Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Carrie

Carrie is the English diminutive of Caroline (similar to Carol). The name Caroline was brought to England by way of the French, from the Latin Carolina which is the female version of the Medieval Latin Carolus (Charles). Carolus was essentially the Latinized form of Karl, from the ancient Proto-Germanic word “karl” meaning “freeman”. The term “karl” denoted a freeman, although more specifically a common man (a freeman without rank). By Middle High German, the word “karl” came to mean more plainly “man, fellow, husband”. Interestingly, some Slavic languages borrowed the Germanic root “karl” to mean “king, monarch” (Polish: król; Czech: král) influenced by Charlemagne (German: Karl der Große), the first Holy Roman Emperor dating back to the late 8th century. In any case, the French Charles was brought to England by way of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The feminine Caroline has been heavily used among the English since the 17th century and, despite the name’s unremarkable beginnings as the “common man”, was mainly adopted by aristocratic and royal families. Caroline’s lofty and royal place among names in England was cemented by two Queen Consorts, the 18th century Caroline of Ansbach and 19th century Caroline of Brunswick (who were married to Kings George II and IV, respectively). Adding more allure to the name was an early 18th century English “celebrity” of sorts, the lovely aristocrat and novelist Lady Caroline Lamb, who had a well-publicized and passionate affair with the romantic poet Lord Byron. By the early 19th century, not only was Caroline firmly rooted in English-speaking naming traditions, but her diminutive Carrie was also bestowed as an independently given name in her own right.

All About the Baby Name – Carrie

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME CARRIE

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME CARRIE

We know that usage of the name Carrie (as a stand-alone name rather than a mere diminutive) dates back to at least the early 19th century in America. However, our available data only goes back to 1880. Suffice it to say, though, that Carrie was the 20th most popular baby girl’s name in America in 1880. By comparison, Caroline was the 75th most popular girl’s name that same year. In other words, the diminutive Carrie was much more common than her big sister Caroline (although the reverse is true today). Back at the turn of the 20th century, about 25% of the Top 50 female names were colloquial pet forms of more traditional names. Clearly American parents were quite relaxed in their naming styles more than 100 years ago (also rounding out America’s Top 50 in the year 1900 were Minnie, Annie, Nellie, Bessie, Jennie, Hattie, Mattie, Lillie, Jessie, Maggie and Fannie). It wouldn’t be until 1915 when Carrie would fall off America’s Top 100 list, and even still her subsequent descent down the charts was hardly noticeable. The name even returned to the Top 100 list between 1968 and 1985 (not to be deterred by the 1974 publication of Stephen King’s widely read horror novel “Carrie”). Then suddenly in the 1990s, Carrie pretty much went into freefall down the charts, dropping almost 900 positions in 20 short years. In fact, 2008 marks the last year Carrie can even claim Top 1000 status (meaning this is a name rarely used anymore). Caroline, on the other hand, is a Top 100 name choice today. Despite Carrie’s lack of usage today as an independently given name, it’s still a solid nickname option for girls called Caroline. Carrie is sweetly informal, yet strong and confident. Consider some of the self-assured, feisty and intelligent female characters on TV named Carrie: Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City); Carrie Heffernan (King of Queens); and, our personal favorite, Carrie Mathison (Homeland).

Quick Facts

ON CARRIE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

KARE-ee

SIMPLE MEANING:

Freeman

Characteristics

OF CARRIE

Multi-talented

Intuitive

Oneness

Idealistic

Philanthropy

Independent

Perfection

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Carrie

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME CARRIE

Carrie is title protagonist of Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie, in 1974, which was made into a memorable movie in 1976, starring Sissy Spacek, with many adaptations since. Carrie is a shy and innocent teenager who has been raised by her over-the-top religious fanatic of a mother. Outcast at school, she discovers that she has powers of telekinesis with the onset of her menses. Oh, you bad boys and girls of Bates High School (that name can’t be a coincidence!) – watch out! Carrie is the subject of a benevolent plot by Sue, who sets her up with her own boyfriend to go to the prom and be named Prom Queen, and a malicious plot by Chris, who conspires to ruin the prom experience for Carrie with the help of a little pig’s blood. No good or bad deed goes unpunished by Carrie, who turns her considerable powers upon the high school, her mother, and indeed, the entire town, making just about everyone sorry they got out of bed that morning. Carrie is a formidable young woman, and though she comes to her own sorry end, we can be sure that is not the end of her. And here’s the thing about Carrie – we are rooting for her every step of the way.

