fem. proper name, from the French fem. of Charlot, a diminutive of Charles. Meaning "apple marmalade covered with bread-crumbs" is attested from 1796, presumably from French (where, however, the dessert name is attested only from 1804), possibly from the fem. proper name, but the connection is obscure. Perhaps from some French dialect word. Compare Middle English charlette (mid-14c.) "dish containing meat, eggs, milk, etc.," said to be probably from Old French char laité "meat with milk."
The city in North Carolina, U.S., was settled c. 1750 and named for Princess Charlotte Sophia (1744-1818), who married George III of England in 1761; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, also was named for her (1763).