Carl (name)

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PronunciationUrban East Norwegian: [kɑːl] Swedish: [kɑːɭ]
Word/nameOld Norse
Other names
Related namesKarl, Kaarel, Karel, Charles, Carlos, Kalle, Karol

Carl is a North Germanic male name meaning "free man". The name originates in Old West Norse.[1] It is the first name of many Kings of Sweden including Carl XVI Gustaf. It is popular in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, and was largely popularized in the United States by Scandinavian and Italian (shortened from "Carlo") descendants. Karl is a Germanic spelling which is very popular in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, and was also popularized by German-speaking descendants in the USA. Other variants include the Anglo-Saxon-Frankish variant Charles, popular in Australia, Philippines, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the United States, although both Karl and Carl are also widespread names in most English speaking countries; Carlo, very popular in Italy and southern Switzerland; Carlos, popular in Spain, Portugal and Latin America; and Karol, a variant in Poland and Slovakia.

List of people named Carl[edit]

Royalty and nobility[edit]

Most other Swedish and Norwegian royalty so named – see Carl of Sweden – are listed on English Wikipedia as Charles.

As a family name[edit]

  • Christian Thomsen Carl (1676–1713), Danish navy officer. Middle name also given as Thomasen, Thomesen, or Thomasen.

As a given name[edit]

As a stage name[edit]

  • Carl Carl, stage name of Karl Andreas Bernbrunn (1787–1854), Polish-born actor and theatre director
  • Margarethe Carl, stage name of Margarethe Bernbrunn (1788–1861), German soprano and actress

Fictional characters[edit]

Derived surnames[edit]

There are several derivations of the surname Carl, most of them originating as "son of Carl":

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peterson, Lena (2007). Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (PDF) (in Swedish). Institutet för språk och folkminnen. p. 146. ISBN 9789172290402.