How did Charles’s Wain get its name and Where does the phrase Charles’s Wain come from?

The wain, four-wheeled wagon, of Charles the Great, and this is the name applied by some, even back around the year 1000, to the constellation, the Great Bear, Ursa Major, the Big Dipper.

To some eyes, that is, the bowl of the Dipper had the appearance of the huge wagons of old, the stars in the handle being the long shaft.

And, of course, no greater man ever lived worthy of such a wain than Charlemagne, Charles the Great.

Tennyson, in “New Year’s Eve,” has the line, “Till Charles’s Wain came out above the tall white chimney-tops.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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