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What does Carl mean?

Carl Pronunciation of Carl [carl] as a boys' name is pronounced karl. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Carl is "free man". From Karl, the German form of Charles. See also Carlos. Poet Carl Sandburg; journalist Carl Bernstein; astronomer/author Carl Sagan; psychologist Carl Jung.


Carl has 3 variants: Carel, Karel and Karl.

Related boy name: Carlyle.

27 more related forms via Carlos, Charles, Karl: Carlito, Carlo, Carlos, Carrlos, Carrol, Carroll, Cary, Caryl, Chad, Charley, Charlie, Charlot, Charls, Charly, Chas, Chaz, Chip, Kale, Karlan, Karle, Karli, Karlin, Karlo, Karlos, Karol, Karoly and Karrel.

2 feminine forms: Carla and Carlene.

Creative forms:
(male) Cairl, Curl, ..

(female) Cada, Care, ..

Middle name pairings:
Carl Byron (C.B.), ..

How popular is Carl?

Carl is a very popular first name for men (#47 out of 1220, Top 4%) and also a very popular last name for all people (#2746 out of 150436, Top 2%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)

Carl reached its apex position of #23 in the U.S. in the 1890s, and is at #600 presently. (Top Baby Names, 2015)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Carl name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Carl outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related boy names. Popular alternative forms of Carl (#600 in recent rankings) are Carlito, Carlo (#1258 in recent rankings), Carlos (#117), Carlyle, Carrol, Carroll, Cary, Caryl, Chad (#763), Charles (#50), Charley (#1797), Charlie (#229), Charls, Charly, Chas, Chaz (#1430), Chip, Kale (#1100), Karl (#1082), Karlos and Karol. Other variants, like Charlot, are seldom used. These forms of Carl were at the peak of their popularity a century ago (adoption of 5.7%) and are now much less conventional (adoption 0.7%, 87.5% less).

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Carl, Carlito, Carlo, Carlos, Carlyle in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Carrol, Carroll, Cary, Caryl, Chad in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Charles, Charley, Charlie, Charls, Charly in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Chas, Chaz, Chip, Kale, Karl in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Karlos, Karol in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Carl, Charles, Charlie, Karl outside U.S.

Similar Names

Recommended names are Berl, Burl, Cabe, Cable, Cace, Cade, Cadel, Cael, Caeo, Caerd, Cai, Caile, Caily, Cain, Caio, Caird, Cairn, Cairo, Caje, Cal, Cale, Cam, Camry, Cap, Capel, Capp, Card, Carew, Carey, Carley, Carlin, Carlow, Carly, Carmel, Carne, Carny, Caroll, Caron, Carr, Carvel, Carvil, Caryll, Case, Cash, Cass, Cato, Caw, Cayle, Cayo, Caz, Ceri, Ciril, Ciro, Clare, Clark, Claro, Col, Coll, Cor, Cord, Cork, Cort, Cory, Curt, Cyril, Czar, Earl, Erl, Irl, Jarl and Perl. These names tend to be less frequently used than Carl.

See names
in meaning and etymology.