Its source is car, a Gaelic name meaning "LOve."
The name Cari ranked 1081st in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name has fluctuated in use, it has been quietly present throughout the last century.
This name might have originated as a nickname of Carol and Caroline, but it is also likely bestowed upon girl babies with one or more of the sound-alike surnames in mind.
There are various theories on the origins of those surnames, including the Gaelic derivation given here. Others include the Welsh phrase caer rhiw, meaning ''hill fort,'' another Gaelic source, ciar, meaning ''dark-complected,'' and the Latin carriarus, a term which evolved into an occupational surname for those who moved goods from place to place.