About the name Carter

About the baby name Carter, at Click Baby Names.com

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If you like the name Carter, find out the meaning, origin, nicknames, variations and other information to help you decide if you want to use this first name for your baby.
Name meaning, variations & etymology

Carter’s Charm: A classic Celtic choice

Carter is a name that combines historical depth with contemporary appeal. Its steady rise in popularity reflects its versatility and modern charm.

Whether you’re drawn to its sound, its celebrity associations, or its global variations, Carter offers a robust choice for your child’s name.

As you decide, remember to consider how the name fits with your last name and potential middle names.

And most importantly, choose a name that resonates with you and your family’s identity. Carter, with its blend of tradition and modernity, might just be the perfect fit.

Pronunciation of the name

Pronouncing Carter is straightforward, with an emphasis on the first syllable: CAR-ter.

It’s a two-syllable name, rhyming with ‘smarter.’

Occasionally, it might be mispronounced as ‘Car-TER,’ but this is less common.

Origin of the name

The name Carter has a rich and multifaceted history. Its roots can be traced back to Irish, Scottish, and English origins.

The name is predominantly an occupational one, originally given to those who transported goods by cart or wagon. This origin is Celtic in derivation, stemming from the Latin word ‘carettarius’ and the Gaelic word ‘cairt,’ meaning cart.

In Gaelic, ‘cairtear’ also refers to a tourist or sojourner, adding another layer to the name’s background.

The name Carter is also linked to various Gaelic derivations. For instance, the English reduced form of the Irish and Scottish Gaelic ‘McCarter’ or the Scottish-Gaelic ‘Mac Artair’ translates to ‘son of Artair.’

Moreover, the Anglicized forms of the Irish ‘Mac Artúir,’ ‘Cuirtéir,’ or ‘Ó Cuirtéir’ also evolved into Carter. The Anglo-Normans who settled in Ireland assimilated into Irish culture, adopting the local customs, language, and religion.

This cultural blend contributed to the evolution and spread of the name Carter in various forms​​.

Popularity of the name

Carter has experienced a notable rise in popularity as a first name, especially in the United States.

While its history as a surname dates back several centuries, its usage as a given name has surged in recent decades.

The name has seen a steady climb in the ranks, particularly from the late 20th century onwards.

In the United States, Carter’s popularity has been remarkable. As of 2022, it ranked 47th for boys and 550th for girls.

This trend shows a significant preference for the name among boys. Looking at the recent past, Carter reached its peak popularity in 2016 and 2017, ranking 26th and 24th respectively for boys.

Since the early 2000s, the name has consistently been within the top 100 names, reflecting its strong and growing appeal among parents in the U.S.

Carter’s popularity isn’t confined to the United States. It has also achieved notable rankings in other English-speaking countries.

In 2022, it was ranked 79th in Australia (New South Wales), 28th in New Zealand, and 69th in England and Wales as of 2021.

In Canada, it reached its peak popularity in 2019, ranking 35th.

These rankings illustrate Carter’s international appeal and its status as a fashionable choice for boys in various parts of the English-speaking world​​​​​​.

Celebrities with the name

The name Carter has been embraced by various notable personalities, each adding to its appeal:

  • Carter Jenkins — An American actor known for his roles in TV shows like “Surface” and movies like “Valentine’s Day.”
  • Carter Beauford — The drummer for the Dave Matthews Band, recognized for his intricate rhythms and jazz influences.
  • Carter Reynolds — A social media personality who gained fame on the Vine platform.
  • Carter Oosterhouse — A television personality known for his expertise in home improvement and design.
  • Carter Burwell — An accomplished composer, renowned for his film scores, including many for Coen brothers’ films.
  • Carter Williams — A professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer, known for his competitive spirit in the ring.

Nicknames and variations

Carter offers a variety of nicknames and variations, catering to different preferences. Some common nicknames include:

  • Cart — A short and snappy variant.
  • Art — Offering a creative twist.
  • Arty — A playful and artistic nickname.

Popular variations and modern spellings of Carter include:

  • Karter — A K-spelling variant adding a modern touch.
  • Cartier — A French-inspired twist, echoing the luxury brand.
  • Cartere — A unique spelling that maintains the original pronunciation.
  • Cartér — A Spanish variant.

For those seeking a more unique twist, you might consider spellings like:

  • Cartr — Simplified spelling for a minimalist feel.
  • Cartar — A distinctive twist on the traditional name.

Carter also has gender-neutral appeal, making it a versatile choice for any child.

Similar names

If you’re considering names like Carter, here are some that share its sound or style:

  • Carson — Shares the ‘Car-‘ prefix with a similar modern feel.
  • Parker — Another surname-turned-first-name with a similar rhythm.
  • Harper — A unisex name that echoes Carter’s contemporary style.
  • Garrett — Contains a similar cadence and ending.
  • Carver — Shares the ‘Car-‘ beginning and occupational origin.


baby Name length

6 letters (popular name length)

See related baby names

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