Last name origins & meanings:
- Variant spelling of Dutch, German, and Scandinavian
- English: from the Anglo-Scandinavian personal name
Karl(i), ultimately from Germanic karl ‘man’,
‘freeman’. See also Charles.
- English: status name
for a bondman or villein, from the vocabulary word karl,
carl, which had various different meanings at various times:
originally ‘man’, then ‘ordinary man’, ‘peasant’, and in Middle
English specialized in the senses ‘free peasant’, ‘bondman’,
‘villein’, and ‘rough, churlish individual’.
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