Boy Names That Can Start with a C or a K
Along with Kai and Killian, other boy names that can start with a C or a K in the US Top 1000 include Cairo and Kairo, Cash and Kash, Colton and Kolton, and Crew and Krew. Those in which both spellings are rare include Caius and Kaius, Cato and Kato.
The choice of C or K as an initial may reflect your feelings on name style, traditionality, and image. Here, a selection of boy names that work with either C or K as a first letter.
Description:Kai has many origins, but in the US is most commonly referred to as being of Hawaiian derivation, meaning “sea.” In Europe, Kai is largely considered to have Frisian origin as a diminutive of the name Kaimbe, meaning “warrior.” Kai is also found as an independent name in African, Chinese, Turkish and Native American cultures.
Meaning:"devotion to God"
Description:Caleb has two potential derivations, the first being from the Hebrew kelev, meaning “dog,” and the second from the Hebrew components kal and lev, together meaning “whole heart.” In the Old Testament Caleb is one of only two ancient Israelites (Joshua was the other) who set out from Egypt to finally enter the promised land.
Origin:Scottish form of Columba, Latin
Description:Callum was derived from Latin Columba, a unisex given name meaning “dove.” Callum was popular among early Christians because the dove was a symbol of purity, peace and the Holy Spirit. St. Columba was one of the most influential of the early Celtic saints.
Description:Calvin is a slightly quirky but cozy name that has a fashion edge thanks to Calvin Klein. It has been steadily on the popularity list since records were kept, never lower than Number 250, peaking in the 1920s, the era of the Calvin (originally John Calvin ) Coolidge presidency.
Description:In the early 1990s, Cody was in the Top 25 most popular boys' names in the USA; but it has been in decline since then. It retains a greater degree of popularity in the UK, however. Cody might be short for Dakota but despite its nickname feeling, it's a name of its own.
Meaning:"swarthy, coal black"
Description:Cole -- a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth -- has long been associated with the great songwriter Cole Porter. It's quite popular in Scotland.
Meaning:"war strife or church"
Description:This classic Irish name , which is better known in this country by its Anglicized form Killian, is one of several newer recommended Gaelic choices that have entered the American name pool. Killian now stands at Number 516 in the US, while Cillian is 22 in its Irish homeland.
Description:Caius is classical and serious but also has a simple, joyful quality. There was a third century pope named Caius, as well as an early Christian writer, several Shakespearean characters, and a Twilight vampire. We would pronounce the name to rhyme with eye-us though at Cambridge University in England, where it's the name of a college, it's pronounced keys. Caius is currently Number 164 on Nameberry.
Description:A handsome Irish name for boys, very popular in that country, but in the US this traditional spelling might cause pronunciation problems. Still, whether Cian or Kian, it's simple and straightforward enough for the initiated. Cian is rising in the British popularity charts. This was the name of several legendary figures, including Cian, son of the god of medicine. His own son was Lugh, the sun god and father of the Ulster warrior Cuchulain and Cian is also the name of the son-in-law of the high king Brian Boru. So very well connected.
Description:Killian – aka Cillian – is a spirited yet resonant Gaelic name that was borne by several Irish saints and could make a distinctive replacement for the dated Kelly. Possible downsides: an unsavory first syllable and a connection to the trendy brew.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"transporter of goods by cart"
Description:Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but it only cracked the Top 30 in 2014, leaving the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both Gossip Girl and The OC probably didn't hurt, and for fifteen years on ER" Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter was always called by his last name. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred.
Origin:Greek and Latin
Meaning:"bearer of Christ"
Description:Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
Origin:English occupational name
Description:The genial yet upscale and preppy Cooper was one of the first occupational last names to catch on -- and Cooper remains a pleasing option.
Description:Cameron is a popular Scottish name, for both boys and now girls (thanks to Cameron Diaz). With its good-looking, sensitive aura, Cameron has also generated a deluge of variant spellings.
Origin:Irish and Scottish
Meaning:"son of the marsh-dwellers"
Description:Carson is one of the most long-running popular androgynous baby names, with a dash of the Wild West via the legendary Missouri frontiersman Kit Carson. Dating back to when it was the name of Nancy Drew's Dad, Carson is still steadily in the Top 100 baby names.
Current Carsons include TV personalities Carson Daly and Carson Kressley, and Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer. Carson Wells was the bounty hunter character played by Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, and Carson is the name chosen by actress Kathryn Erbe for her son.
Origin:Word name; also diminutive of Cassius
Description:Whether it's due to its economic connotations, or its link to American legend Johnny Cash, this name is widely used, and has been used by several celebrities including Annabeth Gish and Joshua Morrow.
Origin:English word name; diminutive of Clayton
Description:Clay is a rich, earthy one-syllable name with a southern-inflected handsome-rogue image, featured on soap operas and reality TV. Its longer forms are Clayton and Clayborne.
Meaning:"from the coal or dark town"
Description:Colton is a trendy two-syllable choice, with the popular 'on/en' ending.
Description:Cato conjures up images of ancient Roman statesmen and southern antebellum retainers; it could have revival potential, with its 'O' ending and the current interest in the names of Greek and Roman antiquity.
Description:Camden is a surprise hit, probably as a result of some star baby cred: it has been chosen by no less than four celebrity parents since 2012. Camden is a Jersey Boy name, along with equally popular Trenton -- these are two cases where the names are more attractive than the places that inspired them.
Meaning:"round; or, barrel"
Description:Strong, ultramasculine, and modern, Cade shot up the popularity lists around the millenium—it was as high as Number 201 in 2001—along with cousins Caden and Cale, but has been in decline since. It's Like Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley, Melanie, and Beau; it was worn by a character in Gone With the Wind.
