Charles: Boys Baby Name Meaning

Charles Baby Name

The name Charles means ‘free man’.

The name Charles is the French and English version of the German name Karl or Carl, derived from the Germanic word ‘karl’ meaning ‘free man’.

A long time ago, the Germanic term ‘karl’ signified a ‘free’ man but not one of nobility.

It comes from the same early medieval root as the Olde English word ‘ceorl’ which stood for ‘man of low birth, a common man’.

In the later Middle High German and Middle English, however, both terms evolved their definitions to mean more simply ‘man, fellow, husband’.

Many Europeans of high rank and those among the royalty bore names derived from Karl/Carl, such as Charlemagne, Charles, Caroline and Charlotte).

In fact, the 8th/9th century Frankish leader, Charlemagne (Charles the Great), had a lot to do with the name’s perpetuation among the earlier Franks (a Germanic tribe and precursors to the French people).

By the 15th century, upper-class people of England began to adopt the name, and Mary Queen of Scots named her first son Charles James.

Famous people who share the name Charles:

Charles Bukowski (author); Charles Boyer (actor); Charlie Chaplin (actor/director); Charles Durning (actor); Charlton Heston (born Charles Carter, actor); Charles Laughton (actor); Charles Schulz (cartoonist); Charles Dickens (novelist).

 

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