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Popularity Over Time: How Many Girls Have Been Named Carolyn
This chart illustrates how many Girls were named Carolyn in the U.S. since 1880.
A few facts about the girl's name Carolyn:
Records indicate that 552,817 girls in the United States have been named Carolyn since 1880.
The greatest number of people were given this name in 1947, when 20,735 people in the U.S. were given the name Carolyn. Those people are now 72 years old.
So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.
Comments about the name Carolyn
Based on the comments submitted below
26 Positive Comments
"Most people recognize my name as different from CaroLINE, which my parents thought sounded harsh. Caroline used to be pronounced like Carolyn, in a similar way to Jacqueline and Madeleine - no one would say JacqueLINE. I?m glad my parents chose the phonetic spelling. Carolyn sounds musical with my one-syllable last name, but it?s not pretentious. I have many nicknames, such as Carey and Caro (Caero to differentiate from ?Carol? as that?s a completely different name). It makes me sad to think of the loss of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, who was beautiful and stylish.
I sometimes wish I had been named Carolina, for fun - but that would have been a long name and would likely have been shortened.
My name is Carolyn and I would never change it." Jun. 18, 2019:
"My name is Carolyn and I love it. My parents and family are Chinese but I was born in NC. My mom took the Caroline part of the states name and turned into Carolyn. It's really annoying when people pronounce or spell it wrong. Here was what people called me: Carol, Caroline, Coraline, Karlyn, and that's all. I made so many corrections that when someone says or spell it wrong, I tell them, "It's Carolyn with a y. C-a-r-o-l-y-n." It grew into a reflex." Apr. 10, 2019:
"I know a Carolyn. She is a gem! She is so different than other girls & I don't know if the rarity of her name has a thing to do with it; but she is smart & sassy and funny! We lost touch and I NEVER forgot her. When we reconnected it was as if we had never lost touch. She is an AMAZING woman. She is unique and SO caring. I refer to her as my TOWGA because she is The One Who Got Away...
She moved away & I ALWAYS carried her in my heart. I PRAYED she would orbit back into my world. She is married and her husband is the luckiest man on the planet...I call her my best friend. I love this woman. She knows I love her and she knows I'm ALWAYS going to be out here loving her. We are close in spirit, but miles apart.
If you are reading this & want to hear the back story you can contact me & I'll gladly share. why?
Because life is short and love is all we really have to prove we were here...GOD was stingy when creating girls like her!!!" Jun. 15, 2018:
"My name is also Carolyn Marie. Which is a rather uncommon name for my age, I think. I?m 26. I?ve always liked my name, but it used to really make me upset if people called me Caroline! I still get that a lot, but I just got used to it." Jan. 5, 2018:
"If you are a native English speaker and like to pronounce names correctly there is absolutely no doubt that CAROLINE has the long "i" ending as in "line"; and if you are CAROLYN, also no doubt: your name ends with the short "?" as in "lin". Who decided to make this so hard? Two different names!
Carol is a totally different again; as with Dianne and Diana; Susan and Suzanne/Suzannah/ Susanna) etc." Jan. 20, 2017:
"My name is Carolyn and I love it. People spell and pronounce it wrong all the time, which is incredibly annoying. I don't understand why the difference between Carolyn and Caroline is so difficult to grasp, I am constantly correcting people. Despite that annoyance, I really do love the name. It is unique in an elegant way. I lt sounds pretty and it is actually a conversation piece for a lot of people. When I introduce myself a lot of people compliment me on my beautiful name and some even break into song, singing "sweet Caroline" and sometimes we have the conversation that the song doesn't apply to me because that's not my name, and sometimes we both just enjoy the song for the sake of signing." Dec. 31, 2016:
"I just named my daughter Carolyn. I have already had to correct people about the pronunciation, but they're better once they see it spelled. I wanted a name similar to Carol, which was my mother's name (she passed when I was 15), but not identical. I like that it's a traditional and classic name, yet not so over used that there will be 5 other Carolyns in her grade at school. I just hope that I haven't saddled her with the annoyance of having to correct lazy people about how to say it her entire life." Jul. 26, 2016:
"My name is Carolyn pronounced Carol Lynn not Caroline. I really dislike, ok, hate being called Caroline. Caroline has the harsher sounding ending, line, a thing people stand on for hours like at the DMV! It has become so bad with the mispronunciation of my name that I am forced to spell it whenever I order coffee at Starbucks. when they hand me my steaming hot latte what does it say, "CAROLINE" !" Feb. 3, 2016:
"My name is Carolyn and i'm in 4th grade my friend can't spell my name and my teachers call me Caroline but I love my name" Oct. 26, 2015:
"I just adore this name because I love the movie Flight of the Navigator. There is a NASA intern in this movie named Carolyn McAdams. (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) The name Carolyn makes me think of someone who is friendly, intelligent, and beautiful. (probably because that's how I think of Carolyn on Flight of the Navigator) I also used to have a best friend named Carolyn when I was in first grade. (that was 5 years ago) Anyways, I just LOVE this name way better than Caroline. I wish my name was Carolyn." Apr. 7, 2015:
"My name is Carolyn (I'm 25 and its quite unusual). But I love it, it feels pretty and feminine" Jul. 29, 2013:
"My name is Carolyn. I am in my mid 40's and ever since I was in elementary school people have called me Caroline.When I was born my father wanted to name me Maria but my mother beat him out of it.I always have to correct people and tell them my name is Carolyn." Jul. 20, 2013:
"I named my daughter Carolynn in 2010. I was having my ultrasound done to find out her sex and the name popped in my head. I added the extra "n" because her grandpas middle name is Lynn. I have yet to have someone miss pronounce her name but it has been spelled "Caroline"." Apr. 8, 2013:
"I am my grandmaother namesake, we both sare the name Carolyn. I love the name, but when I was around 5 I didn't so much instead i wanted to be called CC, now that i am in high school I go by Ro, but I still love my name but pronounced Care- ro- lyn." Mar. 9, 2013:
"My name is Carolyn and I absolutely adore it! My mom's name is Carol Ann and my sister's name is Lindsey, so I think that is how my dad named me. I think the name is beautiful,colorful,professional, and unique. The name makes me feel intelligent and different. I hate it when people call me "Caroline". I get furious! When I make friends at school they start calling me Caroline. I'm really not fond of that name. I usually am addressed Carolyn but at other times I prefer to be called Carly. I never really thought about the name Carrie. Knowing that there are other Carolyns in the world makes me feel even happier because sometimes I feel too different. I hope to enjoy my name from now at a very young age to the rest of my life." Sep. 21, 2010:
"Carolyn is much better than Caroline.The former is less common and more humble sounding." Jun. 29, 2010:
"Caroline has traditionally been pronounced "Carolyn", not "CaroLINE". The alternate pronunciation became trendy in the 50's and 60's, with Caroline Kennedy and others. I prefer the pronunciation Carolyn, but with the classic spelling of Caroline." May. 12, 2010:
"My mothers name is Carolyn. Its a pretty name. I think it fits her perfectly and her age range too. She was born in 1956. However, I do know of a girl in my grade at school named Carolyn. I think it grows on you. Its a pretty name. I dont like the name Carol so much, so the Lyn at the end of Carolyn really makes it so beautiful. Carolyn, there's a nice ring to that name. There really is." Mar. 13, 2010:
"My name is Carolyn. It is a feminine version of Charles which I've heard means "strength". Also it means "song of joy" which is appropriate because I was born around Christmas time when people are singing lots of joyful songs. I think it really suits me and I wouldn't ever trade it for anything else. It is very unique which I like, yet it is not rare enough for people to have a hard time remembering it. The most difficult thing about the name is that I am called "Caroline" quite often which is not my name! Yet I am more upset by the big fuss people make over whether I am Carolyn or Caroline than them actually calling me the wrong name by accident." Jun. 29, 2008:
"My name is Carolyn and people ALWAYS call me Caroline, so I go by both most of the time. But I love it because you can make so many nicknames out of it like Carrie, Cara, Lynn, Carol....and more!!!" Jun. 23, 2008:
"My name is Carolyn and I am also surprised that it is not more popular. I think it is very sophisticated and feminine. I also like the fact that it is slightly rare, but not strange. When I was a kid I didn't like it because I wanted a more "normal" name like "Katie" or something, but now I'm so glad to have this beautiful and unique name!" Jun. 21, 2008:
"My name is Carolyn also and many people have said it's a beautiful name! My father and stepmother once bought me a coffee mug that had the meaning of my name and one of the things it said was that the name is like a beautiful melody.
I really can't understand the Carolyn on here who said that she wished since she was a little girl that her name was Caroline instead, I don't like that name at all I hate the way the line sounds in it! At least Carolyn has two women's names put together and it sounds it,Lyn is a woman's name line isn't and lyn sounds *so* much better than line!" May. 14, 2008:
"My name is Carolyn. I really like my name; it's just a little uncommon. What I don't like is that people think they can call me Carol, as a shotened form of my name. To me, Carol is an entirely different name. People have told me that my name is beautiful." May. 7, 2008:
"Carolyn is a great name! It's a little different (more so than Caroline), but still traditional. I love it!" Sep. 5, 2006:
"My name is Carolyn, and people pronounce and spell it wrong all the time. I have met few other people who have this name, and when i do, they spell it a different way. I love this name, I think it sounds very elegant!" Apr. 11, 2006:
"My name is Carolyn and It's a great name sometimes people call me Caroline by accident but I like Carolyn." Mar. 29, 2006:
26 Neutral Comments
"I was born in 1945 and Carolyn is my second name. I preferred Caroline as any name with a Y instead of I sounds contrived and made up. It was obviously hugely popular in 1945. My first name, Angela, is ok, but with carols and angels in my name my parents must have had expectations." Sep. 1, 2019:
"Carolyn is better than Carol and Caroline I am a lovable soul" Oct. 1, 2017:
"My name is Carolyn and I've had it for 60 years. I too have problems with being called Caroline to this day! When I was a little girl everyone called me Carrie. My brother called me Cory. One day when I was 5 I announced that Cory was a boys name and I want to be called Carolyn. From that day on I lost my nick name. I love my name but I didn't always. I went through a faze in my childhood that I wished my name was Jenny and I told people who didn't know me that that was my name." Aug. 26, 2017:
"My name is Carolyn Marie. I am 52. When I was young, others would think I was using my middle name (Carol Lyn) as being pompous. I would have to explain that it is one word and Marie is my middle name. I have always had to correct the pronunciation unless it didn't matter. My biggest pet peave is pronouncing the first syllable as a short a like in "hat". I would much rather have it pronounced long as in "Care". I would be interested in how many others like to have it pronounced this way?" Jun. 12, 2017:
"I cam relate to the comments from all my fellow Carolyn's who share the same name as well as all the misspellings & mispronunciation over the course of my life time. When I was younger in grade school I wasn't thrilled about it because it wasn't as common as all my friends...even though I found out it was the #25 most popular girl name in the year I was born. All my life have been called CaroLINE by both friends & teachers alike. Not that it's a bad name but as everyone has mentioned it is not our name. How is it a teacher cannot distinguish the difference. That has been many years ago & I have learned to love my name & many comment they like it as well. I feel it is unique & not as common as most but not something I would refer to as old fashion. When pronounced correctly it really is beautiful & after all these years happy my parents named me as such. I prefer it over the more common names during my era. Wishing all Carolyn's out there a happy life." Mar. 24, 2017:
"I'm Carolyn, named after my great-aunt Caroline. My parents changed the spelling so people would pronounce it properly. Carolyn & Caroline are variations of the same name, so I'm not picky about how people pronounce it. However, Carol is a completely different name, both in origin & meaning, so I don't generally answer when people call me Carol because I don't know they are talking to me. When I discover that someone is addressing me by the name Carol, I will correct that because it's just confusing. I know of 4 different pronunciations for Caroline: CaroLINE, CaroLYN, CaroLEEN, & CaroLeenEH. It just depends on who you ask. The name exists in many different European countries/languages. The original spelling is Caroline, but if you want the last syllable to be pronounced lyn instead of line, the best way is to spell it with the lyn; but you will still get called Caroline as well. It's just not something I'm going to fuss about. It's nice no matter what someone's name is when people pay attention & try to pronounce it properly for that person. I just have far better things to do than to correct people all of the time. I correct someone the first time we meet & then don't worry about it, unless they call me George or something!" Jan. 30, 2016:
"My name is Carolyn but I was always called "Carrie" by family and friends. I hated the name Carolyn as a child, probably because the only time I heard it was when I got in trouble LOL. As an adult, I now go by Carolyn because I think it sounds more grown-up and professional than Carrie, but I have never felt quite "right" with the name. Plus lots of people misspell or mispronounce it as Caroline, which I find annoying because they don't seem to make an effort to correct themselves and will consistently say the wrong name." Feb. 26, 2015:
"my name is Caroline(pronounced Carolyn). I like the name but all my life people have.called me CarolLINE and its so tiring correcting people all of the time, ive gone for almost a year in a job where people say it wrong. i try to correct people but they just forget and i give up. i like that its not very common for my sge, born in 1993, but the mispronounciation i hate. my family and cclose friends often call me Carrie, which also gets mispelled..." Oct. 31, 2014:
"My name is Carolyne, prounced "Caroline" but most people prounce it "Carolyn"" Aug. 10, 2014:
"My name is Carolyn and about 80% of the time people get my name wrong even if I say the "Carol" part softly and the "Lyn" part loudly I often get called Caroline. When people at Starbucks write my name on the cup, when my patients write thank you cards. All the time. I've also been called Catherine and Karen. People can't seem to get the name Carolyn right. Spare your babies from a lifetime of mispronunciation and dumb boys singing the song sweet Caroline to your girl. Now when people sing that song to me they sing "Sweet Caroline" and I sing "Not my name." It's a shame because I really like my name, but people get it wrong so much that it's a frustrating name to have." Jun. 21, 2014:
"I'm Carolyn, named after a great aunt Caroline. Both names were pronounced the same way - lyn - by my family. I don't really care which way people pronounce it & answer to both. But I do understand why other people with the name get upset. Your name is your name & other people should respect that & make an attempt to spell it & pronounce it your preferred way. I get tired of being called Carol &, when I correct it, being told "It's the same name." carol means "song" & Carolyn is a feminine version of Charles, meaning "strength". Besides, my nick name is Lynne. But I think everyone might just relax & realize not everyone is very sensitive. When people insist on mispronouncing or calling me the wrong name, I just return the favor. When they correct me, I say their name correctly & then say "Oh, by the way, MY name's Carolyn.". That almost always gets them to say my name correctly." Mar. 4, 2014:
"I love it now but not growing up because no one else had it
I HATE being called or spelled Caroline. It's a totally different name and I don't know why people don't get that" Feb. 19, 2014:
"My mothers middle name is Carolyn after her mom Carol. And I love the name!! I am going of name my daughter Carolyn but call her Carlie. I think the name is beautiful.." Sep. 24, 2009:
"My name's Carolyn and, honestly, I've never liked it. Twenty-two and I still wish I had a different name. For me, it's too formal and gives an image of a "damsel in distress" sort of figure that's overly delicate. It probably doesn't help that my mom's name is Carol and legal & corporate entities are always confusing us. No one can ever pronounce or spell my name correctly and I tend to end up using nicknames that are nothing like my real name." Aug. 8, 2009:
"Carolyn is my mom's name and it fits her well. Many people spell it and pronounce it wrong. My mom's is the only one I know with this name." Nov. 12, 2008:
"Although I prefer Caroline as a name (it's more traditional and less dated) I'm glad my parents went with Carolyn instead as I have a very common surname. I still get called Caroline a lot, which is irritating because while it's a nice name, it's NOT MINE. And when I was a kid it was really hard to find personalised items with my name on, because the name has never been as popular in the UK as in the US." Oct. 21, 2008:
"It's really odd that some names that were more popular like Carolyn was, became much less popular for some reason and other names that were not as popular became so. I really hope Carolyn makes a popular come back but not too too much that it's not special and way too common." May. 17, 2008:
"I just found the exact coffee mug I was talking about which describes the meaning of the name Carolyn!
It says,Meaning:Melody When people are near you they just want to croon, or else simply whistle a bright happy tune.For your name brings music to everyone's ears- it can soften a heart or dispel any fears.You'll bring joy to others throughout your life long ,and always be thought of as a joyous song.
On the bottom of this mug it says Design by PAPEL and Poetry by Marci G." May. 16, 2008:
the word line in Caroline is harsh and sounds like a line on a page,or waiting in line at the store! I once read on some other site I once found a few years ago about baby names and their meanings and origins, that Carolyn is a combination of Carol and Linda!" May. 15, 2008:
"My name is Carolyn, but from day 1, I've been called Carrie by my family and friends. As I have gotten older, I appreciate the name a little better, but even as a little girl, I would have preferred that my name was Caroline or just Carrie." Mar. 12, 2008:
"I named my daughter born in 1988, Carolyn. She is absolutely beautiful, intelligent and a pleasure to have around. The sound of the name Carolyn fits her to a "T". Don't know why more people do not use this name." Nov. 6, 2007:
"my friend's name is carolyn. she is small and has smiley eyes- just like her name. its radiant, i think. it makes me think of white horses in an open field of butterflys" Aug. 8, 2007:
"i used to hate being called carolyn as its really long and uncommon. but now ive learnt to like although most of my friends nd teachers call me Caz." May. 16, 2007:
"My sisters name is carolyn she is always being called caroline so we shorten it to totty." Feb. 21, 2007:
"My name is Carolyn, but I don't like to be called it too often. It's too formal for me. And yes, people mispronounce it all the time, and call me "Caroline." So I go by Carrie more often and leave Carolyn for the workplace." Jan. 10, 2007:
"People extremely often call me Caroline and it's also confusing since there's a Caroline I know and hang out with." Jun. 26, 2006:
What do you think about the name Carolyn?