Poland have borne this name, including Casimir III the Great, who greatly strengthened the Polish state in the 14th century. It was also borne Saint Casimir, a 15th-century Polish prince and a patron saint of Poland and Lithuania. The name was imported into Western Europe via Germany, where it was borne by some royalty.
Cason m English (Modern)
From a surname derived from the English place name Cawston
, itself derived from the Old Norse given name Kálfr
combined with Old English tun
meaning "enclosure, yard, town".
Cassarah f English (Rare)
Recently created name intended to mean "what will be, will be". It is from the title of the 1956 song Que Sera, Sera
, which was taken from the Italian phrase che sarà sarà
. The phrase que sera, sera
is not grammatically correct in any Romance language.
Cat f & m English
Diminutive of Catherine
. It can also be a nickname from the English word for the animal.
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
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
Latinate feminine form of the Roman family name Caecilius
, which was derived from Latin caecus
. 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 κέδρος (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
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).
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.
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
Chandler m & f English
From an occupational surname that meant "candle seller"
in Middle English, ultimately from Old French.
Chanel f English
From a French surname that meant either "channel"
, indicating a person who lived near a channel of water, or "jug, jar, bottle"
, indicating a manufacturer of jugs. 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).
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
Charissa f English
Elaborated form of Charis
. Edmund Spencer used it in his epic poem The Faerie Queene
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.
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"
Charlie m & f English
Diminutive or feminine form of Charles
. A famous bearer was the British comic actor Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977). It is also borne by Charlie Brown, the main character in the comic strip Peanuts
by Charles Schulz.
Charlotte f French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
French feminine diminutive of Charles
. It was introduced to Britain in the 17th century. It was the name of a German-born 18th-century queen consort of Great Britain and Ireland. Another notable bearer was Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and the author of Jane Eyre
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.
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).
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.
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
. In America, Cherie
came into use shortly after the variant Sherry
, and has not been as common.
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 & f English (Rare)
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.
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.
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.
Christabel f English (Rare)
Combination of Christina
and the name suffix bel
. This name occurs in medieval literature, and was later used in 1800 by Samuel Coleridge in his poem Christabel
Christian m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the medieval Latin name Christianus
meaning "a Christian"
(see Christos 1
). In England it has been in use since the Middle Ages, during which time it was used by both males and females, but it did not become common until the 17th century. In Denmark the name has been borne by ten kings since the 15th century. A famous bearer was Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), the Danish author of such fairy tales as The Ugly Duckling
and The Emperor's New Clothes
Christina f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Greek
, the Latin feminine form of Christian
. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, saint who was tormented by her pagan father. It was also borne by a 17th-century Swedish queen and patron the arts who gave up her crown in order to become a Roman Catholic.
Christopher m English
From the Late Greek name Χριστόφορος (Christophoros)
meaning "bearing Christ"
, derived from Χριστός (Christos)
combined with φέρω (phero)
meaning "to bear, to carry". Early Christians used it as a metaphorical name, expressing that they carried Christ in their hearts. In the Middle Ages, literal interpretations of the name's etymology led to legends about a Saint Christopher who carried the young Jesus
across a river. He has come to be regarded as the patron saint of travellers.... [more]
Chrysanta f English (Rare)
Shortened form of the word chrysanthemum
, the name of a flowering plant, which means "golden flower" in Greek.
Chuck m English
Diminutive of Charles
. It originated in America in the early 20th century. Two famous bearers of this name were pilot Chuck Yeager (1923-), the first man to travel faster than the speed of sound, and the musician Chuck Berry (1926-2017), one of the pioneers of rock music.
Ciara 2 f English (Modern)
Variant of Sierra
. Use of the name has perhaps been influenced by the brand of perfume called Ciara, which was introduced by Revlon in 1973.
Clancy m Irish, English (Rare)
From the Irish surname Mac Fhlannchaidh
, which means "son of Flannchadh"
. The Irish name Flannchadh
means "red warrior".
Clara f German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, 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 itself probably derived from Irish clár
meaning "plank, level surface".