Caroline “Carrie” Meeber is the title character of Theodore Dreiser’s great novel of realism, "Sister Carrie," published in 1900. Young “Sister Carrie” is a humble but aspiring Midwest girl who comes to the big city, Chicago, to seek a better life. At first, living with her sister and her sister’s husband in a dreary flat and toiling at a shoe factory, she sticks to the straight and narrow path she has been raised to respect, but it doesn’t take much to turn her eye to the larger, luxurious world afforded her by the first of her illicit lovers, Drouet. Although she struggles with the implications of her new life, fur muffs and sirloin steaks ease her pain considerably. It is not long before she “graduates” to another lover, the hapless George Hurstwood, who leaves his wife and family, embezzles money, loses his job and ultimately becomes a virtual derelict in the service of Carrie. Our heroine, in the meantime, appalled by his spiraling fortunes, turns to the New York theater, gradually making a name for herself. She leaves Hurstwood and in her farewell note she gives him twenty dollars. A shocking character for her time, Sister Carrie is a woman who defies all social conventions in the name of personal comfort and then makes it on her own when the men in her life fail her. She does not suffer a damning downfall as a result of her perdition, but she is perhaps somewhat morally empty at the end of the day.

Julia Hurstwod figures in Theodore Dreiser’s famous 1900 novel, Sister Carrie. She is the wronged wife of the second married man with whom Carrie takes up. The first, the real, Mrs. Hurstwood, a savvy and cool social climber, is not one to take such things lying down. He leaves her and his children, but the financial consequences of doing so drive him to embezzlement and eventual ruin.

Caroline Meeber is the title character of Theodore Dreiser’s great novel of realism, "Sister Carrie," published in 1900. Young “Sister Carrie” is a humble but aspiring Midwest girl who comes to the big city, Chicago, to seek a better life. At first, living with her sister and her sister’s husband in a dreary flat and toiling at a shoe factory, she sticks to the straight and narrow path she has been raised to respect, but it doesn’t take much to turn her eye to the larger, luxurious world afforded her by the first of her illicit lovers, Drouet. Although she struggles with the implications of her new life, fur muffs and sirloin steaks ease her pain considerably. It is not long before she “graduates” to another lover, the hapless George Hurstwood, who leaves his wife and family, embezzles money, loses his job and ultimately becomes a virtual derelict in the service of Carrie. Our heroine, in the meantime, appalled by his spiraling fortunes, turns to the New York theater, gradually making a name for herself. She leaves Hurstwood and in her farewell note she gives him twenty dollars. A shocking character for her time, Sister Carrie is a woman who defies social convention in the name of personal comfort and then makes it on her own when the men in her life fail her. She does not suffer a damning downfall as a result of her perdition, but she is perhaps somewhat morally empty at the end of the day.

Popular Songs

ON CARRIE

Good Morning, Miss Carrie
a song by Mississippi John Hurt

Carry Me, Carrie
a song by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show

Carry Me Oh Carrie
a song by Blue System

Carrie Brown
a song by Steve Earle

Carrie-Anne
a song by The Hollies

Carrie Ann
a song by Styx

Carrie
a song by Michael Bolton

Always Carrie
a song by No Use For A Name

Famous People

NAMED CARRIE

Carrie Underwood (country singer)
Carrie Fisher (actress)
Carrie-Anne Moss (actress)
Carrie Preston (actress/producer)
Carrie Brownstein (actress/musician)
Caroline "Carrie" Snodgress (actress)
Carrie Chapman Catt (American suffragist)
Caroline "Carrie" Ingalls (American frontiers woman)
Caroline "Carrie" Prejean (former pageant queen)

Children of Famous People

NAMED CARRIE

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME CARRIE

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