The nickname Cash can be short for many a longer name, many of them rare and surprising – but made more wearable by the easy short form.
CASH as a BABY NAME
Of course, Cash is king. It’s long been a surname, as in Johnny Cash.
There are several possible origins. It’s a surname for a box maker or a maker of chests, as the Middle English word for a box was cashe, from the French caisse. But the name might also come from the Irish cas – curly-haired, or be the nearest English equivalent of other names, like the German Kirsch.
Like many a surname, Cash was sometimes used as a given name. It appeared on the list of the most popular boy names in the United States as early as the 19th century, when data was first recorded.
Boosted by the reputation of country music icon Johnny Cash, the name now ranks #253 in the US for baby boys. The K spelling – Kash – comes in even higher, at #240.
Combined, over 2,800 newborn babies were named Cash or Kash last year.
So there’s no need for a formal name to get to the nickname Cash.
But it might soften the nickname, adding a more traditional appeal to the bold Cash.
This works the other way, too – Cash can be an accessible nickname that makes an obscure choice more wearable.
FORMAL NAMES for the NICKNAME CASH
A Sanskrit name meaning sky, it’s easy to shorten this to Cash/Kash.
A place name in Ireland, rarely heard as a given name. But in our age of Dashiell and Gabriel and other ends-in-el names for boys, Cashel fits. Plus, Cashel is the Anglicized version of caiseal – castle, and the Rock of Cashel is the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster, and still home to some fantastic medieval buildings today.
Also spelled Kashmir, as in the Indian place name – and a Led Zeppelin song.
A Cash-meets-Christian invention.
Four kings of Poland have answered to this name, derived from the Slavic elements meaning “destroyer” and “great.” It’s seldom heard in English, but could wear well, especially if you have Polish roots to honor.
CASPAR, CASPER, KASPAR
Another name with a certain pan-European appeal, Caspar – or some version of the name – is in use in nearly every Western language. In English, Jasper is the star baby boy name, while Casper is the friendliest ghost you know. Still, the Cas- lends itself to Cash as a short form, and Caspar is plenty familiar as a given name.
With ties to the sea and the fictional character in CS Lewis’ enduring Narnia series, Caspian feels like a modern name with roots. While Caspian is romantic, Cash might be a wearable nickname with a totally different feel.
The name of a third century saint, a fourth century saint, and then Saint John Cassian, who came a long just a tiny bit later and was known for introducing an Egyptian-style monasticism and mysticism to early medieval Europe. But Cassian was almost entirely overlooked until Cassian Andor was introduced in the Star Wars universe, and went on to headline a Disney+ series of his own. Pop culture strikes again!
Born Cassius Clay, he became a legend as boxer Muhammad Ali. The original Cassius Clay was a nineteenth century Kentucky planter who became an abolitionist. The name Cassius is on an upswing these days, one of several ancient names being rediscovered by parents.
A place name from Old English, referring to water, Caswell is rare but wearable.
An evergreen classic, Charles comes with some obvious nicknames – Charlie, Chuck – and lots of well-why-not choices, like Arlo and Chase. Add Cash to this list, an edgy short form that might come in handy if you’re Charles MiddleName LastName IV.
An Arabic name meaning “discoverer,” Kashif naturally shortens to Cash.
Cashton is a logical invention, but it turns out that Kashton-with-a-K is far more popular. Alternative spellings like Kashden are seen, too.
Another rarity, this one borrowed from a California place name, with the potential for getting to Cash fro the middle syllable.
CASH from C+ASH
Another possibility? Smoosh nearly any C name with any Ash- name.
- Christopher Ashley
- Charles Ashton
- Cai Asher – also note that Casher is sometimes used as a given name
What are your favorite ways to get to the nickname Cash?
First published on May 30, 2014, this post was updated and republished on March 22, 2023.
Cassius Merlin is my current name crush for a boy
We have a Cashel who will be 5 in a few months… before he was born, we talked about using Cash as a nickname, and every once in a very great while we do, but almost all the time he’s Cashel. I do wonder if he won’t use the shorter version more when he gets older – I can especially see it in high school – but he loves his name and the meaning of “fortress” and our story of how we chose it.
“Cashel Byron’s Profession” by George Benard Shaw gives Cashel a great literary connection and makes it my favorite way to get to Cash!