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Cole Name Meaning – What Does The Name Cole Mean?

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

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

Let’s get started. 

Meaning of The Name Cole

The name Cole has origins in several languages and is thought to hold a different meaning in each one. In Old English, Cole means “swarthy” or “dark-haired”. In French, it can mean both “love” or “ charcoal-burner”.

In Gaelic, the name has the meaning of ‘victorious people’. It can also mean ‘to coil’ or ‘coal black’ in Hebrew and Arabic respectively.

Cole is commonly used as a male given name, but is unisex in some instances. The name was popularized by American folk singer Neil Diamond’s hit song ” Sweet Caroline”. Other famous figures that have the first name of Cole include Cole Porter (American composer) and Cole Thomas (professional golfer).

The origin of the name originates from multiple backgrounds: Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Norman and Old French roots all have a hand in its origin and make this an enduringly popular choice for parents today.

History and Origin of The Name Cole

The name Cole is rooted in the Old English name “Ceola,” which means “swarthy,” or “black,” in British Isles, or Celtic languages; and it later developed into the modern version, “Cole.” The name itself has become most common across many countries including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

The first recordings of the surname Cole began to be seen in England during the 12th century; one of the earliest recorded examples is Richard Coly from Suffolk in 1181. It quickly spread throughout England, appearing as far south as Cornwall and Devon by 1273. Early variants of Cole include Cola, Coel, Coola and Cokel.

One possible source of variation comes from medieval diminutives; for example Awdry Colas was derived from a shortened form of Nico’las for an individual named Nicholas.

Other possibilities include religious origins such as St Coloy becoming corrupt over time to sound like Cole; or occupational connections where those referred to were makers of charcoal or coalers.

Gender of The Name Cole

The gender associated with the name Cole is traditionally male. While it has more recently been used as a unisex name, it is primarily considered masculine.

Cole is derived from the nickname “Coleman” which in Old English (Anglo-Saxon days) meant “coal miner” or “charcoal burner”, although over time its meaning has changed to reflect something strong and powerful, such as a warior.

It has also been used to refer to someone who liked to spend time outdoors and enjoyed nature.

Cole can be short for the given names Nicholas, Colleen and Coleman, which are all traditionally male names in English-speaking countries; however many modern parents are giving the name Cole to both boys and girls.

The spelling Coles or Koles may also be seen occasionally, suggesting Hebrew origins from the ancient term kol meaning voice or greeting.

Whether you are looking for a traditional masculine name for your son or an updated unisex variation of a classic name for your little one, Cole could be an excellent choice!

Popularity of The Name Cole

The name Cole is a common name and has been increasing in popularity over the last decade. Currently, it is ranked as the #96 most popular name for boys in the United States. Additionally, it is popular internationally as well, ranking in the top 500 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland and Scotland.

The origin of the name Cole is thought to come from either a Germanic origin meaning “swarthy or dark” or an Old Norse origin meaning “victory of the people”. According to BabyCenter’s 2019 data analysis on baby names worldwide, Cole ranked #118 among baby boy names and was a favorite among parents all around the world.

The popularity of the name Cole continued to grow throughout 2019 and remains highly ranked today. The current trend suggests that its popularity will continue throughout 2020 as well and may even be on an upward trend overall.

Therefore, when considering potential baby names for your new son or grandson, you should definitely consider this strong & perennially popular option!

Variations of The Name Cole

The name Cole is derived from the Old French “col” meaning “coal”, suggesting a person with dark hair or complexion. This was often used as a nickname to describe someone with these characteristics.

The variation of the name Cole is common in many countries, including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and Scandinavia. In the United States it is more commonly found among those of English descent.

Variations of this popular surname include Coalee, Coles, Collyer and Collier; all being diminutive forms of the traditional Cole spelling. There are also variants such as Koles and Kules that have been adapted by different cultures to sound more familiar in their own language.

The popular given name Coleslaw is derived from the surnames mentioned above, becoming a combination of “Cole” and “Slau”. From this was created several nicknames like Coledogger or Colebear which have been more widespread than Lewis in recent years

It has become increasingly popular over time due to its characteristics associated with strength and kindness which makes it perfect for both boys and girls alike.

