Dear Bruce: You Said Carola Might Be Hard to Pronounce; I Agree.

Carola: I read your post about “Nameberry’s List of 100 Cool, Unusual Names” with great interest. You singled out Carola (my given name) for comment. You said the name might be difficult to pronounce. I agree.

As a little girl, I was not fond of my given name, Carola. I’m glad people used my nickname, Lola, which was very easy for Americans to pronounce. I was sent to boarding school in Germany after eighth grade for one year. When I arrived, I discovered that my given name, Carola, was not as unusual as it was in the States. There were at least six other girls named Carola at Heimschule Kloster Wald (my boarding school), but I told everyone to call me Lola!

FYI, Carola is pronounced ca-RRRROLE-ah (short a, long o, short a, emphasis on the second syllable–and  the r is rolled). As you can see, this name is difficult  for most  Americans to pronounce properly (unless they speak German fluently).

Bruce: Thanks so much for letting me know how to pronounce Carola. Truth is, I had no idea! In my post about Nameberry’s ”Cool, Unusual Names” article I listed several possible pronunciation options. Unfortunately, all of them were wrong. If I ever  meet someone wearing a badge at a conference announcing her given name as Carola, I will ask her how to pronounce the name before making a fool of myself. Thanks also for letting me know that Carola was a common name in Germany, when you went to school there. Thanks for telling us that you much preferred your nickname, Lola, to your given name, Carola, both in America and in Germany where Carola was a common name; both when you were a child and now that you are an adult.

As you may have noticed, the Nameberry article I was commenting on recommended 100 cool and unusual names which had been given to 10 or less girls in 2012 in the United States. The point of my blog post was that there are likely to be some very good reasons why names are only given to 10 or less people. The idea of claiming that 100 names used by 10 or less people are “cool” seems absurd! Your comments explain why that is true in the case of Carola. It’s a fine name for people living in Germany, but it can  be difficult for Americans to pronounce properly. I get the impression that the only people who call you Carola are the people at the Department of Motor Vehicles, when it’s time for you to renew your license.

It may interest you to visit my “Cool Names for Girls” Page on Why? Because Lola is one of the coolest names on the list (of about 35 names). Based on what you’ve written, I doubt that you would expect to find Carola on that list. And you’d be right. (The only people who think Carola is a cool name are the people at Nameberry.)

One thought on “Dear Bruce: You Said Carola Might Be Hard to Pronounce; I Agree.

  1. Pingback: Dear Bruce, I Noticed You’ve Been Writing A Lot About Nameberry; What’s Up with That? | Bruce Lansky Baby Names in the News

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