Charles Name Meaning

A dapper pick with an enviable meaning, Charles has been a long-standing favorite for parents. He is a name of strength, but don’t be fooled into thinking he doesn’t have a soft side.

Coming from German roots, Charles has a unique sound that isn’t common across the Top 100. As a rule, the Ch- sound start isn’t as widespread in boy names as hot letters like J and A. This allows a little Charles to have a distinguished sound from his classmates.

Charles is a serious name that is wise beyond his years. He’s a stately pick with old-soul vibes, a stylish name among today’s modern monikers. He’s stood the test of time with good reason, having a posh air to him that reeks of success. A little Charles is an ambitious one with a hunger for learning, working hard at his goals while studying diligently.

Charles comes with the adorable nickname of Charlie as well as a few less popular picks like Chuck, Carl, and Chase. He can be dressed up and down as you choose and is a great name to grow with your little one.

The name has enjoyed years of popularity, but he’s hardly overused. Like Thomas and Robert, he’s seen his share of Top 100 rankings, but has cooled off enough to remain fresh. He isn’t at all dated, cementing himself as a classic.

Infographic of Charles name meaning, which is A German name, Charles means free man.
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Charles Name Popularity

How popular is the name Charles? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 7 4,781 1.3579%
1911 7 5,721 1.5363%
1912 7 11,070 2.1951%
1913 7 13,186 2.3257%
1914 7 16,937 2.4303%
1915 7 21,959 2.4169%
1916 6 23,612 2.4443%
1917 7 24,144 2.4133%
1918 5 26,923 2.5086%
1919 5 25,191 2.4057%
1920 5 28,308 2.546%
1921 5 29,246 2.5541%
1922 5 28,840 2.5887%
1923 5 28,960 2.5856%
1924 5 30,461 2.6231%
1925 5 29,581 2.6172%
1926 5 29,521 2.684%
1927 5 31,935 2.885%
1928 5 31,245 2.9202%
1929 5 29,932 2.8897%
1930 6 31,860 3.05%
1931 6 29,924 3.0319%
1932 6 31,097 3.1476%
1933 6 28,985 3.1111%
1934 7 29,791 3.0817%
1935 6 29,975 3.0845%
1936 6 29,083 3.0192%
1937 6 30,519 3.0971%
1938 6 31,137 3.0415%
1939 6 30,785 3.0264%
1940 6 31,685 2.981%
1941 6 32,728 2.9079%
1942 7 35,845 2.8386%
1943 7 36,628 2.8057%
1944 7 34,650 2.7958%
1945 7 32,463 2.6618%
1946 9 38,200 2.5888%
1947 9 40,772 2.4425%
1948 9 38,677 2.4228%
1949 9 40,043 2.4893%
1950 9 39,099 2.4283%
1951 9 39,405 2.3241%
1952 9 38,875 2.2271%
1953 9 38,401 2.1698%
1954 10 37,443 2.0483%
1955 11 35,355 1.9221%
1956 11 35,207 1.8641%
1957 11 34,252 1.78%
1958 11 32,236 1.7057%
1959 11 30,762 1.6191%
1960 13 29,676 1.5662%
1961 13 29,189 1.5461%
1962 15 27,590 1.5028%
1963 16 26,784 1.4921%
1964 17 25,900 1.4714%
1965 20 23,492 1.4366%
1966 20 22,257 1.4255%
1967 20 21,295 1.4032%
1968 20 21,575 1.4368%
1969 19 21,678 1.4071%
1970 21 22,432 1.4096%
1971 22 19,854 1.3212%
1972 23 16,980 1.2467%
1973 23 15,756 1.2153%
1974 23 15,153 1.1659%
1975 25 14,581 1.1347%
1976 26 13,937 1.0814%
1977 26 14,743 1.0937%
1978 27 14,849 1.1045%
1979 28 14,825 1.0514%
1980 29 14,961 1.0232%
1981 31 14,429 0.9816%
1982 31 14,306 0.9573%
1983 33 13,211 0.8953%
1984 33 12,939 0.8698%
1985 34 12,893 0.8494%
1986 34 12,620 0.8361%
1987 35 12,170 0.7975%
1988 37 12,102 0.7766%
1989 36 12,247 0.7589%
1990 38 11,992 0.7235%
1991 38 11,333 0.6953%
1992 43 10,468 0.6558%
1993 44 9,855 0.6321%
1994 43 9,014 0.5874%
1995 44 8,473 0.5622%
1996 43 8,247 0.5508%
1997 49 7,655 0.5176%
1998 48 7,847 0.5243%
1999 50 7,524 0.5024%
2000 51 7,524 0.4925%
2001 55 7,282 0.4833%
2002 58 7,207 0.4809%
2003 57 7,693 0.5057%
2004 56 7,649 0.5019%
2005 56 7,926 0.5184%
2006 60 8,009 0.5115%
2007 62 7,450 0.4722%
2008 63 7,283 0.4712%
2009 63 7,283 0.4873%
2010 63 7,095 0.4923%
2011 61 6,977 0.4897%
2012 61 6,935 0.4867%
2013 57 7,012 0.4925%
2014 51 7,339 0.5037%
2015 50 7,177 0.4933%
2016 51 7,098 0.4923%
2017 49 7,130 0.5109%
2018 52 6,604 0.4807%
2019 51 6,348 0.4689%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Charles

