Carol \c(a)-rol\ as a girl's 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 variant forms: 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, Cheryl, Cherlyn, Ina, Karel, Kari, Karla, Karleen, Karli, Karlie, Karlina, Karlinka, Karlote, Karlotta, Karol, Karole, Karolina, Karyl, Karyll, Karryl, Karryll, Kerril, Kerryl, Keryl, Lola, Loleta, Lolita, Lotta, Lotte, Lotti, Lottie, Sharleen, Sharlene, Sharline, Sharmain and Sharmain.