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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Jewish (eastern Ashkenazic): habitational name for someone from Karlin, a suburb of Pinsk in Belarus, in which the Jews formed the majority of the population until the Holocaust. A well-known Hasidic sect originated in Karlin and at one time it attracted so many followers that a (now obsolete) Russian word for ‘Hasid’ was Karliner (of Yiddish origin). It is possible that at least some people taking this surname did so because they were members of this sect and not because they were born or lived in Karlin.
  2. German (also Kärlin) and Southern Slavic: from the personal name Karl (Slavic Karlo). See also Charles.
  3. Swedish: variant spelling of Carlin.
  4. Western Slavic: habitational name from places in Poland and Bohemia.
  5. Altered spelling of Russian Karélin, ethnic name for someone from Karelia (see Karjala).
  6. Altered spelling of German Gerling.
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