Gender: Female Meaning of Carolyn: "free man" Origin of Carolyn: Variation of Caroline Carolyn's Popularity in 2019: #940

Carolyn Origin and Meaning

The name Carolyn is a girl's name meaning "free man".

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.

16 names similar to Carolyn

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Rank in US: #940

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Famous People Named Carolyn

Pop Culture References for the name Carolyn


KimberlyM97 Says:


That’s crazy to see all the mispronunciation issues. I have never seen that but it’s not my name, it’s my grandmothers. Will be using it as a middle name and it is pronounced Carolyn (Lynn not line, as spelled 🙄)

ParanoidAndroid Says:


Is it bad to say I honestly like this better than Caroline? The “Lyn” at the end ties it all together impeccably.

carlyc123 Says:


that and the misspellings are the most annoying thing. Or pronouncing your name over the phone is frequently misheard as Karen.

Overall, I'm happy with my name. It's sophisticated and people always love it. Carly is also an acceptable younger persons nickname these days. I'm in my late 20's and I've always gone by the full name.

carlyc123 Says:


Your name isn't butchered. It's a different name -- Carolyn means song of joy. It's germanic. Caroline is french

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.