By Lisa Milbrand
April 21, 2014
Cool Name of the Week: Louisa 28210

Forgive my lack of posting last week—I was enjoying some much needed R&R with the family down in North Carolina. Which, of course, led to this week's cool name of the week. Carolina is perhaps one of the more wearable state names for baby names (Dakota, Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, and Arizona are my other faves). It's a variant of Caroline, which itself is a variant of Charles, and means "free man." While the resurgent Caroline is now in the top 100, Carolina is barely cracking the top 500.

There's some debate over how to pronounce it, though—it's Carol-eye-na if you want to pronounce it like the state, but Caro-leen-a if you're going for the European pronunciation. The most famous bearer of the name is fashion designer Carolina Herrera, who does red carpet looks for many of the A-list stars. (For the record, she pronounces it with the "ee" in the middle.) And there's a rose with the name—and how pretty is the name Carolina Rose?

If you're looking for other middle names, look in the direction of short and sweet: June, Mae, Lark, Leigh, and Gray all sound lovely with Carolina (no matter how you want to pronounce it).

Which way would you pronounce Carolina? And would you consider it or another place name for your child? Share your favorites in the comments.

Still looking for the perfect name for your baby? Try our Baby Name Finder—or our Baby Fame Name Generator, for something a beat.