A traditional Aramaic male name, many sources erroneously list this name as Arabic. Its meaning is illusive, but what is known is that the second element of the name is either from the Aramaic el (God) or Ba’al, meaning “master; lord.”
This is a very common name among Assyrian Christians as it was borne by an early Christian martyr and saint of Syria (known to Western Christians as St. Sarbelius). St. Sarbelius was martyred under the Roman Emperor Trajan.
In the 19th-century, the name was borne by a Lebanese mystic and monk, St. Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898).
The name is sometimes transliterated as Šarbel or Šarbil.
Since this is the name of a saint venerated among Roman Catholics and Eastern Christians, there are equivalents that appear on several Christian calendars across the world, however, the following names are not necessarily in common use in said languages:
- Xàrbel (Catalan)
- Šarbel (Croatian/Czech)
- Charbel (French, used among French-speakers of Lebanese or Assyrian descent)
- Scharbel (German)
- Sarbelius (Latin)
- Chárbel (Spanish, used among Spanish-speakers of Lebanese descent, especially in Mexico where there is a large Lebanese-Mexican community)
- Szarbel (Polish: not in use, but appears on the Catholic Saint calendar)