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Origin: Germany
Region Origin: Western Europe

Karl, also spelled as Carl, is an originally Germanic variant of the male given name Charles, which means "free man" or simply "a man". The name has its roots in Old High German and is derived from the word "karl," which means "man, husband, and freeman". The name Karl is popular throughout Europe, including in Germany, Sweden, and Norway. Notable people with the name Karl include several emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, such as Karl der Große, also known as Charlemagne. Other famous bearers of the name are Karl Marx, a German philosopher and one of the developers of communism, and Karl Jaspers, a German psychiatrist and existentialist philosopher. The name Karl has also been used in various forms of media, such as fictional characters in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series and Desperate Housewives.

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