Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Carolyn

Carolyn is an English variant of the French Caroline or the Italian/Latin Carolina which are all feminine forms of the Medieval Latin masculine name Carolus. Carolus was in turn derived from the Germanic masculine name Karl which is a name meaning “free man” (i.e., indicating a free man but not one of nobility). The female Caroline became popularized in England by the 17th century and was adopted by families in the upper-classes, probably influenced by the Stuart Kings Charles I and II. Caroline of Ansbach and Caroline of Brunswick were both Queen Consorts to King George II and IV, respectively. The aristocrat and novelist Lady Caroline Lamb had a well-publicized and passionate affair with the romantic poet Lord Byron. By the early 19th century, the name Caroline was firmly rooted in the aristocracy at which time the spelling of Carolyn also came into vogue.

All About the Baby Name – Carolyn

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME CAROLYN

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME CAROLYN

Carolyn has been on the female naming charts for as long as the U.S. government has been tracking naming trends (dating back to 1880). In the late 19th century Carolyn pretty much hovered around the Top 200 in terms of overall popularity. However, in 1927 the name managed to squeak into the Top 100. The height of Carolyn’s usage in America came in 1942 when she was the 10th most commonly used baby girl’s name in the nation. In fact, Carolyn was the preferred spelling of Caroline for most of the 20th century (1920s thru the mid 80s). Of course today Caroline is heaps more popular than the more modern Carolyn; Caroline is a Top 100 favorite while Carolyn has slipped down to the low end of the charts. Caroline is a spelling that offers two potential pronunciations whereas with Carolyn you pretty much only have one. Still, as with many names, this one simply comes down to spelling preference. Caroline is more French while Carolyn is much more English. Caroline is older and more traditional while Carolyn is more modern. Caroline is more aristocratic while Carolyn is more down-home and relaxed. Carly and Carrie are both potential nicknames.

Quick Facts

ON CAROLYN

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

791

PRONUNCIATION:

KARE-ә-lin

SIMPLE MEANING:

Free

Characteristics

OF CAROLYN

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Carolyn

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME CAROLYN

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Carolyn

Popular Songs

ON CAROLYN

Carolyn
a song by Zox

Famous People

NAMED CAROLYN

Carolyn Keene (pseudonym of the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery series)
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy (wife of JFK, Jr.)
Carolyn Cassady (Beat Generation writer)
Carolyn Dawn Johnson (country musician)
Carolyn McCormick (actress)
Carolyn S. Shoemaker (astronomer)
Carolyn Leigh (lyricist)
Carolyn Maloney (politician)
Carolyn McCarthy (politician)
Carolyn Jones (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED CAROLYN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Carolyn

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME CAROLYN

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Carolyn