American Names · Name Lists

Names Beginning with Cal

Do you want to honor a Cal in your life? Maybe you just love Cal as a nickname and want a formal version. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a long name list of names beginning with “Cal” to kickstart your baby name inspiration! I’ve ordered them from most popular to rarest based on publicly available data from the Social Security Administration, which publishes the previous year’s popular baby names every May (the latest data we have is from 2021). A few of the names don’t rank at all! If you’re looking for a classic or an undiscovered gem, you may find it here.

  • Caleb, a Biblical name that probably means “dog,” is the most popular “Cal” name. Current rank: #51.
  • Calvin – When people think of formal names for Cal, Calvin is probably the first name that comes to mind. A timeless name, Calvin has never been out of the U.S. Top 1000. Current rank: #145. \
  • Callie – Rank: #177. Other spellings include Calli (42 girls), Calleigh (36 girls), Cally (14 girls), Callee (13 girls), and Calley (7 girls).
  • Cali is a variation of Callie with summery California beach vibes. Current rank: #337.
  • Callan is an Irish surname baby name that might just be the new Ryan. It ranked #375, and variant Callen ranked at #458. Other spellings include Calen (43 boys) and Callyn (19 girls). 
  • Callum is an increasingly popular Scottish name derived from Columba, a saint’s name which means “dove.” Callum currently ranks #273, while variant Calum ranks #838.
  • Calliope – Rapidly rising Calliope comes to us from Greek Mythology, a major source of trendy baby names in the 2020s. Besides its origins and a beautiful sound, its 4 syllables give it a maximalist vibe. Current rank: #603.
  • Callahan is an Irish surname. Current rank: #659 for boys, but don’t be surprised if it eventually takes off for girls too. Alternative spellings include Calihan (40 boys, 6 girls) and Callaghan (25 boys, 5 girls).
  • Cal itself is a popular baby name, firmly fitting in with other rising vintage standalone nicknames like Millie and Charlie. Current rank: #876.
  • Calista – 137 girls. Additionally, 43 girls were named Callista, 8 girls received the spelling Calixta, and 6 were named Calysta.
  • Calla is a rare floral name related to lilies, making it a wonderful choice parents seeking flower names. 134 girls were named Calla at last count, and a few baby girls (just 9!) were named Cala.
  • Caliyah rhymes with Aaliyah, creating an intriguing pairing option for twins. 96 girls were named Caliyah in 2021.
  • Caleigh is an unusual spelling of Kaylee given to 84 girls in 2021. Calee and Calie (20 girls) are other versions, though they could also be versions of Callie depending on how parents say them. You can also find Caley, which was given to 10 girls, and Calii, which was given to 5 girls.
  • Calder falls firmly into the “last names as baby names” category! 80 boys were named Calder in 2021.
  • Calian looks like it could be a mash-up of Callan and Killian. 71 boys.
  • Calix is an English form of Calixtus or Callistus given to 54 boys. 18 boys were named Calyx, which I think is an even more stylish option with the ‘y.’
  • Calia – 51 girls. 40 girls were also name Caleah, 16 were named Callia, 15 were named Caliah, 12 named Caleigha, 10 Caleya, 7 Calea, 7 Caliya, and 6 Caleyah.
  • Calani appears to be an alternate spelling of the Hawaiian name Kalani or a unique spelling of Kehlani, which is a pop musician’s name. 49 girls were given this spelling, and 11 were named Caloni.
  • Caliana looks like a maximalist version of Cali, Callie, or Kaylee. 48 girls were given this spelling, another 18 were named Calianna, and 5 were called Calliana.
  • Calloway – Fans of Cab Calloway and surnames as baby names are sure to love Calloway! A unisex option, 47 boys and 7 girls were named Calloway in 2021. Callaway is a gender-neutral spelling that was given to 41 girls and 41 boys that year.
  • Calina was given to 33 girls. 5 girls were named Caleena, additionally.
  • Cale can be short for Caleb or a variation on Kale. 33 boys.
  • Calynn is a form of Kaylin given to 25 girls. Another 9 girls were named Calyn
  • Calogero is an Italian name given to 22 boys.
  • Caliber is trendy (if rare) because it belongs to the same category of gun-related baby names as Remington, Colt, and Gunner. Of course, there’s always the possibility someone had an out-of-world experience at a Caliber Collision center. 20 boys and 6 girls were named Caliber in 2021.
  • Calil appears to be a variation of Khalil. It was given to 18 boys. Other variations are Caliel (8 boys) and Caleel (6 boys).
  • Calypso – An ultra-rare girls’ name from Greek Mythology, Calypso also has musical associations via the Caribbean music genre. 17 girls were named Calypso in 2021.
