How popular is the baby name Carolyn in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Carolyn.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Carolyn


Posts that Mention the Name Carolyn

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: F

frediOn the hunt for a rare girl name with a retro feel?

Here’s a long list of uncommon female F-names associated with early cinema (1900s-1940s). Each of the names below is either a character name or an actress name from that era. For those names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

*

Fabienne
Fabienne was a character name in multiple films, including Fazil (1928) and The Doctor and the Girl (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Fabienne (which debuted in the data in 1949).

Fadette
Fadette was a character name in multiple films, including Fanchon, the Cricket (1915) and The Inner Chamber (1915).

Faire
Faire Binney was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in New Jersey in 1900. Her birth name was Frederica Gertrude Binney. Faire was also a character played by actress Frances Dade in the film The She-Wolf (1931).

Falfi
Falfi Tumble was a character played by actress Marjorie Daw in the film Fear-Bound (1925).

Faline
Faline was an animated character in the film Bambi (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Faline (which debuted in the data in 1943).

Fanchette
Fanchette was a character name in multiple films, including A Million a Minute (1916) and The Daring of Diana (1916).

Fanchon
Fanchon was a character name in multiple films, including Fanchon, the Cricket (1915) and The Clown (1927).

Fancy
Fancy was a character name in multiple films, including The Heart Line (1921) and The Fighting O’Flynn (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Fancy.

Fanette
Fanette was a character name in multiple films, including Money Mad (1918) and A Gamble with Hearts (1923).

Fania
Fania Marinoff was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1890. Fania was also a character name in multiple films, including When a Girl Loves (1924) and The Yellow Ticket (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Fania.

Fanina
Fanina was a character played by actress Carmen Phillips in the film The Man Who Turned White (1919).

Fannia
Fannia was a character played by actress Ann Rork in the film The Blonde Saint (1926).

Fantasca
Fantasca was a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film Fantasca, the Gipsy (1912).

Fanutza
Fanutza was a character played by actress Margaret Loomis in the film Law of the Lawless (1923).

Farina
Farina was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Farina.

Faun
Faun was a character played by actress Inez Courtney in the film Big City Blues (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Faun.

Fauvette
Fauvette was a character played by actress Elsie Ferguson in the film His Parisian Wife (1919).

Fay
Fay Tincher was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Kansas in 1884. Fay Bainter was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in California in 1893. Fay Wray (of King Kong fame) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Canada in 1907. Her birth name was Vina Fay Wray. Fay was also a character name in multiple films, including The Rainbow Trail (1925) and Stage Kisses (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Fay.

Fayaway
Fayaway was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film White Shadows in the South Seas (1928).

Fedora
Fedora was a character name in multiple films, including Fedora (1918) and The Woman from Moscow (1928).

  • Usage of the baby name Fedora.

Felicitas
Felicitas was a character played by actress Greta Garbo in the film Flesh and the Devil (1926).

Femie
Femie was a character played by actress Neva Gerber in the short film Billie, the Hillbilly (1915).

Fenella
Fenella was a character name in multiple films, including A Man of His Word (1915) and Name the Man (1924).

Ferike
Ferike Boros was an actress who appeared in films in from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Romania) in 1880.

Fernande
Fernande was a character played by actress Bodil Rosing in the film Roberta (1935).

Fernie
Fernie Schmidt was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film It Must Be Love (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Fernie.

Fernway
Fernway de la Fer was a character played by actress Lena Horne in the film Broadway Rhythm (1944).

Fiammetta
Fiammetta was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film An Awful Moment (1908).

Fidelia
Fidelia was a character played by actress Armida in the film General Crack (1930).

Fieda
Fieda Druse was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film The World for Sale (1918).

Fifi
Fifi D’Orsay was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in Canada in 1904. Her birth name was Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier. Fifi was also a character name in multiple films, including The Blackbird (1926) and While Paris Sleeps (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Fifi.

Filina
Filina was a character played by various actresses (such as Blanche Cornwall and Clara Beyers) in various movies called Mignon, all based on the 1866 opera of the same name.

Filomena
Filomena was a character played by actress Rafaela Ottiano in the film All Men Are Enemies (1934).

Fiora
Fiora Bixby was a character played by actress Barbara Brown in the film Arthur Takes Over (1948).

  • Usage of the baby name Fiora.

