Charles is a masculine given name from the French form Charles of a Germanic name Karl. The original Anglo-Saxon was Ċearl or Ċeorl, as the name of king Cearl of Mercia, that disappeared after the Norman conquest of England.
The corresponding Old Norse form is Karl, the German form is also Karl. The name was notably borne by Charlemagne (Charles the Great), and was at the time Latinized as Karolus (as in Vita Karoli Magni), later also as Carolus.
By Dean Hanley