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in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
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How to Pronounce Cancer

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Cancer mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Cancer

User Submitted Meanings

  • A user from United Kingdom says the name Cancer is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means "Gift of GOd".
Other origins: English

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Can"cer
  1. [Zoöl] A genus of decapod Crustacea, including some of the most common shore crabs of Europe and North America, as the rock crab, Jonah crab, etc. See Crab.
  2. [Astron]
    1. The fourth of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The first point is the northern limit of the sun's course in summer; hence, the sign of the summer solstice. See Tropic.
    2. A northern constellation between Gemini and Leo.
  3. [Med] Formerly, any malignant growth, esp. one attended with great pain and ulceration, with cachexia and progressive emaciation. It was so called, perhaps, from the great veins which surround it, compared by the ancients to the claws of a crab. The term is now restricted to such a growth made up of aggregations of epithelial cells, either without support or embedded in the meshes of a trabecular framework.

Note: ☞ Four kinds of cancers are recognized: (1Epithelial cancerorEpithelioma, in which there is no trabecular framework. See Epithelioma. (2Scirrhous cancerorHard cancer, in which the framework predominates, and the tumor is of hard consistence and slow growth. (3Encephaloid cancer Medullary cancerorSoft cancer, in which the cellular element predominates, and the tumor is soft, grows rapidy, and often ulcerates. (4Colloid cancer, in which the cancerous structure becomes gelatinous. The last three varieties are also called carcinoma.

Etymology: L. cancer cancri, crab, ulcer, a sign of the zodiac; akin to Gr. karki`nos, Skr. karkaṭa crab, and prob. Skr. karkara hard, the crab being named from its hard shell. Cf. Canner Chancre

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Type genus of the family Cancridae
  2. The fourth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22
  3. A small zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Leo and Gemini
  4. (astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Cancer
  5. Any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream

From Latin cancer (“crab”), from Ancient Greek καρκίνος (karkínos, “crab”).

  1. (astronomy) A constellation of the zodiac supposedly shaped like a crab.
  2. (astrology) The zodiac sign for the crab, ruled by the Moon and covering June 22 - July 22 (tropical astrology) or July 16 - August 15 (sidereal astrology).
  3. Someone with a Cancer star sign

Cancer was also found in the following language(s): Translingual

Notable Persons Named Cancer


Notable Persons With the Last Name Cancer

Luis Cancer was a dominican priest, dominican order, and dominicanpriest. Luis was born in 1500 in Barbastro, in Aragon kingdom. He left this life on June 26th, 1549.



Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Cancer U.S.
  White 8.67% 64.26%
  African American 79.33% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 3.33% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 8.00% 16.26%

Of Last Name Cancer

People with the last name Cancer are most frequently African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Cancer

  • How Popular is the name Cancer? As a last name Cancer was the 116,201st most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name Cancer first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Cancer is Saturday, March 14th, 1896.
  • How unique is the name Cancer? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Cancer. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Cancer: Your name in reverse order is Recnac. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Rnceca. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Cancer? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 150 people with the last name Cancer.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Cancer? Cancer is one of the most unique last names recorded.

What Cancers Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Cancer

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Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.