Kal-El is ancient Kryptonian for "Star Child." (S No. 257 Oct 1972: "The Greatest Green Lantern of All!", LSOK, and others)
The House of El was reknowned throughout Kryptonian history for their great achievements in sciences and the arts.
Although born on Krypton, young Kal-El was rocketed to safety on Earth by his parents before Krypton exploded. Upon his arrival on Earth, Kal-El was adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent and raised as Clark Kent in Smallville.