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100 Cute Southern Female Names

Updated
Travel back in time to a bygone era with charming Southern girl names.

The popularity of Southern girl names is making a comeback. From what might be considered “old lady” first names to modern takes on timeless classics, there’s a lot of colorful history to sort through.

You can still find the best Southern female names with the help of our easy-to-understand guide. We’ve got various origins, meanings, and variations, plus who most famously bore the name. Keep reading to find your favorite Southern girl names for your debutante girl.


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100 Popular Southern Names for Girls

Head to the land of Dixie with the cutest Southern girl names this side of the Mason-Dixon line.

Abilene

Abilene also means “stream” and “grassy area.” It’s also the name of a town in Texas but is yet to find popularity in the U.S. as a girl’s name.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Meadow
  • Pronunciation: Aeb-ih-LIYN
  • Variations: Abileen, Abiline
  • Popularity: Abilene is rare worldwide and mostly used in Brazil.
Unique, Pretty

Amelia

Amelia derives from Amalia, composed of the German “amal,” meaning “work.” It originated from the Latin “aemulus,” meaning “rivaling.” Amelia also means “hard-working” for your industrious little girl.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Industrious
  • Pronunciation: Ah-MIYL-Yah
  • Variations: Aemilia, Amilia
  • Namesakes: Amelia Vega, a Dominican model and Miss Universe 2003. Amelia Adamo, a Swedish editor-in-chief of the magazine Amelia in 1995.
  • Popularity: Amelia ranked 1,427th worldwide, is mainly used in Mexico and ranked 4th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Traditional, Vintage

Annabelle

Annabelle also means “woman full of grace and beauty.” It became known via Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee.” Annabelle is a stunning combination of the Latin Anna, meaning “grace,” and the French “belle,” meaning “beauty.”

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Favored grace
  • Pronunciation: AEN-ae-Behl
  • Variations: Annabel, Annabell
  • Namesakes: Annabelle Rama, a Filipino actress known for the film My Monster Mom. Annabelle, a French singer whose song Fuis Lawrence d’Arabia peaked at No. 12 on the French Singles Chart in 1987.
  • Popularity: Annabelle is rare worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 359th for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Feminine, Formal

Augusta

Augustus is a feminine variation of Augustus, a title once used for Roman emperors and German royalty. Augusta is a town in Georgia. It also means “favored with good omens.”

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Great, magnificent
  • Pronunciation: Ah-GAHS-tah
  • Variations: Auguste
  • Namesakes: Augusta Schrumpf, a Norwegian opera singer and prima donna of Norwegian opera in the 19th-century. Augusta Worthen, an American author known for the book Sutton.
  • Popularity: Augusta is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in Nigeria, and ranked 148th in Angola in 2014.
Strong, Unique

Ava

Ava comes from the German “aval,” meaning “guarantee.” It’s also associated with the Latin “avis,” which means “birdlike.” Ave could connect to the Hebrew Havva, meaning “life.”

  • Origin: Latin, German
  • Meaning: Bird
  • Pronunciation: AA-Vaa
  • Variations: Avila
  • Namesakes: Ava Gardner, an American actress appearing in the film The Night of the Iguana (1964). Ava Barber, an American country music singer who performed on The Lawrence Welk Show.
  • Popularity: Ava is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking fourth for girls in 2022.
Pretty, Traditional

Bailey

Bailey also means “law enforcer” and “city fortification.” It was an occupational name for stewards and law officials. Bailey also means “berry clearing,” with a more natural feel for your baby girl.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bailey
  • Pronunciation: BEY-Liy
  • Variations: Baily
  • Namesakes: Bailey Webster, an American volleyball player with the U.S. women’s national. Bailey White, an American author for the NPR program All Things Considered.
  • Popularity: Bailey is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 151st for girls in 2022.
Cute, Cool

Bea

Bea is usually a nickname for Beatrice, meaning “she who brings happiness.” It originated as the Latin Beatrix and is one of the cutest Southern girl names.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Blessed
  • Pronunciation: BIY
  • Variations: Beah, Bee
  • Namesakes: Bea Firth, a Canadian politician in the Yukon Legislative Assembly from 1982 to 1996. Bea Wyler, the second female rabbi in Germany.
  • Popularity: Bea is rare worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 421st in the Netherlands in 2014.
Cute, Informal

