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Dictionary of Medieval Names
from European Sources


Click the arrow below for an explanation of the parts of a name entry.

The name in bold is the canonical name form (CNF), a standardized form of the name which may or may not occur in the extant literature.

The canonical name form is followed by an indication of the gender, which is either f(eminine), m(asculine), or u(ncertain/unknown).

This is the linguistic etymology of the canonical name form.

The section following the etymology contains information about important medieval people who bore the name—kings/queens, other rules; popes and patriarchs; and saints. This information is included because these names can be disproportionately represented because of the large number of documents originating from, e.g., a certain king or pope, and it is also included because local saints and rulers were often influential on the naming practices of parents.

The next section contains other relevant information, such as the occurrence of the name in medieval literature, related names, popularity statistics, references to other onomastic literature for further reading, etc. This section may not be present in all entries.

Geographic area of citation.

Language of citation.

Diminutives and nicknames are grouped separately from the full forms; full forms are indicated by the filled circle ●, and diminutives by the half circle ◑.

Citation year. All citations following a year are from that year.

Name as found in source. All citations following a name share that spelling.

Case of name. Appears only for names in languages with cased proper nouns, such as Latin.

Bibliographic key. This is a unique key identifying the source.

Location in source. Where applicable, the location of the name within the source is indicated.

How to cite this entry. Citation information is provided for each individual entry at the bottom. The URL provided there is a stable, unique identifier for a particular entry and edition.

Charles m. Old High German karl 'man', Old English c(e)arl, ceorl 'freeman'.

The name of numerous kings and emperors in France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, England, Portugal, Norway, Bohemia, Spain, and Italy, a 12th C Flemish saint, a 14th C Breton saint, and a 16th C Italian saint.

The prominence of Charles the Great (Charlemagne) helped contribute to the name's enduring popularity.

1348 Caroli (gen) SocAntNor-3-3 no. 10, Carolum (acc) ibid. no. 9; 1349 Karoli (gen) ibid. no. 11, Karolum (acc) ibid. no. 11; 1357 Karolo (abl) ibid. no. 23
Old French
1313 Challes Paris1313 p. 100
Middle French
1392 Charles MemBret-II col. 608; 1421 Charles favier 322; 1438 Charles ibid. p. 267; 1588 Charles raymond1588 p. 565
1392 Charlot MemBret-II col. 602; 1418 Charlot HGParis p. 380; 1421 Charlot favier 1226; 1423 Charlot ibid. 343; 1438 Charlot ibid. 250
Cite as: S.L. Uckelman. "Charles". In S.L. Uckelman, ed. The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, Edition 2015, no. 1.