Meaning and Origin of: Karl

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Old German : Free man; a variation of Charles
  • German : Man; Carl's town

Family name origins & meanings

  • German, Dutch, Scandinavian, and eastern and southern Slavic : from the personal name Karl, from a common Germanic word, Old High German karl ‘man’, ‘husband’, ‘freeman’. See also Carl and Charles. The popularity of this name and its cognates in central and northern Europe was greatly enhanced by its status as a royal and imperial name; in particular it was bestowed in honor of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne (in Latin, Carolus Magnus).