Cool Name of the Week: Louisa 28210

If you're as big a fan of The Walking Dead as I am, last night's ending was a big shocker. I won't give too much away, in case it's still stored in your DVR, but Andrea, one of the longest running characters on the show, ends up in a bit of a predicament—to put it mildly.

It's been interesting to watch the metamorphosis of her character. She started out as a relatively weak person, one who nearly decided to simply give up and commit suicide early on. But through all the trials and dangers wrought by living through a zombie apocalypse, Andrea has become one tough chick—a sharpshooter and skilled zombie hunter, who still lives by a strong moral code. She is willing to put herself in harm's way to save the lives of her friends—as she did in yesterday's episode. I'm hoping she will live to fight on another season (only two episodes left to find out!).

Her name, Andrea, was originally the Italian take on Andrew, and was a boy's name. It actually means strong and manly (actually not a bad choice for the bold and a bit tomboyish character), and has been a top 100 baby name for girls in the country for the past 40 years.

It's still used for boys in Europe (think of amazing opera singer Andrea Bocelli), but here in the U.S., it's for the girls, despite its manly meaning. (Besides Walking Dead's badass Andrea, it was also the name chosen for the adorably geeky original 90210 character, and the heroine of chick-lit classic The Devil Wears Prada.)

As for middle names to pair it with, I'd choose something with some interesting consonants to break up the vowel-heavy first name. I like it with Zoe, Beatrice, Pearl and Jade.

What do you think of the name Andrea? Too manly or too well loved for your taste? Or just the right choice for your daughter...or even your son?

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Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/