Spanish names that start with ‘C’

Spanish is a language that doesn’t use the letter ‘K’ very often, which might explain why there are plenty of Spanish names that begin with the letter ‘C.’

For example, the name Christopher begins with a ‘K’ in its Polish version (Krzysztof), but its Spanish version (Cristóbal) starts with a ‘C.’

Another example is the Spanish name Carlos and its German equivalent Karl.

Spanish girl names that start with ‘C’

Concepción and related names

Concepción is a Spanish female name with a religious connection because it is a shortened form of “María de la Inmaculada Concepción.”

Concha is a name that serves as a diminutive of the name Concepción. It also matches the Spanish word “concha,” which means “seashell.”

Other diminutives of the name Concepción include Conchi and Conchita.

Carla, Carlota, and Carolina

Among Spanish girl names that begin with ‘C,’ there is a group that originates from the Germanic male name Karl (also related to the English names Charles and Carol). This group includes Spanish names like Carla, Carlota, and Carolina.

While the letter ‘K’ is widely used in Germanic languages, it is much less common in Latin and Spanish. So, as these names evolved from the Germanic languages into Spanish (often via Latin), the initial letter ‘K’ was replaced by a ‘C’.

The first name in this group is Carla. It is the female version of the Spanish male name Carlos (which corresponds to the English name Charles).

Carlota is the Spanish equivalent of Charlotte (a French feminine variant of the name Charles). Note that the Spanish version (Carlota) has a single ‘t’ whereas the Italian version (Carlotta) has two.

Carolina, the third name in this group, is the Spanish version of Caroline.

It is interesting to notice that the U.S. state of North Carolina matches the Spanish name Carolina rather than its French equivalent, Caroline. But, that state’s largest city, Charlotte, matches the French version of the Spanish name Carlota.

Cándida and Candela

Cándida and Candela are Spanish girl names related to a Latin verb that means “to shine” or “to glow.” (that Latin verb is “candeō”)

Candela is a name that matches the Spanish word “candela,” which means “candle.” Candelaria is a related name.

Cándida is a Spanish name that comes from the Latin word “candidus” which means “clear” and “bright.” That same Latin root is also the origin of the English adjective “candid,” which means sincere and free from prejudice.

Carmen and related names

The name Carmen comes from “María del Carmen,” a reference to Mount Carmel in the Middle East. The name also coincides with the Latin word “carmen,” which means “song.”

Carmela, Carmencita and Carmiña are diminutives of Carmen.

Additional Notes:

Spanish boy names that start with ‘C’


Several Spanish names that start with ‘C’ are diminutive forms (which often serve as nicknames) of longer names that begin with different letters. For example, Chema, Chucho, and Curro are diminutive forms of the names José María, Jesús, and Francisco, respectively.

Famous people with Spanish first names that begin with ‘C’

A famous namesake can make a name more attractive and endearing. The table below provides examples of well-known individuals with Spanish first names that begin with ‘C.’

individual occupation
Carlos Santana Musician
Consuelo Velázquez Mexican songwriter who composed the song “Bésame Mucho”
Camila Cabello Singer
Celia Cruz Cuban singer
Carlos Gardel Tango singer
Carlos Fuentes Mexican novelist
Camilo José Cela Spanish novelist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature
Clara Lago Spanish actress
Carlos Ruiz Zafón Spanish novelist
Carmen Maura Spanish actress who starred in the movie “Volver” directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Carlos Saura Spanish film director
César Aira Novelist from Argentina
Candela Vetrano Actress from Argentina
Cayetana Guillén Cuervo Spanish actress