Belle

Belle returned to the U.S. top 1,000 for the first time in 80 years in 2016. It’s usually a pet name for Isabelle or any name ending in “bel,” like Annabel or Isabel.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Beauty
  • Pronunciation: BEHL
  • Variations: Bell, Bella
  • Namesakes: Belle Cooledge, the first female mayor of Sacramento, California. Belle Moore, a Scottish swimmer who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.
  • Popularity: Belle is rare worldwide, mainly used in the Congo, and ranked 642nd for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Informal, Pretty

Bessie

Bessie can be a diminutive for Elizabeth or Beatrice. Bessie might seem like a happy cow’s name, but it’s a down-home southern nickname too.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my oath
  • Pronunciation: BESS-iy
  • Variations: Bess
  • Namesakes: Bessie Love, an American-British silent film actress appearing in The Broadway Melody (1929). Bessie Head, a South African novelist, and Botswana’s most influential writer.
  • Popularity: Belle is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Cute, Informal

Betsy

Betsy is an English nickname for Elizabeth. It also means “daughter” and “worshiper of God” when associated with the Hebrew Bethia. Though it’s a nickname, you could take it further and call your baby girl Betts.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God’s promise
  • Pronunciation: BEHT-Siy
  • Variations: Betsey, Betsi, Betsie, Betsye
  • Namesakes: Betsy Clifford, the youngest Canadian alpine skier to compete at the 1968 Winter Olympics. Betsy Ross, an American upholsterer who made the first official U.S. flag.
  • Popularity: Betsy is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 619th in 2014.
Informal, Vintage
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Birdie

Birdie ranked in the top 1,000 names for girls in the U.S. between 1880 and 1940. It then returned to the top 1,000 in 2021. Birdie is a nickname for everything from Beatrice and Elizabeth, to Bridget and Bertha.

  • Origin: English, German
  • Meaning: Bird
  • Pronunciation: BEHR-Diy
  • Variations: Birde, Birdi, Birdy
  • Namesakes: Birdie Amsterdam, the first woman justice of the New York State Supreme Court. Birdie Kim (born Ju-Yun Kim), a South Korean golfer and winner of the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open.
  • Popularity: Birdie is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 1,138th for girls in 2022.
Vintage, Cute

Blossom

Blossom is also the English verb meaning “to flourish” or “thrive.” It’s the most literal of flower girl names and the most old-fashioned of Southern female names.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Blooming flower
  • Pronunciation: BLAAS-ahm
  • Variations: Blosom
  • Namesakes: Edith Blossom MacDonald (known as Blossom Rock), an American actress best known for the 1960s TV sitcom The Addams Family. Blossom Seeley, an American singerknown as the “Queen of Syncopation.”
  • Popularity: Blossom is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it’s still mildly uncommon in 2022.
Cool, Unusual

Callie

Callie likely originated with the Greek Callisto, a nymph and maiden in Greek mythology. It’s been in and out of the top 200 girls’ names in the U.S. since 2014. Callie is short for Callista, Caroline, or Calliope.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Beautiful, lovely
  • Pronunciation: KAEL-iy
  • Variations: Cali, Calli
  • Namesakes: Callie House, the American leader of the Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, and Pension Association. Callie Crossley, an American presenter of Under the Radar on WGBH Radio.
  • Popularity: Callie is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 165th for girls in 2020.
Pretty, Informal

Carreen

Carreen is a variation of Careena, with an “een” suffix added. It may be one of the more interesting combinations of Caroline and Irene.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Maiden
  • Pronunciation: Kaa-RIYN
  • Variations: Careen
  • Popularity: Carreen is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Unique, Rare

