Meaning and Origin of: Carl

Carl is Old German, a variation of Charles, meaning "Free man."

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Old German : Free man; a variation of Charles
  • Old English : Carl's island

Family name origins & meanings

  • Variant spelling of Dutch, German, and Scandinavian Karl.
  • English : from the Anglo-Scandinavian personal name Karl(i), ultimately from Germanic karl ‘man’, ‘freeman’. See also Charles.
  • English : status name for a bondman or villein, from the vocabulary word karl, carl, which had various different meanings at various times: originally ‘man’, then ‘ordinary man’, ‘peasant’, and in Middle English specialized in the senses ‘free peasant’, ‘bondman’, ‘villein’, and ‘rough, churlish individual’.