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Cole Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Cole Overview

  • Meaning: “Charcoal” or “of a swarthy appearance.”
  • Gender: Cole is traditionally a name for boys.
  • Origin: Old English.
  • Pronunciation: “KOHL” and rhymes with “pole.”
  • Popularity: Fairly popular, ranking inside the top 200 most common baby boy names in the US.
  • Nicknames: Coco, J Cole, and Cola.
  • Variations: Col, Koel, Kohl, Kol, Kole.
  • Namesakes: Cole Sprouse, Cole Anthony, Cole Escola.

What Does Cole Mean?

Cole is a name that means coal or charcoal, as it was usually given to people who had swarthy appearances in Old England (1). In addition, Cole also has a Greek meaning of “victory of the people.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Cole?

The name Cole originated as a surname. It was used among the Old English, likely to denote profession or appearance.

The name eventually became popular as a given name though it is still in use as a surname as well.

How Popular Is the Name Cole?

Cole is a fairly popular name, ranking in the top 200 most common baby boy names in the United States every year of the 21st century (2).

In 2021, Cole was ranked the 132nd most popular baby boy name. In 2002 and 2003, the name hit its highest rank at number 69.

Since 2011, the name has been dropping a bit in popularity, but it remains fairly popular.

How Do I Pronounce Cole?

The proper pronunciation of the name is KOHL.

Is Cole a Boy or Girl Name?

Cole is primarily a boy’s name. The surname was obviously passed to people of all genders, but when it became a first name, it was reserved for boys specifically.

Variations of Cole

It is not very common to see variations of the name Cole, likely due to its short and simple nature. But there are occasional variations, and here are some of the most popular:

  • Col
  • Koel
  • Kohl
  • Kol
  • Kole

Nicknames for Cole

If you’re thinking of naming your sweet baby boy Cole, then you’re probably already dreaming of what fun, cute, and silly nicknames you’ll be able to call him when you’re playing.

We know it’s important to find nicknames that are fun for your babies, and Cole is actually quite a difficult name to make short nicknames of, so we’ve compiled a list of generally funny nicknames here as well:

  • C
  • CC
  • Coal Miner
  • Coco
  • Cola
  • Coleman
  • Coles
  • Coleslaw
  • Coley
  • Colon
  • Colt
  • Hot Coals
  • J Cole
  • Koala

Similar Names to Cole

If you’ve ever met someone named Cole that you really disliked, or if your best friend already named their child Cole, then you’ll probably be hoping to stay away from that specific name.

In that case, we have made a list for you of names that look or sound or feel similar to the name Cole but are still different. Try one of these out instead:

  • Cody
  • Colby
  • Coleman
  • Colin
  • Colorado
  • Colson
  • Colt
  • Colten
  • Colter
  • Conan
  • Connor
  • Conrad
  • Cooper
  • Corbin
  • Cordae
  • Cornelius
  • Cory
  • Kobe
  • Kyle
  • Kurt

Middle Names for Cole

We understand how important it can be to find the exact right middle name for your baby. Cole is a unique and interesting name, and it deserves a unique and interesting middle name to go with it. Check out some of our favorite options:

  • Cole Alexander
  • Cole Asher
  • Cole Benjamin
  • Cole Daniel
  • Cole Douglas
  • Cole Everett
  • Cole Ezra
  • Cole Finley
  • Cole Gabriel
  • Cole George
  • Cole Harrison
  • Cole Henry
  • Cole James
  • Cole Mitchell
  • Cole Philip
  • Cole Peter
  • Cole Robert
  • Cole Tatum
  • Cole Wesley
  • Cole William

Sibling Names for Cole

If you already have a sweet baby Cole of your own, then maybe you’re looking for the perfect sibling name to go along with his. In that case, look no further:

For a brother:

  • Cole and Blake
  • Cole and Clayton
  • Cole and Donovan
  • Cole and Dylan
  • Cole and Graham
  • Cole and Griffin
  • Cole and Jude
  • Cole and Julian
  • Cole and Keiran
  • Cole and Levi
  • Cole and Logan
  • Cole and Milo
  • Cole and Reid
  • Cole and Ryan
  • Cole and Troy
  • Cole and Tucker
  • Cole and Tyler
  • Cole and Wyatt
  • Cole and Wesley
  • Cole and Zane

For a sister:

  • Cole and Aubrey
  • Cole and Ava
  • Cole and Bailey
  • Cole and Chloe
  • Cole and Claire
  • Cole and Evie
  • Cole and Gemma
  • Cole and Ivy
  • Cole and Jocelyn
  • Cole and Kayla
  • Cole and Lola
  • Cole and Madelyn
  • Cole and Marley
  • Cole and Mia
  • Cole and Piper
  • Cole and Riley
  • Cole and Sarah
  • Cole and Sawyer
  • Cole and Sophie
  • Cole and Veronica

Famous People Named Cole

Here are some of the most notable famous people named Cole:

  • Cole Anthony: An American basketball player.
  • Cole Escola: An American comedian and actor.
  • Cole Hauser: An American actor.
  • Cole Holcomb: An American football player.
  • Cole Sprouse: An American actor and the twin brother of Dylan Sprouse.

Cole in Popular Culture

There are also some notable Coles in popular culture. Here are some of them:

  • Cole Cash: The alter ego of Grifter in the DC Comics.
  • Cole: A character in the “Lego Ninjago” franchise.
  • Cole Deschanel: A character in the soap opera TV series “Sunset Beach.”
  • Cole Howard: A character in the soap opera TV Series “The Young and the Restless.”
  • Cole Thornhart: A character in the TV Series “One Life to Live” and “General Hospital.”

Cole FAQs

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about the name Cole.

Is Cole a First or Last Name?

Cole is both a first and a last name. It can be used as either, and there are many instances of both. There are currently more than 230,000 people in the United States with the last name Cole and almost 17,000 people with the first name Cole.

Is Cole a Viking Name?

Cole can be considered to be derived from the Old Norse name Koli which was a name that was based on the word for coal at the time.

Is Cole Short for Something?

There are some instances where Cole could be seen as a short form of Nicolas.

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