(French) form of Carol, formerly quite commonly used in the English-speaking world. In the 1930s it was associated particularly with the film star Carole Lombard (1908–42). Now that Carol is used almost exclusively for girls, the form Carole has become less frequent.
German, Swedish, and English: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements wald ‘rule’ + heri, hari ‘army’. The personal name was introduced into England from France by the Normans in the form Walt(i)er, Waut(i)er.