Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Carlos

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Spanish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 105
Simple meaning:
Free man

Characteristics of Carlos

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Carlos

Carlos is the Spanish and Portuguese version of the French and English name Charles, which in turn comes from the Germanic word “karl” meaning ‘free man.’ Some etymological sources seem to suggest that the original word indicates a “free man” but not one of noble birth – which is ironic given the number of “noble” people that have borne the name throughout Europe for centuries. The name owes most of its popularity in Europe from medieval times thanks to the Frankish leader and the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. The name Charles was particularly popular among the Franks, who were a western European Germanic tribe, and big spreaders of Christianity in the Middle Ages. By the 15th century the name was pretty well spread throughout Europe – Charles in England and France, Karl in Germany, Carlo in Italy and Carlos in Spain and Portugal. In Spain, two kings bore the name Carlos in the 16th and 17th centuries. In Portugal, King Carlos I has the distinction of being the second to last king of Portugal before his assassination.

Popularity of the Name Carlos

The name Carlos in America has followed the same pattern as other distinctly Spanish personal names. That pattern is growth. The Hispanic-American population in the United States has gone from 15 million in 1980 to 50 million in 2010. While peoples of Spanish-speaking origin have increased in sheer numbers, so too have their contributions to the American popularity chart of names. Carlos, along with seven other Spanish male names, have reached the the Top 100 list. If we just look at boys’ names on the American naming charts that originated from the Spanish language specifically, Carlos ranks in 7th place – right after Jesús and just before Miguel. Currently, Jóse, Juan, Xavier, Luis and Diego are the frontrunners. Carlos is a charming, boyish name and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it cross-over and gain more widespread success in coming decades.
Popularity of the Boy Name Carlos
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Carlos

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Carlos

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Carlos

    Carlos García (How the García Girls Lost Their Accents) Carlos is the overprotective father of the four daughters in Julia Alvarez’s 1991 novel, “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents.” For political reasons, the García family is forced to flee to New York from the Dominican Republic and begin a new life. Carlos has difficulty accepting his lower position in society as he is forced to re-establish his medical profession while struggling to support his family in this new country. The daughters are maturing and assimilating into American culture while clashing with the “old country” customs and expectations. The girls clash with their father much in the same way that the two cultures are colliding in this coming of age story about acculturation.

  • Popular Songs on Carlos

    Popular Songs on Carlos

    Carlos (Don't Let It Go To Your Head) - a song by Pete Yorn

    Carlos Rossi - a song by E-40 [explicit]

    Carlos, Man of Love - a song by Rodney Carrington [explicit]

    Don Carlos - an opera by Giuseppe Verdi

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Carlos

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Carlos

    A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero (Gina Capaldi) - This story reveals the remarkable life of a Native American boy named Wassaja, or "Beckoning," who was kidnapped from his Yavapai tribe and sold as a slave. Adopted by an Italian photographer in 1871 and renamed Carlos Montezuma, the young boy traveled throughout the Old West, bearing witness to the prejudice against and poor treatment of Native Americans. Carlos eventually became a doctor and leader for his people, calling out for their rights. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Carlos and the Squash Plant / Carlos y la planta de calabaza (Jan Romero Stevens) - Set in northern New Mexico, young Carlos refuses to take a bath after his farm work each day, until a plant sprouts in his ear. Also in this delightful series of books are “Carlos and the Cornfield / Carlos y la milpa de maiz,” “Carlos and the Carnival / Carlos y La Feria” and “Carlos and the Skunk / Carlos y el zorrillo.” Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Carlos Is Gonna Get It (Kevin Emerson) - The jungle of middle-school peer pressure is the setting of this gripping story about seventh-graders in Boston who gang up on their troubled classmate, Carlos. The story is told from the viewpoint of Trina, a nice, smart African American girl who does not want to hurt Carlos, but she cannot stand up to her friends who bully him. Then she is appointed to be his partner in a science project, and she learns his secrets, especially his fear of “aliens.” The class uses the information to plan a trick even as Trina discovers that she cares for Carlos. The author is a middle-grade teacher, and he perfectly captures the classroom power struggles of friends and enemies, as well as the terror of being an outsider if you don’t go along with the group. The dialogue is right on, as is the hurt of betrayal and the guilt that cannot be resolved. In the exciting climax, the class plays their prank during a lightning storm in the mountains, and the setting is part of the drama as a city kid discovers the sense of space on the mountaintop and the feeling of being a giant and a speck at the same time. Recommended for ages 9-13.

    Write On, Carlos! (Stuart J. Murphy) - Part of the “I See I Learn” series, Write On, Carlos! Is an instructional children’s book that provides writing exercises along with cute illustrations. Making learning fun! Recommended for ages 4-7.

  • Famous People Named Carlos

    Famous People Named Carlos

    Famous People Named Carlos - Carlos Irwin Estévez (aka Charlie Sheen, actor); Carlos Gutierrez (politician/businessman); Carlos Mencia (comic/actor); Carlos Ray Norris (aka Chuck Norris, martial artist/actor); Carlos Watson (journalist); Carlos Gardel (prominent figure in tango music); Carlos Montoya (flamenco guitarist); Carlos Santana (musician); Carlos Pena, Jr. (singer/actor); Carlos Cavazo (guitarist in Quiet Riot); Carlos Zambrano (baseball player); Carlos Castaneda (author); Carlos Fuentes (author)

  • Children of Famous People Named Carlos

    Children of Famous People Named Carlos

    Famous People who Named their Son Carlos - Martin Sheen (actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Carlos - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Carlos, Prince of Asturias (8 Jul 1545 - 24 Jul 1568) - The story of Don Carlos is a tragic one. He was the eldest son of the King of Spain, but lost his mother a month after he was born. At one time he was betrothed to Elizabeth I of England. As a member of the royal House of Habsburg, Carlos may have been a victim of inbreeding as was common among monarch families. This may have led to some of his physical and psychological ailments. When he was 17, Carlos fell down a flight of stairs. He recovered after surgery, but suffered enough of a head injury to cause a change in his behavior. Carlos became wild and erratic, apparently making threats and causing friction. His father eventually had the boy imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement. Don Carlos tragically died six months later and his legend inspired a couple of great works of art. One was Friedrich Schiller’s 18th century historic tragedy “Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien” which, in turn, inspired Giuseppe Verdi’s five-act Grand Opera, “Don Carlos.”

Personality of the Boy Name Carlos

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Carlos

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