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Carl is a North Germanic male name meaning "strong man". The name originates in Norway and Sweden. It is the first name of many Kings of Sweden including Carl XVI Gustaf. It is popular in Denmark, Iceland, Finland, 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, Germany, Switzerland, and Norway, 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; Carlo, very popular in Italy and southern Switzerland; Carlos, popular in Spain, Portugal and Latin America; and Karol, a variant in Poland and Slovakia.

Word/nameOld Norse
Related namesKarl, Kaarel, Karel, Charles, Carlos, Kalle, Karol


List of people named CarlEdit


(most other Swedish and Norwegian royalty so named – see Carl of Sweden – are listed on English Wikipedia as Charles)

As a family nameEdit

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

As a given nameEdit

Fictional charactersEdit

Derived surnamesEdit

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

Derived placenamesEdit

Many of these are in reference to Charlemagne. Carolina is named for Charles II of England.

See alsoEdit