Cassidy

Cassidy began as the Irish surname O’Caiside, meaning “the clever one.” It was most popular in 1999 when it ranked 99th for girls in the U.S. Your little Cassidy can be called Cassie or Cas for short.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Curly-haired
  • Pronunciation: KAES-ih-Diy
  • Variations: Casidy, Cassady, Cassidie
  • Namesakes: Cassidy Janson, a British actress and winner of the 2020 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for & Juliet. Cassidy Hubbarth, an American TV host for ESPN’s SportsCenter.
  • Popularity: Cassidy is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 486th for girls in 2022.
Unique, Cute

Chantilly

Chantilly comes from the Medieval Latin Chantileium, originally the Roman first name Cantilius. It also belongs to the French city known for Chantilly lace, the delicious Chantilly cream, and a city in Virginia.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: White
  • Pronunciation: CHAEN-tih-Ley
  • Variations: Chantille
  • Popularity: Chantilly is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Feminine, Vintage, Rare

Charity

Charity is based on the French “charité,” from the Latin “caritatem,” both meaning “Christian love.” It’s one of the virtue names popular in Puritan times and the American south, which included Faith, Hope, and Grace.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Giving, kindness
  • Pronunciation: CHAH-rih-Tiy
  • Variations: Chariti
  • Namesakes: Charity Waciuma, a Kenyan writer known for the novel Daughter of Mumbi (1969). Charity Williams, a Canadian rugby player on Canada’s first women’s rugby sevens Olympic team.
  • Popularity: Charity ranked 1,465th worldwide and is mainly used in the U.S., where it’s slightly uncommon in 2022.
Cool, Unique

Charlene

Charlene is the feminine form of Charles, first used in the U.S. in the 19th-century. It originated with the Latin Carolus. Charlene also means “free spirit” and “free thinker” for your timeless little Charlie.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Free woman
  • Pronunciation: Shaar-LEEN
  • Variations: Charleen, Charlyne
  • Namesakes: Charlene Johnson, a Canadian politician representing Trinity-Bay de Verde from 2003 to 2014. Charlene Thomas-Swinson, an American assistant coach for the Las Vegas Aces women’s basketball team.
  • Popularity: Charlene is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked highest at 100th in 1949.
Feminine, Vintage

Cheyenne

Cheyenne derives from the Native American Lakota word “šahiyena,” meaning “red speakers.” It referred to a tribe in the Great Plains who spoke a “different language.” Cheyenne stayed in the top 450 U.S. girls’ names between 2000 and 2017.

  • Origin: Sioux
  • Meaning: People of a different language
  • Pronunciation: Shay-AEN
  • Variations: Cheyanne
  • Namesakes: Cheyenne Kimball, an American singer-songwriter and the focus of an MTV reality series. Cheyenne Campbell, an Australian rugby union player with the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup team.
  • Popularity: Cheyenne is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 466th for girls in 2018.
Strong, Cool

Clarice

Clarice is based on the French Clarisse and the Latin Clarissa. It’s taken on the Latin root “clara,” meaning “clear” and “famous” to boot.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Bright
  • Pronunciation: Klae-RIYS
  • Variations: Clarisse
  • Namesakes: Clarice Taylor, an American actress appearing on The Cosby Show. Clarice Tinsley, an American broadcast journalist, and the longest-serving news anchor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
  • Popularity: Clarice is rare worldwide and mainly used in Brazil, ranking 355th in 2014.
Vintage, Traditional
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Clementine

Clementine is a feminine form of the Latin Clement. It consists of “clemens,” meaning “gentle” or “merciful.” “My Darling Clementine” is a classic American folk song perfect for singing to your baby girl.

  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: Mild
  • Pronunciation: Klehm-ehn-TIYN
  • Variations: Clementyne
  • Namesakes: Clementine Churchill, the English wife of Winston Churchill. Clementine Stoney, an Australian swimmer and silver medalist at the 2000 FINA Short Course World Championships.
  • Popularity: Clementine is uncommon worldwide, primarily used in DR Congo, and ranked 515th for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Feminine, Vintage

Cordelia

Cordelia is composed of the Latin “cor,” meaning “heart.” If you prefer older mythology, it means “daughter of the sea god” and “jewel of the sea” in Welsh.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Heart
  • Pronunciation: Kaor-DIYL-iy-Ah
  • Variations: Cordellia, Cordilia
  • Namesakes: Cordelia Fine, a Canadian-British writer whose book Testosterone Rex won the Royal Society Science Book Prize in 2017. Cordelia Bugeja, a British actress known for the TV series EastEnders.
  • Popularity: Cordelia is rare worldwide, mostly used in Nigeria, and ranked 1,009th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Formal, Unique

Cricket

Cricket literally means “insect that makes a chirping sound.” It’s based on the French “criquet,” meaning “to creak” or “rattle.” Cricket sounds like the south but was originally a pet name for Christine and other Chris names.

