Something about the South will always ooze charm. The USA might have booming cities like New York, LA, and Las Vegas, but when it comes to that spirit, the South wins, hands-down. Warm-hearted locals, blues music, comfort food and the kinds of hospitality we hope our daughters will inherit are all part of it. There's an even bigger part, though.
Sophia, Olivia, Emma, and Chloe might have been in the top 10 most chosen baby girl names of 2017, but the Southern Belle names are making a giant comeback. Still 100% alive in modern movies (and for anyone who loves Gone With The Wind), the charming Southern Belle carries herself with grace, beauty, and a giant #Sass.
Steel Magnolias saw Julia Roberts pull of the Southern Belle back in 1989. Forrest Gump threw us Alabama charm back in 1994. Charlize Theron was perfect in the 2000 movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, and nobody can forget Reese Witherspoon's 2002 appearance in Sweet Home Alabama.
If it's a girl, the time to think of names will eventually run out. Celebrities might be throwing us wacky names like Stormi and Kulture, but for mommies-to-be who prefer that feminine Southern sass to a Kardashian-Jenner statement name, this is the list to keep. Here are 25 Southern baby girl names that are just bursting with charm and sass.
No name quite represents the South like Dixie. Short, snappy, and with a letter "x" that will 100% rubber-stamp her sass, this baby girl's name is all kinds of perfect. The name Dixie actually originates from the Latin meaning of "tenth," but it's more associated with the Ole US of A than anything else. The Mason-Dixie line marks the beginning of the American South, and this baby name will mark the beginning of a beautiful life. All My Children had a character named Dixie.
It's the symbol of Texas. Dallas may be a booming city, but this Southern metropolis hasn't lost the roots that it was built on. Dallas is the gender-neutral location name that might work for baby cowboys, but the cowgirls are right up there with them. With a double "l" adding elegance, a meaning of "skilled," and that Southern twang, moms are digging Dallas like there's no tomorrow. Bryce Dallas Howard has this as her middle name.
Demi Lovato's sister is named Dallas.
The clue is in the name with Belle. A Southern Belle won't need to look far for compliments with a name like Belle– Beauty & The Beast chose this name for its meaning of "beautiful." Short, elegant, and with a beautiful ring, Belle is a classic Southern name that forms the first half of something very important– the reason you even clicked on this. Belle has French origins, but Hollywood latched onto it very quickly. Belle has appeared in the Twilight series and the iconic Gone With The Wind.
For a total cutie who will always have a smile on her face, Cassidy is the girl's name that has plenty of sass (but still stays lighthearted). Ranking 327th as the most chosen baby girl's name of 2017, this name also gains points for not being a name that the other girls in class are likely to have. Meaning "curly-haired", Cassidy has Irish origins, but it has long been associated with the Deep South. The Shield and The Mother-Daughter Book Club both have a Cassidy.
Madison works for both boys and girls. Despite its old English origins and meaning of "son of Maud," the Midwestern city of Madison, Wisconsin has added an American twist to the name. There's an outdoorsy, carefree feel to Madison– perfect if you can see your baby girl enjoying fresh air, farm life, or even horseback riding. Take it from a Brit (who is super jealous of this name)– Madison is awesome for a baby girl born in 2018 or 2019.
Romantic, chic, and dripping with Southern charm, Rhett is the boy's name that has taken on a gender-neutral angle in recent years. The boy's version has an old-school Southern feel– Rhett Butler was, after all, the lead character in Gone With The Wind. With a silent "h" and that double letter ending though, Rhett pulls of Southern swag perfectly for a baby girl. You already know that she's going to be beautiful. For a Southern name that's unusual and traditional all at once, consider Rhett.
Could this name have more charm? Daphne is the delicate but sassy girl's name that has taken over American culture, despite its Greek origins. This name actually has an outdoorsy meaning– "laurel tree" or "bay tree" is what it means, and that's perfect for the South. Those summer rays may be gone, but the South will always have warmth. The name became hugely popular in the 90s thanks to Frasier, but we've seen it since in Harry Potter and Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Oh, will Blanche have sass. This name used to have a bit of a matriarchal feel, but 2018 moms have been swooning over it. With a French meaning of "white," Blanche automatically comes with elegance, plus the "e" ending puts a #Class on the name. The name originated as a nickname for pale blondes, but it worked its way into popular culture to symbolize strong, sassy women. The Golden Girls might have been old ladies, but Blanche went onto lead Team Mystic in Pokemon Gó.
Tallulah is one of those names that is just beautiful to say. The name means "lady of abundance" or "leaping water," so it works in both representing a big personality and a baby girl who will be close to nature. The name now appears on Name Berry's list entitled "Names that make you go WOW!" Tallulah has a sweet Southern ring, a ton of charm, and it's been chosen as a baby girl's name by quite a few celebrities.
Patrick Dempsey and Bruce Willis both chose Tallulah for their baby girls.
You can't get more Southern than the state of Tennessee. Location baby names can be tricky– Brooklyn works for Victoria Beckham and Chicago works for Kim Kardashian, but back on planet earth, regular mommies-to-be want something a little more grounded. The gender-neutral Tennessee has Native American, Cherokee origins, plus a huge celeb following. Tennessee Thomas brought the name up the charts. Reese Witherspoon chose Tennessee for her baby boy, but it works just as well for girls. For a #USA with charm, go with Tennessee.
The original Southern Belle in Gone With The Wind, Scarlett O'Hara will forever be an icon of the South's charm and beauty. This colorful name comes with a meaning of "scarlet" or "red," but she doesn't need to have red hair to rock this name. Scarlett was the 18th most chosen baby girl's name of 2017– it really is trending right now. With Scarlett Johansson's fame, we're expecting the name to continue shooting up charts. Nashville also chose a Scarlett for its leading character.