Fioretta
Fioretta was a character name in multiple films, including The Conspiracy of the Crazy (1941) and Song of Scheherazade (1947).

Flametta
Flametta was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film The Duke’s Plan (1910).

Flavia
Flavia Arcaro was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Texas in 1876. Flavia was also a character name in multiple films, including Ponjola (1923) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Flavia.

Fleur
Fleur Forsyte was a character played by actress Barbara La Marr in the film The White Monkey (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Fleur.

Fleurette
Fleurette was a character name in multiple films, including Heart’s Desire (1917) and It Happened in New York (1935).

Fleurie
Fleurie was a character played by actress Christiane Yves in the film They Had to See Paris (1929).

Fleurique
Fleurique was a character played by actress Thelma Leeds in the film The Toast of New York (1937).

Flo
Flo was a character name in multiple films, including The Labyrinth (1915) and G. I. Honeymoon (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Flo.

Florabel
Florabel Thurston was a character played by actress Florence Baker in the short film The Course of True Love (1910).

Florabelle
Florabelle was a character name in multiple films, including The Case of the Curious Bride (1935) and Wives Never Know (1936).

Florella
Florella was a character played by actress Nina Mae McKinney in the film Dark Waters (1944).

Florelle
Florelle was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in France in 1898. Her birth name was Odette Elisa Joséphine Marguerite Rousseau.

Florentine
Florentine Fair was a character played by actress Cleo Madison in the film The Lure of Youth (1921).

Floretta
Floretta was a character played by actress Ruth Clifford in the short film The Keeper of the Gate (1917).

Florette
Florette was a character name in multiple films, including Indiscreet Corinne (1917) and Lilies of the Field (1924).

Floria
Floria was a character name in multiple films, including The Barbarian (1921) and Breezing Home (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Floria.

Florianne
Florianne was a character played by various actresses (such as Mary Thurman and Genevieve Tobin) in various movies called Zaza, all based on the 1898 play of the same name.

Florida
Florida Kingsley was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Florida in 1867. Florida was also a character played by actress Maude George in the film The Frame-Up (1915).

Florie
Florie Watson was a character played by actress Ona Munson in the film The Cheaters (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Florie.

Florine
Florine Hanna was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1916. She was born in Kentucky in 1883. Florine was also a character name in multiple films, including The Rose of Paris (1924) and Broadway Babies (1929).

Florrie
Florrie was a character name in multiple films, including Bells of San Juan (1922) and Murder by an Aristocrat (1936).

Floss
Floss was a character played by actress Madge Kennedy in the film The Blooming Angel (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Floss.

Flossie
Flossie was a character name in multiple films, including A Deal in Diamonds (short, 1915) and Little Miss Broadway (1938).

Flossy
Flossy was a character played by actress Gwen Lee in the film Sharp Shooters (1928).

  • Usage of the baby name Flossy.

Flotilda
Flotilda was a character played by actress Nina Mae McKinney in the film The Power of the Whistler (1945).

Flotilla
Flotilla was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the short film Flotilla the Flirt (1914).

Fola
Fola Dale was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film A Bit of Heaven (1928).

  • Usage of the baby name Fola.

Follette
Follette Marsh was a character played by actress Mary Astor in the film The Lost Squadron (1932).

Fortuna
Fortuna was a character name in multiple films, including The Carpet from Bagdad (1915) and Castles in the Air (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Fortuna (which debuted in the data in 1915).

Foxey
Foxey Dennison was a character played by actress Joyce Compton in the film Affairs of a Gentleman (1934).

Francelia
Francelia Billington was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Texas in 1895.

Francey
Francey was a character name in multiple films, including Dead End (1937) and Vivacious Lady (1938).

Franchette
Franchette was a character played by actress Helen Dunbar in the short film Mrs. Trenwith Comes Home (1914).

Francie
Francie Callahan was a character played by actress Arline Judge in the film Harvard, Here I Come! (1941).

Francine
Francine was a character name in multiple films, including Francine (short, 1914) and High Pressure (1932).

Franzi
Franzi was a character played by actress Claudette Colbert in the film The Smiling Lieutenant (1931).

Freda
Freda was a character name in multiple films, including Many Waters (1931) and Hard Steel (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Freda.

Freddie
Winifred “Freddie” Jones was a character played by actress Betty Grable in the film The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949).

