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Updated February 20, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

  • Old English: Cart driver

What does Carter mean and stand for?

 This first name is related to the Gaelic word cairt meaning cart, and ultimately from the Latin carettarius. Additionally, in Gaelic, the word "cairtear" means tourist or sojourner.

Syllables: 2

Boy name variations

How Popular Is The Name Carter

Family name origins & meanings

  • English: occupational name for a transporter of goods, Middle English cartere, from an agent derivative of Middle English cart(e) or from Anglo-Norman French car(e)tier, a derivative of Old French caret (see Cartier). The Old French word coalesced with the earlier Middle English word cart(e) ‘cart’, which is from either Old Norse kartr or Old English cræt, both of which, like the Late Latin word, was probably originally derived from Celtic.
  • Northern Irish: reduced form of McCarter.


Famous people with this last name


According to Social Security Administration data, Carter has been one of the most popular boy names of the last century, rising steadily in popularity since 2000. Carter held a spot in the top 30 from 2014 to 2019, where it started to decline slightly.

However, it is the 37th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years, Carter was at its peak popularity from August 11-17th, 2019.

Carter has been popular for almost two decades. The name is attached to famous television characters on both Gossip Girl and The OC. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred for Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. Its popularity may be due in part to celebs like Carter Jenkins, Carter Smith, and Carter Cruise.

Where is it Popular?

Carter was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Carter

  • Carr

Pairs well with these middle names

Appears on

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