Boy Names Starting With C
Boy names that begin with the letter C are the third most populous group by initial, following J and A. C names for boys have been dominated for decades by Christopher and Charles.
Along with Charles and Christopher, C names for boys in the US Top 100 include Carter, Caleb, Connor, and Christian. British parents prefer short form Charlie, which ranks among the Top 10 boys' names in England and Wales.
International forms of Charles are popular internationally, with Carl the top C name for boys in Germany and Carlos the highest-ranking in Spain.
But other C names for boys are popular around the world. Clement is the top-ranking C name for boys in France, while in Italy it's (surprisingly) Christian.
Unique C-starting names for your baby boy include many appealing choices that start with either the hard or the soft C sound, from Cassius to Cyrus, Clancy to Chance.
If you're looking for a classic, contemporary, or cool C name for your son, browse our entire collection here. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
Description:Cassius, a Shakespearean name rooted in antiquity, is coming into fashion in a major way. There were two notable Ancient Roman figures named Cassius. Cassius Dio wrote an 80-volume history of Rome. Gaius Cassius Longinus, a senator who led the assassination plot against Julius Caesar, is the main figure in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. In more modern times, Cassius Clay was an abolitionist and also the birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali. It was chosen for their sons by singer Bobby Brown and Getty heir/actor Balthazar Getty. Vanessa Marcil and Brian Austin Green used the nouveau Kassius spelling for theirs. With these namesakes, it's no surprise this name has become popular in recent years.
Description:One of the most romantic of appellations, as well as being a geographical name of the large salty sea between Asia and Europe that probably inspired C.S. Lewis to use it for the name of the hero of his children's novel, Prince Caspian, part of the Chronicles of Narnia series.
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.
Description:Very popular in the Iranian community, this name of the founder of the Persian Empire has had a more down-home, corncob pipe-smoking image for most Americans in the past, but this has begun to change.
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.
Origin:English, diminutive of Charles
Description:Charlie derives, of course, from the classic name Charles which, in turn, comes from a German word meaning "free man." Charles became very popular in France during the Middle Ages due to the fame of Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne. Charley is an alternate spelling.
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:Cedric was invented by Sir Walter Scott for the noble character of the hero's father in Ivanhoe, presumed to be an altered form of the Saxon name Cerdic. The name was later also given to Little Lord Fauntleroy, the long-haired, velvet-suited, and lace-collared boy hero of the Frances Hodgson Burnett book, who became an unwitting symbol of the pampered mama's boy.
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: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.
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.
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: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:Diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
Description:Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image--due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell-- and its c-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.
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.
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.
Description:Chase, with its sleek and ultraprosperous aura, is redolent of the worlds of high finance and international banking. Chase has been well used during the last few decades, seen as a character on 24 and on several young-audience shows.
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.
Origin:French from German
Meaning:"man, free man"
Description:Charles derives from the Germanic name Karl, meaning "man" or "freeman", and is a royal name in multiple European countries. A famous early bearer is Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Lombards and then Roman Emperor in the 8th-9th centuries. The word for “king” in several languages came from Charles, including Slavic, Russian, and Polish.
Meaning:"my cover is God"
Description:Castiel, which vaulted into the Top 1000 on the wings of the angel hero of the television show Supernatural, is the name of the Angel of the day Thursday. It may also derive some appeal from the newly-fashionable "Cas" syllable, as in Cassian and Cassius.
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.
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.
Description:Conrad has a somewhat intellectual masculine image, a solid name that has been consistently on the popularity lists, especially well used in the 1920s and 30s, and given a pop of rock energy by the Elvis-like character of Conrad Birdie in Bye, Bye, Birdie--("We love you Conrad, oh yes we do!").
Meaning:"scribe, secretary, cleric, scholar, clerk"
Description:Clark seemed to have been Gone with the Wind, but parents looking for a short, strong boy's name are now beginning to appreciate its cool combination of Gable charm with Superman power.
Meaning:"from the coal or dark town"
Description:Colton is a trendy two-syllable choice, with the popular 'on/en' ending.
Meaning:"lover of hounds"
Description:Connor, the appealing name of an early semi-legendary king of Ulster in Irish mythology, sits firmly in the Top 100 and taken together with its alternate spellings would rank even higher. In its native Ireland the Conor version is one of the highest charting boys’ name.
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: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.
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.
Origin:Spanish variation of Charles
Description:Notable namesakes include musician Santana, writers Fuentes and Castaneda, and numerous athletes. Carlos Irwin Estevez is the birth name of Charlie Sheen.
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: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.
Origin:Variation of Callum, Scottish form of Columba, Latin
Description:Calum is a form of the boy name Callum, popular in the British Isles and carrying a peaceful meaning.
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.
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:Dutch diminutive of Coenraad
Description:Like many short forms now popular as full names in the Netherlands, Coen—also spelled Koen—originated as the diminutive of the more old-fashioned Coenraad, the Dutch Conrad. May be confused in the US with Cohen, which stems from the Jewish surname designating a priest.
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.
Description:Cullen is an appealing Irish surname name that upped its cool factor considerably when it became the Twilight family name of Edward et al. It's considerably less popular than it was at its peak in 2010, but is still widely used.
Description:Callahan, the simpler spelling of Callaghan, is a rhythmic jig of a name whose history harks back to the ancient King of Munster. In the Dirty Harry movies, the Clint Eastwood character is Harry Callahan.
Meaning:"descendent of Cathalan"
Description:An Anglicized form of the Irish surname Ó Cathaláin. It's a highly popular name in Scotland.
Origin:Diminutive of Calvin
Description:A homey sitting-by-the fire-type nickname name.
Origin:English nickname for Christian, Christopher
Meaning:"one who carries Christ"
Description:Chris is a long-running nickname used almost equally for boys and girls. While past its prime, Chris stands out as sounding completely appropriate for both sexes, perhaps because of its widespread use as a short form of both the popular Christopher and Christine. Chris manages to retain its crisp appeal even though its fashion moment is over.
Description:Colby Donaldson on Survivor made this a cool name in the early 2000s
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.
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:Cohen is a common last name among Jews and a royal name in the Jewish religion, standing for someone who is the priest in a temple. Cohen is now gaining an unlikely following as a first name among people unaware of its religious heritage, possibly because of the character Seth on TV's The O.C. who was commonly called by his last name Cohen. While many may be attracted to the name's fresh, modern, strong sound, you should be aware that its use as a first name may be offensive to some on religious grounds. Forms Coen, Koen, Cowan, and other spellings may stem from different sources.
Origin:French occupational name
Description:For a generation, this name will always be linked to 1990s hit TV series Friends. Whether this is a positive or a negative will depend on your fondness for the show, and character Chandler Bing, but this name deserves consideration beyond these connotations: Chandler is a fresh take on the professional surname names.
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.