Boy Names That Can Start with a C or a K

Boy Names That Can Start with a C or a K

Many names for boys (and girls too) can start with either a C or a K. The C and K spellings have become basically interchangeable. Typically, the K spelling is the variation, although that is not always the case. Names such as Cai and Cale have spawned from Kai and Kale. In some cases, both spellings are equally legitimate, such as with Cillian and Killian, or Caspar and Kaspar.

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.

  1. Kai
    • Origin:

      Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "sea"
    • Description:

      Kai is an internationally flexible name with many possible origins and meanings, growing in popularity in the US and a diverse range of European countries.
  2. Callum
    • Origin:

      Scottish form of Columba, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Callum, a charming Scottish name high on the list in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is rising through the ranks in the US now too. And it comes complete with the easy nickname Cal.
  3. Caius
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "rejoice"
    • 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.
  4. Caleb
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "dog; whole heart"
    • Description:

      Caleb is an attractive Old Testament name that has been in the US Top 100 for nearly three decades now. Consistently popular but never too popular, Caleb feels more like a classic than a momentary trend.
  5. Cillian
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "war strife or church"
    • Description:

      Cillian is one of the native Irish names that, along with Aiden and Declan, is becoming an unlikely favorite in contemporary America. The Killian spelling has been more popular in the US, but Cillian's star is rising, perhaps thanks to Irish actor Cillian Murphy, star of Oppenheimer and Peaky Blinders.
  6. Calvin
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bald, hairless"
    • 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.
  7. Cole
    • Origin:

      English
    • 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.
  8. Cameron
    • Origin:

      Scottish surname
    • Meaning:

      "crooked nose"
    • Description:

      With its friendly, sensitive, and approachable feel, Cameron is a 90’s favorite that remains popular today. It has a pleasing balance of soft and strong sounds, and holds unisex appeal, thanks to Cameron Diaz. Still, ten times more boys than girls are named Cameron in the US.
  9. Cooper
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "barrel maker"
    • 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.
  10. Christopher
    • 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."
  11. Cade
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "round; or, barrel"
    • Description:

      Strong, ultramasculine, and modern, Cade shot up the popularity lists around the millennium—it was as high as Number 201 in 2001—along with cousins Caden and Cale, and has drifted along in the middle of the US Top 1000 ever since.
  12. Carson
    • Origin:

      English and Scottish surname
    • 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.

  13. Kian
    • Origin:

      Irish; Persian
    • Meaning:

      "ancient; king"
    • Description:

      A friendly Irish and Persian name chosen by Geena Davis for one of her twin boys, whose father is Iranian.
  14. Killian
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "war strife or church"
    • 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. Kylian is another spelling that's gaining traction, thanks to French soccer star Kylian Mbappé. Possible downsides: an unsavory first syllable and a connection to the trendy brew.
  15. Carter
    • Origin:

      English occupational name
    • Meaning:

      "transporter of goods by cart"
    • Description:

      Carter has ranked in the Top 100 since the the turn of the millennium, but despite its recent popularity, it's not a trendy new name. In fact, Carter is one of those names that just misses ranking in the US Top 1000 for its entire 140+ year history.
  16. Crew
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "a band or force of armed men"
    • 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.
  17. Casey
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • 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.
  18. Cian
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "ancient"
    • 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.
  19. Cato
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "all-knowing"
    • 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.
  20. Colton
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "from the coal or dark town"
    • Description:

      Colton is a trendy two-syllable choice, with the popular 'on/en' ending.