Aw, Shucks

115+ Southern Girl Names, From Vintage Favorites To Monikers With A Modern Flair

You don’t have to be southern to fall in love with these folksy names.

Written by Team Scary Mommy
Southern girl names have a sweet and sassy flair.
Crystal Bolin Photography/E+/Getty Images

In the immortal words of folk singer Amos Lee, "There's something about a southern girl." Blame it on the romanticism of the region, but southern girl names just have a magnetic quality. They don't just evoke a strong sense of place; many of these names also have a strong sense of person. What does that mean? Well, for instance, when you think of the popular southern girl name Alice, you may think of Alice Walker — Georgia native and beloved novelist of The Color Purple. (And honestly, the list of southern girl names shared by iconic southern writers goes on: Eudora, Flannery, Harper....) There's also Jolene, which you can't say without singing the classic Dolly Parton hit of the same name. Or how about Loretta, the name of another country music legend?

In other words, southern girl names have charisma to spare. Yes, there are traditional names that reflect the South's wistful, sleepy reputation. But there are just as many names (if not more) on this list that reflect a more modern sensibility — names that feel spirited, creative, cool, and downright feminist, thanks to their gutsy namesakes.

So, whether you're from the region, inspired by it, or just honestly love the sound of southern names, you'll find something here for your sweet and feisty future daughter.

