a male given name: from the old English word meaning “noble.”
Also, Earle.
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World English Dictionary
earl (ɜːl)
1.  Female equivalent: countess (in the British Isles) a nobleman ranking below a marquess and above a viscount
2.  (in Anglo-Saxon England) a royal governor of any of the large divisions of the kingdom, such as Wessex
[Old English eorl; related to Old Norse jarl chieftain, Old Saxon erl man]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. eorl "nobleman, warrior" (contrasted with ceorl "churl"), from P.Gmc. *erlo-z, of uncertain origin. In Anglo-Saxon poetry, "a warrior, a brave man;" in later O.E., a Danish under-king (equivalent of O.N. jarl), then one of the viceroys under the Danish dynasty in England. After 1066 adopted as
the equivalent of L. comes (see count (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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