  • Origin: English, French
  • Meaning: Cricket (insect)
  • Pronunciation: Krih-KAHT
  • Variations: Criket, Cryket
  • Namesakes: Cricket Leigh, an American voice actress known for Avatar: The Last Airbender series.
  • Popularity: Cricket is very rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 1,298th in New Zealand in 2014.
Informal, Cute, Rare

Daisy

Daisy is a flower name based on the Old English “daegeseage,” meaning “the day’s eye.” Daisy Duke may have been a redneck from The Dukes of Hazzard, but she’s more famous for a pair of short shorts.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Flower
  • Pronunciation: DEY-Ziy
  • Variations: Daisie, Daisey
  • Namesakes: Daisy Fried, an American poet with work in The London Review of Books. Daisy Li Yuet-Wah, a Hong Kong editor-in-chief of Citizen News.
  • Popularity: Daisy is uncommon worldwide, primarily used in the Philippines, and ranked 134th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Informal

Dakota

Dakota also means “friendly one” or “ally.” North Dakota and South Dakota are the names of two U.S. states. The indigenous Native American Dakota people may be the source of this powerful name.

  • Origin: Sioux
  • Meaning: Friend
  • Pronunciation: Dah-KOW-Dah
  • Variations: Dakotah
  • Namesakes: Dakota Rose, an American model known as a “real-life Barbie doll.” Dakota Richards, an English actress known for the British teen drama Skins.
  • Popularity: Dakota is rare worldwide, mostly used in Myanmar, and ranked 270th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Strong

Dallas

As a Celtic name, Dallas means “dweller in the field beside the water­fall.” It’s also Scottish for “the valley meadows” and is traditionally more popular for boys as a cowboy name.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Skilled
  • Pronunciation: DAEL-Lihs
  • Variations: Dallys
  • Namesakes: Bryce Dallas Howard, an American actress best known for the film The Village (2004).
  • Popularity: Dallas is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 634th for girls in 2021.
Strong, Cool

Darby

Despite its English origins, Darby comes from the Old Norse “djúr,” meaning “deer,” and the suffix “-býr,” meaning “farm.” It was an English surname based on Derbyshire, England.

  • Origin: English, Norse
  • Meaning: Deer park
  • Pronunciation: DAAR-Biy
  • Variations: Darbie, Darbey
  • Namesakes: Darby Camp, an American actress appearing on HBO’s Big Little Lies (2017 to 2019). Darby Bailey, an American voice-over artist and the voice of Verizon.
  • Popularity: Darby is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Uncommon, Cute

Della

Della is a unique nickname for Delilah. It derives from the Hebrew “dal,” meaning “delicate.” Della has been out of the top 1,000 girls’ names in the U.S. since the 1930s.

  • Origin: English, Hebrew
  • Meaning: Delicate
  • Pronunciation: DEHL-aa
  • Variations: Delia
  • Namesakes: Della Au Belatti, an American politician and member of the Hawaii House of Representatives since 2007. Della Reese, an American actress, and host of the TV talk show Della in the 1950s.
  • Popularity: Della is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Informal, Pretty

Delta

Delta is the 4th letter of the Greek alphabet. It also refers to the “mouth of a river” or “estuary.” The Mississippi Delta has been called “the most southern place on earth.”

