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Gender: Female Meaning of Carolyn: "free man" Origin of Carolyn: Variation of Caroline Carolyn's Popularity in 2017: #841

The name Carolyn is a girl's name meaning "free man". Carolyn is ranked #841 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Freedom and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia - with middles!".

From the experts:

The phonetic Carolyn spelling, which was very popular from the 1920s to the '60s, has been steadily on the wane while Caroline herself has stayed strong.

Carolyn Keene was the pseudonymous author of the Nancy Drew Books; Carolyn Jones played Morticia Addams on TV's The Addams Family.

Find other names based on Carolyn using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Carolyn

Carolyn Jean Spellmann Shoemaker, American astronomer
Carolyn Gimpel Hart, American mystery novelist
Carolyn Ashley Kizer, American poet
Carolyn Doris "C.D." Wright, American poet
Carolyn Leigh, American lyricist
Carolyn Ann Franklin, American singer; sister of Aretha Franklin
Carolyn Jane Maloney, U.S. Congresswoman from New York
Carolyn McCarthy, U.S. Congresswoman from New York
Carolyn Jean Cheeks Kilpatrick, U.S. Congresswoman from Michigan
Carolyn Sue Jones, American actress
Carolyn Inez McCormick, American actress
Carolyn Seymour, English actress
Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Canadian country music singer
Carolyn Hax, American advice columnist
Carolyn George, American ballerina
Carolyn See, American novelist
Carolyn Keene, pen name used by writers of the Nancy Drew book series
Carolyn Murphy, American model and host of "Project Runway All Stars"
Carolyn Cassady, American writer
Carolyn Hennessy, American Author and Actress
Carolyn Jeanne Bessette-Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy Jr.
Carolyn London, mother of model/TV personality Tyra Banks

Pop Culture References for the name Carolyn

Carolyn Burnham, character in the film "American Beauty"
Carolyn, character in novelette "The Hot Moms Club" by author Tina Tirrell
Carolyn Stoddard in the show "House of Dark Shadows" & adaptions
Carolyn Polhemus, character in movie "Presumed Innocent"


emilyshurmer Says:


My mother is called Carolyn and is ALWAYS getting called Caroline, which annoys her - she says even "Carol" would be better as at least it's technically part of her name whereas Caroline is a totally different name.
She also loves the Nat King Cole Christmas song "Caroling Caroling" as it sounds just like he's saying "Carolyn, Carolyn, through the snow!"

I've also heard of people using the nickname Caro, which is pretty cool!

writereadrepeat Says:


my name. it's annoying, because people can't seem to understand how to say Lynn instead of Line

paulapuddephatt Says:


Carolyn is not a phonetic spelling variation of Caroline, as the description states. I consider it to be a different name, from the same root. Both, along with Charlotte, Charlene, etc are feminine versions of Charles, of course. The ending of this name is pronounced Lyn and Caroline is line, as in row or stand in line, or washing line. I do really like both Caroline and Carolyn.

clairels Says:


This spelling has been use since the early part of the last century. It may have started out as a variation of Caroline, but it's pronounced differently and is an established name in its own right. You may not like it, but there it is.

spiderfish Says:


How is it butchered? Caroline & Carolyn are both pronounced differently, and are separate names in their own right. I don't believe I've ever met anyone that has considered them the name name either, including the Caroline's & Carolyn's I have met.

Guest Says:


My aunt's name is spelled like this and it's not pronounced like Caroline it's Carolyn with the N sound. If it was Caroline and she pronounced it Carolyn then I'd be mad too. I like when names are straight-foward like that though, spell it Madelyn if you want Madelyn and Madeline if you want Madeline, you know?

Quarty Says:


Do you have trouble with people pronouncing your name? I like the other spelling better but i don't want people to say carol-'line' I want the, to say carol-'Lynn'

basilietea Says:


My name is Caroline and I hate to see it butchered like this. To me it is, at least.