|Anglo-Saxon churl plowing a field, 9th century.|
Churl comes from the Old English ceorl, which derives from the Proto-Germanic *kerlaz and *karlaz. It has cognates in various Germanic languages including Old Frisian zerl, Dutch kerel, German kerl, and Old Norse karl. The Old English version of churlish is cierlisc.
And here's a bit of music trivia. A rock band based in Toronto during the late 1960s called themselves The Churls. They released two albums in 1969: The Churls and Send Me No Flowers. Neither album proved very successful. The band appears to be making a reference to the word's original meaning. Notice the medieval style costumes on the album cover. Did they dress as Anglo-Saxon churls for concerts?