Carter Name Meaning

Carter is an English name meaning “cart user.” Once uncommon in use, he’s risen to become a favorite among American parents.

Carter covers a lot of bases when it comes to trends. Like Carson and Lucas, he has the edgy surname feel parents are loving. He also has the hardworking roots of an occupational name like Mason or Cooper. To complete the trifecta, he’s also a unisex name, though more common among boys that girls. For history lovers, Carter has the added bonus of being a presidential name, as he’s the surname of President Jimmy Carter.

Carter has an upscale feel like Preston or Parker yet manages to avoid feeling pretentious or out of reach. He’s a popular choice on the playground but doesn’t feel as trendy as other names on the scene. He’s in his own unique realm of funky fresh, keeping things cool with his smooth sound and effortless appeal.

While the name is relatively new in popularity stateside, Carter ages well from childhood and beyond. He doesn’t feel juvenile in any way and wears well on professionals and students alike.

A less popular alternative spelling of the name is Karter and similar names include Carson, Connor, and Thatcher.

Infographic of Carter name meaning, which is A name of English origin, Carter means cart user.
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Carter Name Popularity

How popular is the name Carter? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 0 0%
1911 0 0%
1912 624 16 0.0032%
1913 1,106 5 0.0009%
1914 589 38 0.0055%
1915 685 39 0.0043%
1916 633 51 0.0053%
1917 645 52 0.0052%
1918 673 50 0.0047%
1919 604 65 0.0062%
1920 638 62 0.0056%
1921 838 31 0.0027%
1922 708 50 0.0045%
1923 791 36 0.0032%
1924 613 73 0.0063%
1925 711 46 0.0041%
1926 724 43 0.0039%
1927 741 41 0.0037%
1928 797 33 0.0031%
1929 783 32 0.0031%
1930 904 22 0.0021%
1931 719 37 0.0037%
1932 891 20 0.002%
1933 714 35 0.0038%
1934 633 52 0.0054%
1935 633 52 0.0054%
1936 657 42 0.0044%
1937 665 43 0.0044%
1938 562 72 0.007%
1939 749 30 0.0029%
1940 821 25 0.0024%
1941 661 47 0.0042%
1942 712 46 0.0036%
1943 584 76 0.0058%
1944 559 80 0.0065%
1945 553 77 0.0063%
1946 545 97 0.0066%
1947 530 121 0.0072%
1948 576 93 0.0058%
1949 522 122 0.0076%
1950 538 116 0.0072%
1951 531 123 0.0073%
1952 614 84 0.0048%
1953 572 113 0.0064%
1954 551 130 0.0071%
1955 617 101 0.0055%
1956 559 137 0.0073%
1957 710 68 0.0035%
1958 635 100 0.0053%
1959 667 90 0.0047%
1960 671 88 0.0046%
1961 713 72 0.0038%
1962 701 76 0.0041%
1963 659 96 0.0053%
1964 685 82 0.0047%
1965 733 59 0.0036%
1966 740 55 0.0035%
1967 653 88 0.0058%
1968 692 70 0.0047%
1969 659 101 0.0066%
1970 659 103 0.0065%
1971 644 119 0.0079%
1972 664 99 0.0073%
1973 783 59 0.0046%
1974 760 69 0.0053%
1975 670 104 0.0081%
1976 666 104 0.0081%
1977 876 53 0.0039%
1978 1,207 20 0.0015%
1979 1,282 19 0.0013%
1980 996 40 0.0027%
1981 957 46 0.0031%
1982 834 69 0.0046%
1983 924 49 0.0033%
1984 781 78 0.0052%
1985 691 112 0.0074%
1986 701 117 0.0078%
1987 639 155 0.0102%
1988 583 206 0.0132%
1989 561 255 0.0158%
1990 571 272 0.0164%
1991 487 370 0.0227%
1992 444 455 0.0285%
1993 419 513 0.0329%
1994 424 504 0.0328%
1995 286 894 0.0593%
1996 243 1,199 0.0801%
1997 204 1,523 0.103%
1998 187 1,785 0.1193%
1999 179 1,938 0.1294%
2000 152 2,547 0.1667%
2001 111 3,430 0.2276%
2002 107 3,473 0.2318%
2003 102 4,171 0.2742%
2004 89 5,003 0.3282%
2005 77 5,899 0.3858%
2006 75 6,431 0.4107%
2007 80 6,100 0.3866%
2008 65 7,062 0.4569%
2009 50 8,167 0.5464%
2010 48 8,152 0.5657%
2011 41 8,596 0.6033%
2012 36 9,258 0.6497%
2013 33 9,569 0.6721%
2014 27 10,671 0.7324%
2015 24 10,771 0.7403%
2016 26 10,168 0.7052%
2017 24 9,753 0.6988%
2018 24 9,312 0.6778%
2019 30 8,631 0.6376%
2020 34 7,386 0.5803%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Carter

