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Carter Name Meaning – What Does The Name Carter Mean?

What does the name Carter Mean? In this quick guide, we will explore the origin, history, popularity, and meaning of the name Carter. Let's get started.

What does the name Carter Mean? In this quick guide, we will explore the origin, history, popularity, and meaning of the name Carter. 

Let’s get started. 

Meaning of The Name Carter

The name Carter has been around for many centuries, originally derived from an occupational surname meaning “one who transports goods by cart.” It is also thought to originate from the Old English word cearret, which means “wagon or cart.”

Alternatively, it could also be derived from Gaelic càirdean, meaning “professionals” or from the Old French carreau meaning “wagon maker.” Today the name is used as either a first name for boys or a surname for families of any gender.

Carter entered popular culture in the mid-1900s when the American military labeled its missile transporters as Carters and U.S. President Jimmy Carter won Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work on bringing peace between Israel and Egypt in 1979 when he was president.

The name has since become increasingly popular, particularly as a first name given to boys due to its strong associations with heroics and leadership. The meaning of Carter means someone who transports goods by cart or wagon-maker and is often used as an alternative spelling of the more common name Charles.

The traditional gender associated with this name is male, but more recently both genders have begun using it for their children’s names (particularly with creative spellings like Carver).

Its popularity peaked around 2019 as one of top 50 baby boy names in United States according to Social Security Administration records — further proof that this modern take on an old-school classic continues to be embraced by new parents today!

History and Origin of The Name Carter

The name Carter is English in origin and traditionally a surname, derived from the occupational name ‘Carter’ meaning one who transports goods with a cart. The word ‘cart’ itself stems from the Old Norse word kertr, meaning to turn.

During the medieval period, carters were popular in England, transporting goods by riding around the countryside on horseback or in ox-drawn carts. However, not all carters were simply menial laborers; some also served as important officials in medieval Latin or Greek-speaking Europe.

In addition, there are several possible spellings of this name: Carrera and Cartar being two examples. The variant Karter is also found in those areas of southern Europe where cart-type transportation was (and is still) common.

While this spelling has been recorded for several centuries now, it appears to have become more common and accepted over time.

In modern times, the surname Carter can be found both as an English surname and as a given first name throughout much of Britain and North America.

Some people may assume that it derives from an Irish heritage due to its similarity to other popular Irish surnames but it does not appear to be connected with them at all.

Gender of The Name Carter

The name Carter is typically a masculine name; however, it can be used for both genders. Carter is an English name derived from the Middle English surname, which itself comes from the Old French word cartera, meaning “cart maker.”

In more modern times, the name has become popular as a unisex given name in the United Kingdom and United States.

Carter was originally used as a boys’ name in America in the late 19th century but has seen greater usage as girls’ name since the early 2000s. It is currently a top 100 girls’ names in occasionally appears on lists of girl’s names in other English-speaking countries such as Australia and New Zealand. As far back as 1927, there are records of an American girl named Carter being born in Flushing New York City.

Carter is an increasingly popular given name for boys also. The variations of Carter became popular among males after multiple celebrity parents named their sons this moniker beginning with actor Billy Ray Cyrus choosing it for his son born in 1992 before reusing it for his daughter born in 2000.

Other parents adding to this surge include musician Kanye West and reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West who chose the female variant North West for their daughter born 2012; music producer Mark Ronson whose son was born 2014; and Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine whose daughter was born 2017.

Popularity of The Name Carter

The popularity of the name Carter has been relatively consistent over recent years. Most notably, it was the 145th most popular male name in the United States in 2020, up from 174th in 2019. It is currently 2,695th in the UK, up from 3,109th in 2015.

The original meaning of the name comes from Old English and means “one who uses a cart,” as a form of transportation or occupation.

Over time, this meaning has changed to describe someone who is responsible and reliable – like an Assistant Cart Driver! The name has become more popular due to its connection with prominent families like those of former U.S Presidents James and Jimmy Carter.

Despite its relatively commonality, those with the name Carter still seems to be directly associated with responsibility and dependability – characteristics that are always seemingly desired by parents when naming their children.

The namesake also carries a certain sense of importance and commitment to public service – no doubt attributes that could surely benefit any child looking ahead into their life journey!

Variations of The Name Carter

The name Carter has been derived from an English occupational name which in turn is derived from “carre”, meaning cart driver or wagon driver. This name was popularized as a surname and was first seen as a given name in the 19th century.

