The name Charles is a boy's name of German, French origin meaning "free man". Charles is ranked #49 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Royal Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "Namebank CAF - 12 kids!".
From the experts:
Charles is a longtime traditional favorite that was in the Top 10 until the 1960s, and is not as popular as it once was but is still a widely used name. Lately, Charles has been resuscitated by many celeb parents, from Jodie Foster to Russell Crowe, honoring a distinguished history dating back to the emperor Charlemagne—the original Charles the Great.
Charles has been so well used for so long that it is virtually faceless—it can conjure up anyone from Dickens to Chaplin to Bronson. It has been an elegant royal name—designating both Bonnie Prince Charlie, leader of a 1745 rebellion, and the present Prince of Wales, as well as kings of France, Spain, England, Portugal, and Hungary.
The nickname Charlie (and Charley) has taken on a life of its own and is now a popular choice for both sexes. And though Chuck is now virtually gone, Chas/Chaz is becoming a nickname of choice.
Among the well used international versions of Charles: Carl, Carlo, Carlos, Karel, Xarles, Charlot, and Siarl.
Lists containing Charles:
- Classic Baby Names for Boys
- Traditional Baby Names
- Royal Names for Boys
- Boy Names ALWAYS in the Top 1000
- Baby Names from Books
- One-Syllable Middle Names for Boys
- Victorian Royal Baby Names
- Classic Baby Names
- Boy Baby Names That End in S
- Middle Names for Boys