Frederica
Frederica was a character played by actress Irene Rich in the film Beau Brummel (1924).

Frederika
Frederika was a character name in multiple films, including Confessions of a Queen (1925) and White Hunter (1936).

Fredi
Fredi Washington was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Georgia in 1903. Her birth name was Fredericka Carolyn Washington.

  • Usage of the baby name Fredi.

Frieda
Frieda Inescort was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Scotland in 1901. Frieda was also a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film Spy Train (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Frieda.

Fritzi
Fritzi Massary was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1920s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1882. Her birth name was Friederike Massaryk. Fritzi Brunette was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Georgia in 1890. Her birth name was Florence Brunet. Fritzi Ridgeway was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Montana in 1898. Fritzi was also a character name in multiple films, including Broadway Arizona (1917) and One Heavenly Night (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Fritzi.

Fulvia
Princess Fulvia was a character played by actress Vola Vale in the film Zollenstein (1917).

Furja
Furja was a character played by actress Blanche Friderici in the film Fleetwing (1928).

…Which of the above F-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Baby Names Given a Boost by Grace Kelly

grace kelly, 1950s

Philadelphia native Grace Kelly appeared in her first movie in 1951. By 1955, she had become one of the biggest box-office draws in the nation. But she gave up her career as an actress to assume the role of a princess in 1956 when she married the ruler of Monaco.

I know of five baby names (so far) that got a boost thanks to Grace Kelly…

Grace

First thing’s first: Grace Kelly’s first name, Grace. It saw a two-year uptick in the mid-’50s:

  • 1959: 1,660 baby girls named Grace [rank: 204th]
  • 1958: 1,708 baby girls named Grace [rank: 198th]
  • 1957: 1,917 baby girls named Grace [rank: 186th]
  • 1956: 1,837 baby girls named Grace [rank: 189th]
  • 1955: 1,390 baby girls named Grace [rank: 216th]
  • 1954: 1,410 baby girls named Grace [rank: 213th]

Decades later, it would peak in the rankings at 13th place for two years in a row (2003 and 2004).

Kelly

The rise of Kelly can’t be attributed to a single factor, as we saw yesterday. That said, I have no doubt that Grace Kelly played a part in feminizing the first name Kelly during the 1950s:

  • 1959: 6,379 baby girls named Kelly [rank: 74th]
  • 1958: 4,471 baby girls named Kelly [rank: 108th]
  • 1957: 1,907 baby girls named Kelly [rank: 187th]
  • 1956: 831 baby girls named Kelly [rank: 310th]
  • 1955: 540 baby girls named Kelly [rank: 380th]
  • 1954: 455 baby girls named Kelly [rank: 406th]

Grace Kelly’s paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants. The Irish surname Kelly can have several possible origins, but a common one is the Ó Ceallaigh, “descendant of Ceallach.” The meaning of the personal name Ceallach isn’t known for certain — some sources say “bright-headed,” others say it comes from a word meaning “war,” or a different word meaning “church.”

In 1968, the name Kelly saw peak usage on the boys’ list (97th) and then-peak usage on the girls’ list (12th). In 1977, thanks to the Charlie’s Angels character, it bounced back to reach an even higher peak for girls (10th).

Lizanne

Grace’s little sister Elizabeth “Lizanne” Kelly married Donald LeVine in Philadelphia in June of 1955. The same year, the baby name Lizanne debuted on the charts:

  • 1959: 32 baby girls named Lizanne
    • 10 born in Pennsylvania
  • 1958: 39 baby girls named Lizanne [peak]
    • 13 born in Pennsylvania
  • 1957: 36 baby girls named Lizanne
    • 10 born in Pennsylvania
  • 1956: 32 baby girls named Lizanne
    • 9 born in Pennsylvania
  • 1955: 15 baby girls named Lizanne [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted

Notice how the usage of Lizanne in the late ’50s was particularly high in Pennsylvania. It was the same through most of the ’60s as well.

Rainier

Grace married Rainier III, the Prince of Monaco, in a lavish wedding in Monaco in April of 1956. The same year, the baby name Rainier debuted on the charts:

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 7 baby boys named Rainier
  • 1956: 11 baby boys named Rainier [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

The name Rainier is ultimately based on the Germanic words ragin, meaning “advice, decision, counsel,” and hari, meaning “army.”