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
(1590; in the form Claribell
) and by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest
(1611). Alfred Lord Tennyson also wrote a poem entitled Claribel
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
Clarissa f English, Italian
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"
, from Old English clerec
originally meaning "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).
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 that was originally derived from various English place names, all meaning "clay settlement"
in Old English.
Clematis f English (Rare)
From the English word for a type of flowering vine, ultimately derived from Greek κλήμα (klema)
meaning "twig, branch".
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.
Cletus m English
Short form of Anacletus
. This name is sometimes used to refer to the third pope, Saint Anacletus. It can also function as an Anglicized form of Kleitos
Cleveland m English
From a surname that 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 that was originally from a place name meaning "ford by a cliff"
in Old English.
Clifton m English
From a surname that was originally derived from a place name meaning "settlement by a cliff"
in Old English.
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 that was originally from an Old English place name meaning "settlement on the River Glyme"
. A famous bearer of the surname is former American president Bill Clinton (1946-).
Clive m English
From a surname meaning "cliff"
in Old English, originally belonging to a person who lived near a cliff.
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, from Cumbric Clud
, which is of uncertain 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.
Cody m English
From the Irish 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 that was derived from Hebrew כֹּהֵן (kohen)
. This surname was traditionally associated with the hereditary priests who claimed descent from the biblical Aaron
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 that was originally derived from the Old English byname Cola
Colin 2 m English
Medieval diminutive of Col
, a short form of Nicholas
. It is now regarded as an independent name.
Colleen f English
Derived from the Irish word cailín
. It is not commonly used in Ireland itself, but has been used in America since the early 20th century.
Colt m English
From the English word for a young male horse or from the surname of the same origin. It may be given in honour of the American industrialist Samuel Colt (1814-1862) or the firearms company that bears his name.
Comfort f English (African)
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. It is now most common in parts of English-influenced Africa.
Conor m Irish, English, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Irish name Conchobar
, 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
Means "brave counsel"
, 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.
Conway m English
From a surname that 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"
, from Middle English couper
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
and other names beginning with a similar sound.
Coral f English, Spanish
From the English and Spanish word coral
for the underwater skeletal deposits that can form reefs. It is ultimately derived (via Old French and Latin) from Greek κοράλλιον (korallion)
Corbin m English
From a French surname that 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 Literature, English
, a name appearing in the 12th-century chronicles of Geoffrey of Monmouth, borne by the youngest of the three daughters of King Leir
and the only one to remain loyal to her father. Geoffrey possibly based her name on that of Creiddylad, a daughter of Lludd Llaw Eraint in the early Arthurian tale Culhwch and Olwen
. This Welsh name is of uncertain meaning.... [more]
Cordell m English
From a surname meaning "maker of cord"
or "seller of cord"
in Middle English.
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 that 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 German, Italian, English, Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Κορίννα (Korinna)
, which was derived from κόρη (kore)
. 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
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 that possibly derives from the Latin element cornu
. 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.
Corwin m English
From an English surname, derived from Old French cordoan
"leather", ultimately from the name of the Spanish city of Cordova
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 that 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 that meant "quiet, shy, coy"
from Middle English coi
Craig m Scottish, English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from Gaelic creag
, originally indicating a person who lived near a crag.
Crawford m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "crow ford"
in Old English.
Cree m & f 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 that was derived from a place name, originally from Gaelic crioch
"border" combined with Old English tun
Crew m English (Rare)
Either from a surname that was derived from the English town of Crewe (from Old Welsh criu
), or from the English vocabulary word for a group of people.
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 that was derived from a place name meaning "town with a small enclosed field"
in Old English.
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 κρύσταλλος (krystallos)
meaning "ice". It has been in use as a given name since the 19th century.
Curtis m English
From an English surname that originally meant "courteous"
in Old French.
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.
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.
Cynthia f English, Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Κυνθία (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. It reached a peak of popularity in the United States in 1957 and has declined steadily since then.
Cyprian m Polish, English (Rare)
From the Roman family name Cyprianus
, which meant "from Cyprus"
. Saint Cyprian was a 3rd-century bishop of Carthage and a martyr under the emperor Valerian.