About the name Carolyn

About the baby name Carolyn, at Click Baby Names.com

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If you like the name Carolyn, find out the meaning, origin, nicknames, variations and other information to help you decide if you want to use this first name for your baby.
Name meaning, variations & etymology

The essence of the baby name Carolyn

The name Carolyn is primarily considered a female name and has English origins. It’s a variant of Caroline, which is itself a derivative of Carolus, the Latin form of Charles. The name typically signifies “free man” or “strong.”

Pronunciation and syllables

Carolyn is generally pronounced as “CARE-uh-lin,” and has three syllables. A word it closely rhymes with is “violin,” which can help you remember the correct pronunciation.

Carolyn’s popularity journey

The name Carolyn enjoyed peak popularity in the mid-20th century, particularly in the United States. While it’s not currently in the Social Security Administration’s top 100 list, it still holds a spot within the top 1000. The name has a timeless quality, allowing it to maintain a steady presence over the years.

The name Carolyn is overwhelmingly used for girls and women. Its classic and elegant feel often draws parents looking for a name that combines tradition with a touch of modernity.

Notable Carolyns and characters

The name Carolyn has graced many accomplished individuals and fictional characters across different fields:

  • Carolyn Jones: An American actress best known for her role as Morticia Addams in the original “The Addams Family” TV series.
  • Carolyn Maloney: An American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 12th congressional district.
  • Carolyn in literature: The name also appears in various novels and plays, often lending its characters a sense of sophistication and grace.
  • Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy: She was an American publicist for Calvin Klein, and the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr.

Variations and nicknames

Carolyn doesn’t offer a plethora of traditional nicknames, but it can be shortened to “Carol,” “Lyn,” “Care” or even “Cary.” Variations of the name include:

  • Caroline: The name from which Carolyn is derived.
  • Carolin: A less common spelling.
  • Karolyn: An alternative spelling with a “K.”

Names in the same family

If Carolyn piques your interest but you’re looking for more options, you might consider:

  • Caroline
  • Carol
  • Carrie
  • Charlotte (another derivative of Charles)

The meaning behind the name

Carolyn combines the classical beauty of Carol with the modern flair of Lyn, offering a name that bridges generations. Its meaning, “free man” or “strong,” adds a layer of empowerment to the name, making it not just a label but a statement of character.



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baby Name length

7 letters (popular name length)

FREE baby name printable

Click below to download a large version of this baby name design! You can create something great with this graphic: print it out and frame it as a decoration for your baby’s room, or use the design for a cut file to use with an electronic cutting machine (such as a Cricut or Silhouette).

After clicking the name image below, look in the upper right for saving and sharing options. This download is for personal use only, but if you know someone who might like one of their own, please send them a link to this site!

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