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Calvin Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Calvin including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Calvin Overview

  • Meaning: Calvin means “bald” or “hairless” or “little bald one.”
  • Gender: Calvin is a boy’s name.
  • Origin: Calvin is of Latin and French origins.
  • Pronunciation: “KAL-vin”
  • Popularity: Calvin is #145 on the top baby boy names list.
  • Nicknames: Cal, Callie, Cally, Vin, Vinnie, and Vinny.
  • Variations: Calven, Calvenn, Callven, Callvenn, Callvin, Callvinn, Callvon, Callvyn, Calvon, Kalvin, Kalvon.
  • Namesakes: Calvin Coolidge, Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., Calvin Harris, Calvin Klein, Calvin Mooers, Calvin Trillin.

What Does Calvin Mean?

Calvin means “hairless” or “bald” or “little bald one.” The name was originally given to priests because of John Calvin’s influence, giving this name a spiritual connection.

What Is the Origin of the Name Calvin?

Calvin is of Latin and French origins. The French word “chauve” translates to mean “bald.” It used to be predominantly a French surname from the 17th century spelled as Cauvin, where “chauve” originates from (1).

Calvin was originally a surname in France because of John Calvin, the notable French theologian responsible for the Protestant Reformation. He famously created Calvinism and the idea of predestination. Calvin was born with the name Jehan Cauvin, French for the English form, John Calvin (2).

Throughout England and Wales, the first recorded births for Calvin as a given name were 15 babies in the 1840s. The name did not hit over 100 births in a decade for either country until the 1940s when 196 babies named Calvin were born. By the 1960s, there were 670 babies with names throughout these countries.

How Popular Is the Name Calvin?

Calvin is #145 as of 2021 on the Social Security Administration’s top baby boy names list. Since 2016, the name has consistently remained within the 140s. Its highest-ranking year was 1924 at #42 (3).

The name Calvin first hit the American list in 1900 at #163. Calvin’s most popular years in the top 100 were from 1923 to 1928. Ever since it has bobbed and weaved between the 100s to 200s.

How Do I Pronounce Calvin?

The most popular pronunciation for Calvin is “KAL-vin.” Others prefer to pronounce the name as “KAL-vuhn.”

Is Calvin a Boy or Girl Name?

Calvin is historically a boy’s name. However, you can also use Calvin as a girl’s name if you feel this better fits your little one. As a girl name, Calvin ranks in the 16,000s amongst popular female names.

Variations of Calvin

Calvin’s two different pronunciations allow for many spelling variations with multiple l’s or n’s for a unique flair. Some name variations that we liked for Calvin are:

  • Calven (Old Welsh)
  • Calvenn (Old Welsh)
  • Callven (Old Welsh)
  • Callvenn (Old Welsh)
  • Callvin (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Callvinn (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Callvon (French)
  • Callvyn (Latin)
  • Calvon (French)
  • Kalvin (Latin)
  • Kalvon (Latin)

Nicknames for Calvin

Calvin might not be the longest name, but it provides no shortage of nicknames. Here are a few that we loved:

  • Cal
  • Callie
  • Cally
  • Vin
  • Vinnie
  • Vinny

Similar Names to Calvin

Calvin may be on your baby name considerations list, but you could still be exploring more options. You may be surprised how many names there are similar to Calvin such as:

Middle Names for Calvin

Calvin is a longer name that pairs well with shorter middle names. These are the middle names for Calvin that we liked the most:

Sibling Names for Calvin

Maybe you have a child named Calvin already. If so, look below for some of the sibling names that we like for Calvin:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Calvin

Because of Calvin’s popularity, there are many celebrities with this given name. Some famous people named Calvin are:

  • Calvin Coolidge: 30th President of the United States of America.
  • Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.: American rapper, commonly known as Snoop Dogg.
  • Calvin Harris: American DJ, producer, singer, and songwriter.
  • Calvin Klein: American entrepreneur and fashion designer of the Calvin Klein clothing line.
  • Calvin Mooers: American computer scientist.
  • Calvin Trillin: American journalist.

Calvin Popular Culture

Due to its enduring popularity, Calvin has many pop culture references. Here are a few you might recognize:

  • Calvin: Six-year-old boy and title character of the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strips written by Bill Waterson; featured in newspapers from the 1980s to 1990s.
  • Calvin: Seventeen-year-old male and title character of the novel “Calvin” written by Martine Leavitt.
  • Calvin Cambridge: Main protagonist in the movie franchise “Like Mike.”
  • Calvin Candie: Character in the film “Django Unchained”; owner of the fourth largest cotton plantation in 1900s Mississippi, which he called Candyland.
  • Calvin O’Keefe: Character in the two live-action movies called “A Wrinkle In Time.”
  • Calvin Valentine: Character from the British soap opera “Hollyoaks.”

Calvin FAQs

If you still have questions about the name Calvin, we may have some answers. Check out this list we compiled below.

What Is the Short Form of Calvin?

Cal is the short form of Calvin. It would make a great given name or nickname for your little one, depending on the final name you choose for your baby.

Is Calvin a Scottish Name?

Calvin may have Scottish roots because of Scotland and France’s close relationship because of the Auld Alliance. Even though France practiced Protestantism and Scotland is of the Catholic religion, they worked together well.

How Do I Spell Calvin in Greek?

Spell Calvin in Greek by writing Καλβίνος. If you have Greek roots, you may appreciate this spelling if you bring your little one to Greece and want to teach them their ethnic language.

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