Girl Names Starting with C
The letter C has always been a fashionable way to start girls' names, with C among the most common first letters for baby girl names.
Regal Charlotte is the most popular C name for girls throughout the English-speaking world today. Along with Charlotte, other C names for girls ranking among the US Top 100 include Camila, Chloe, Claire, Caroline, and red-hot vintage girl name Cora.
In the UK, popular C names for girls also include Clara, Connie and Cleo, which all rank in the Top 200 baby names for girls in England and Wales. In Spain, the top C names for girls are Carla and Claudia, while in France, Camille is perennially popular and flower name Capucine is a quirky modern classic.
The cornucopia of choices that start with the letter C for a daughter includes modern unisex options like Charlie and Cameron, as well as uber-feminine picks like Coralie and Clementine. The letter C can be soft like in Cecilia or hard as in Coco.
Here, our comprehensive collection of girl names beginning with C. 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:In classical mythology, Cora—or Kore—was a euphemistic name of Persephone, goddess of fertility and the underworld. Kore was the name used when referencing her identity as the goddess of Spring, while Persephone referred to her role as queen of the Underworld. Cora gained popularity as a given name after James Fenimore Cooper used it as the name of his heroine, Cora Munro, in his 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans.
Description:Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.
Origin:French, feminine diminutive of Charles
Description:Charlotte is the feminine form of the male given name Charles. It derived from Charlot, a French diminutive of Charles meaning "little Charles," and the name of Charlemagne’s son in French literature and legend. The name was popularized by England's Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.
Origin:French feminine version of Clement, Latin
Description:Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that has finally broken back into the US Top 1000 after more than half a century off the list. Still, its style value may mean there are more Clementines than you might guess in your neighborhood—it may be a name that raises Mom's eyebrows, but it won't surprise your friends.
Origin:Feminine form of Cecil, Latin
Description:Cecilia is a feminine form of Cecil, which was derived from a Roman clan name related to the Latin caecus, meaning "blind." The martyred Saint Cecilia was designated the patron of musicians, either because she supposedly sang directly to God while the musicians played at her wedding, or because she sang to God as she was dying. The name was popularized in the Middle Ages as an homage to the Saint.
Description:Celeste is a softly pretty and somewhat quaint name with heavenly overtones, which kids might associate with Queen Celeste of Babar's elephant kingdom. She's a light and lovely choice that's finally getting noticed.
Meaning:"young green shoot"
Description:Chloe appeared in Greek mythology as an alternative name for the goddess of agriculture and fertility, Demeter. She was referred to as Chloe in the spring months, due to the name’s relation to sprouts and growth. Chloe is also mentioned in the New Testament as the name of a Greek Christian woman.
Origin:French form of Clara
Description:Claire is the French form of Clara, a feminine derivation of the Latin masculine name Clarus. The French word for "clear," Claire’s meaning, is clair, and was traditionally a male name. Now the spelling is used mainly for girls, along with Clare, and occasionally Klaire or Klare.
Origin:Greek mythology name
Description:Calliope is the name of the muse of epic poetry -- and also the musical instrument on the merry-go-round. Bold and creative, it would not be the easiest name for a girl lacking such qualities. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016. While Americans usually pronounce this name with a long I sound and the emphasis on the second syllables, Greeks pronounce it with the emphasis on the third syllable -- ka-lee-OH-pee.
Description:Cleo, one of the few girls' names to boast the cool-yet-lively o ending, is of course short for Cleopatra, the name of one of the most powerful women in history.
Origin:French, feminine variation of Charles
Description:Caroline is a perennial classic, in the Top 100 since 1994. Caroline is elegant, calling to mind the Kennedy Camelot years and Princess Caroline of Monaco.
Meaning:"moon goddess or, woman from Kynthos"
Description:Cynthia is an attractive name -- in classical mythology an epithet for Artemis or Diana -- that was so overexposed in the middle of the twentieth century, along with its nickname Cindy, that it fell into a period of benign neglect, but now is ripe for reconsideration in its full form.
Description:Catherine is one of the oldest and most consistently well-used girls’ names, with endless variations and nicknames. The Catherine form feels more gently old-fashioned and feminine than the more popular K versions. Most stylish nickname for Catherine right now: Kate...or Cate, a la Blanchett.
Origin:French, short form of Nicole, feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Like the French author with whom the name is most closely associated, Colette is a chic and charming name that is being rediscovered. After disappearing for nearly 30 years, Colette rejoined the Top 1000 in 2012 at Number 659 and has continued to rise since then.
Meaning:"shining or excelling man"
Description:The name of the tragic mythological Trojan princess who was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but was condemned never to be believed, Cassandra has been used for striking characters in movies and soap operas. Ethereal and delicate, Cassandra was in the Top 70 throughout the 1990s but is now descending in popularity.