  • Calayah could be a variation of Caliyah or Malaya. Either way, it’s absolutely beautiful! 16 girls were named Calayah, while 15 girls were called Calaya.
  • Caleesi is an uncommon spelling of Khaleesi that was given to 13 girls.
  • Calise – I imagine this rhymes with Elise, not Alice. 13 girls.
  • Calissa looks like a name mash of Melissa and Calista. It was given to 12 girls.
  • Calais – 11 boys, 6 girls. Calais is a place in France that belonged to the English for centuries. As a boys’ name, Calais ties into Greek Mythology. It’s also the name of a football player, Calais Campbell.
  • Calcifer – 10 boys. Calcifer is the name of the demon in Howl’s Moving Castle.
  • Caledon appears to be a masculine form of Caledonia (see below). A possible namesake here is Caledon “Cal” Hockley, Rose’s jerk fiance in the Titanic. 10 boys.
  • Calel looks like a variation of Kal-El, i.e. Superman. 10 boys.
  • Caliann – This could be a variation of Kaylee-Ann or Callie-Ann, and I’m not sure how to pronounce it. 10 girls.
  • California is pretty self-explanatory. 10 girls.
  • Calixto is a form of Calixtus or Callistus given to 10 boys.
  • Caled – Could this be a typo of Caleb? 9 boys.
  • Caladin – I think Caladin is a variation of Kaladin, which is a Brandon Sanderson character’s name given to 80 boys. Caladin was given to 7 boys.
  • Caldwell is a surname baby name. 7 boys.
  • Calhoun is a surname baby name. 7 boys were named Calhoun in 2021, and I sincerely hope none of them have John C. Calhoun as their intended namesake.
  • Calvary is a gender-neutral option for parents who want to reference the site of the Crucifixion. 7 girls and 7 boys were named Calvary in 2021.
  • Caledonia is the old Latin name for Scotland. It was given to 6 girls in 2021.
  • Calliejo is a double-barrel first name that probably looks like Callie-Jo on paper! 6 girls.
  • Callisto has two different origins. The men’s version is related to Callistus, while the women’s version is from Greek Mythology. Either way, the apparent result is a gender-neutral baby name! 6 girls and 6 boys were named Callisto in 2021.
  • Calila looks like a feminine form of Khalil and, ergo, a variation of Khalila. 5 girls.
  • Callidora, which means “beautiful gift” in Greek, was given to 5 girls in 2021. I recently included this name in a longer list of names ending in “Dora.”
  • Callister appears to be a short form of McAllister. 5 boys.
  • Calvert is strongly associated with colonial Maryland, and today there’s even a Calvert County. 5 boys.
  • Calabash is a type of gourd that would make an intriguing option for parents who love baby names from nature and plants.
  • Calamity offers Western and Neo-Cowboy vibes thanks to Calamity Jane, who’s kind of a less famous Annie Oakley.
  • Calanthe is a rare flower name for orchids that derives from Greek words meaning “beautiful” and “flower.” Calanthia is a longer version. 
  • Calfuray is a rare flower name of Mapuche origin associated with violets or purple-colored flowers.
  • Calgary fits in with place name baby names.
  • Caligula – I don’t recommend naming your child Caligula, but it’s a great pet name!
  • Calm could be a fantastic virtue name.
  • Calpurnia is an Ancient Roman name that sometimes pops up in literature. The most recent namesake is a children’s book character called Calpurnia Tate.
  • Calrose – I think this is a brand of rice, but it works surprisingly well as a baby name!

There are a few other names that include “Cal” in the middle of the name. Some highlights from the 2021 data-set include Lyrical, Accalia, Deucalion, and Macallan.

Do you have a favorite name beginning with Cal? Is there another name you think I should add to this list? Let me know!

4 thoughts on “Names Beginning with Cal

  1. Callum has been growing on me for a few years now. I would probably never use Calix (even assuming I lived in an Anglophone country), but I like its Latin meaning of “chalice” and thus the Christian connotation.
    For a girl I really like Calanthia, Callista and Calliope. Caledonia is very tempting too.
    I recently came across Calandra (which I assumed would be from the Greek kalos “beautiful” and aner “man” though no idea if I was actually right) and thought it was really nice as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calandra is gorgeous! Having taken Ancient Greek, I’m inclined to agree with your assessment of its meaning at first glance (indeed, some other sites reference a variation of that translation). That said, it looks like the usual origin/reference is an Italian word of Greek origin referring to a type of lark. In English, there’s a bird called the Calandra lark. I wonder if the Greek name for the bird originated in the literal “beautiful man” translation?

      Liked by 1 person

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