Charlotte Name Meaning

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What Does Charlotte Mean?

Are you looking for a classic, traditional name that has recently surged in popularity? You may want to consider the name Charlotte.

Charlotte and its masculine equivalent, Charles, are derived from the Old English word “ceorl,” meaning “free man.” The word ceorl was used to distinguish a free person from a bondsman or slave (thew) on one hand, and a noble person (eorl) on the other.

  • Origin: Charles is the French spelling of the Germanic name Carl (or Karl). Charlot originated as a nickname for Charles, with Charlotte being the feminine form.
  • Gender: Charlotte is the feminine form of the name. Charlot or Charles would be the masculine equivalent.
  • Pronunciation: SHAR-lot or SHAR-lit

Although baby names are often separated by gender, Verywell Family believes sex need not play any role in your name selection process. It’s important to select the name that you feel best suits your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Charlotte?

Charlotte was a popular name for girls in the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century, ranking among the top 100 from 1908 to 1953 and peaking at No. 50 in the year 1944. It was already on the wane in 1952 when E.B. White used it in the classic children’s novel “Charlotte’s Web.”

In recent years, however, the name has enjoyed a new surge in popularity. Charlotte rejoined the top 100 in the year 2007 and kept on rising, reaching the top 50 in 2011, and in 2012 reached the top 20 for the first time. Charlotte broke into the top 10 in 2014, and the latest 2020 statistics rank Charlotte as the No. 4 girl name in America.

Although the name Charlotte is typically used as a girl name, it can be used any way you see fit, as sex does not have to be a part of your name selection process.

Name Variations

The Charles/Charlotte family of names is broad and diverse. Such names as Carla, Carlotta, Carol, Caroline, and Carrie are all derived from the same source. Here are just a few of the most common variations.

Feminine Forms:

  • Carla
  • Carlotta
  • Carli/Carlie/Carly
  • Carol/Carole
  • Caroline/Carolyn
  • Charlene/Charline
  • Charli/Charlie/Charlee
  • Charlize
  • Karla
  • Karlee
  • Karolina

Masculine Forms:

  • Carl
  • Carlito
  • Carlo
  • Carlos
  • Chad
  • Chaz
  • Charles/Charlie
  • Karl
  • Karel
  • Karlo
  • Karlos

Similar Names

More French-derived names for girls:

  • Amélie
  • Antoinette
  • Bridgette
  • Camille
  • Dominique
  • Juliette
  • Lisette
  • Margot
  • Simone
  • Yvette

More names from children’s literature:

  • Alice (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)
  • Celeste (“The Story of Babar”)
  • Dorothy (“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”)
  • Heidi (“Heidi”)
  • Laura (“Little House” series)
  • Matilda (“Matilda”)
  • Lucy (“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”)
  • Ramona (“Ramona” series)

Common Nicknames

Nicknames for Charlotte include:

  • Char
  • Charley
  • Lola
  • Lotta
  • Lotte
  • Lottie

Suggested Sibling Names

Some potential sibling names for Charlotte are:

  • Abigail
  • Ava
  • Emma
  • Henry
  • Jack
  • Noah
  • Olivia
  • Sebastian

Famous People Named Charlotte

The name Charlotte has been especially popular among royals. There have been many queens and princesses called Charlotte.

Royal Charlottes

  • Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818), queen consort of England, wife of King George III
  • Charlotte, Princess Royal (1766–1828), queen consort of Württemberg, wife of King Frederick I, eldest daughter of King George III
  • Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796–1817), daughter of King George IV, wife of Leopold I of the Belgians
  • Princess Charlotte of Prussia (1798–1860), empress consort of Nicholas I
  • Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, daughter of Prince William, currently fourth in the line of succession to the British throne

Other Famous Charlottes

  • Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855), English novelist, known as the eldest of the three Brontë sisters and author of “Jane Eyre”
  • Charlotte Irene Caffey, American rock musician and songwriter known as the guitarist for the rock band the Go-Go’s
  • Charlotte Church, Welsh singer, actress, and TV personality, known as the host of “The Charlotte Church Show”
  • Charlotte Cooper (1870–1966), English tennis player known as a five-time Wimbledon winner and Olympic tennis champion
  • Charlotte Corday (1768–1793), French revolutionary and assassin
  • Charlotte Forten Grimké (1837–1914), American anti-slavery activist and educator
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, English-French singer and actress, known for her roles in such films as “21 Grams,” “I’m Not There,” and “Nymphomaniac”
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935), American author and feminist, known for her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Charlotte Rae (1926–2018), Emmy Award-winning actress best known for her role as Edna Garrett in the TV shows “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”
  • Charlotte Rampling, English actress known for her roles in such films as “The Verdict,” “The Wings of the Dove,” and the TV series “Dexter”

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Get Ready for Baby: Top 10 names of 2020.

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.