(The six bridesmaids at the wedding were named Bettina, Carolyn, Judith, Maree, Rita — actress Rita Gam — and Sally.)

Caroline

Grace and Rainier had three children: Caroline, Albert, and Stephanie. The births of the latter two didn’t seem to have an effect on U.S. baby names, but the birth of Caroline in January of 1957 did give Caroline a bump that year:

  • 1959: 1,046 baby girls named Caroline [rank: 273rd]
  • 1958: 990 baby girls named Caroline [rank: 282nd]
  • 1957: 1,135 baby girls named Caroline [rank: 253rd]
  • 1956: 702 baby girls named Caroline [rank: 329th]
  • 1955: 743 baby girls named Caroline [rank: 315th]
  • 1954: 770 baby girls named Caroline [rank: 304th]

Toward the end of 1957, John and Jacqueline Kennedy — who were still several years away from becoming President and First Lady — also welcomed a daughter named Caroline. They didn’t get the idea from Grace Kelly, though. Caroline Kennedy was named after her maternal aunt, Caroline Lee Radziwill.

Sources: Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll – Wikipedia, Rayner – Behind the Name

What Launched Lynley?

carol lynley, model, actress
© 1957 LIFE

Precocious teen model-turned-actress Carol Lynley was in the spotlight from the late ’50s onward. In 1957 she was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine, for instance, and in 1958 she played Rapunzel on TV.

But the name-like surname Lynley didn’t pop up in the SSA data until 1962:

  • 1965: 7 baby girls named Lynley
  • 1964: 10 baby girls named Lynley
  • 1963: 12 baby girls named Lynley
  • 1962: 10 baby girls named Lynley [debut]
  • 1961: unlisted

The name Lynlee also debuted that year, and the name Linley starting being used more often for girls.

Carol Lynley is clearly the influence here, but it’s hard to pin down the reason. She appeared in two movies in 1961, and on several TV shows in 1962, but these things aren’t particularly notable — she’d been in movies and on TV before.

My best guess is that the marketing campaign for Return to Peyton Place (1961) drew new attention to her name. Even though the sequel to Peyton Place flopped, Lynley’s starring role ensured that she was featured prominently in advertisements, including TV commercials.

Carol Lynley was born Carole Jones in 1942. (It was the year that Carole Lombard died in a plane crash; lots of parents opted for Carole-with-an-e in 1942.) When Jones started modelling, she chose to go by the name Carolyn Lee. But when she started acting, she altered the name to Carol Lynley because another actress had already claimed “Carolyn Lee.”

Do you like the name Lynley? If you were going to use it, how would you spell it?

Source: “Letters to the Editors.” Life 13 May 1957: 16.

Popular Girl Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

The ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names in the girl’s top 20 is about the same today as it was 100 years ago, though the ratio did change a bit mid-century.

(In contrast, there’s been a steady increase in the number of Biblical-origin names among the top boy names.)

Here’s the color-coded table — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and several borderline names (which I counted as non-Biblical) are in the orange cells:

Popular girl names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular girl names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Abigail, Anna, Betty (via Elizabeth), Chloe, Danielle, Deborah, Debra, Elizabeth, Hannah, Isabella (via Elizabeth), Janet, Jean, Joan, Judith, Judy, Julie, Lillian (via Elizabeth), Lisa (via Elizabeth), Lois, Marie, Marilyn, Mary, Mia (via Maria), Michelle, Nancy (via Anne), Rachel, Rebecca, Ruth, Sandra (via Alexander), Sarah, Sharon, Stephanie, Susan, Tammy (via Tamar/Tamara)
  • Non-Biblical names: Alexis, Alice, Alyssa, Amanda, Amber, Amelia, Amy, Angela, Ashley, Aubrey, Avery, Barbara, Brenda, Brianna, Brittany, Carol, Carolyn, Catherine, Charlotte, Christina, Christine, Crystal, Cynthia, Diane, Donna, Doris, Dorothy, Edna, Ella, Emily, Emma, Evelyn, Florence, Frances, Gladys, Grace, Harper, Heather, Helen, Irene, Jennifer, Joyce, Karen, Kathleen, Kayla, Kelly, Kimberly, Laura, Lauren, Linda, Lori, Louise, Madison, Margaret, Marjorie, Megan, Melissa, Mildred, Natalie, Nicole, Olivia, Pamela, Patricia, Rose, Shannon, Shirley, Sofia, Sophia, Taylor, Tiffany, Victoria, Virginia
  • Borderline names:
    • Ava (could be based on the Germanic root avi or the Biblical name Eve)
    • Jessica (literary invention, but Shakespeare may have based it on the Biblical name Iscah)
    • Samantha (possibly inspired by the Biblical name Samuel)

Again, feels pretty weird to put overtly Christian names like Christina and Christine in the non-Biblical category, but oh well.

