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What does Cole mean?

Cole Pronunciation of Cole as a boys' name (also used less commonly as girls' name Cole) is pronounced kohl. It is of Middle English and Old French origin, and the meaning of Cole is "swarthy, coal-black, charcoal". Surname derived from a medieval given name. Also used as a short form of Nicholas and names beginning with Cole-. As a given name, it is linked with the songwriter-composer Cole Porter (20th century). Outlaw Cole Younger. Also form of Colbert. Also form of Colin.


ASSOCIATED WITH surname, medieval, 20th century (modern)


VARIANTS Coley, Colson

OTHER FORMS VIA NICHOLAS Claes, Colas, Colet, Colin, Collin, Nils



Cole Kaleb (C.K.), ..

How popular is Cole?

Cole is a somewhat popular first name for men (#682 out of 1220, Top 56%) and an even more popular last name for both adults and children (#116 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Cole reached its peak position of #69 in the U.S. in 2003, and is presently at #118. (2018 BIRTH STATISTICS)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Cole name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Cole outside U.S.

Which version is better?

Colbert, Coley, Colin (#249 THE PREVIOUS YEAR), Collin (#362), Colson (#640), Nicholas (#74) and Nils are the popular related forms of Cole (#118) rated in the Top 2000. Other variants, like Colas, are seldom used. These forms of Cole were at the peak of their popularity 2 decades ago (AVERAGE #1050) and have become much less widespread since (#930, 69%), with forms like Nicholas becoming less in vogue. Nicholas is more widely used than the rest, although Colson seems to be gaining favor too.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Cole, Colbert, Coley, Colin, Collin in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Colson, Nicholas, Nils in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Cole, Colin, Nicholas, Nils outside U.S.

Similar Names

Cole is alike in pronunciation to Cael, Caile, Cal, Cale, Cayle, Col, Coll, Colle, Cowal, Coyle, Kaile, Kale, Kayle, Kell, Kelle, Kile and Kyle. Other recommended sound-alike names are Bale, Cabe, Cable, Caje, Caley, Cleo, Cob, Cobb, Cobe, Cobey, Cobi, Codey, Codie, Coe, Colan, Colbey, Colden, Colis, Colla, Colley, Collie, Colm, Colt, Colter, Colver, Colyn, Coney, Conlen, Conley, Conn, Cook, Cooke, Cope, Cor, Coree (see Corey), Corey, Corie, Cork, Covey, Cox, Coxe, Coxey, Coy, Coye, Cree, Doyle, Erle, Hale, Lale, Lyle, Nile, Noble, Ole, Olle, Rolle, Royle, Wole and Yale. These names tend to be less frequently used than Cole.

See names
in meaning and etymology.