Anglicized form of Carolus (see Charles), or of its feminine derivative Carola. It has never been common as a boy's name, and has become even less so since its growth in popularity as a girl's name. This seems to be of relatively recent origin (not being found much before the end of the 19th century). It probably originated as a short form of Caroline.
English: from an Old English personal name, Burgheard, composed of the elements burh, burg ‘fort’ (see Burke) + heard ‘hardy’, ‘brave’, ‘strong’. The name was reintroduced into Middle English by the Normans in the forms Bou(r)chart, Bocard. In the form Burkhard it was a very popular medieval German name. There has been considerable confusion between this English surname and Birkett.