Here are the year-by-year tallies:

Year Top 20 names
given to…
# Biblical # Non-Biblical
1914 31% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
1924 31% of baby girls 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
1934 32% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1944 35% of baby girls 8 (40%) 12 (60%)
1954 34% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1964 24% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1974 24% of baby girls 8 (40%) 12 (60%)
1984 26% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
1994 19% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
2004 14% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
2014 12% of baby girls 5 (25%) 15 (75%)

Just like with the boy names, though, there’s a big difference between the 1914 and 2014 sample sizes — 31% and 12%. So let’s also look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 31% of female births.

By my count, last year’s top 100 girl names were about a quarter Biblical, three-quarters non-Biblical:

Biblical names (27) Non-Biblical/Borderline names (73)
Isabella (via Elizabeth), Mia (via Maria), Abigail, Elizabeth, Chloe, Addison (via Adam), Lillian (via Elizabeth), Hannah, Anna, Leah, Gabriella, Sadie (via Sarah), Sarah, Annabelle, Madelyn (via Magdalene), Lucy (via Lucius), Alexa (via Alexander), Genesis, Naomi, Eva, Lydia, Julia, Khloe, Madeline (via Magdalene), Alexandra, Gianna (via Joanna), Isabelle (via Elizabeth) Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Charlotte, Harper, Sofia, Avery, Amelia, Evelyn, Ella, Victoria, Aubrey, Grace, Zoey, Natalie, Brooklyn, Lily, Layla, Scarlett, Aria, Zoe, Samantha, Audrey, Ariana, Allison, Savannah, Arianna, Camila, Penelope, Claire, Aaliyah, Riley, Skylar, Nora, Hailey, Kaylee, Paisley, Kennedy, Ellie, Peyton, Caroline, Serenity, Aubree, Alexis, Nevaeh, Stella, Violet, Mackenzie, Bella, Autumn, Mila, Kylie, Maya, Piper, Alyssa, Taylor, Eleanor, Melanie, Faith, Katherine, Brianna, Ashley, Ruby, Sophie, London, Lauren, Alice, Vivian, Hadley, Jasmine

Faith, Grace, Angela, Nevaeh, Natalie…all technically non-Biblical.

27%-73% is remarkably similar to both 25%-75% (smaller 2014 sample) and 30%-70% (1914 sample).

So here’s the question of the day: If you had to choose all of your children’s names from either one group or the other — Biblical names or non-Biblical names — which group would you stick to, and why?

Names With the Word “Car”

If you’re looking for a car name — or you’re a car-lover looking for a baby name — here’s a logical list for you: names that contain the word “car.”

  • Cara, Carra
  • Caramia
  • Cardea
  • Caren, Carin, Caron, Caryn, Karen
  • Carey, Cari, Carie, Carrie, Carrie, Cary
  • Caridad
  • Carina
  • Carissa, Carisa
  • Carl
  • Carla
  • Carleen, Carlene
  • Carlee, Carleigh, Carley, Carli, Carlie, Carly
  • Carlissa, Carlisa
  • Carlisle, Carlyle
  • Carlo
  • Carlos
  • Carlota, Carlotta
  • Carlton, Carleton
  • Carlyn, Carlynn
  • Carmel, Carmela, Carmella, Carmelo, Carmello
  • Carmen
  • Carmine
  • Carol, Carole, Carrol, Carroll, Caryl
  • Carolann
  • Carolee
  • Carolina
  • Caroline, Carolyne
  • Carolyn, Carolynn
  • Carsen, Carson
  • Carsten
  • Carter
  • Carver
  • Charisma, Carisma
  • Encarnacion
  • Giancarlo
  • Karma, Carma
  • Macario, Macarius, Macaria
  • MacArthur
  • Oscar
  • Ricardo, Ricarda
  • Scarlett, Scarlet
  • Toccara

Want to see more names for cars?