Colton is a transferred use of an English surname which either derived from a place name or a nickname. It remains as a surname, but it is now also used as a masculine personal name, mainly in the United States and Canada. The name Colton is thought to be derived from the Olde English words “col” meaning “charcoal” and “tūn” meaning “town, settlement”. In fact, “Cola” developed as a nickname in England for a “swarthy” person (i.e., someone with a dark, dirty or weather-beaten complexion). Originating as a place name, Colton is a district east of Leeds first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1085. It was so named for the abundance of coal found in the area; either that, or for some swarthy landholder nicknamed “Cola”.
Colton first appeared on the U.S. popularity charts in 1982 at position #802 out of 1000. The name made some significant jumps in popularity throughout the 1980s and by the mid-1990s his staying-power seemed all but secure. However the name showed some backwards momentum as we turned into the 21st century, but then reversed its course. Colton finally landed a spot on America’s Top 100 list in 2008 and is currently ranked #65 in the nation. Given its coal-town, swarthy and humble beginnings, the name imbues a since of blue-collar strength that gives it a manly sound. The pet form, Colt, further underscores the name’s toughness.