Description:Celia, splendidly sleek and feminine, is a name that was scattered throughout Shakespeare and other Elizabethan literature, but still manages to feel totally modern.
Origin:French variation of Camilla,"young ceremonial attendant"
Meaning:"young ceremonial attendant"
Description:At one time just the sound of the name Camille could start people coughing, recalling the tragic Lady of the Camellias, the heroine played by Greta Garbo in the vintage film based on a Dumas story, but that image has faded, replaced by a sleek, chic, highly attractive one.
Origin:Diminutive of Charles or Charlotte
Description:Charlie is one of the friendly, tomboyish male nickname names--another is Sam-- now used almost as frequently for girls: in 2015, it ranked higher on the girls list than on the boys list for the first time. That makes Charlie one of the most popular unisex names around today. The name Charlie, for females, has been jumping up the charts since it reappeared, after a 50-year hibernation, in 2005.
Origin:Spanish variation of Carmel
Description:Carmen has long been associated with the sensuous, tragic heroine of Bizet's opera, based on a novel by Prosper Merimee; more recently it has called to mind two other bombshells: Carmen Miranda (born Maria) and Carmen Electra (born Tara), as well as the great jazz singer Carmen McRae. In the celebrity baby name world, this classic Spanish name for girls was used by Hilaria and Alec Baldwin for their daughter.
Description:Christina, a pretty and feminine, crystal clear classic, may be trending downward, but it's never out of style. Christina's short forms Chris, Christie, and Tina all seem dated—making the royal Christina best used in its full glory.
Meaning:"young ceremonial attendant"
Description:The Spanish Camila, pronounced ka-MEE-la, is the fastest rising version of this ancient Roman name, but recent royal Camilla may have helped promote the British brand. In Roman myth, Camilla was a swift-footed huntress so fast she could run over a field without bending a blade of grass.
Origin:French variation of Celeste
Description:French-Canadian singer Dion made us notice this variation. Although many parents would prefer the homonym Selene, which has a different derivation and means "moon," Celine has been a Top 1000 name every year since 2012, and was also on the list each year from 1994 to 2005. Celine is also a newly-chic French fashion label.
Origin:Spanish variation of Catherine
Description:This name of a touristed island in sight of Los Angeles makes an attractive and newly stylish variation on the classic Catherine or overused Caitlin.
Description:This Hallie-esque nickname name is starting to dip, while the sleeker, more nouveau Cali is rising.
Origin:Surname derived from Nicholas or Colin
Description:Collins is a surname name that has made the girls' Top 1000 thanks to its use for the daughter of the real-life Blind Side heroine. This derivation of the Greek Nicholas—which means "people of victory"—or the Irish and Scottish Colin—which may itself be a Nicholas derivation or an Anglicization of the word for pup—has a stylish feel made more so by that final s.
Origin:French variation of Greek Korinna
Description:Corinne is one of the names that, it might surprise you to learn, has never been off the US popularity charts. Its most popular year was 1926, when it ranked Number 249. Corinna is another pretty ancient form of the name, technically a diminutive.
Origin:Latin, Italian, Irish, Spanish, and Portuguese
Meaning:"dear; friend; face"
Description:Cara is a simple, sweet, Italian endearment that enjoyed its greatest popularity from the 1970s through the 1990s, reaching a high of Number 189 in 1977. Though the name has been on the decline in recent years, that could change soon due to the rising celebrity of English model/actress Cara Delevingne, who played Enchantress in Suicide Squad. Cara is a highly popular choice in Ireland.
Origin:Spanish variation of Camilla
Meaning:"young ceremonial attendant"
Description:The Spanish Camila, pronounced ka-MEE-la, is the fastest rising version of this ancient Roman name, but recent royal Camilla may have helped promote the British brand. In Roman myth, Camilla was a swift-footed huntress so fast she could run over a field without bending a blade of grass. Pop star Camila Cabello used her first name for her debut album.
Origin:Elaboration of Clara
Description:Clarissa, the daintier version of Claire, has a long literary history of its own, having been featured in the novels of Samuel Richardson, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf—Clarissa was the title character of Mrs. Dalloway—not to mention the 1990s teen sitcom, Clarissa Explains it All.
Origin:Diminutive of Coral
Description:Coraline may not be original to Neil Gaiman's wonderful book of the same name, but it might as well be. Gaiman's young heroine Coraline Jones is constantly called Caroline but as a name Coraline is more distinctive and has a more mysterious feel. The 2002 novel Coraline was made into a 2009 animated film voiced by Dakota Fanning and nominated for an Academy Award.
Origin:Flower name, from English surname
Description:Cataleya is the name of a genus of orchids that gained visibility as a baby name after it was used for the character played by Zoe Saldana in Colombiana. Part Caitlin, part Aaliyah, and part Leah, Cataleya is a trendy choice that just might transcend its momentary popularity. It is a spelling adaptation of Cattleya, named after the British horticulturalist William Cattley.
Description:Cecelia, with this spelling, got some recent attention as the name of Jim and Pam's baby on The Office -- and also the name of actress Jenna Fischer's newborn niece. A spelling variation of Cecilia that has a gently old-fashioned feel and several appealing short forms, including Celia, Celie, and, as on the TV show, Cece. Three times as many babies are given the Cecilia spelling as get the Cecelia one, though if you plan on calling your daughter Cece or Celia, Cecelia may feel like the more logical spelling.
Description:Has fallen off its Kathie Lee Gifford inspired peak in the 1990s, but since that notably celebrity baby is now a grownup and out of the limelight, Cassidy may once again reclaim its own Irish charm.
Meaning:"people of a different language"
Description:The name of a courageous tribe, Cheyenne became quite popular in the 1990s, inspiring a wide range of spelling variations—Shyanne is one example that's still on the rise.
Description:Cameron Diaz almost single-handedly transported this sophisticated Scottish male surname into the girls' camp, where it has had a rapid rise to popularity -- though it's never caught up with the boys. Another actress, Camryn Manheim (born Debra), did the same thing for the phonetic spelling.
Origin:Feminine diminutive of Carl
Description:Though a couple of its more "creative" spellings—Carli and Karlee, for example—are still on the rise, this feminine form of Carl, popularized by singer Carly Simon in the 1970s, could by no stretch be considered fashionable. Despite its decline, the name has still seen some use in the entertainment industry, from Nickelodeon's iCarly to Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen.
Origin:Italian place name
Description:Chosen by the late Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa for their youngest daughter, there is renewed interest in Italian isola name Capri.
Origin:Variation of Caroline; also place-name
Description:Languid, romantic, and classy, this variation heats up Caroline and modernizes Carol, adding a southern accent.
Description:Peaking at #9 in 1982, Crystal's popularity in the 70s and 80s stems from its sparkling natural namesake and several notable bearers, like country music singer Crystal Gayle and Dynasty character Krystle Carrington. But it has since lost some of its luster for American parents, now ranking in the mid-600s. Ruby, Gemma and Pearl are fashionable alternatives, but nowadays Crystal could actually be a more unexpected choice for your little gem.
Origin:London and New York place-name
Description:Chelsea is still being used, but it was much more popular a few decades ago--it peaked at Number 15 in 1992. Chelsea first entered the American consciousness in a major way via the character Jane Fonda played in On Golden Pond in 1981 and later of course was frequently in the headlines when Chelsea Clinton (whose name was inspired by the lyric of a the Joni-Mitchell-Judy Collins song "Chelsea Morning") became First Daughter.
Meaning:"dweller near the canal"
Description:Fans of the classic French designer would now more fashionably choose Coco.
Description:The musical word name Cadence, seemed to come out of nowhere to zoom up the charts; it rose over 700 spots between 2002 and 2004, and showed up in the Top 200 in 2007. It's gone down in the popular names list since then, though. Some might see it as a feminine relative of the popular Caden. Kadence and Kaydence are also rising.
Description:This is the original, more prosaic spelling, but the airier Claire now dominates.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"cart maker or driver"
Description:One of the surname names for boys on its way to becoming unisex, this name broke into the Top 1000 for the first time in 2013 for girls. While it sounds masculine to us, because of its two-syllable er-ending sound so trendy with boys’ names, many parents apparently disagree.
Origin:Variation of Caroline
Description:The phonetic Carolyn spelling, which was very popular from the 1920s to the '60s, has been steadily on the wane while Caroline herself has stayed strong.
Origin:French occupational name
Description:In the US, well over 200 girls were named Chandler in 2016, its first year on the girls' list since 2002. To us it is still inextricably tied to the Friends character, making it more masculine than it otherwise might be. But it's one of the trendy boy names for girls that's climbing the ladder.
Origin:Hebrew, feminine version of Chayyim meaning "life"
Description:A life-affirming choice—just beware pronunciation issues among the goyim in your neighborhood.
Origin:Spelling variation of Cameron
Description:This Cameron variation was popularized by actress Camryn Manheim and Twitches character Camryn. But why choose Camryn over Cameron? Most people know how to pronounce the original, which has considerably more style and class.
Origin:Variation of Charlie, short form of Charlotte or Charlene
Description:Variation of Charlie for those parents who are really looking to cut down on length. The Charli spelling may be most notable right now as the name of Tik-Tok star, dancer Charli D'Amelio.
Origin:Diminutive of any Cal- name
Description:A short form that can stand on its own, though not all that steadily.