Alternatives like Dirk or Archie may be considered instead but are not exact matches as far as variations are concerned depending on where you live geographically.

Famous People Named Cole in History

Throughout history, there have been numerous famous people who have borne the name “Cole.” From entertainers to athletes to political figures, Cole is a name that has had a long and varied presence throughout time. Some of the most well-known individuals named Cole include:

Cole Porter (1891 – 1964): An acclaimed American composer and songwriter from Indiana, Porter wrote such hit songs as “Night and Day” and “I Get a Kick Out of You” for Broadway musicals as well as for Hollywood films.

Nat King Cole (1919 – 1965): An icon of early jazz singing, Nat King Cole was one of America’s most popular tuneful crooners in the 1950s. He sang some of his most beautiful melodies on radio broadcasts like The Nat King Cole Show (1956 – 1957) about which he said: “Madison Avenue is afraid of it because there are no smoking or drinking commercials in it.”

Cole Porter Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969): He was an Army Major General who served with distinction in WWII and brother to the then President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

After the war, he became Farmington Connecticut’s Town Manager and subsequently served two terms in Congress.

Cole Hamels (born 1983): Professional baseball player Hamels has won four consecutive Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Slugger Awards, two NL Player of the Month awards as well as three All-Star appearances over his 11-year career. In 2016 he was awarded National League Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News magazine.

More recently, hip-hop artist and actor J. Cole (born 1985) paid homage to the historical influence and brief yet colossal life impact that his own given name has had on popular culture with his 2019 song “Middle Child”. With significantly increasing popularity over years time these namesakes may be sure bring more eternal cultural presence worldwide into decades come!

Pronunciation of The Name Cole

The name Cole is generally pronounced as KOH-l. It can also be pronounced KAHL. The pronunciation varies by region and language, so it can also vary depending on where the name comes from.

In some cases, the name Cole may have been derived from the Latin masculine given name Nicolaus, which itself means “victory of the people”. This is common in places such as Italy and Spain, and is often used in anglicized forms as Nicholas or Nicholasina.

Alternatively, it could be a short form of any of several other masculine given names that end in -cole or -cola such as Nichol or Nicholaus or with various spellings thereoff. It may also have been based on an Old French word meaning ‘swarthy’ and was probably a nickname for a dark haired person.

Numerology of The Name Cole

Numerology is the study of the alleged divine, mystical, or other special relationships between a number and some coinciding events. The use of numerology can be traced back to ancient times, with many cultures across the world using it to understand deeper meanings of life and numbers.

When it comes to names, numerology looks at each letter in the name as a specific number. The resulting number can then be used to determine various aspects of character and destiny. It’s believed that by studying how these aspects relate to each other, the individual may gain insight into their life and personality.

The name ‘Cole’ has an associated numerology of 7 — a highly spiritual yet unique number which is all about deep insight, reflection and determination.

At its most basic level you can think of 7 as introverted (or “inward-looking”) in nature — seeking knowledge from within — as opposed to being social or extroverted in nature. A seven-holder might be seen as being wise beyond their years due to their tendency for deep contemplation, often with solitary goals in mind such as inventing something new that nobody else has thought up yet.

Coupled alongside this ability for inner exploration often comes an exceptional ability for problem solving; many seven-holders excel at problem-solving activities due technical knowledge combined with their analytical thinking patterns acquisitioned from their extended periods of reflection (for instance from staring into fire)

So if someone knows you and they say they know your Cole name meaning they may actually just mean your 7 characteristics connected to your Cole name – because numerology teaches us that numbers are far more than just whats left after we do simple math equations!


To conclude, the name Cole is an interesting and diverse name, originally Anglo-Saxon in origin, but with a variety of meanings in use today. The diverse interpretations make it a powerful choice when deciding on a name for your young one.

While the traditional meaning of ‘charcoal’ may have faded over time, its many alternate definitions including victory, calm or swarthy give the name Cole timeless depth and character.

With unique attributes that range from swagger to success, choosing Cole as your baby’s name is sure to leave them with plenty of personality from the start.


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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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