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German Language/Nickname Charly for Karl


Dear Janina,

Would you be kind enough to help me? I have been researching German nicknames for the German name Karl, and found that Charly is quite common. Could you tell me, if you know, if this is pronounced the same way as the English "Charlie", and also, do you have any idea how long this nickname has been in use?

Thank you very much for your time.

Hello Ashley,

thank you for your question.

Yes, "Charly" and "Charlie" are pronounced the same way.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any data on when the name was introduced, but I looked for Germans and Austrians being called "Charlie", "Charly" and "Charles" on German Wikipedia. It looks like most of them were born in the late 30s to 50s. So, I guess you could say after the war. I presume that some who later went by any version of the English name were actually baptised "Karl".

Here some examples:
Charly Blecha, Austrian politician, born in 1933, baptised Karl
Charly Dörfel, German footballer, born in 1939, baptised Gerd
Charly Graf, German boxer, born in 1951, baptised Charles
Charles Brauer, German actor, born in 1935, baptised Charles
Charles Friedek, German athlete, born in 1971, baptised Charles

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

German Language

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As a native German speaker working professionally with languages, I can answer questions concerning German grammar, spelling and punctuation. I can also help with understanding and short German-English translations. As I also speak French, I might also be helpful concerning German-French translations. Translation only refers to short texts here.


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