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Born fourth
  • Pronunciation: DEHL-Taa
  • Variations: Deltah
  • Namesakes: Delta Burke, an American actress known for the CBS sitcom Designing Women. Delta Goodrem, an Australian singer whose album Innocent Eyes (2003) is one of the highest-selling Australian albums of all time.
  • Popularity: Delta is rare worldwide, mainly used in DR Congo, and ranked 1,872nd for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Traditional, Strong

Dixie

Dixie comes from the French “dix,” meaning “ten.” It’s best known as the nickname for the American south and the sassiest of Southern names for girls.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Tenth
  • Pronunciation: DIK-Siy
  • Variations: Dixy, Dixey
  • Namesakes: Dixie Carter, an American actress appearing on the TV series Family Law (1999 to 2002). Dixie Selden, an American artist and the president of the Women’s Art Club of Cincinnati.
  • Popularity: Dixie is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,055th for girls in 2021.
Cute, Traditional
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Dolly

When the short form of Dorothy, Dolly means “gift of God,” and when used for Dolores, it means “sorrows.” Dolly was most popular in 1888, but you can help it make a comeback for your little girl.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Pronunciation: DAAL-iy
  • Variations: Dolli
  • Namesakes: Dolly Parton, an American singer-songwriter and the winner of 11 Grammy Awards. Dolly Alderton, a Canadian-British columnist for The Sunday Times.
  • Popularity: Dolly is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 1,975th for girls in 2022.
Cute, Pretty

Dottie

Dottie is a modern American nickname for the Greek Dōrothéa and English Dorothy. It may also be associated with Theodora and has all the sweet old lady vibes you crave for your little one.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Pronunciation: DAAT-iy
  • Variations: Dotti, Dotty
  • Namesakes: Dorothy “Dottie” Collins, an American baseball player for the All-American Girls Baseball League from 1944 to 1948. Dorothy West, an American country music singer of the song “Here Comes My Baby Back Again.”
  • Popularity: Dottie is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it’s slightly uncommon in 2022.
Cute, Informal

Eloise

Eloise is based on the German Helewidis, meaning “healthy” and “wide.” It also means “famous warrior” when another version of Louise. Eloise is a famous children’s character your baby girl can emulate.

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Healthy, wide
  • Pronunciation: Eh-LOY-iz
  • Variations: Elouise
  • Namesakes: Eloise McGraw, an American children’s book author who contributed to the Oz series. Eloise Baza, the president of the Guam Chamber of Commerce from 1984 until 2007.
  • Popularity: Eloise is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 106th for girls in 2020.
Formal, Vintage

Emery

Emery comes from the German Emmerich, first brought as a boy’s name to the UK via the Norman invasion. It’s also a French surname meaning “powerful” and is gaining popularity among girls.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Industrious
  • Pronunciation: EHM-eh-Riy
  • Variations: Emory
  • Popularity: Emery is rare worldwide, primarily used in DR Congo, and ranked 87th for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Unique, Strong

Emmeline

Emmeline originated as the French Ameline. It’s based on names that include the root “amal,” meaning “work.” The “-ine” suffix makes Emmeline a diminutive meaning “little hard worker,” like your southern belle can be.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Hardworking, industrious
  • Pronunciation: EHM-ah-LEEN
  • Variations: Emeline
  • Namesakes: Emmeline Hawthorne, a New Zealand actress known for the soap opera Shortland Street. Emmeline Wells, the General President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1910 to 1921.
  • Popularity: Emmeline is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 885th for girls in 2021.
Formal, Vintage, Rare

Etta

Etta is a nickname for Henrietta, the French feminine version of Henry. It was a top 100 name in the late 1800s that fell off the list in 1966 but came back in 2018. Etta also means “keeper of the hearth” for your home-loving lass.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Ruler of the home
  • Pronunciation: EHT-Taa
  • Variations: Eta
  • Namesakes: Etta James, an American singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Etta Place, an American companion of the outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • Popularity: Etta is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 932nd for girls in 2021.
Informal, Pretty

Eugenia

Eugenia is composed of the Greek “eugenes,” meaning “well-born.” It also means “nobility of birth” and may be the fanciest of Southern names for women.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Nobility
  • Pronunciation: Yuw-JHIYN-iy-Ah
  • Variations: Eugenea
  • Namesakes: Eugenia Popa, a Romanian gymnast and champion silver medalist in 1989. Eugenia Manolidou, a Greek composer married to the Minister for Development and Investment of Greece, Adonis Georgiadis.
  • Popularity: Eugenia is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in Mexico, and ranked 47th in Moldova in 2014.
Formal, Vintage

