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Carter Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Carter Overview

  • Meaning: Carter means a person who makes or drives carts.
  • Gender: Carter is a unisex name.
  • Origin: Carter originates from the Anglo-Saxon surname. Carter is a common surname in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • Pronunciation: “KART-er”
  • Popularity: Carter is a popular name in the United States, especially for boys. As of today, it is in the top 40 most popular boys’ names in the country.
  • Nicknames: Cara, Carr, Cart, Cartie, Cary, Cat, Catty, Cee-Cee, CiCi, Karty, Tart, Tee, and Terri.
  • Variations: Cartere, Cartier, Cartrell, Carty, Karter, MacArthur, McArthur, McCarter, and McCarthy.
  • Namesakes: Carter G. Woodson, American historian and founder of Black History Month.

What Does Carter Mean?

Carter is a charming and timeless name. The name Carter means someone who drives or builds carts or wagons (1). This type of name is referred to as an occupational name.

Carter originally started as an Anglo-Saxon surname but eventually gained popularity as a given name. The name Carter can be used to honor a family surname or simply as an aesthetically pleasing first name.

This name evokes style, balance, and stability. While the name itself is quite old, its usage as a first name is more recent, making it a nice balance between a traditional and modern name.

What is the Origin of the Name Carter?

The name Carter comes from an Anglo-Saxon surname that refers to people who drive or make carts. Records for the surname can be traced as far back as the thirteenth century.

Carter spread as a surname throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland. This surname is also common among Black Americans, as many enslaved ancestors adopted the name from English slave owners. Many Black Americans also have the last name Carter due to the prevalence of relationships between Black people and Irish immigrants during the nineteenth century.

The name became more common as a given name in the United States following the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

How Popular is the Name Carter?

The name Carter has been relatively popular for the last one hundred years. Carter became steadily more common in the United States starting in the 1980s. The name has been rising in popularity in the last two decades, reaching a peak in 2017 as the twenty-fourth most popular boy’s name in the country (2).

As of today, Carter is still a well-liked name that is frequently used for newborn babies. It remains in the top 40 most popular names for boys in the United States.

How Do I Pronounce Carter?

Carter is pronounced KART-er. When spoken aloud the name should rhyme with the word martyr.

Is Carter a Boy or Girl Name?

Carter is a gender-neutral name. Since it originates from a surname, any baby could receive the name in honor of their family history. Although Carter is currently more popular as a boy’s name, it ranks in the 500th place for girls’ names.

Variations of Carter

There are several variations of the name Carter. Some variations of Carter include:

  • Cartere (English)
  • Cartier (English)
  • Cartrell (English)
  • Carty (Irish)
  • Karter (American)
  • MacArthur (Scottish)
  • McArthur (Celtic)
  • McCarter (Irish)
  • McCarthy (Irish)

Nicknames for Carter

If you are looking for a good nickname for Carter, you have several cute options.

Nickname ideas for Carter include:

  • Art
  • Arter
  • Artie
  • Arty
  • Car
  • Cara
  • Carr
  • Cart
  • Cartie
  • Cary
  • Cat
  • Catty
  • Cee-Cee
  • CiCi
  • Karty
  • Tart
  • Tee
  • Terri
  • Terrie
  • Terry

Similar Names to Carter

If you are interested in finding a similar name to Carter, try thinking of names that have a similar sound and aesthetic.

Examples of similar names to Carter include:

  • Cardew
  • Cardon
  • Careington
  • Carey
  • Carleigh
  • Carlene
  • Carlo
  • Carlyle
  • Carmello
  • Carmen
  • Carmin
  • Carpenter
  • Caroll
  • Carroll
  • Carson
  • Carston
  • Cartland
  • Cartwell
  • Carwell
  • Carwyn

Middle Names for Carter

Many middle names go well with Carter. Some of the best middle names for Carter are short, creative names.

Examples of middle names for Carter include:

Sibling Names for Carter

Various names work well as sibling names for Carter. If you are looking for inspiration, try thinking of classic surnames that can also be used as first names. Most of these names are unisex, making them flexible for use with any new sibling.

Some sibling names for Carter include:

Famous People Named Carter

There are various famous people with the name Carter. One of the most well-known people named Carter is Carter Woodson, the renowned American historian. He was one of the first people to conduct a scholarly study of the African diaspora and Black American history.

Other famous people named Carter are:

  • Carter Beauford: American drummer.
  • Carter Blackburn: American sportscaster.
  • Carter Braxton: Signer of the American Declaration of Independence.
  • Carter Burwell: American composer.
  • Carter Camp: Activist leader of the American Indian Movement.
  • Carter Coughlin: American football player.
  • Carter Jenkins: American actor.
  • Carter Revard: American poet.
  • Carter Stanley: American bluegrass musician.

Carter in Popular Culture

The name Carter has also been frequently used in works of fiction. Examples of the name Carter in popular culture include:

  • Carter: Character in the tv show “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
  • Carter Grayson: Character in the show “Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue.”
  • Carter Mason: Character in the movie “The Princess Protection Program.”
  • Carter Pewterschmidt: Character in the show “Family Guy.”
  • Peggy Carter: Character from the Marvel movie “Captain America.”

Carter FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Carter.

What Is the Biblical Meaning of the Name Carter?

Carter is not a biblical boy’s name and has no biblical meaning. The name Carter comes from the surname Carter. Carter as a surname is prominent in Christian-dominant cultures such as England and Ireland.

Is Carter a Strong Name?

Carter is a strong and confident name. The meaning (a person who drives or makes carts) evokes a tough, blue-collar image. The name Carter also has a history of strength and perseverance, serving as a common surname for Black American families.

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