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Gender: Male Meaning of Carl: "free man" Origin of Carl: German variation of Charles Carl's Popularity in 2017: #627

The name Carl is a boy's name of German origin meaning "free man". Carl is ranked #627 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Middle Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

This no-nonsense German variation of Charles is strong and still well used, but lacks much sensitivity or subtlety; the Latin forms have far more energy.

Find other names based on Carl using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Carl

Carl XVI Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus), King of Sweden
Carl Linnaeus, Swedish biologist and father of taxonomy
Carl Linnaeus the Younger, Swedish biologist
Carl Edward Sagan, American astronomer
Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician and physicist
Carl David Tolm Runge, German mathematician and physicist
Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis, American track and field athlete
Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and associate of Sigmund Freud
Carl Dean Wilson, musician of American band The Beach Boys, brother of Brian Wilson
Carl Philipp Gottfried "Gottlieb" von Clausewit, German general and military theorist
Carl Christian Maria Anna Rudolph Anton Marcus d'Aviano, Archduke of Austria
Carl Ferdinand Cori, Czech biochemist and Nobel Prize winner
Carl, Prince of Denmark and Iceland (born Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel), aka Haakon VII, King of Norway
(Oscar) Carl Wilhelm, Prince of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Vastergotland
Carl Soderberg, Swedish NHL Hockey player
Carl Anthony Williams, Australian gang lord
Carl Milles, Swedish sculptor
Carl Harvey "C.H." Greenblatt, American animator
Oscar Carl Olof, Prince of Sweden

Pop Culture References for the name Carl

Carl Grimes, character on TV's "The Walking Dead"
Carl Denham, character in "King Kong" series
Carl Francis Gallagher, character on TV's "Shameless"
Carl Fredricksen, character in Pixar's "Up"
Carl Foutley, character on animated series "As Told By Ginger"
Carlton "Carl" Carlson, character on TV's "The Simpsons"
Carl Brutananadilewski, character on animated series "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"
Carl Crashman, main character on Canadian animated series "Carl²"
Carl Howell, character on TV's "Glee"
Carl Thomas King, character on British soap "Emmerdale"
Carl White, character on British soap "EastEnders"
Carl Abbot, character in "Sims" series
Carl Wheezer, Jimmy's best friend on animated series "Jimmy Neutron"
Carl Hauser, character in the film "Total Recall"

Carl's International Variations

Carlino, Carolo (Italian) Carolu, Carel (Dutch) Karel, Karol, Karlik (Czech) Karolek (Polish) Kalman (German) Carlos, Carlito, Carlo (Spanish) Karlin, Karlen (Russian) Cathal, Carlus (Irish) Kari, Károly, Karcsi (Hungarian) Carolos (Greek) Kalle (Finnish) Kale (Hawaiian) Karl (Scandinavian)


Dietrich Says:



ilprologue Says:


Such a harsh, unwelcoming name.

Starelli Says:


I love this name, though I think of the ever popular phrase, "CAARRRLLL" from the Llamas With Hats sketch on YouTube.

Wolfgang Says:


"Karl" is the original German. Charles and Carl are the variations. Karl die Grosse was the famous German king. One of the world's most famous kings.

Cupcakes030 Says:


I found this name on 'baby names without nicknames' yet my friend Carl prefers to be called cr so that shouldn't be on the list because it has a nickname