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Sweet Southern Girl Names

Savannah, Scarlett, or something less popular?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
sweet girl names

If it’s a boy, they’re all set. But if it’s a girl, Sarah and her husband need a sweetly Southern name to match Titus James and Haddie Mae.

Sarah writes:

Our son’s name is Titus James and our daughter’s name is Haddie Mae. We are currently expecting our third baby and won’t find out the gender until birth. If it is a boy, we plan to name him Shepherd John. But we are stuck for girl names!

I like names that are not super popular, but recognizable enough that people could read it or write it with no problem. I lean toward names that have been around for 100 years and will still be around in 100 more (i.e., no new or trendy names). My husband likes girl names that sound more classic and Southern, but he doesn’t care if it’s trendy or not.

Names we have considered:

Savannah – My husband’s favorite. I like it a lot, too, but I wonder if there’s something similar but less popular out there?

Scarlett– Another name my husband loves that feels similar to Savannah, but I like it less.

Other names on the list that we liked but aren’t sure if we love: Sutton, Noelle, Quinn, Coraline, and Cordelia, Delia for short.

Do you have any suggestions for less popular names that would fit our style?

The Name Sage replies:

Southern sums up your style so well! Without that word, I’d be stuck – you’ve considered surname names, nickname names, frilly and feminine names, and short, casual ones, too. It makes for an eclectic group, but they do all sound sweetly Southern.

It reminds me of this list from – where else? – Southern Living.

Savannah and Scarlett both make great names for a girl – that’s why they both currently rank in the US Top 50. That doesn’t automatically mean the names should be avoided. But it does sound like you’d prefer to find something less popular.

Another factor: there’s no reason Haddie and Scarlett or Haddie and Savannah couldn’t be sisters. But I wonder if there’s a little bit of a style switch happening here? Haddie is breezy and cool, while your favorites this time around feel a little more sophisticated.

Let’s see if we can find some names outside of the current US Top 100 that match well with Haddie, while still feeling like they’re in the more elaborate Scarlett/Savannah category.

Clementine Clementine is darling, a longer name that requires no shortening. It reminds me of Coraline from your maybe list, but with a slightly more Southern feel.

Collins Colin always strikes me as slightly British, but add an ‘s’ and Collins seems like a Southern girl. That’s probably thanks to 2009’s The Blind Side, based on the real-life story of football player Michael Oher and his adoptive family, including sister Collins. Like Sutton and Quinn, it’s a surname name, but less common than either.

Daisy – Maybe Daisy feels a smidge too popular. It’s hovered between 150 and 200 since the 1990s. It’s nothing like Savannah or Scarlett, but Daisy makes a great sister name for Haddie. It has the same simple, straightforward charm. While Daisy is an easy name to wear, there’s no shortage of history and literary associations, so it fits your 100-year rule to a T.

Delia – Instead of Cordelia, how about just Delia? It’s every bit as unusual – in fact, just Delia is rarer than the formal name. But while Cordelia strikes me as elaborate and literary, Delia seems a little more casual – and a better sister for Haddie Mae.

Edie – I can’t decide if Haddie and Edie are too similar for sisters, or if the shared sounds make them perfect together. Edie is one of those names that everyone recognizes, but no one is using in big numbers. I’m not certain it feels Southern, but paired with a great middle name, I think it would sound just right with Titus and Haddie.

Georgia Savannah, the Southern city, is much more popular than Georgia, the Southern state. Other George names for girls include cute Georgie, vintage Georgette, and elaborate Georgiana. I think Georgia or Georgiana, maybe with the nickname Georgie, could give you the best of both worlds.

Luella Luella strikes me as hip and Southern, a retro name at home in Charleston and New Orleans, and Los Angeles and New York, too. It has the length of Savannah, but feels a little more vintage. While Lucy is a Top 100 pick right now, most of the Lu/Lou names for girls remain relatively rare.

Tabitha – Here’s what strikes me about Savannah: it could be shortened, but it rarely is. That’s equally true for Tabitha. The New Testament name peaked around 1980, but never really caught on. That makes the name timeless, instantly familiar, and relatively easy to spell, too.

Viviana – Shuffle the sounds of Savannah, and you’ll almost arrive at Viviana. The downsides: Viviana feels more like an import, straight from Barcelona or Rome. But with history galore, Viviana is an elaborate girls’ name that remains relatively underused. (Though Vivian ranks in the current Top 100.) A bonus? Nickname Vivi or Viv offers a great short form.

My favorite is Delia. If Cordelia made your maybe list, I suspect that shortening the name to something a little lighter and sweeter might make it the perfect choice. Titus, Haddie, and Delia seem nicely balanced. And should you add a Shepherd at some future point, well – I think Shepherd sounds handsome with those names, too.

Readers, it’s your turn! Especially if you have Southern roots, I’d love to hear from you about the most Southern girl names, and which ones might work best for Sarah and her family.

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About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio.
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