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In the United States, Colin isn't quite as popular as it is in Scotland and Ireland, but it's been a fairly consistent choice for new parents of baby boys over the years. From high-ranking military officials and politicians to handsome leading men, many notable people have helped shaped the name's image. It has two distinct pronunciations, but no matter which one you choose, it pairs well with many classic and modern middle names.

Meaning of the name Colin:

English: Nickname for Nicholas
Gaelic: Cub, pup or young animal

Origin of the name Colin:

In England, Colin started as a nickname for Nicholas before becoming a given name in its own right. In Scotland, it's a derivative of the Gaelic word “caileán,” which means pup, cub or young animal.

Symbolism of the name Colin:

Because of Colin's Gaelic roots, the name is often associated with youth and energy.

Style of the name Colin:

Traditional

Gender of the name Colin:

Colin is a boy's name.

Pronunciation of the name Colin:

KOH-lin or KAH-lin

Number of syllables in the name Colin:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Colin:

The baby name Colin evokes images of someone who is handsome and heroic.

Alternative spellings for the name Colin:

  • Collin 
  • Colen
  • Collon
  • Colenn
  • Collyn

Nicknames for the name Colin:

Popularity of the name Colin:

Colin made the list of the top 1,000 baby names in the United States a few times during the early 20th century, but it didn't become a consistent favorite until the 1940s. In 2020, it ranked at number 285, according to the Social Security Administration.

Related names for the name Colin:

Great middle names for Colin and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Colin:

  • Colin Kaepernick (football player)
  • Colin Powell (former Secretary of State)
  • Colin Jost (“Saturday Night Live” cast member)
  • Colin Hanks (actor)
  • Colin Wilson (writer)
  • Colin Ford (actor)
  • Colin Quinn (comedian)
  • Colin Firth (actor)
  • Colin Farrell (actor)

Colins in popular culture:

  • Colin(character on the TV show “What We Do in the Shadows”)
  • Colin Creevey (character in the “Harry Potter” book and movie series)
  • ColinVet (main character in the comic strip series “Colin the Vet”)
  • Colin Craven (character in the book “The Secret Garden”)
  • Colin McCrae (character on the TV show “Gilmore Girls”)