Faith

Faith is an English virtue name popularized by the Puritans in the 17th-century, along with Grace, Hope, and Charity. It derives from the Latin “fidere,” meaning “to trust,” and also means devotion for your spiritually sound girl.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: To trust
  • Pronunciation: FEYTH
  • Variations: Faethe, Faithe
  • Namesakes: Faith Hill, an American country music artist with 40 million albums sold worldwide. Faith Whittlesey, an American politician and the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland.
  • Popularity: Faith ranked 967th worldwide, is mainly used in Kenya, and ranked 169th for U.S. girls in 2021.
Traditional, Feminine

Fancy

In English, Fancy means “decorated,” “idea,” and “ornamental.” It’s based on the English “fantasie,” meaning “to show” (but showing off is fine, too)!

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Notion
  • Pronunciation: FAEN-Siy
  • Variations: Fancie
  • Popularity: Fancy is rare worldwide and primarily used in Kenya.
Cool, Unique

Fannie

Fannie is a nickname for Frances. It remained on the top 1000 girls’ names until the 1960s in the U.S. Fannie could be the funny Southern name you choose for your little one as a first or middle name.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Free one
  • Pronunciation: FAEN-iy
  • Variations: Fanny
  • Namesakes: Fanny Smith, a Swiss freestyle skier and gold medalist at the 2013 World Championships. Fanny Howe, an American poet, and winner of the 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.
  • Popularity: Fannie is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Uncommon, Informal
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Georgette

Georgette is the French feminine form of George. It’s based on the Greek Georgios, meaning “tiller of the soil.” The “-ette” suffix makes Georgette the cutest little southern farmer girl you love.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Little farmer
  • Pronunciation: Jawr-JEHT
  • Namesakes: Georgette Heyer, an English writer of historical novels like The Conqueror. Georgette Withers, an English entertainer, and actress during the Second World War.
  • Popularity: Georgette is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in DR Congo, where it ranked 106th in 2014.
Feminine, Formal

Georgina

Georgina is the English feminine form of George, based on the Greek Georgios. It originally appeared as “georgos,” made up of “ge,” meaning “earth,” and “ergon,” meaning “work.” Georgina may be the most wealthy sounding of Southern girl names with flair.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Farmer
  • Pronunciation: Jhowr-JHIY-nah
  • Variations: Georgiana
  • Namesakes: Georgina Corrick, a British-American softball player and member of the Great Britain women’s national team. Georgina Henry, a British journalist with The Guardian from 1989 until 2014.
  • Popularity: Georgina ranked 2,000 worldwide, is primarily used in Mexico and ranked 1,187th for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Formal, Vintage

Gladys

Gladys comes from the Welsh Gwladys, referring to a “royal princess.” It may also be associated with the Latin diminutive “gladiolus,” meaning “small sword.” Gladys ranked 11th for U.S. girls in 1901 but needs a comeback today.

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: Princess
  • Pronunciation: GLAED-ihs
  • Variations: Gladdys
  • Namesakes: Gladys Knight, an American soul singer and seven-time Grammy Award-winner. Gladys Zender, a Peruvian model and the first Latin American to win Miss Universe in 1957.
  • Popularity: Gladys ranked 360th worldwide, is mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 3rd in Puerto Rico in 2014.
Strong, Traditional

Grace

Grace originally referred to “God’s grace” in Latin. In Greek mythology, the three Graces were goddesses of nature. Grace was popular for the Victorians into the early 19th-century and has remained a solid choice anytime.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Favor, blessing
  • Pronunciation: GRAIS
  • Variations: Grayce
  • Namesakes: Grace Kelly, an American actress who became Princess of Monaco in 1956. Grace Jones, an American model, singer, and actress known for her androgynous look.
  • Popularity: Grace ranked 148th worldwide, is mainly used in Nigeria and ranked 18th for girls in the U.S. in 2018.
Traditional, Popular

