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|Word/name||Hebrew and Latin, respectively|
|Meaning||Vineyard of God, Song, Truthful, Poetry|
|Region of origin||Italy, Romania, English- and Spanish-speaking countries|
|Related names||Carmelita, Carmelito, Carmelina, Carmelino, Carmella, Carmela, Carmelo, Carmel, Carmina, Carmine, Carmo, Carme, Karmin, Coromin|
|The "vineyard of God" origin is from Hebrew karmel -- the "song" origin is from Latin carmen (3rd decl subst); the two origins are unrelated|
|Look up Carmen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Carmen is a unisex given name that represents two names taken as one. Its first (and original) root is Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, used as a diminutive nickname for Carmel and Carmelo (respectively), from Hebrew karmel, "God's vineyard." The second (and more recent) origin is from Latin carmen, which means "song," "tune," or "poem" and is also the root of the English word charm. The name of the Roman Goddess Carmenta based on this root comes from the purely Latin origin. While in English the name is unisex, in Italian, in Spanish and in Portuguese it is generally female.
As a Spanish given name, it is usually part of the devotional compound names María del Carmen, Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady of Carmen) or Virgen del Carmen (in English Our Lady of Mount Carmel), stemming from the tradition of the vision of Mary the mother of Jesus on 16 July 1251 by Simon Stock, head of the Carmelite order.
Its presence in literature:
In Nabokov's Lolita, the name is used in reference to Mr. Clare Quilty, the man who takes Lolita from Humbert. Carmen and Clare being both male and female names, Lolita uses them to deceive Humbert into thinking he is a woman and no threat.
- Carmen, opera by Bizet, about a Spanish gypsy who is killed by jealous lover
- Carmen Carrera, American reality television personality, model and burlesque performer
- Carmen Basilio, American professional boxer
- Carmen Espinoza-Rodriquez, American singer-songwriter
- Carmen Electra, American actress
- Carmen Fanzone, former Major League Baseball player and accomplished horn player
- Carmen Kass, Estonian model
- Carmen Luvana, American porn star
- Carmen Maxwell, American voice actor
- Carmen McRae, American jazz singer
- Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian samba singer and film star
- Carmen Radu, former CEO of Eximbank Romania
- Carmen Rinke, Canadian boxer
- Carmen Rupe, New Zealand-Australian LGBT activist and drag-queen (1936–2011)
- Carmen Salvino, American professional bowler
- Carmen Suleiman, Egyptian singer
- Carmen Samy , Egyptian Pharmacist
Fictional characters with the name Carmen
- Carmen Cortez, a character from the Spy Kids trilogy.
- Carmen Lowell, character from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.
- Carmen de la Pica Morales, character on Showtime's lesbian drama, The L Word.
- Carmen Sandiego, character from the Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? franchise.
- Carmen Lopez (character), a fictional character from the TV series, George Lopez
- Carmen, a character from the movie, Happy Feet Two.
- Carmen (song), a song by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey, taken from her second studio album Born to Die.
- Carmen Diaz is an aspiring dancer, singer, and actress in the musical, Fame (musical)
Fictional characters with the name Carmela
- Carmela Corleone, wife of Don Vito Corleone, mother of Santino "Sonny" Corleone, Frederico "Fredo" Corleone, Michael "Mikey" Corleone, and Constanzia "Connie" Corleone, and adoptive mother of Tom Hagen in the books and movies based on Mario Puzo's 1969 novel, The Godfather.
- Carmela Soprano, leading female character and wife of northern New Jersey mafia boss, Tony Soprano, on HBO's series, The Sopranos.