  1. Abigail: This Biblical name means “cause of joy” in Hebrew.
  2. Abilene: Meaning “stream” or “meadow,” this name reflects the natural beauty of the South.
  3. Adair: Gaelic in origin, this name means “happy spear.”
  4. Addison: Yes, this is a trendy name at the moment, but Addison is actually an old English name that means “son of Adam,” and is associated with strength.
  5. Adelaide: This sweet German name literally means “royal,” making it perfect for the regal little southerner in your life.
  6. Alabama: Alabama isn’t just a state; it’s a name, too. This gender-neutral moniker is of Indigenous origin, and it means “thicket clearers.”
  7. Alexandria: In addition to being a beautiful city in Virginia, Alexandria is a Greek name “helper and defender of mankind.”
  8. Alice: Originating in Germany, Alice means “noble” or “exalted.”
  9. Alma: Believed to be Hebrew, Arabic, and Italian in origin, this sweet southern name means “nourishing” and “kind.”
  10. Annabelle: Double names are a staple of the South, so it’s no surprise Annabelle is a popular choice. The name is French in origin and it means “favored grace.”
  11. Annabeth: Another double name that utilizes Anna is Annabeth, which is English and means “full of grace.”
  12. Annalee: One more lilting Anna name; this one is Hebrew and means “He (God) has favored me.”
  13. Atlanta: Georgia’s capital city is gaining in popularity as a name. It’s Greek in origin and means “secure and immovable.”
  14. Aubrey: Not only does this German name lend itself well to alternate spellings (Aubree, Aubrie), but it also has a magical meaning — “elf ruler.”
  15. Ava: Of Latin origin, this popular name (even Reese Witherspoon named her daughter Ava!) means “life,” “bird,” and “water.” It became particularly popular in medieval era Germany, but it was also near the top of the most popular girl’s name list in 2021.
  16. Azalea: Azaleas are one of the south’s most prevalent flowers, but as a name, it means “reserved by God” in Hebrew.
  17. Barbara: This Greek-inspired moniker means foreign or strange. It comes from the Greek word Barbaros and belongs to iconic women like Barbara Streisand and Barbara Walters.
  18. Bea: Southerners will likely immediately think of Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show when they hear this charming name. It has a lovely meaning, too: “bringer of happiness.”
  19. Beatrice: This French name means “she who makes happy.”
  20. Belinda: With its vintage flair, this name pops up quite a lot in the South. Although, technically, it’s of Spanish origin and means “pretty one.”
  21. Bellamy: This French and Irish name means “good friend.”
  22. Belle: Precious few names are more southern than Belle. Originating in France, it translates to “beautiful.”
  23. Bessie: Another vintage name that deserves to make a comeback, Bessie is Hebrew and means “God’s promise.”
  24. Birdie: A German name with ties to nature, this adorable moniker means “little bird” and “famous.”
  25. Blanche: All of the Golden Girls’ names deserve to make a comeback, but none more than Blanche. In French, the name simply means “white,” but between Blanche Devereaux and Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire, this is a name that’s rich in southern pop culture history.
  26. Bobbie: This gender-neutral name comes of English origin and means bright fame.
  27. Candy: This all-American name means “bright” and “sweet.”
  28. Carolina: If you’re from North or South Carolina, then you might want to consider Carolina for your little one. Of German origin, the name means “free” or “beautiful woman.”
  29. Cassidy: In addition to evoking images of little ones running around in tiny overalls, this sweet Irish name means curly-headed.
  30. Charity: Names like Faith, Hope, and Charity are perennial favorites in the South. In the case of Charity, the name is from Latin origin and means “dear” or “beloved.”
  31. Charlotte: North Carolina residents will know Charlotte doubles as a classic name and a place name. In French it means “free man.”
  32. Cheyenne: Another place name, Cheyenne is of Sioux origin and means “people of a different language.”
  33. Clara: If you want to make this name extra southern, then consider pairing it with Belle. It’s from Latin, and it means “bright, clear.”
  34. Clementine: This musical name comes from the French and it means “merciful.”
  35. Cora: This two-syllable name comes from Greek and Latin roots. It means maiden or daughter and is commonly associated with Persephone, the Greek goddess of spring and daughter of Zeus and Demeter.
  36. Cricket: Hart of Dixie fans will recognize this name from the hit CW series. It’s a uniquely American name that means “loud insect of the night,” but it’s also a nickname for Christine.
  37. Daisy: A beautiful floral name, Daisy means “day's eye,” but really it most evokes summer flowers.
  38. Delilah: This Hebrew and Arabic name means “delicate.”
  39. Delta: From Tanya Tucker’s song “Delta Dawn” to the Mississippi delta, this name is deeply engrained in the south. It literally means “river-mouth” or where the river meets the ocean.
  40. Dolly: This vintage name is of English origin and means “gift of God.”
  41. Dottie: A variation of Dorothy, this name also means “gift of God.”
  42. Eliza: A short form of Elizabeth, Eliza is a Hebrew name meaning “pledged to God.”
  43. Ellie: Reminiscent of southern belle Elly May Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies, Ellie’s origins are both French and English. It means “light.”
  44. Emmylou: When you combine Emmy and Lou, you get a beautifully southern name that means “universal.”
  45. Etta: This strong name is British, and it means “the ruler of the house.”
  46. Eudora: Few writers chronicled the south with a keener eye than Eudora Welty. Her name, which is of Greek origin, means “good gift.”
  47. Eugenia: This Greek name means “noble.”
  48. Faith: A virtuous name, Faith is of English origin.
  49. Fannie: It may mean “from France,” but Fannie remains a favorite in the South.
  50. Faye: A very popular middle name in the South, this French moniker means “loyalty” or “belief.”
  51. Flannery: If you want a deeply southern name, then you can’t wrong with Flannery, which brings to mind the famed writer Flannery O’Connor. Interesting, this Irish name means “russet hair.”
  52. Francis: A true unisex name, Francis is French and it means “free man.”
  53. Frankie: This earthy name is Latin, and it means “free” or “truthful.”
  54. Georgia: It doesn’t get more southern than naming your baby about the peach state. Georgia is of English origin and it means “farmer.”
  55. Grace: Another virtue name, Grace is Latin in origin and means “goodness.”
  56. Hadley: Originating in England, Hadley means “heather field.”
  57. Harper: Another author name, Harper is a fitting tribute to To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee. The European name is technically an occupational moniker that literally means to play the harp.
  58. Hayley: This English name means “hayfield.”
