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Charlotte

Charlotte (f) A feminine form of Charles, introduced to
Britain from Europe in the seventeenth century. It was
popular in Scotland in the nineteenth century but has been steadily falling out of favour since the 1920’s. An outstanding writer on names (as well as a highly successful novelist) was Charlotte Yonge, who published her History of Christian Names in 1863. She is modest about her own name, mentioning such diminutives as Lotty and Chatty. In France Lolotte was used. George Eliot has a Totty in Adam Bede (1859), a further corruption of Lotty, but this is described as ‘more like a name for a dog than a Christian child.’ Charles Dickens has a character Charlotte Tuggs who, when her family comes into money, immediately announces that henceforth she will be known as Charlotta, so it is possible that the Latinised form had upper-class associations at that time.

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