Meaning and name origin
Carolyn \c(a)-rol-yn, car(o)-lyn\ as a girl's name is pronounced KARE-a-line, KARE-a-lin. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Carolyn is "free man". A 19th-century name which is either a variant of Caroline, or a blend of Carol and Lyn.
For more information, see also the related girl name Harolyn.
Carolyn is a very popular first name for females (#42 out of 4276, Top 1%) but an uncommon surname or last name for all people (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Carolyn for girls. Carolyn reached its highest rank of #12 in the U.S. in 1940-1949. (2014 statistics).
Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Carolyn and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Caroline (#58), Carolyn (#742), Lyn, Karolyn, Carolynn, Carol and Carrie. (2014 statistics).
Carolyn▼ is also pronounced similarly to Caralin, Caralyn, Caralyne, Caralynn, Carilyn, Carolan, Carolann, Carolein, Carolin, Carollyn, Carolyne, Carolynne, Carrolyn, Coralyn, Karalyn, Karelyn, Karilyn, Karolin and Karolyne. Other suggested similar baby names are Carlan, Carlen, Carlin, Carllen, Carlyn, Carlyna, Carlyne, Carlynn, Carolena, Carolina▲, Caroly, Charalyn, Charelyn, Charilyn, Charlyn and Darolyn. These names tend to be less commonly used than Carolyn.