The states of North and South Carolina are named after King Charles, but which king varies with one’s perspective. Carolus is the Latinized version of Charles.
The name Carolina was first applied to the territory by Jean Ribaut (c.1520-65) in honor of King Charles IX of France. In 1629, King Charles I of England, ignoring the prior French claims to the land, made a land grant to Sir Robert Heath, calling the new colony Carolana, after himself. The spelling of the name changed back to Carolina in 1663 and the colony was split into North and South Carolina in 1710.1
1Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, edited by Philip Babcock Gove (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1993), 341;
Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names: United States and Canada, edited by Kelsie B. Harder (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976), 82-83.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton