Meaning and Name Origin
Carol \c(a)-rol\ as a girls' name is pronounced KARE-ul. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Carol is "free man". Originally a male name, an anglicized form of Carolus (see Charles). Probably originated as a short form of Caroline, but sometimes given in reference to the English word "song" and associated with Christmas. First used toward the end of the 19th century. The French form Carole was made famous in the mid-20th century by actress Carole Lombard. It is sometimes paired with a monosyllabic second name, as in Carol-Ann. Actresses Carol Burnett, Carol Channing; skater Carol Heiss; playwright Caryl Churchhill.
Carol▼ has 92 variants: Carel, Carely, Carey▼, Cari▼, Cariel, Carilis, Carla▼, Carleen▼, Carlene▼, Carley▼, Carlin, Carlina, Carline, Carlita, Carlota, Carlotta▼, Carly▲, Carlyn, Carlynn, Carlynne, Caro, Carola, Carolann, Carole▼, Carolee▼, Carolena, Carolin, Carolina▲, Carolinda, Caroline▲, Caroll, Caroly, Carolyn▼, Carolynn, Carolynne, Carri, Carrie▼, Carrol▼, Carrola, Carroll▼, Carrolyn, Carry, Cary, Caryl▼, Caryle, Caryll, Charla▼, Charleen▼, Charlena, Charlene▼, Charlotta, Charlotte▲, Charmain, Charmaine▼, Charmian, Charmion, Charyl, Cherlyn, Cheryl▼, Ina▼, Karel, Kari▼, Karla▲, Karleen, Karli▼, Karlie▼, Karlina, Karlinka, Karlote, Karlotta, Karol▼, Karole, Karolina, Karryl, Karryll, Karyl, Karyll, Kerril, Kerryl, Keryl, Lola▲, Loleta, Lolita▼, Lotta, Lotte, Lotti, Lottie▼, Sharleen, Sharlene▼, Sharline, Sharmain and Sharmain.
Carol▼ has 34 more related forms via Caroline: Caddy, Callie▲, Caraleen, Caralin, Caraline, Caralyn, Caralyne, Caralynn, Carileen, Carilena, Carilyn, Carlan, Carlein, Carlen, Carllen, Carlyna, Carlyne, Carolan, Carolanne, Carolein, Caroliana, Carollyn, Carolyne, Karalyn, Karelyn, Karilyn, Karlen, Karolin, Karoline, Karolyn, Karolyna, Karolyne, Karolynn and Sharla▼.
Carol is a very popular first name for women (#18 out of 4276, Top 1%) and also a very popular surname for all people (#17414 out of 88799, Top 20%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Carol for girls. Carol reached its highest position of #5 in the U.S. during 1940-1949, but is not found in the list at the moment. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Below is a graphed analysis of the popularity of the girl name Carol and corresponding names. Prominent alternative forms of Carol rated in the Top 1000 are Charlotte (#10 in 2014), Caroline (#58), Callie (#186), Lola (#236), Carly (#357), Carolina (#407), Karla (#504), Kallie (#643), Carolyn (#742), Carla (#864), Karlie (#885), Charles, Ina, Cheryl, Charmaine, Kari, Karli, Lottie, Sharla, Sharlene, Lotta, Lolita, Karol, Karolyn, Charlene, Cary, Carlotta, Carolann, Carley, Carlene, Carey, Cari, Carleen, Carole, Carolee, Carroll, Caryl, Charla, Carrol, Carrie, Carolynn, Carri and Charleen. Adoption of these girl names reached its highest during 1940-1949 and has become significantly lower since, with forms like Carley, Carla, Carolyn, Karli and Ina becoming somewhat outmoded. The most fashionable names for newborns among these are Kallie (#643), Callie (#186), Charlotte (#10), Caroline (#58) and Lola (#236), with Callie, Caroline, Charlotte and Lola having a rebound in usage. (2014 Birth Statistics)