December 13, 2011

What’s in the Name Carolyn?



     What’s in a name?

     My name, that is.



     It is uncommon enough to be somewhat unique, but it is common enough so it does not get confusing and is not considered weird.*

    All through my school years, including college, I never had a classmate with the same name. Then I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, for three years. While shopping in a department store I heard my name called over the loudspeaker. I looked around and several other women were also were looking—their name was also Carolyn!

     Now, in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, when I shop at the local grocery store I’m apt to hear my name called over the loudspeaker. I do a double take before I recall that one of the store personnel is named Carolyn.

     Carolyn is a feminine form of Charles, ranking forty-second in popularity in the United States, or a percent of 0.385 with a cumulative percent of 26.893.** It is the 210th in popularity in the United States (including boy’s names). One in every 945 Americans is named Carolyn, that is, 1.06 out of a thousand.****

     As of December 3, 2011, there are 331,620 people named Carolyn, a number that is increasing by 2,781 annually.****  


     The name Carolyn is the feminine form of the Latin name Carolus, a cognate of Charles (full-grown, a man, a freeman).*****  In English the name means joy, song of happiness. In America it means strong. ******

     Anagrams for the name Carolyn are Carloyn, Carlyon, Carylon, and Coralyn.********


      In numerology, the digital root for all the letters of Carolyn is seven; for the vowels, it is seven, and for the consonants it is nine.

     Arithmetically the sum of the alphabetical order of the letters is eighty-eight. Some words with the same arithmetic number are plucky, pragmatic, jazzy, obsessed, pleasant, terrific, developed, informal****—does this describe me?

     The Scrabble score for the name is twelve points.


      People with this name have a deep inner need for quiet, and a desire to understand and analyze the world they live in, and the need to learn the deeper truths. They are excellent at analyzing, understanding and learning.

     They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will see the larger picture. Their solitary thoughtfulness and analysis of people and world events may make them seem aloof, and sometimes even melancholy.****** Again, does this describe me?


     Carolyn Keene was the pseudonym used by the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery books, many of which I read while a youth.

     The last names of other authors named Carolyn include Boyd, Banks, Cassady, Chute, Clark, Coker, Ferrell, Forche, Gage, Haywood, Guyer, Haddad, Hart, Heilbrun, Kuzer, Kreiter-Foronda, Meinel…the list stops here.*******

     Except for Carolyn Keene, I am unfamiliar with any of these authors.   


     There are songs with the name Carolyn:

Carolyn is sung by Eddy Arnold, Merle Haggard, Nat Stuckey, Phranc, and Zox. Two are Carolyn (The Wedding Present) and The Taming of Carolyn (The Lowest of the Low).********


     Television shows feature the name Carolyn: Berek in Law and Order: Criminal Intent; Hurley in 227; Imes in Jag; Lam in Stargate SG-1, and Lloyd in Jake and the Fatman.

     Movie characters are also named Carolyn in the movies Dr. T and the Women; Wall Street; The War of the Roses; Elegy; Burnham in American Beauty; Kyle in 8 Seconds; and Polhemus in Presumed Innocent.


     Contrary to the statement my mother made about naming me from a character in a novel she read, no book characters with the name have been found.  Unless she was reading one of the following comic books: Abstract Studio, DC, or Marvel. *********


      Carolyn is occurs as a last name. There are seventeen people with this last name in Washington.*** Carolyn used as a first name is 89.77 percent, while as a middle name it is 10.23 percent.****

     I wonder if any parents named their daughter Carolyn Carolyn Carolyn? Do I see a story there?












A Story Using The Letters in My Name



  1. I know a few Carolyn’s, all lovely people and it is one of my favourite names. I did consider it for my own daughter. I’ve often wondered (especially when choosing my own kids’ names) how important a name is and I’m still no further on with my thinking than when I began thinking about it.

    Comment by ultimamultis — December 13, 2011 @ 4:21 am | Reply

  2. One of the most difficult decisions my husband and I ever made was in the naming of our children.
    On a different note—in the play CATS, based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot—there is a piece that startw “the naming of cats is a difficult matter…” (The Naming Of Cats)—which is also true of naming our babies. It is a difficult matter.

    Comment by carolyncholland — December 13, 2011 @ 7:15 am | Reply

  3. Fun to read all the facts and figures. I would say my name was a compromise. My mothers best friend was a Carol and my father’s father was Charles. I do have the inner need for quiet, I am a learner and teacher but I am an extrovert. a fun read thanks!

    Comment by carolynstearns (@carolynstearns) — December 13, 2011 @ 9:28 am | Reply

  4. Clap.Clap.Clap.Clap…..

    Comment by JoJo — December 20, 2011 @ 2:31 am | Reply

  5. […] (What’s in the Name Carolyn?) it’s far easier for you to express your deeper thoughts and feelings through writing than […]

    Pingback by Are You Unhappy With Your Name? Change it! | Carolyn's Online Magazine — February 18, 2016 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

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