• synonyms


or carle

  1. Scot.
    1. a strong, robust fellow, especially a strong manual laborer.
    2. a miser; an extremely thrifty person.
  2. Archaic. a churl.
  3. Obsolete. a bondman.
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Origin of carl

before 1000 (in compounds; see housecarl); Middle English; Old English -carl < Old Norse karl man; cognate with Old High German karl; akin to churl
Related formscarl·ish, adjectivecarl·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I'll never have the man who's wanting the strick of carle hemp in the making of him!'

    Two Penniless Princesses

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • “That will be our supper to-night,” observed the carle, as he disengaged the spear.

    Erling the Bold

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Then the carle said, “Another cup for the longer after youth!”

  • Said the carle: "We have come the shortest way this bitter morning; that is all."

    The Sundering Flood

    William Morris

  • Quoth the carle: "It is down in this ghyll that my master promised to abide me."

    The Sundering Flood

    William Morris

British Dictionary definitions for carle



  1. archaic another word for churl
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Word Origin

Old English, from Old Norse karl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for carle



c.1300, "bondsman; common man, man of low birth," from Old Norse karl "man, male, freeman," from Proto-Germanic *karlon-, the same root that produced Old English ceorl "man of low degree" (see churl).

The Mellere was a stout carle for the nones [Chaucer]
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masc. proper name, from Middle High German Karl "man, husband" (see carl).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper