Quick Facts on Carl
- English, German, Nordic
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Etymology & Historical Origin - Carl
Carl is a masculine personal name 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; i.e., from the same Proto-Germanic 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”. For instance, in Geoffrey Chaucer’s famous 14th century collection of stories, “The Canterbury Tales” he writes in Middle English: “The millere was a stout carl for the nones” (translation: the miller was a stout fellow for the occasion). Despite the name’s rather “lowly” beginnings, 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 (having been influenced by her French upbringing) named her first son Charles James (who would eventually become King James VI of Scotland and then King James I of England, uniting Scotland, England and Ireland under one monarchy). The form of Carl is most popular in the Scandinavian countries, particularly in Denmark and Sweden. In fact, the current reigning King of Sweden is Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (which means 15 kings named Carl came before him). The founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) is another famous name bearer.
Popularity of the Name Carl
Carl is a name that’s been around in America for a long time. It goes back as far as we have available data (1880) at which time he was a Top 100 favorite baby boy’s name nationwide. In fact, Carl maintained Top 100 status for 100 consecutive years (1880-1979). The 19-teens were actually the best years for Carl; he reached as high as position #22 on the charts in 1915. However, since the 1990s, this old dog has gone into “free”-fall decline. Now the name would be considered only moderately popular at best. Carl is a solid choice – it’s strong, one-syllable Germanic sound is quite masculine. It’s also a great name for a Rottweiler dog (thanks to the very popular children’s book series “Good Dog, Carl.”
Popularity of the Boy Name Carl
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Carl
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Carl
Carl We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Carl.
Popular Songs on Carl
Carl - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Carl.
Children's Books on the Baby Name Carl
Good Dog, Carl (Alexandra Day) - The favorite original story about Carl the responsible Rottweiler is presented in a sturdy, classic board book edition and follows the adventures shared by the babysitting dog and his infant mistress. Several more titles available. Recommended for ages 2-6.
Famous People Named Carl
Famous People Named Carl - Carl Jung (Swiss psychoanalyst); Carl Linnaeus (Swedish botanist); Carl (several Kings of Sweden); Carl Reiner (director/filmmaker); Carl Sagan (astronomer); Carl Sandburg (author); Carl Weathers (actor); Carl Ballantine (actor); Carl Yastrzemski (baseball player)
Children of Famous People Named Carl
Famous People Who Named Their Son Carl - Johann Sebastian Bach (music composer); Don King (boxing promoter)
Personality of the Boy Name Carl
The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth". Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.
Variations of the Baby Name - Carl