Do you have ancestors who lived in the Southern United States? If so, then you may have grown up with a lot of Southern culture (even if you didn’t live in the South yourself). There are baby names that are widespread in the South.
What does a person mean when they say their family lives in “the South”? According to the U.S. Census Bureau “the South” is broken into three sections. The South Atlantic section includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. (It can be said that the District of Columbia is included as well.)
The East South Central section includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and Alabama. The West South Central section includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Baby Center has a list of Southern baby names that are broken into three categories: baby boy names, baby girl names, and unisex baby names.
Some of the unisex baby names on the list include: Avery, Casey, Landry, and Shelby. There are some very short names on this list, too, such as: Lee, Rae and Ray. Place names like Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Tennessee, and Raleigh are popular, too. Then, there are some names that would probably wouldn’t see outside of the South, like Harper, Hollis, and Sawyer.
The Southern baby boy names on Baby Center include Atticus, Billy Ray, Boone, Grady, Jed, Jeremiah, Mason, Rhett, Rufus, and Vernon (among others).
Southern baby girl names tend to bring up images of flowers and beauty. Belle means “fair” in French. It also refers to the most beautiful girl in the room or “the belle of the ball”. Flowery names include: Violet, Willow, Ivy, and Magnolia.
Dixie and Scarlett are names that would only be given to a Southern girl. Other Southern baby names for girls have a lovely sound: Maribelle, Beulah, Suellen, Tallulah, and Raeanne come to mind.
MooseRoots notes that Biblical names are popular in the South. Some examples are Nehemiah and Josiah. There is also a preference in the South for names that are indicative of Southern tradition such as Trenton, Bryson, Raelyn, Kyleigh, and Kinsley. In addition, some Southern parents are blending the sounds from traditional Southern names with more modern or interesting spellings.
The Social Security Administration has a tool that people can use to discover the most popular baby names in a particular state, and in a specific year. It goes back as far as 1960.
Image by Josh on Flickr
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