Let’s celebrate this weirdness by checking out what the King of the Franks named his own kids.
Historians believe Charlemagne had about 20 children with various wives and concubines. His first child was born around 768 and his last came along in 807.
Here are the names of Charlemagne’s 11 daughters:
Adalhaid – based on the Germanic words adal meaning “noble” and heid meaning “sort, kind.”
Adaltrude – based on the Germanic words adal meaning “noble” and þruþ meaning “strength.”
Alpaida – ?
Amaudru – ?
Bertha – based on the Germanic word berht meaning “bright” or “famous.”
Gisela – based on the Germanic word gisil meaning “pledge.”
Hildegarde – based on the Germanic words hild meaning “battle” and gard meaning “enclosure.”
Hiltrude – based on the Germanic words hild meaning “battle” and þruþ meaning “strength.”
Rotrude, also written Hruodrud – based on the Germanic words hrod meaning “fame” and þruþ meaning “strength.”
Ruodhaid – based on the Germanic words hrod meaning “fame” and heid meaning “sort, kind.”
Theodrada – based on the Germanic words þeud meaning “people, race” and rat meaning “advice, counsel.”
And here are the names of Charlemagne’s 9 sons:
Carloman, later renamed Pepin/Pippin – the first based on the Germanic words karl meaning “free man” and man meaning “man,” the second of unknown origin, possibly based on the Germanic root bib-, meaning “to tremble.”
Charles – based on the Germanic word karl meaning “free man.”
Drogo – of unknown origin, possibly based on the Germanic word (gi)drog meaning “ghost,” the Germanic word tragen meaning “to carry,” or the Slavic word dorogo meaning “dear.”
Hugh – based on the Germanic word hug meaning “heart, mind, spirit.”
Lothair (twin) – based on the Germanic words hrod meaning “fame” and hari meaning “army.”
Louis (twin) – based on the Germanic words hrod meaning “fame” and wig meaning “war.”
Pippin – see Carloman.
Richbod – based on the Germanic words ric meaning “power, ruler” and bod meaning “ruler” or “messenger.”
Theodoric – based on the Germanic words þeud meaning “people, race” and ric meaning “power, ruler.”
Which of the above name(s) do you like best?
(And, does anyone know the etymology of either Alpaida or Amaudru? I’m stumped on those.)
Feminine forms of these names include Carla, Carlota, and Carlotta. Diminutive forms include Carlito and Carlitos.
Variant forms of Caroline include Carolyn, Carolynn, and Carolyne.
The name Carly is also sometimes spelled Carlee, Carley, Carleigh, Carlie, Carli, or Carlei.
Carmelo + Carmen
The name Carmelo was derived from the Marian title “Our Lady of Carmel.” The Biblical place-name Carmel means “garden” in Hebrew.
The name Carmen is a variant form of Carmel that was influenced by the Latin word carmen, meaning “song.”
Other forms of Carmelo include Carmela, Carmello, and Carmella. Carmel itself is also used as a name.
The name Carter comes from the English surname that originally referred to someone who’s occupation was transporting goods by cart or wagon.
The name Cartier — which is closely associated with the French jewelry brand — comes from a French surname that has several possible derivations. In some cases, Cartier is synonymous with Carter (see above). In other cases, it refers to a location.
Carson + Carsyn
The name Carson comes from a Scottish surname of unknown derivation.
Variant spellings of the name include Carsyn, Carsen, Carsin and Carsynn.
The origin of the name Oscar isn’t known for certain. If it comes from Old Irish, it’s made up of elements meaning “deer” and “friend.” (The second element, cara, is the same one the gave rise to the name Cara.) If it comes from Old English, on the other hand, it’s comprised of elements meaning “god” and “spear.”
The name Ricardo is made up of Germanic elements meaning “ruler” and “hardy.”
A variant form of the name is Riccardo. Feminine forms include Ricarda and Riccarda.
Scarlett, Scarlet + Scarlette
The name Scarlett comes from the English surname that originally referred to someone who was employed as the maker or seller of a bright (often red-colored) woolen cloth called scarlet.
It was put on the map by fictional character Scarlett O’Hara in the late 1930s.
The name is also sometimes spelled Scarlet (like the color itself), Scarlette, Scarlotte, or Scarlytt. Modern Hispanic variants include Scarleth, Escarlet, Escarlett, and Escarleth.
(Before we leave this section, I just wanted to note — for all my fellow lefties out there — that both Cara and Carter are typed entirely with the left hand on a standard QWERTY keyboard.)
More names with CAR
So, what other names have CAR in them? Here are some less-common choices. (Most of these come directly from the SSA’s baby name data.)
Some of these names could be considered variants of the more popular CAR names, though it’s hard to tell. For instance, Caralynn — is it a form of Caroline? Is it Cara + Lynn? (Maybe a bit of both?) Others are non-traditional spellings of more common names, such as Karim, Karen, and Cornelia.
Which CAR name do you like most? Let me know in the comments!