[ 2 syll. car-men, ca-rm-en ] The baby girl name Carmen is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced in English as KAARMahN or in Spanish as KAARMehN †. Carmen has its origins in the Hebrew language. It is used largely in English, Romanian, and Spanish. It is literally from the words karmel which means 'fruit garden, fruitful land' ; carmen 'song'. The name is derived from the Spanish title, Virgin Mary Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is from the place name of Mount Carmel in Israel. The '-l' in place name became '-n' in the first name, under influence from the Latin carmen, with which the name is often associated via folk etymology. In the 19th century, Georges Bizet's tragic romantic heroine in the highly popular French opera Carmen (1873-4), based on Prosper Mérimée's story Carmen (1845), contributed to the name's widespread use among English speakers. The Broadway musical Carmen Jones (1943), an update of Bizet's opera in an African-American setting, also fueled the name's popularity in the 20th century. Carmen is the feminine form of the Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish Carmelo.
The name Carmen is used to a great extent; it has 46 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Carmain, Carmaine, Carmana, Carmanah, Carmane, Carmea, Carmelia, Carmelina, Carmelinda, Carmelita, Carmene, Carmia, Carmie, Carmina (also used in Italian and Spanish), Carminda, Carmine (also used in Italian), Carmita, Carmona, Carmya, Carmyna, Carmyta, Charmaine (also used in French), Karma, Karmia, Karmina, Karmine, and Karmita. Other English forms include the diminutives Carma (also used in Hebrew) and Carmi, and the spelling variants Carman, Carmin, Carmon, Carmynn, Karman, Karmen (also used in Spanish), Karmin, and Karmyn.
Forms used in foreign languages include Caniad (Welsh), Canita (Hebrew), Carmena (Spanish), Carminia (Spanish), Carmiña (Spanish), Mamen (Hebrew), and Mina (Spanish). The diminutives Carmencita (Spanish) and Menchu (Spanish) are other foreign forms.
Carmen is an all-time favorite. At present it is still rather popular as a baby girl name, but not to the degree it was in the past. The name increased in popularity from the 1900s up to the 1960s; prior to that, it was of only modest use. Its usage peaked in 1968 with 0.133% of baby girls being named Carmen. It had a ranking of #142 then. The baby name has experienced a drop in frequency since then. In 2012, it ranked at #331 with a usage of 0.049%, but it was nevertheless the most popular among all girl names in its family. Carmen was thrice as popular as the 2nd most popular name, Mina, in 2012. Carmen has mainly been a baby girl name in the last century. There were 14 times more baby girls than boys who were named Carmen in 1981.
Baby names that sound like Carmen include Carman, Carmin, Carmon, Karman, Karmen, Karmin, Karmine, Careen, Carem, Caren, Carin, Carine, Carinn, Carinne, Cariyn, Carma, Carmain, Carmaine, Carmell, and Carmelle.
† Pronunciation for Carmen: K as in "key (K.IY)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; M as in "me (M.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)"
Details of famous persons named Carmen:
Actress Carmen Electra, born Tara Patrick 20 April 1972.
Model Carmen Kass, born 14 September 1978, Tallinn, Estonia.