If you like Carter, you’ll love these other names like Carter.


What names are diminutives of Carter?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Carter sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Carter, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Art

A diminutive form of Arthur.

Irish

Arte

Celtic

Artie

Follower of the goddess Artemis

Greek

Carr

From the swampy place.

Scandinavian


What names are variants of Carter?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Carter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Cartere

Drives a cart

English

Cartier

One who transports goods

English

Cartrell

One who transports goods

English


What names sound like Carter?

If you like how Carter sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Carter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Carl

A variant form of Charles.

German

Carlisle

Fort at Luguvalium

English

Carlo

Free man

Spanish

Carlos

Free man

Spanish

Carlton

Free peasant settlement

English

Carmelo

Orchard;, garden

Italian

Carmen

Song

Latin

Carmine

Song

Latin

Carsan

Son of the marsh-dwellers

Scottish

Carsen

Son of the marsh-dwellers

Scottish

Carson

Son of Carr

Scottish

Carsten
Carsyn

Alternate Spelling of Carson

American

Cartland

From the land between the streams

English

Carver

One who carves wood

English

Carville

Kári settlement

French

Carwyn

Love, fair, blessed

Welsh

Karl

Free man

German

Karsten

A variant form of Christian.


What names are similar to Carter?

Find a name that’s like Carter, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Caleb

Whole heart

Hebrew

Cameron

Crooked nose

Scottish

Conner

Dog lover

Irish

Cooper

Barrel maker

English

Dylan

Great tide

Welsh

Jackson

Son of Jack

English

Landon

Long hill

English

Marshall

Caretaker of horses

English

Mason

Stoneworker

English

Ryan

Little king

Irish


Lists With Carter

Find inspiration in these baby boy name lists featuring the name Carter.


Siblings of Carter

Mamas with kids named Carter also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Harvey

Battle ready

English

Delaney

From the alder grove

English

Sawyer

Wood Cutter

English

Cohen

Priest

Hebrew

Kate

Pure

English

12 Comments

  1. I just like the way it sounds, it’s simple enough, won’t be complicated to spell and goes with pretty much any middle name and last name.

  2. Carter is my Dad’s name and I always thought it was unique and different!

  3. I just loved the name!

  4. I actually named my daughter Karter and it’s unique but it’s also has a special meaning it’s my mother’s last name and since my mom only has girls and girl granddaughter I thought it would be a honor to give her that name

  5. Carter was a very strong name and I chose this name for him because no one in the family was named carter. I wanted him to have something different from everyone so he has something for himself to carry on in his life.

  6. I just really liked the name and since I was having such a hard time deciding on a name, that is what I chose…I just think its super cute/sweet and it really fits him perfectly…plus his daddy and all of our family really like it too so thats a bonus…?

  7. Me and his dad loved the name

  8. We just loved how it sounded with our very long last name. It also went along well with our daughter’s name, Kate.

  9. He was born premature and carter was a name his daddy always wanted to name his first baby

  10. I wanted something different and don’t know many people who have the name Carter so it’s unique. I find it to be a very strong name

  11. Strong Surname for a first name

  12. We loved Johnny Cash and June Carter, so we chose Carter for our first baby boy!


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