The following variations of the name have also gained popularity over the years:

  • Karter – A spelling variant of Carter
  • Carta – A shortened version of carter
  • Cartel – An innovative form derived from the multiple modern surnames beginning with “Cart” such as Carty, Cartier and Cartwright.
  • Cartwright – An inventive form that has been used since the 18th century. It is derived from “cart”, meaning vehicle, and ultimately “wryhta” meaning maker or driver.

Famous People Named Carter in History

The name Carter has long been associated with influential individuals throughout history. Here are some people who have made their mark on the world with the name Carter.

  1. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), was a pioneering African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of Black History Month. He was a noted administrator at Howard University and he encouraged more attention to African American culture through his research and educational initiatives.
  2. John Carter (1627-1709), was a Welsh Member of Parliament who represented Pembrokeshire in four Parliaments during the last decades of his life. He supported religious toleration in Wales during a period of flux when persecuted Nonconformists were seeking recognition from Anglican authorities.
  3. Rosalynn Carter (born 1927) is an American former first lady, human rights advocate and prominent political figure who served as the wife of President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. She is renowned for her work on mental health awareness issues and she created the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving at Georgia Southwestern State University with its mission to increase caregiver well-being through services, research and education initiatives that promote learning across generations.
  4. Steve Carter (born 1968) is an American politician who is currently serving as Lieutenant Governor of Indiana under Governor Eric Holcomb since 2017 . Prior to this, he served in the Indiana General Assembly representing District 24 from 2002 to 2014 before being appointed Chief Counsel to then-Governor Mike Pence in 2014 until being elected lieutenant governor in 2016 .

Pronunciation of The Name Carter

The name Carter can be pronounced differently depending on region and origin of the family. The most common pronunciation of the name Carter is “kar-ter”. This pronunciation is found among families of American, Irish, and Scottish origin, with some variation in spelling found in each dialect.

The alternate pronounciation of “cart-er” is also seen and heard in some regions and among certain family lines.

Numerology of The Name Carter

In numerology, the numerological value of the name Carter is determined by its individual letter energies, vibrational patterns and other factors. To understand the true meaning of the name Carter, one must look into these elements.

The letter ‘C’ stands for creativity and new ideas as it is associated with wisdom and intelligence. The letter ‘A’ represents balance and harmony as it is connected to great calmness of mind. It enables one to achieve a peaceful state of mind in life.

The letter ‘R’ symbolizes progress and success because it represents ambition, drive, and determination to reach higher goals in life. The letter ‘T’ stands for giving something of value back to society or others as it strongly conveys a sense of responsibility to people or situations around us.

Finally, the letter ‘E’ symbolizes stability and being responsible which often translates into hard work and dedication required for a positive outcome in any given task or situation.

When taken together, these five elements make up the foundation of what makes up Carter – creativity combined with balancing forces such as intelligence, ambition, insightfulness, perseverance and responsibility make this an ideal name choice if these are qualities you intend to bring out in your child’s personality!

Frequently Asked Questions About The Name Carter

The name Carter is derived from the Old English word carter, meaning one who transports goods by cart or wagon. It has grown in popularity as a first name and has been given to boys more than girls since the 1880s. Carter is currently in the top 200 most popular baby names for boys in the US.

Common questions about this name include:

What Does Carter Mean?

The name Carter is derived from the Old English word carter, meaning one who transports goods by cart or wagon.

Where Does The Name Carter Come From?

The name comes from an Old English word which originated around 1000 AD. In those days, many people worked as carts or transport merchants, making the term “carter” a common one to describe them.

Is Carter a Good Baby Name?

Each parent must make their own decision regarding a baby’s name. However, thanks to its multiple associations with nature, strength and tradition – combined with its American roots – many view it as an attractive choice when selecting a baby’s first name.


The name Carter is a strong, traditional name that can represent personalities ranging from the ambitious and driven to the hard-working but laid back. Known for loyalty, strength, and intelligence, Carters can take on any challenge life throws their way.

Whether you are named Carter or your own children have been given this name, it is important to recognize how special and unique it is.

With its long standing tradition in various cultures around the world, there is sure to be a place in which your name will continue to live on for years to come.


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Housam is a content marketing expert with a knack for writing articles. He loves to name and nickname things creatively, so much so that he started a blog in which he writes about names and their meanings. He is also an avid reader, the dad of two wonderful dogs, and a full-time RV traveler with no definite destination.

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