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 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. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at
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28 Responses to “Sweet Southern Girl Names”

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LoveBugsMama Says:

April 18th, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Southern mama here! I love Abby’s suggestions of Luella and Delia. I very sweetly Southern and they sound so perfect with Haddie.

ceryle Says:

April 18th, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Great suggestions—I especially love Luella. Haddie and Lu would make a very Southern sibset!

Delia is my other favorite from Abby’s list, but I would also consider Della as a sweet-but-smart alternative.

“Sounds like Savannah but less common” immediately made me think of Susannah (or Susanna).

denmama9 Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 1:30 am

My favorites are Cordelia and Daisy. I think they both sound Southern, and they go well with Titus and Haddie.

I also love the example shown in this article that the category you think a name belongs in isn’t necessarily the only category it fits into. What category does Cordelia fit? Is it Victorian England? Southern? Hipster? Literary? Frilly? Strong? I think it could be any of those. My SIL named her boys Henry and Arthur. She sees them as kingly names and was quite astonished when someone else was considering Arthur to go with a little girl named something very non-royal and decidedly hipster.

BrittanyBrown Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 3:33 am

First of all, you named your children BEAUTIFUL and familiar but still unusual names. So, GREAT job and congratulations with that! On that note, I REALLY encourage you to move away from typical names like Savannah and Scarlett. Even though they are pretty names, I think considering your great taste, you can do better!

So, here are some ideas I’ve stormed up:

Alabama Reign
Harlow Belle
Augusta Liv / Love
Etta Rogue
Willa Greer
Ida Marilyn
Delia Scarlett – I love the suggestion of Delia by Nameberry writer Abby!
Shepherd Rose – Why not use your boy name idea for your new baby girl!

Good luck!

paulapuddephatt Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 4:54 am

I would definitely recommend Delia, but I don’t fully understand the advice to use it as a given name, instead of a nickname, when Delia was the planned nickname, anyway. I personally love Cordelia, and if you use the full name, it gives more options later on, including using the full name or Cora. Unless someone really didn’t like Cordelia, I would recommend going with that, and using Delia for short. More options are better than fewer. I would always recommend Charlotte over Charlie or Lottie, Elizabeth over Eliza or Beth, and so on, as long as you actually like the full name.

obow Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 5:49 am

I might go against the grain here, but I think something like Tessa Rae would be a cute sibling for Haddie Mae. It sounds Southern to me (tbh I’m Canadian haha) and I love the rhyming middles, sounds super classic and adorable.

SoDallas3 Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 6:12 am

Some great ideas here already!

Here are some of my suggestions:

Lula is another alternative to Luella too.

I tried to find names that were a little bit left off field, but also worked well with Haddie. These all give me a Southern vibe.

paw Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 7:30 am

One of my favorite southern names is Magnolia but I don’t think it goes that well with Titus and Haddie.

While I like Daisy with your other children’s names, I also think Dixie or Bonnie would an excellent choices.

If you to do want a longer name name this time around, would you consider a smooshed name. Many of them strike me as very Southern – Suellen, Raeanne, or Annamae.

Tina_and_Bert Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 8:42 am

I really think of Vivian as a more Southern name than Viviana, but that may just be because I had a friend in college who was super Southern named Vivian. I do like Delia, but Della or Delta or Etta seem more “Southern” and more unusual, a nice addition to Titus and Haddie.

SydnieEllen Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 8:59 am

Ivannah could be a more uncommon alternative to Savannah, I only know one person with this name and I love it! Definitely should be a contender 🙂

4erbear Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 10:07 am

Love the suggestion of Zelda.

hml Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 10:12 am

I love the suggestion of Delta. I think Titus, Haddie, and Delta sound great together. You guys seem to like “S” names, so what about Shelby or Susannah?

SweetPiper Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 10:39 am

What about Luelle? It’s sleeker than Luella and goes better with Haddie and Titus in my opinion.

clairels Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 11:52 am

Luella is my pick (It’s my late Nana’s middle name, so I’m biased). I like Delia, Della, Delta, Zelda, Daisy. If you don’t like Magnolia, what about Nolia? And how about Sidda?

Sweetchariot Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 1:36 pm

I immediately thought of Flannery because she’s an amazing writer and Southerner. Then I thought of MORE Southern writer names and love them all: Eudora, her last name of Welty, Carson (McCullers), Harper Lee (either name). Gosh if I met a little Flannery or Dora/Eudora I would swoon.

ARhythmofNames Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 1:41 pm

I love the suggestions of Clementine! But I think Luella, Delia or Daisy might fit in slightly more so with Titus and Haddie.
I think Susannah is a great alternative to Savannah as well, and more appealing to me, and the nickname Sunny is very sweet.

