also mankiller, "murderer, homicide," early 15c., from man (n.) + killer. Old English words for this were manslaga, manslieht, and earlier in Middle English was man-queller (mid-13c., also "official executioner"). Middle English had also man-qualm "mass death among people (from plague, etc.), slaughter" (see qualm).
c. 1300, "bondsman; common man, man of low birth," from Old Norse karl "man (as opposed to "woman"), male, freeman," from Proto-Germanic *karlon- (source also of Dutch karel "a fellow," Old High German karl "a man, husband), the same base that produced Old English ceorl "man of low degree" (see churl) and the masc. proper name Carl.
The Mellere was a stout carle for the nones [Chaucer]
Old English ceorl "peasant, one of the lowest class of freemen, man without rank," from Proto-Germanic *kerlaz, *karlaz (source also of Old Frisian zerl "man, fellow," Middle Low German kerle, Dutch kerel "freeman of low degree," German Kerl "man, husband," Old Norse karl "old man, man").
It had various meaning in early Middle English, including "man of the common people," "a country man," "husbandman," "free peasant;" by 1300, it meant "bondman, villain," also "fellow of low birth or rude manners."
For words for "common man" that acquire an insulting flavor over time, compare boor, villain. In this case, however, the same word also has come to mean "king" in many languages (such as Lithuanian karalius, Czech kral, Polish król) via Charlemagne.