Difference between Carmel and Caramel

By: | Updated: Dec-14, 2017
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Are you one of those people who think that “Carmel and “caramel” refer to the soft candy made of sugar and butter? Sorry to burst your bubble! “Carmel” and “caramel” may have almost the same exact spelling but they are not even remotely related to each other. Still confused? This article will discuss the difference between the two terms and why they should not be interchanged.

Summary Table

Carmel Caramel
Pronounced /kär-mel/; has two syllables and rhymes with “marvel” Pronounced /ker-a-mel/ or /kär-mel/, with three and two syllables, respectively
Proper noun; the first letter is always capitalized Common noun; first letter is not capitalized
Name of a place or a person Refers to a candy made with butter and sugar, the flavor of caramel, or the color of caramel


cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea
A cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

The word Carmel is a proper noun. It was derived from the Hebrew name Karmiel which means “fresh.” It is pronounced as /kär-mel/ and rhymes with the word “marvel.”

Carmel is a name of a person. Some of the famous persons named Carmel are Carmel Myers, an actress who played in silent movies in the 1900s, and Carmel Amit, a writer and an actress who participated in the movie “Fifty Shades Darker.”

Carmel is also a name of a place. It originated from the Biblical placed called “Mount Carmel,” where the prophet Elijah called Baal’s prophets to a contest. Nowadays, there are thousands of places named Carmel, and here are some examples:

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California (USA)
  • Carmel, New York (USA)
  • Carmel Indiana (USA)
  • Carmel Market, Tel Aviv (Israel)
  • Carmel, Perth (Australia)
  • El Carmel, Barcelona (Spain)
  • Carmel, Canlubag (Philippines)

Let us take a look at some sample sentences where the word “Carmel” is used:

  • Her daughter, Carmel, is a very sweet, talented girl.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea is such a dreamy place!
  • Do you ship purchased items from Madrid to El Carmel?
Caramel candies
Caramel candies

On the other hand, the word caramel is pronounced /ker-a-mel/ or /kär-mel/. It is a noun that refers to:

  1. Sweet, soft or chewy candy made from a heated mixture of butter and sugar; for example: My mom made some caramel candies for my dad.
  2. The flavor of caramel; for example: Can you please put some caramel flavor in my coffee?
  3. The color of caramel or a light brown color; for example: Kim Smith’s caramel-colored leather shoes are so fashionable!

Carmel vs Caramel

What, then, is the difference between Carmel and caramel?

“Carmel” is a proper noun. It is a name of a place or a person. On the other hand, the word “caramel” refers to the mixture of butter and sugar, the flavor of caramel, or the color of caramel.

The confusion between the two is not only because of their spelling but also because of the pronunciation of the word “caramel.” The word “caramel” is sometimes pronounced with three syllables and is pronounced /ker-a-mel/ and it is sometimes pronounced with two syllables – the same as Caramel – like /kär-mel/.

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