Charles - Karl - Carlos - Karel - Karol - Karlo - Carolus

Modern Indo-European conventions: writing system, transcription of phonemes and loanwords, accent, etc. Etymological reconstruction of European names and common loanwords into Europe's Indo-European.
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Charles - Karl - Carlos - Karel - Karol - Karlo - Carolus

Post by cquiles » Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:55 pm

Masc. proper name, from Germanic *karilaz, whose basic meaning is "old man". In Finnish, which is not a Germanic language, the Germanic word was borrowed and survives almost unchanged as karilas, "old man". The Old Norse descendant of the Germanic word, karl, means "old man, servant", and the Old High German equivalent, karal/keral, meaning "man, lover, husband", has become the name Karl and noun Kerl, and appears also as O.Eng. Ceorl (cf. Eng.churl), "freeman of the lowest class" - an Anglo-Saxon ceorl had a social position above a slave but below a thegn, "thane".

Middle High German karl, "freeman", was adopted into northern French as Charles, from which we have the name Charles. The Medieval Latin form Carolus is based on the Old High German karal. The fame of Carolus Magnus, "Charles the Great," or Charlemagne, added luster to the name Carolus and explains why the Slavic languages borrowed the name as their general word for "king," korol' in Russian.

Gmc. karilaz / kerilaz should thus be translated as proper PIE adjective gorilós / gerilós, and therefore as proper MIE name m. Górilos, f. Górilā, equivalent to O.H.G. Karal and its Lat. transliteration Carolus.

Compare with Gk. γηραλέος, "old", γέρων (as in Eng. geriatrics), O.C.S. zьrělъ; also, cf. O.Ind. járant, Lat. glarea, etc. See Pokorny p. 390-391 (or Starostin's and Lubotsky's version ... ictionary/ , page 1193)

- Masc. Charles, Karl, Carlos, Carlo, Karel, Charel, Carles, Karol, Carolus, Károly, Karlu, Charlez, Kaarle, Kaarlo, etc.
- Fem. Carla, Karla, Carol, Caroline, Carolina, Karolina (MIE Gorilínā), Charlotte, Carlota (MIE Gorilótā), etc.

NOTE: Compare also the etymology for gorilla, MIE goríllā, coming from Gk. pl. goríllai (MIE goríllās), pl. of name given to wild, hairy women in Gk. translation of Carthaginian navigator Hanno's account of a tribe seen in his explorations along the N.W. coast of Africa (Sierra Leone), c. 500 B.C. Knowing that story, U.S. missionary Thomas Savage applied that name to the apes (Troglodytes gorills) he saw in that region in 1847.

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