When your newborn lies in your arms, she's still too tiny to properly smile. While the wait for that first smile can take a while, you won't need to wait around for a beautiful name with Mae. Short, snappy, but far from basic, this name oozes Southern charm, feminine simplicity, plus it means "pearl." Mae is the less fussy diminutive of Mary or Margaret, and it's definitely more unusual. Southern names can be old-fashioned, but Mae has stayed popular since the famous Mae West.
Who would've thought that a Spanish and Italian-originated name would work its way into Southern culture? The Hebrew meaning of "pledged to God" turns even more beautiful when you take into account Isabella's links to the Italian "bella" (which means beautiful). Isabella has proved staggeringly popular, with a #4 ranking for baby girls in 2017. Isabella also has a floral feel to it– if you're picturing the South's large plantation estates and outdoor porches with bouquets of flowers, you'll get why this name is loved.
The South is much about the indoor hospitality as it is about the great outdoors. Savannah is the name that comes with a meaning of "flat tropical grassland," but there's nothing flat about saying it loud. With a #38 rank for baby girl names in 2017 and a distinctly wild feel, Savannah is perfect for mommies-to-be who want to avoid fancy or glitzy city names. As a city in the state of Georgia, this name works as a location name, but it's the opposite of pretentious.
She isn't a true Southern Belle without a playful edge, and that's precisely why the beautiful and light-hearted name of Delilah has wound up on this list. "Delight" is the main meaning of this name, although it does also have a flirtatious edge. Delilah actually has Hebrew origins, but in 2017, it was one of the most popular baby girl's names–almost finding itself in the top 100. Delilah became super-famous with the song "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's. Listen to it for a reminder.
Bailie is the alternate spelling of Bailey that is proving increasingly popular with 2018 mommies. While the name has an occupational origin from its meaning of "bailiff" or "law enforcer," Bailie is a name that lays down the law with its sturdy sound and beautiful ring. There's a ton of Southern charm to Bailie. The name first appeared on TV in 1978's WKRP in Cincinnati, but it was chosen as a last name for Miranda Bailey on Grey's Anatomy. #Awesome
Grace will forever have timeless elegance. This peace-centric name has virtue as its origin, classic kindness as its undertones, and you will for sure be raising a good-hearted girl if you name her Grace. The name ranked 21st as the most chosen baby girl name of 2017. The South has always had the kindest and classiest ladies. At the same time, Grace is a name that has worked its way into popular culture, like Will & Grace and Days of Our Lives.
Conjuring up images of dusty cowgirl boots and sunset rays, Sawyer is the gender-neutral name that was once only reserved for boys. The cowboys have met their match with Sawyer, though. With a meaning of "woodcutter," Sawyer doesn't mince its words when it comes to meaning, but there's an equally classy side to this name. One Tree Hill had Sawyer Brooke Scott, and the name was also chosen for a girl by the American quarterback player, Matthew Stafford. We love it for a girl.
International mommies-to-be might be eyeing this name up, but American moms got there first. Price was traditionally a boy's name until recently– gender-neutral names now take a giant poke at male names and said: "Girls, too!" With Welsh origins and meaning of "son of Rhys," Price might not look fitting for a girl on paper, but that's not how baby names work. There's a Texas ring to this name– the Southern charm is all over it. Confident, crisp, and a little country, Price is beautiful.
Whoever said that Southern names can't come with a little variety? Emersyn provides a little twist on the spelling of Emerson, but it was popular enough to land a #241 slot in the most chosen baby girl's names of 2017. Emerson is a gender-neutral name, but Emersyn is reserved for girls. With a meaning of "son of Emery," mommies look more towards the country ring of Emersyn than the meaning. What To Expect When You're Expecting actually had an Emersyn.
When your name is a Southern Belle staple and a city in the charming state of North Carolina, you can safely say that you've cornered the statement Southern name. An "eigh" ending adds a ton of class to this already gorgeous name, while the soft sound makes it perfect for an angelic baby girl. Raleigh isn't very common, so she'll definitely stand out, but only in the way that will make her girlfriends wish that they had her name.
"Meadow of deer" is the actual meaning of Raleigh.
Thinking of the South is impossible without picturing the beautiful state of Virginia. With a meaning of "pure," the name Virginia existed long before the US, though. Latin origins give Virginia a classic base, but mothers will be feeling the South's warm charm every time they say this name. Strong, but not overpowering, the name Virginia is perfect for a baby girl with deep character and a warm smile. How I Met Your Mother and Marvel's Pepper Potts both feature this name.
The proof that you need to share this list with your friends? Ava was the 3rd most chosen baby girl's name of 2017– and yet, it's a name with Southern charm and sass. Super-short, but perfect with just three letters, Ava has a meaning of "life." The baby girl that will lie in your arms will be the very definition of life. With as much depth as simplicity, this name is perfect for a girl who will channel whatever comes her way with the strength of life.
Names like Brie, Bree, and Bryana all find their way onto lists associated with the South. Bryanna is a name that moms are increasingly choosing for its unusual "y" and chic double letter finish. Brianna was once the most common choice for moms choosing to explore this name, but Bryanna is climbing the ranks. The name means "strong, virtuous, and honourable"– all qualities that we see in a Southern Belle. The name ranked 123rd in 2017 for baby girls in the US.
Always reliable, always beautiful, and 100% Southern thanks to its location links, Charlotte is a baby girl's name that will forever be stylish. Sex and The City had the classiest Charlotte in the world, but preppy outfits and pearls aren't needed to pull this name off. "Free man" is the meaning of this name, but Charlotte is also a city in North Carolina. Kate Middleton even chose this name for her baby girl.
Sources: Name Berry, Parents