My favorites from your maybe list is Cordelia/Delia, it immediately made me think of Cora. Cora on it’s own would be a beautiful addition to your family 🙂
Here are a few other suggestions:
Marigold ‘Mari’ or ‘Goldie’ (Classic name that has a southern charm about it)
Cecilia or Celia (Another alternative to Delia and Cordelia)
Emmeline ‘Emmi’
Priscilla ‘Cilla’
Marilla ‘Rilla’

JossieChris Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Imogene “Idgy” Faith

blackcatsmeow Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Nola would be my pick. Nola is its own name, but can also stand for New Orleans Louisiana. A sweet name with some history. Similar to Savannah.

I actually love both Scarlett and Savannah from your list. Both would work well. I’d suggest the middle name Rose or Belle as well!

Suzannah Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 3:57 pm

I would use Cornelia instead of Cordelia. Nickname could be Nell. I think that has a sweet Southern vibe.

Beau Jean Says:

April 19th, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Titus James, Haddie Mae, and Shepherd John all have a two syllable first with a one syllable middle and they each have their own sound. I would avoid a girl name that ends with the same -ie sound that Haddie does. My two cents worth.


with a cute one syllable middle name like-


LoveBugsMama Says:

April 20th, 2017 at 1:22 pm

I already commented but a suggestion came to me this morning. What about Nella? Kind of like how Haddie is an alternative to the popular Addie, I see Nella as that to Ella. Haddie and Nella sound so sweet together.

teacupsandtiaras Says:

April 20th, 2017 at 3:16 pm

I LOVE Cordelia (so many nicknames! Cora, Delia, Cordie, Corie, Elia, Eli, Ellie) and Collins. Collins was actually my first thought when I saw the title “Sweet Southern Girl names”. I also echo Zelda, Zella, and Belle.

haddi Says:

April 23rd, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Susannah, Louisa, Annabelle, or Georgia would be perfect with Titus and Haddie!

amylette Says:

April 23rd, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Love the suggestion of Willa. Titus, Haddie and Willa sound perfect together.

kennamoon Says:

April 23rd, 2017 at 9:19 pm

I love your kids names! Especially Haddie and Shep!

I love Delia and the suggestions of Etta and Sunny

Everyone is saying Susannah but I think Suzy as the full name freshens it up! and has such a sweet southern sound. I also love Vanna instead of Savannah

Titus, Haddie & Suzy
Titus, Haddie & Vanna

Titus, Haddie & Sloane
Titus, Haddie & Effie
Titus, Haddie & Sabrina
Titus, Haddie & Gigi
Titus, Haddie & Adelaide
Titus, Haddie & Sally
Titus, Haddie & Goldie
Titus, Haddie & Estelle “Stellie”
Titus, Haddie & Leonora
Titus, Haddie & Zella
Titus, Haddie & Nell
Titus, Haddie & Desi
Titus, Haddie & Ayla
Titus, Haddie & Alba
Titus, Haddie & Alexandria
Titus, Haddie & Maelie
Titus, Haddie & Etheline
Titus, Haddie & Nadia
Titus, Haddie &Saffron “Saffy”
Titus, Haddie & Indigo “Indie”
Titus, Haddie & Emery
Titus, Haddie & Maisie
Titus, Haddie & Lottie
Titus, Haddie & Shiloh “Shi”
Titus, Haddie & Shay (Great middle name option if you don’t like it as a first. Shae is cute too)
Titus, Haddie & Kiersten
Titus, Haddie & Kirsten
Titus, Haddie & Sutter
Titus, Haddie &Valerie “Val”
Titus, Haddie & Vivia
Titus, Haddie & Genevieve “Ginny” “Viv” “Evie” or Gen (ordered by my preference)
Titus, Haddie & Haley

Segraha Says:

April 26th, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Thank you all so much! This has been incredibly helpful, I’ve added 6 names to our list tonight: Laurel, Collins, Nola, Shelby and Willa. Also still considering Cordelia (or Delia) and Noelle from our original list. My husband loves Savannah but I am swooning over these much more original southern girl names. Keep them coming!

Miakate Says:

May 10th, 2017 at 6:54 am

I love the name Haddie, one I’ve never heard before! I totally get the southern vibe and would encourage you to keep on that path with the next name.

I love Etta; it’s got the same sweet sound as Haddie, without being too similar or a complete polar opposite. I think Tessa, Cora, Nellie and Nola are also great options to go with both Haddie and Titus.

Whatever you choose to call your little one, I wish you all the best with your new arrival x

JossieChris Says:

May 29th, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Ellen Sue Or Bonnie Blu

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