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Unique Names Starting With C

CordeliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin; Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "heart; daughter of the sea"
  • Description:

    Cordelia, the name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, has style and substance, and is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name that many parents are seeking today. If you're torn between Cordelia and the equally lovely Cora, you can always choose Cordelia for long and then call her Cora for short—or Delia, Lia, Del, or even the extremely different Cordie. Cordelia is a Nameberry favorite—Number 106 on the site—and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after a 60+ year absence.

CassianHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, variation of Cassius
  • Meaning:

    "hollow"
  • Description:

    Cassian is a saints' and Latin clan name, related to Cassius, that is virtually unused and waiting to be discovered.

CosmoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, Italian, English
  • Meaning:

    "order, beauty"
  • Description:

    We all heard it on Seinfeld as the long-concealed first name of Kramer, then considered a punchline. Now some pioneering parents are embracing this expansive Greek name, which makes a creative and cool choice for a baby. Influential celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost chose it for their son, born in 2021, which will likely drive Cosmo up in popularity. In the UK, it currently ranks within the Top 1000 boy names and is trending upwards.

CasperHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch form of Jasper, Persian
  • Meaning:

    "bringer of treasure"
  • Description:

    This ancient name, also spelled Caspar, is finally shedding its ghostly image and moving into the 21st century. Popular in the Netherlands and Scandinavia, where it's sometimes shortened to Cas, Casper could ride the style coattails of cousin Jasper. Casper was one of the Three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus along with Melchior and Balthasar.

CloverHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Old English
  • Meaning:

    "key"
  • Description:

    Clover is a charming, perky choice if you want to move beyond hothouse blooms like Rose and Lily, and it's recently become a new celeb favorite, chosen by both Neal McDonough and Natasha Gregson Wagner, who used it to honor her mother, Natalie Wood, one of whose most iconic films was Inside Daisy Clover.

CaiusHeart

  • 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. Caius is currently Number 164 on Nameberry.

ClaudiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Claude
  • Meaning:

    "lame; enclosure"
  • Description:

    A classic name with a hint of ancient Roman splendor that has never been truly in or truly out, Claudia still feels like a strong, modern choice — one of our "sweet spot" names.

CaoimheHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish, Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful"
  • Description:

    Caoimhe, pronounced (more properly) kwee-va or kee-va, is a pretty and distinctive Gaelic name but one that could well lead to no end of confusion outside the Irish community. Even in its native habitat, it is sometimes spelled Keeva.

CasimirHeart

  • Origin:

    Polish and Slavic
  • Meaning:

    "destroyer of peace"
  • Description:

    Casimir, a traditional name of Polish kings, could do quite well these days as we see the rise of Caspian, Cassius, Castiel, et. al. Like Leopold and Laszlo, Casimir is strong and worth considering if you've got an adventurous streak — and bet your son will too.

CormacHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "charioteer"
  • Description:

    Both offbeat and upbeat, this evocative traditional Irish name that runs through Celtic mythology is known here via award-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy (born Charles). The author's adopted name is related to Cormac Mac Airt, one of the great legendary high kings of Ireland.

CassiopeiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    Cassiopeia, the name of a mythological mother who became a stellar constellation, is challenging but intriguing, and has all those softening Cass nicknames available. With the rise of other otherworldly and mythical choices, from Apollo to Jupiter to Juno, Cassiopeia may just feel more possible for mortals now than ever before in its long history.

CassiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "cinnamon"
  • Description:

    Cassia is related to the cassia tree, which has yellow flowers and produces a spice that can be a substitute for cinnamon. Keziah, the name of Job’s daughter in the Old Testament, derives from the name of the plant as well. Cassia also has ties to the Ancient Roman name Cassius, an Ancient Roman family name meaning "hollow."

CianHeart

  • 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.

CalypsoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "she who hides"
  • Description:

    This hyper-rhythmic name has two evocative references. In Greek mythology, she was an island nymph, a daughter of Atlas, who delayed Odysseus from returning home. It is also a genre of West Indian music, originating in Trinidad and Tobago and largely popularized in the States by Harry Belafonte.

ConstanceHeart

  • Origin:

    English version of Latin Constantia
  • Meaning:

    "steadfastness"
  • Description:

    Constance is one of the more subtle of the virtue baby names, but still has quite a prim and proper image. One impediment to its revival has been the decidedly dated nickname Connie, though modern parents might well opt for using the strong and dignified name in full.

CressidaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "gold"
  • Description:

    Cressida is a pretty mythological and Shakespearean heroine name much better known in Britain than it is here — an imbalance the adventurous baby namer might want to correct. For although the Trojan heroine of that name in the tale told by Boccaccio, then Chaucer, then Shakespeare, didn't have the greatest reputation — she was faithless to Troilus and broke his heart — the name today sounds fresh, crisp and creative.

CosimaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian feminine variation of Cosmo, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "order, beauty"
  • Description:

    Cosima, the kind of elegant and unusual name the British upper classes love to use for their daughters, will almost certainly come into wider use here after being chosen by two high-profile celebs in the same month; cool couple Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars as well as supermodel Claudia Schiffer. It was used earlier by celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, while the male form, Cosimo, was given to the son of Marissa Ribisi and Beck.

ChesterHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fortress, walled town,"
  • Description:

    Chester is a comfortable, little-used teddy-bear of a name that suddenly sounds both quirky and cuddly.

CocoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and French pet name
  • Description:

    Coco came to prominence as the nickname of the legendary French designer Chanel (born Gabrielle) and has lately become a starbaby favorite, initially chosen by Courteney Cox for her daughter Coco Riley in 2004. At first it was the kind of name that the press loves to ridicule, but we predict Coco's heading for more broad acceptance and even popularity.

CalixHeart

  • Origin:

    Male variation of Calixta or Latin
  • Meaning:

    "chalice"
  • Description:

    Calix derives from the Latin word for chalice, calyx, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek word kálux, meaning “husk” or “pod.” It is also considered a diminutive of Calixtus, a variation of the Late Roman name Callistus meaning “most beautiful.” Calyx can also be spelled Calyx, as in the funnel or chalice-shaped part of a flower.

CirceHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    In Greek myth, Circe, daughter of Helios, the sun, was a sorceress living on the island of Aeaea, who could turn men into animals with her magic wand, which is just what she did to Odysseus's crew in Homer's Odyssey, transforming them into swine. All was forgiven, however, as Circe and Odysseus later had a child together—Telegonus. The name and legend have appeared in countless forms, from a section of James Joyce's Ulysses to short stories by Julio Cortazar to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to films to DC comics to a dance by Martha Graham. So is Circe's seductive legend too powerful for a modern little girl to carry? Your call.

CecilyHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Cecil
  • Meaning:

    "blind"
  • Description:

    Cecily is as dainty as a lace handkerchief. Cecily has a wide assortment of namesakes. One Cecily was the mother of King Richard III, whose beauty gained her the title "the Rose of Raby," Cecily Parsley is a Beatrix Potter bunny, Cecily Cardew is a character in The Importance of Being Earnest, and the author of the Gossip Girl books is Cecily von Ziegesar.

ChiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "light, clear"
  • Description:

    Chiara is a lovely and romantic Italian name that's familiar but not widely used here: a real winner. You might consider Chiara instead of Claire, Clara, Cara, or even Keira.

CelestiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Celeste, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "heavenly"
  • Description:

    Celestia is a heavenly name that sounds more ethereal than Celeste, Celestia might make a distinctive, feminine choice if your taste runs toward names like Angelina and Seraphina.

CorneliusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "horn"
  • Description:

    Cornelius, the New Testament name of a third century Pope and saint, is one of those venerable Latin names on the edge of consideration, despite the corny nickname alert.

CosetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French literary nickname
  • Meaning:

    "little thing"
  • Description:

    Cosette is best known as the heroine of Les Miserables. In the Victor Hugo novel, Cosette was the nickname given to the girl named Euphrasie by her mother. Although Hugo invented the name, some etymologists believe it's a spin on Colette, originally a female short form of Nicolas.

CatoHeart

  • 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.

CedarHeart

  • Origin:

    English and French from Latin tree name
  • Meaning:

    "cedar tree"
  • Description:

    Cedar is, like Ash, Oak, Pine and Ebony, one of the new tree/wood names that parents are starting to consider; this one is particularly aromatic.

CaelHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "slender"
  • Description:

    Cael is the name of the angel of the zodiac sign of Cancer and also of a warrior of Irish mythology. Its ascendance to the Top 1000 over the past decade probably has to do with its similarity to Cale and Kale (and Kyle and Cayden etcetera).

ConstantineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "steadfast"
  • Description:

    This Roman Emperor's name has long been considered too grand for an American boy. But in this era of children named Augustine and Atticus, it just may be prime for an unlikely comeback.

ClementHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "mild, merciful"
  • Description:

    Clement, the name of fourteen popes and several saints, has a pleasantly, positive, slightly antiquated feel, like the phrase "clement weather."

ClioHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "glory"
  • Description:

    Clio is the name of the ancient Greek mythological muse of history and heroic poetry, one that is rich with modern charm and would make an intriguing choice, especially thanks to its dynamic o-ending. Unlike the sound-alike Cleo, which brings up visions of Cleopatra, Clio is very much a stand-alone name.

ChadHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "battle warrior"
  • Description:

    Despite all the "hanging," "dangling," and "pregnant" chad jokes of the 2000 election, this saint's name and remnant of the Brad-Tad era didn't get a boost in popularity. But Chad still holds some surfer-boy appeal for a number of modern parents.

CyraHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sun or throne, or lord"
  • Description:

    Cyra is an unusual name that can be pronounced either SEER-a or CY-ra. This name may be a feminine variation of Cyrus but is also a Persian name that stands on its own. One noted bearer is writer Cyra McFadden.

CalistaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "most beautiful"
  • Description:

    Spelled with either one 'l' or two, Calista came to the fore in 1997 when Calista Flockhart hit it big as Ally McBeal. Flockhart, who bears her mother's middle name, didn't just introduce a name, she introduced a whole sensibility. Pretty and delicate, Calista is definitely worthy of consideration, especially for parents with Greek roots.

CallaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful"
  • Description:

    Calla is a lily name that is much more distinctive and delicate than Lily. Rarely heard today, it did appear in the popularity lists in the last decades of the nineteenth century.

CerysHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "love"
  • Description:

    Common name in Wales that's all but unknown in the U.S. Certainly an attractive choice ripe for export. In the UK it sits at Number 330.

CaelanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "slender"
  • Description:

    An Anglicized form of Caolán

CiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Ciara is very popular in Ireland, more familiar here as the Anglicized Kiera or Keira. The uninitiated will tend to pronounce Ciara as the Italian Chiara, a form of Claire—kee-AHR-a or even see-AHR-a, like the American singer-songwriter Ciara. In the US, Ciara peaked in 2005, when it was the Number 150 name; it's since fallen down to Number 882.

ClaudeHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lame; enclosure"
  • Description:

    Claude is a soft-spoken French name that conjures up the pastel colors of Monet and harmonies of Debussy. In France, it is used for girls as well, in fact in the Tracy Chevalier novel Lady and the Unicorn, the protagonist is a female Claude.

CliveHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "lives near a high cliff"
  • Description:

    Clive used to be stereotyped as a clipped British name in a pith helmet and pencil-thin moustache, as in English military hero Clive of India--but this image has been turned on its ear by hunky Clive Owen.

CasparHeart

  • 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.

CorneliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Cornelius, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "horn"
  • Description:

    In ancient Rome, Cornelia was considered the paragon of womanly virtue, making it a handsome name with an excellent pedigree. It's rare today, so if you want a name no one else is using, somewhat reminiscent of Amelia and the Shakespearean Cordelia, Cornelia should be on your list. Cornelia's short forms might include Cora, Nelia or Nell--anything but Corny.

CyrilHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "lordly"
  • Description:

    A British-accented Greek name with an intellectual image that has been off the U.S. charts since 1966, but was a Top 300 name at the turn of the last century.

CeridwenHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "beautiful as a poem"
  • Description:

    Celtic goddess of poetry, though less-than-poetic name.

CherryHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    With other fruity names like Clementine, Olive and Plum ripe for the picking, sweet Cherry remains remarkably underused: just 27 baby girls received the name in 2017, down from 343 at its peak in 1948. The unsavory slang meaning no doubt goes a long way towards explaining its fall from grace.

CrispinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "curly-haired"
  • Description:

    Crispin, which was introduced into the mainstream by actor Crispin Glover and which means "curly-haired" in Latin, has an image very much like its first syllable: crisp, autumnal, and colorful.

CastorHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pious one"
  • Description:

    Forget the oil. It's one of the twins that make up the constellation Gemini, and a mythological name on the cutting-edge of fashion; used by Metallica's James Hetfield.

CoralieHeart

  • Origin:

    French from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "coral"
  • Description:

    Coralie is a French name not often heard here, though she's gaining some recognition via Neil Gaiman's similar sounding spooky and lovely children's book, Coraline. Other literary appearances: Coralie is the stage name of an actress in Balzac's Lost Illusions, and a French girl in an 1850 Thackeray novel.

    Coralie is currently very popular in French-speaking Quebec, and there is a contemporary French singer named Coralie Clement.

CassieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Cassandra
  • Meaning:

    "prophetess"
  • Description:

    Though not much in use, still retains a cozy Little House on the Prairie-type pioneer feel.
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