Family name origins & meanings
- Czech (Král), Slovak (Král), and eastern German (of Slavic origin) : from the western Slavic word kral ‘king’, a derivative of the personal name Karl ‘Charles’, the name of the Frankish king and Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (?742–814; Latin name Carolus Magnus). The word kral as a generic term meaning ‘king’ became widespread throughout eastern Europe in the Middle Ages; in Byzantium it generally denoted the kings of Serbia. As a surname, it generally arose either as an occupational name for a servant of the king or as an ironic nickname for one who gave himself regal airs. The surname is also found in German, often in the spelling Krahl.
- Americanized form of Slovenian, Croatian, or Serbian Kralj ‘king’, of the same origin as 1. Compare Kraly.