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What does Charles mean?

Charles Pronunciation of Charles as a boys' name is pronounced charlz. It is of Old German origin, and the meaning of Charles is "free man". From "karl", similar to Old English "churl", meaning "man, serf". The first Holy Roman Emperor (seventh to eighth century) Charlemagne (Latin Carolus Magnus, meaning "Charles the Great") was a powerful German leader who created a more ordered society out of the chaos that followed the fall of Rome. He united France and much of central Europe. His widespread fame gave rise to many forms of his name. Charles is the French variant of Carolus or Karolus, adopted by the English especially since the 17th-century reigns of kings Charles I and II. Charles and its variant forms have been favored by the royalty of several countries, including the present Prince of Wales. Charlie and Charly are occasionally used for girls. See also Arlo. Naturalist Charles Darwin; French president Charles de Gaulle; author Charles Dickens; actor Charlie Chaplin; basketball player Charles Barkley.


ASSOCIATED WITH old, roman, great, powerful, leader, 17th century, naturalist (philosopher)


VARIANTS Carel, Carl, Carlo, Carlos, Carrol, Carroll, Cary, Caryl, Chad, Charleson, Charley, Charlie, Charlot, Charls, Charlton, Charly, Chas, Chaz, Chick, Chip, Chuck, Karel, Karl, Karol, Karolek, Karolik, Karoly


FEMININE FORMS Arlette, Carla, Carlene, Carly, Carol, Carolina, Caroline, Charla, Charlene, Charlesetta, Charlize, Charlotte, Karolina, Roline, Sharlene



Charles Jakob (C.J.), ..

How popular is Charles?

Charles is a very popular first name for men (#8 out of 1220, Top 1%) and also a very popular surname for both adults and children (#589 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. DEMOGRAPHICS)

Charles reached its highest rank of #5 in the U.S. during the years 1920-1929, and is at #52 currently. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2018)

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

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

Which version is better?

Carlos (#137 IN RECENT RANKINGS), Charlie (#218), Arlo (#278), Carl (#700), Chad (#897), Carlo (#1209), Karl (#1288), Charley (#1622), Chaz (#1824), Carrol, Curley, Chuck, Chip, Charlton, Chas, Charly, Carroll, Charls, Caryl, Cary and Karol are the prominent varying forms of Charles (#52). Usage of these relations of Charles was widespread among parents during the years 1880-1889 (ADOPTION OF 5.75%) and is now much reduced (ADOPTION 0.75%, DOWN 87%). Charles is the longstanding favorite, though Arlo has become trendy as well, while versions like Chaz have become less popular.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Charles, Arlo, Carl, Carlo, Carlos in U.S.

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

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

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Chas, Chaz, Chip, Chuck, Curley in U.S.

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

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

Similar Names

Suggested similar-sounding names are Barnes, Cable, Caelen, Caile, Cailey, Caleb, Caley, Callis, Callys, Carden, Carew, Carey, Carley, Carlin, Carlow, Carlsen, Carly, Carmel, Carmen, Carne, Carney, Carrey, Carrlos, Carsen, Carter, Carvel, Carver, Cayle, Cayleb, Chace, Chalklea (see Chalkley), Chalkley, Chalmer, Chalmers, Chalney (see Chaney), Chambers, Chance, Chandler, Chane, Chaney, Chaniel, Channe, Chanse, Chanyel, Chanze, Chaplin, Chaps, Charleston, Charleton, Charro, Chase, Chasen, Chayce, Chayne, Chayse, Cheslea (see Chesley), Chesley, Choresh (see Koresh), Chriss, Claes, Clare, Clarens, Clarey, Clarke, Clarons (see Clarence), Coakley, Corless, Corley, Cortes, Cranlee (see Cranley), Cranley, Dalles, Fares, Ghilles (see Gillies) and Narses. These names tend to be less commonly used than Charles.

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in meaning and etymology.