If you like Charles, you’ll love these other names like Charles.


What names are diminutives of Charles?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Charles sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Charles, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Cale

Irish

Carl

A variant form of Charles.

German

Cary

“He who is manly,” from the Greek kanjon, a kernel or a nut, in allusion to the male testicles.

Welsh

Chad

“The pugnacious one,” from the Welsh cad, battle.

English

Charley

Free man

German

Charlie

Free man

English

Charly

Free man

German

Chas

Free man

German

Chaz

German

Chick

German

Chip
Chuck

To chuck

German

Curley

Strong man

English

Karl

Free man

German


What names are variants of Charles?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Charles.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Carel

Free man

German

Carlo

Free man

Spanish

Carlos

Free man

Spanish

Carrol

Man; free man

German

Carroll

Man

German

Caryl

Man; free man

German

Charleson

Free man

German

Charlot

Free man

German

Charls

Free man

German

Charlton

Free peasant's settlement

English

Karel

Free man

German

Karol

Free man

German

Karolek

Free man

German

Karolik

Free man

German

Karoly

Free man

German


What names sound like Charles?

If you like how Charles sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Charles.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Chadwick

Dairy farm of Ceadda

English

Chance

Good fortune

English

Chandler

Candle maker, seller

French

Channing

Young wolf; official of the church

French

Channon

Young wolf; official of the church

French

Charleston

Free peasant's settlement

English

Charlton

Free peasant's settlement

English

Charnell

Burial Place

French

Charsian

Christian Free man

American


What names are similar to Charles?

Find a name that’s like Charles, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Daniel

God is My Judge

Hebrew

David

Beloved

Hebrew

Eric

Everlasting ruler

Scandinavian

Henry

Home ruler

English

John

God is gracious

Hebrew

Louis

Famous warrior

French

Robert

Bright fame

German

Samuel

Name of God

Hebrew

Sebastian

Venerable or honorable

Greek

William

A willing protector

German


Lists With Charles

Find inspiration in these baby boy name lists featuring the name Charles.


2 Comments

  1. I always loved “C” names for boys and I liked that “Charles” was very old school yet timeless. “Charlie” as a nickname was so sweet, especially for the early years. So I added it to the top of the list of name ideas. My husband voted Charles for “Charles Xavier” because he’s been an X-Men fan since he was a kid.

  2. Me and my fiance named our son charles joseph because Charles whas my grandfathers name and Joseph was my fiances grandfathers name and they recently passed away and we wanted to honner them


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