There's a Cade Skywalker in the Star Wars universe, and Keith Carradine named his now-grown son Cade.
Origin:Irish, variation of Cian
Description:A friendly Irish name chosen for one of her twin boys by Geena Davis.
Description:Biblical name Cain was, until recently, seldom heard outside of the Old Testament and soap operas. Although Cain's murderous actions will always make this name difficult for some, Cain, Eve and Adam's firstborn, was a farmer - making this a good choice for those with farming connections. Long outshone by Abel, Cain is starting to find a broader audience, helped along by homophones Kane or Caine.
Description:For a single-syllable Latino surname, this new popular kid on the block packs a lot of energy and charm and is one of the most stylish Spanish names for boys in general use today. Victoria and David Beckham named their third son Cruz, following Brooklyn and Romeo, and it was also picked up on by tennis star Lleyton Hewitt for his son. Other parents may prize its Christian associations.
Origin:English word name
Description:Crew is yet another word name that was added to the baby name lexicon when this one was chosen by The Young and the Restless star Joshua Morrow for his son. It debuted on the Top 1000 in 2010. We've also heard spelling variations Cru and Crue.
Description:Colt is the kind of unconventionally macho name that is so trendy right now, because of or in spite of its association with horses and guns.
Description:Callen is a unisex Gaelic name growing in popularity here. Its newfound trendiness is possibly related to the Chris O'Donnell character on "NCIS: Los Angeles", known only as G. Callen. Jazz musician Cal Tjader's full name is Callen.
Meaning:"follower of Christ"
Description:Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.
Meaning:"place with good clay"
Description:Almost fits into the wildly popular Jaden-Caden-Braden family -- but not quite; a possibility for parents who want a similar but more traditional name.
Description:Clement, the name of fourteen popes and several saints, has a pleasantly, positive, slightly antiquated feel, like the phrase "clement weather."
Meaning:"brave in battle"
Description:Casey is a name with a big wide grin, Irish, friendly, and open, and associated with several American folk heroes--Casey Jones, the engine driver of the Cannonball Express who gave his life to save his passengers, and the legendary Casey at the Bat.
Origin:Persian, variation of Gaspar
Meaning:"keeper of the treasure"
Description:After half a century, this otherwise feasible name has at last started to lose its link to the friendly ghost; it certainly didn't scare model Claudia Schiffer, who chose it for her son, as did Atomic Kitten Jenny Frost. Iconoclastic namer Jason Lee switched genders and called his daughter Casper. Also related to the revived Jasper, Caspar seems headed towards the path to a similar resurgence.
Origin:Spelling variation of place-name Cairo
Description:Varying the spelling of an established name or word to substitute a k for a c has become more and more kommon, oops, common. Some parents feel that using a different spelling makes the name more of a name and less of a place or a word. Kairo may seem to lend itself particularly well to this practice given that the K spelling turns the first syllable into the stylish name Kai. But we prefer the more authentic Kai or Cairo.
Origin:Spelling variation of Caius, Latin
Description:Kaius is a K-ization of the Latin Caius, the name of an ancient poet, introduced by style maven Rachel Zoe. Nickname Kai makes the variation make sense....almost.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Caden is a key member of the rhyming contingent that dates all the similar sounding Cadens, Jadens, Braedons, and Aidans as part of a millennial megatrend.
Origin:German variation of Charles
Description:This no-nonsense German variation of Charles is strong and still well used, but lacks much sensitivity or subtlety; the Latin forms have far more energy.
Origin:Spelling variation of Caleb
Meaning:"devotion to God"
Description:Kaleb is one of several boys' names starting with k that started life as a classic C name, Caleb. Kevin Federline named his boy Kaleb Michael Jackson.
Description:Corbin, the name of the castle where the Holy Grail was said to be hidden, came to the fore in the 1980s via actor Corbin Bernsen when he was the high profile star of LA Law, but its use is only now escalating as part of the mania for two-syllable names starting with c or k, as well as from the more youthful image of Corbin Bleu, the attractive actor-model-dancer-singer who was one of the stars of the Disney hit High School Musical.
Description:Exotic place-name possibility with upbeat o ending. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015.
Origin:Biblical place name
Description:Pronounced KAY-nan, this Old Testament place name has a strong modern feel. It was one of the fastest-rising names of 2015, breaking into the Top 1000.
Origin:Spelling variation of Caden
Description:A popular member of popular family: Kadin, Kaeden, Kaiden, and Kayden -- along with Caden, Caiden, and Cayden, as well as Cade and Kade.
Description:Cannon sits amongst other weapon names like Colt, Pistol, Lance, and Remington. Definitely a name that offers bombast.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cade
Description:Kade is a prime example of the new trend for substituting K's at the beginning of traditionally C-starting names.
Description:Calixto is known in Spain as the name of three popes, one of whom was the martyr, Callixtus I, regarded as a saint. Calixto has a lot of energy and futuristic spirit, thanks in part to the attention-grabbing 'x.' He is the main character in the Spanish classic, Fernando de Rojas's Tragicomedy of Calixto and Melibea.
Origin:English, diminutive of Coburn or Jacob or Jacoby
Description:Actor Coby Bell gives this short but sweet name a hefty amount of street cred. Can also be spelled Koby or Kobe, as in Kobe Bryant.
Origin:German and Scandinavian variation of Charles
Description:Manly almost to the point of macho.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cash, word name
Description:Even tackier (and without the musical tie-in) than the original Cash, but still a widely used choice.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:Cason's entire raison d'etre: It's a rhyming variation on the popular Jason, Mason and Brayson. Casen, Kasen and Kason also have crept into the Top 1000 in recent years.
Origin:Spelling variation of Carter
Meaning:"transporter of goods by cart"