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Southern Names

Southern Names

Southern names evidence the region's charm, hospitality and courtesy.

In the American South, parents often pass down family names to their children. The need to distinguish children from their relatives led to many of what we consider Southern naming traditions, including double-barreled names and children going by their middle names.

Along with Top 10 names Ava and Mason, Southern names that make the US Top 300 include Cash, Daisy, Delilah, Georgia, Tucker, and Wyatt. In the South, popular names for girls include Paisley, Scarlett, and Skylar. Carter, Elijah, and John are among the top boy names in the Southern states.

Southern place names can also honor a love of the South or Southern heritage. Along with Georgia, other choices include Alabama, Augusta, Austin, Carolina, Houston, Macon, and Savannah. Names drawn from natural features of the American South might make good choices. Along with Daisy, Southern nature names include Magnolia, Azalea, Bayou, Delta, and Meridian.

Names of notable Southerners might also make good Southern baby names. These honor names range from Blanche to Tennessee, Flannery to Faulkner, Dolly to Landry, Waylon to Zelda.

This list of Dixie baby names may inspire a choice for your southern belle or gentleman.

  1. AtticusHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Attica"
    • Description:

      Atticus derives from the Greek Attikos, meaning "from Attica," the Ancient Greek region that contained Athens. Atticus is a literary name in more ways than one. Before it became synonymous with Atticus Finch, the name Atticus was associated with Titus Pomponius Atticus, a Roman literary figure.
  2. CharlotteHeart
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Charlotte is the feminine form of the male given name Charles. It derived from Charlot, a French diminutive of Charles meaning "little Charles," and the name of Charlemagne’s son in French literature and legend. The name was popularized by England's Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III.
  3. HazelHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the hazelnut tree"
    • Description:

      Hazel is a name applied from the English word hazel, referring to the hazelnut tree. The word was derived from the Old English hæsel of the same meaning. Historically, a wand of hazel symbolized protection and authority.
  4. JosephineHeart
    • Origin:

      French feminine variation of Joseph
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah increases"
    • Description:

      Josephine is the feminine form of Joseph, a name ultimately derived from the Hebrew Yosef, meaning "Jehovah increases." In French it has an accent over the first E, which was omitted in the English, German, and Dutch translations of the name. Empress Joséphine du Beauharnais was born Marie-Josephe-Rose, but called Josephine by her husband, Napolean Bonaparte.
  5. ClementineHeart
    • Origin:

      French feminine version of Clement, Latin
    • Meaning:

      "mild, merciful"
    • Description:

      Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that has finally broken back into the US Top 1000 after more than half a century off the list. Still, its style value may mean there are more Clementines than you might guess in your neighborhood—it may be a name that raises Mom's eyebrows, but it won't surprise your friends.
  6. MabelHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Amabel
    • Meaning:

      "lovable"
    • Description:

      Mabel is a saucy Victorian favorite searching for its place in modern life; if you love offbeat old-fashioned names like Violet or Josephine, only sassier, Mabel is one for you to consider--it's started making a comeback and could rise to popularity a la Sadie. Several celebs have chosen it, including Chad Lowe, Nenah Cherry, Bruce Willis and Dermot Mulroney.
  7. MaeHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "bitter or pearl"
    • Description:

      Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood. Mae can be used as a nickname for the names Mary and Margaret — actress Mae West was born Mary. Alternate spellings include May, Mei, and Maye. The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own, as seen by Hilary Duff's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.
  8. AdaHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble, nobility"
    • Description:

      Ada is derived from the German name Adelaide, which came from the ancient name Adalheidis. The root, adal, is a Germanic word meaning "noble." Ada can also be considered a variation of the biblical name Adah, pronounced AH-da, one of the first girls’ names mentioned in the Book of Genesis.
  9. ScarlettHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "scarlet, red"
    • Description:

      Scarlett originated as an occupation surname, designating a person who sold scarlet, a luxury wool cloth produced in Medieval Europe. The word is thought to derive from the Arabic siklāt, referring to silks dyed with kermes. The fanciest, favorited color was scarlet red.
  10. ElizaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Eliza originated as a diminutive of Elizabeth and eventually became used as a name in its own right. Despite its similarity to the Hebrew name Aliza, meaning "joyful," the two are unrelated. Eliza Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, recognizable today as one of the lead characters in the musical "Hamilton."
  11. EmmettHeart
    • Origin:

      English masculine variation of Emma, German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emmett, honest and sincere, laid-back and creative, is on the rise as a male cognate of the megapopular Emma and Emily, not to mention being a character in the popular Twilight series.
  12. JuniperHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin tree name
    • Meaning:

      "young"
    • Description:

      Juniper is a fresh-feeling nature name -- it's a small evergreen shrub -- with lots of energy. A new favorite of fashionable parents, Juniper joins such other tree and shrub names as Hazel, Acacia, and Willow.
  13. DaisyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, English
    • Meaning:

      "day's eye"
    • Description:

      Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Daisy is now second only to Delilah among most popular girl names starting with D. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.
  14. DelilahHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew or Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "delicate"
    • Description:

      Delilah has shed the stigma of its Biblical image, and is now appreciated for its haunting, melodic, feminine qualities. Checking out Delilah's popularity graph shows that Delilah's use is heading straight for the top. Right now, Delilah is among the most popular Hebrew names for girls in the US as well as the Number 1 girls' name starting with D.
  15. GraceHeart
    • Origin:

      English, virtue name
    • Description:

      Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
  16. SawyerHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "woodcutter"
    • Description:

      Sawyer is a surname with a more relaxed and friendly feel than many others, and is one of the hottest occupational names right now, with the Nameberry seal of approval. Sawyer is becoming one of the top unisex names. Both Sara Gilbert and Diane Farr used Sawyer for their daughters, while it was given a boost as a boys' name by the character Sawyer on Lost, an alias for the character really named James Ford.
  17. WillaHeart
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.
  18. BeauHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "handsome"
    • Description:

      Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
  19. JosiahHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God supports, heals"
    • Description:

      Josiah is derived from Yoshiyahu, a Hebrew name from the components yoshi, meaning “support,” and Yahu, referring to the Hebrew god. In the Old Testament, Josiah was an upright king of Judah from the age of eight, after his father Amon was murdered. Josias is a related Latin variation that is found in some biblical translations.
  20. VeraHeart
    • Origin:

      Russian
    • Meaning:

      "faith"
    • Description:

      Vera was the height of fashion in 1910, then was for a long time difficult to picture embroidered on a baby blanket. Now, though, it has come back into style along with other old-fashioned simple names such as Ada and Iris.