Presented by

The Name Charlotte: The Free One

Are you looking for a traditional name that fits our modern time? Then you should consider choosing Charlotte for your girl. It is not only the name of one of the fastest-growing major cities in the US in recent years but also of many royals in the last centuries. Come and check it out.

The story of Charlotte

As you must have guessed with the reference to the royals, the name Charlotte connects to Charles. Charles is a French name that comes from the Germanic Karl and means ‘free man’. Since the Middle Ages, Charles enjoyed high popularity, especially among royal families. After the conquest of England in 1066, French became the language of the nobility and in court there. French culture shaped the English upper class for centuries, and so the name Charles also developed into one of the most popular on the island. And Charlotte? Charlotte is the feminine form of the originally masculine name Charlot, a diminutive of Charles. The earliest evidence of Charlotte dates to the 14th century. In England, it first appeared in the middle of the 17th century.

King Charles II of England named two of his illegitimate daughters like this. The name caught on much later when honorable members of the royal family enhanced its reputation. The first to do so was the German-born Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who married King George III in 1761. Among other things, she brought the tradition of the Christmas tree to England. In France and Great Britain, the popularity of the name Charlotte continued to grow. By the end of the 19th century, it was also already among the top 100 in the U.S. From 1950, fewer and fewer parents gave this name to their daughters, but Charlotte was never unpopular. It reached its worst rank in 1982: #302. Since the 2000s, popularity has literally exploded and Charlotte − already a common name − is more in demand than ever.

Celebrities called Charlotte

The most famous young name bearer is definitely Charlotte Emma Aitchison. Doesn’t ring a bell? This happens to be the real name of the English singer Charli XCX. At the latest with the song ‘Boom Clap’ from 2014, the then 22-year-old made a name for herself worldwide. By the way, Charli XCX can see music: she is a sound-to-colour synaesthete.

Certainly more famous to your grandparents and parents than to you, but still indestructible in front of the camera stands Charlotte Rampling. The English-French actress (*1946) began her career as a model and enjoys a reputation as an icon of the Swinging Sixties. At first she made arthouse films in France and Italy, but since the 1980s she has also starred in English-language works. The list of her awards is as long as her filmography. These include the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival and an Oscar nomination. Rampling recently took on a role in the acclaimed 2021 film ‘Dune’ and 2023’s ‘Dune: Part Two’.

If we travel further into the past, we discover Charlotte Blacklock, for example. She campaigned for women’s suffrage in Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century and started a hunger strike. Nowadays, Charlotte Brontë is certainly better known. The English writer lived from 1816 to 1855 and wrote, among other things, the novel ‘Jane Eyre’ (1847). In it, Brontë deals with the themes of love and responsibility for one’s own life. Her two sisters Emily and Anne also wrote novels, the former ‘Wuthering Heights’ and the latter ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’.

You see, the name Charlotte has a long list of famous people. Who knows, maybe one day your daughter will be one of them?

Special facts

Charlotte was the name of an English ship, one of eleven of the First Fleet. With them, the first convicts reached Australia in 1788. The ships sailed for about 250 days and carried nearly 800 prisoners. Contrary to widespread opinion, free settlers who wanted to start a new life in Australia also traveled with them. By the way, the ship received its name from the above-mentioned Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. And the city of Charlotte, North Carolina got its name from the English queen, which is why it bears the nickname ‘Queen City’.

The beautiful name Charlotte suits not only people, cities and ships, but also numerous different things. This includes the Charlotte spiral, a figure skating spiral. The skater bends forward, one leg stretching straight up. The face is as close as possible to the lower foot. The figure requires flexibility and balance. Charlotte Oelschlägel, a German skater of the 1920s, invented it. She also created the death spiral.

Lovers of desserts may be familiar with the cake Charlotte. This is a warm bread pudding originating in England, which first appeared in recipe books in 1808. A few years later, a French chef in London developed a cold version of the dessert; nowadays, both variants are equally well-known.

Charlotte in the 21st century

Although the Charlotte name has such a long history, the 21st century has been the most successful so far. Charlotte has never been as popular as it was in our time. Since 2000, the name has jumped up many places year after year, reaching the American top ten for the first time in 2014. But it didn’t stop there: every year it went up even further, until it reached third place in 2021. It seems only a matter of a short time before Charlotte becomes the most popular name in the USA. Its success is spreading to other countries as well: in Australia, Charlotte was the most-used name for example in 2013 and 2022. In England, it has been a continuous part of the top ten since the 1980s. Charlotte‘s success story shows no signs of ending!