  59. Helen: Sweet Magnolias fans know Helen is the perfect name to convey strength. Of Greek origin, it means “shining light.”
  60. Henrietta: This charming German name means “home ruler.”
  61. Honey: Names don’t come any sweeter than this English nickname. It literally translates to “nectar,” but it’s a perfect name for any little southern girl.
  62. Ida: Jump on this name before it takes off in popularity again. Of German origin, it means “industrious one.”
  63. Jean: You can combine it with Betty for a classic southern combo. Jean is a French name meaning “God is gracious.”
  64. Jessie: Of Hebrew origin, Jessie means “he sees.”
  65. Joanie: This old French name has a southern twang to it, and a sweet meaning to boot: “God is gracious.”
  66. Jolene: A Dolly Parton-approved name with French roots, Jolene simply means “pretty.”
  67. Josephine: If you want to evoke spirited literary and TV characters like Dawson’s Creek’s Joey and Little Women’s Jo March, then Josephine is the perfect name for your little one. It’s a name of French origin, and it means “God will increase.”
  68. June: The South and summer go hand in hand, so a warm-weather name like June is perfect (and think of the nickname possibilities — who wouldn’t want a little Junebug?). Of Latin origin, June means “young.”
  69. Laurel: If you watch HGTV, then you’ll know Laurel is a Mississippi place name. It’s also a nature name that means “Laurel tree” or “Bay tree.”
  70. Laverne: A Latin name, Laverne means “of spring.”
  71. Leanne: This classic English name means “to twine around.”
  72. Lemon: Another one for Hart of Dixie fans, Lemon is an unusual fruit name that might just fit the baby southerner in your life.
  73. Loretta: If you listen to classic country music, then you’ll be familiar with the famed Loretta Lynn who sang twangy hits like “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’.” In addition to being the moniker of a country music legend, Loretta is an English name meaning “bay laurel.”
  74. Lottie: A variation of the French name Charlotte, Lottie means “little and womanly.”
  75. Louella: In addition to being a southernesque double name, Louella is English and German in origin and means “famous warrior.”
  76. Lynley: This British name means “lake.”
  77. Mabel: This charming vintage name is Latin, and it means “lovable.”
  78. Mae: Derived from the month of May, Mae is an English name meaning “pearl.”
  79. Magnolia: Few things are more southern than magnolia trees. Thankfully, Magnolia happens to also be a beautiful name that means “flower.”
  80. Margaret: A name of Greek origin, Margaret means “pearl.”
  81. Maribelle: A combination of Mary and Belle, Maribelle means “beloved and beautiful.”
  82. Martina: The name Martina is inspired by Roman mythology, and it means “dedicated to Mars.” However, it also has ties to southern culture thanks to country star Martina McBride.
  83. Maude: Hebrew, German, and French in origin, this strong name means “mighty in battle.”
  84. Memphis: The Tennessee city also makes for a gorgeous name. It means “enduring and beautiful.”
  85. Myrtle: This vintage name is making a comeback. Myrtle is Greek in origin and means “tree” or “victory.”
  86. Naomi: Hebrew in origin, Naomi means “beautiful” and “gentle.”
  87. Nellie: A variation of the Latin name Cornelia, it means “sun ray” or “horn.”
  88. Nola: This acronym for New Orleans is also a lovely name for a little girl.
  89. Noreen: Irish in origin, Noreen means “honor.” (And it’s another name fans of Sweet Magnolias will recognize!)
  90. Norma: This quaint Latin name means “the standard.”
  91. Odette: This French name means “wealth.”
  92. Opal: A unique jewel name, Opal means “gem” in Sanskrit.
  93. Paisley: A town in Scotland, Paisley means “church” or “cemetery,” but it’s also the last name of country singer Brad Paisley.
  94. Peach: British in origin, Peach is perfect for any Georgia baby. It means “fruit” or, funnily enough, “son of pies.”
  95. Pearl: Another gem name, Pearl is of Latin origin and means “precious.”
  96. Priscilla: This Latin name means “ancient” and has roots in the Bible.
  97. Raleigh: The capital of North Carolina, Raleigh means “roe deer’s meadow.”
  98. Reba: Another name for country music fans, Reba is Hebrew and means “fourth born.”
  99. Reese: This gender-neutral name is perhaps most famously associated with Nashville resident Reese Witherspoon. Fittingly, it means “enthusiasm.”
  100. Rosa: Of Spanish, Latin, and Italian origin, this name (unsurprisingly) means “rose, a flower.” A famous Southern example? Alabaman Rosa Parks.
  101. Rose: This name also means “a rose, a flower,” as it’s derived from Rosa.
  102. Ruby: A name with plenty of modern vintage appeal, Ruby means “deep red precious stone.”
  103. Ruthie: A diminutive of the Hebrew Ruth, this name means “compassionate friend.”
  104. Sadie: What started as a nickname for Sarah, Sadie — which means “princess” — has become a popular name in its own right.
  105. Savannah: On the surface, Savannah means “flat tropical grassland.” However, it’s also the name of a scenic Southern city in Georgia.
  106. Scarlett: Meaning “scarlet, red,” this name rose to prominence in the South due to the character of the same name in Margaret Mitchelle’s sweeping Civil War novel Gone With the Wind.
  107. Scout: Another name with literary roots, Scout is a character in the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
  108. Selma: This name of German origin means “godly helmet.” However, it’s also a city in Alabama famous for serving as the starting point of the voting rights marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  109. Shania: This name is undoubtedly associated with country singer Shania Twain. Interestingly, though, it’s an Indigenous name (of Ojibway origin) meaning “I’m on my way.”
  110. Shelby: This gender-neutral name of English origin means “estate on the ledge.” More memorably? It’s the name of Julia Roberts’ character in the classic 1989 Southern film Steel Magnolias.
  111. Suellen: Yes, as in “Sue Ellen” — but said together, in one fluid word. So sweet. So Southern.
  112. Tallulah: Of Irish and Indigenous origin, this name means “leaping water” or “lady of abundance.”
  113. Tillie: Meaning “battle mighty,” Tillie (sometimes spelled Tilly) is another name enjoying a major resurgence.
  114. Viola: Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, actress Viola Davis may be the most well-known example of this Southern name. Of Italian and Latin origin, it means “violet.”
  115. Virginia: Yes, Virginia is a Southern state and a beautiful one at that. It’s little wonder so many people choose this name for their children.
  116. Willadeene: Sometimes spelled “Willodean,” this girl’s name is a through-and-through Southern moniker.
  117. Wynonna: This name, which means “firstborn daughter,” can be spelled several ways. However, this version is the spelling used by country-rock singer Wynonna Judd.
  118. Zelda: Of German origin, this name means “gray battle” or “strong woman.”