Hadley

Hadley was originally an English surname meaning “heather meadow.” Hadley is one of those Southern female names that didn’t start out for girls but is growing in popularity.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Heather field
  • Pronunciation: HHAED-Liy
  • Variations: Hadleah, Hadleigh, Hadlie, Hadly
  • Namesakes: Hadley Freeman, an American-British journalist for the Sunday Times. Hadley Richardson, the first wife of American author Ernest Hemingway from 1921 to 1925.
  • Popularity: Hadley is rare worldwide, primarily used in the U.S., and ranked 1,958th in New Zealand in 2014.
Unique, Uncommon

Harper

Harper uses the root “harp,” referring to the elegant musical instrument. It has become popular in the American south because of author Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Harp player
  • Pronunciation: HHAAR-Per
  • Variations: Harpar
  • Namesakes: Harper Lee, an American novelist best known for her 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Popularity: Harper is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., ranking 20th for girls since 2013.
Unique, Vintage

Harriett

Harriett is based on the German Henriette, the feminine form of Harry. It also means “rules her household” in French, where it appears as Henriette.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Mistress of the house
  • Pronunciation: HHEY-riy-Aht
  • Variations: Harriet
  • Namesakes: Harriett Baldwin, a British Member of Parliament since 2010. Harriett Grannis (pen name Mrs. H. E. G. Arey), a 19th-century American educator who wrote for The Daily Cleveland Herald.
  • Popularity: Harriett is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,051st for girls in 2021.
Formal, Vintage

Henrietta

Henrietta is based on the German Heinrich, meaning “home-ruler.” Harriet was the more casual “spoken form” of Henrietta, but go big and formal if it suits your little girl.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Estate ruler
  • Pronunciation: Hehn-riy-EH-Taa
  • Variations: Henriette
  • Namesakes: Henrietta Leavitt, an American astronomer credited with the first “standard candle” that measured distance to other galaxies. Henrietta Tayler, an English scholar, and First World War nurse.
  • Popularity: Henrietta is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Formal, Uncommon

Hope

Hope is one of the more common virtue names. It comes from the English “hopian,” once associated with the theological idea of hope. Hope has ranked in the top 500 since 1909.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Virtuous hope
  • Namesakes: Hope McIntyre, a Canadian playwright and founder of Sarasvati Productions until 2020. Hope Mwesigye, the Ugandan Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries 2009 to 2011.
  • Popularity: Hope is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in Nigeria, and ranked 229th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Traditional, Pretty

Imogen

Imogen means “girl” or “beloved child” in Gaelic. It’s based on “inghean,” meaning “maiden.” Imogen is also tied to the Latin “innocens,” meaning “innocent,” which brings a variety of meanings to your little girl’s name.

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Maiden
  • Pronunciation: IHM-ow-Jhehn
  • Variations: Imogene
  • Namesakes: Imogen Stubbs, an English writer for Reader’s Digest in 2008. Imogen Thomas, a Welsh model who appeared on the reality TV show Big Brother in 2006.
  • Popularity: Imogen is rare worldwide and mainly used in England, ranking 959th in 2014.
Unique, Feminine
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Ingram

Ingram also means “raven of Anglia” or “Ing’s raven.” In Norse mythology, Ing was a famous hero. Ingram has traditionally been used for boys, but there’s always a deserving little girl.

  • Origin: Norse
  • Meaning: Raven of peace
  • Pronunciation: IHNG-Grahm
  • Variations: Inghram, Ingraham
  • Popularity: Ingram is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Unusual, Rare

Iris

Iris is a popular flowering plant you may find in a Southern garden. In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow. She was a symbol of power and majesty, just like the baby girl you’re welcoming.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Rainbow
  • Pronunciation: AY-Rihs
  • Variations: Iriss
  • Namesakes: Iris Jharap, Dutch cricketer who played at the 2000 World Cup. Iris Miriam Ruiz, a Puerto Rican member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.
  • Popularity: Iris ranked 1,202nd worldwide, is primarily used in Germany, and ranked 127th for U.S. girls in 2020.
Pretty, Strong

Jemima

Jemima originally meant “dove” in Hebrew. In the Bible, she was the beautiful daughter of Job. Though the southern brand Aunt Jemima has changed its name, Jemima is still popular in England, where it ranked 231st in 2017.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Pronunciation: Jhah-MAY-mah
  • Variations: Jemimah
  • Namesakes: Jemima Montag, an Australian race walker scoring sixth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Jemima Morrell, an English writer known for Miss Jemima’s Swiss Journal: The First Conducted Tour of Switzerland.
  • Popularity: Jemima is rare worldwide, mainly used in Ghana, and ranked 1,681st for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Vintage, Unique

Jezebel

In the Bible, Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab and was known for her bad reputation. In the south, Jezebel also means “impudent” and “shameless” for one bold baby girl.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Not exalted
  • Pronunciation: JHEHZ-ah-Behl
  • Variations: Jezybell
  • Popularity: Jezebel is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the Philippines.
Cool, Strong, Rare

Jolene

Jolene is a variation of the French “jolie,” meaning “pretty,” It’s also considered a version of the Hebrew Joseph, meaning “God shall add.” Jolene became most famous with the Dolly Parton hit song.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Pretty
  • Pronunciation: Jhow-LEEN
  • Variations: Joline
  • Namesakes: Jolene Purdy, an American actress appearing in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. Jolene Watanabe, an American tennis player who competed in the Australian Open between 1994 and 2000.
  • Popularity: Jolene is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 456th for girls in 2021.
Vintage, Pretty

June

June is the most popular time to get married in the southern United States. It originally derives from Juno, the Roman goddess of fertility. June is also the easier short form of Juniper and Junia.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Young
  • Pronunciation: JHUWN
  • Variations: Junn, Junie
  • Namesakes: June Carter Cash, an American singer originally a member of the Carter Family and the second wife of singer Johnny Cash. June Palmer, an English model famous as one of the 1960s Harrison Marks glamor models.
  • Popularity: June is uncommon worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 175th for girls in 2021.
Traditional, Pretty

Juniper

Juniper also means “evergreen” when referring to the juniper berry tree. It comes from the Latin “juniperus,” made up of “junio,” meaning “young,” and “parere,” meaning “to produce.”

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Young
  • Pronunciation: JHUW-Nay-per
  • Variations: Junipyre
  • Namesakes: Margaret Wise Brown (pen name Juniper Sage), an American children’s books writer of Goodnight Moon.
  • Popularity: Juniper is very rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 125th for girls in 2022.
Cute, Unusual

Kayley

Kayley started as an Irish surname and an Anglicized form of Ó’Caollaidhe, meaning “descendant of Caolladhe.” It also means “slim” and “keeper of the keys.” Kayley was popular during the 1980s and 1990s but is ready to come alive again.

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: Fair
  • Pronunciation: KEY-Liy
  • Variations: Kayleigh
  • Popularity: Kayley is very rare worldwide, mostly used in England, and ranked 139th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Informal

Kitty

Kitty is a diminutive of Katherine, mostly used in the 18th-century. It’s also a nickname for Kathleen or perfect for the “baby cat” name you give your little one.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Pronunciation: KIHT-iy
  • Variations: Kitti, Kittie
  • Namesakes: Kitty Carlisle, an American panelist on the TV game show To Tell the Truth (1956 to 1978). Kitty Fredriksen, a member of the Norwegian Parliament from 1950 to 1953.
  • Popularity: Kitty is rare worldwide, mainly used in the U.S., and ranked 305th in the Netherlands in 2014.
Informal, Pretty

Lacey

Lacey is a more casual variation of Larissa. Its original French meaning was “from Lassy,” the surname of French noblemen from Lassy. It also means “braid” and has a long history of meaning and reputation behind it.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Lace-like
  • Pronunciation: LEY-Siy
  • Variations: Laci, Lacie, Lacy
  • Namesakes: Lacey Chabert , an American actress known for the Fox TV series Party of Five (1994 to 2000). Lacey Schwimmer, an American ballroom dancer and finalist in So You Think You Can Dance.
  • Popularity: Lacey is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 673rd for girls in 2022.
Pretty, Informal
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Laverne

Laverne was originally a French surname based on “la verne,” meaning “the alder tree place.” In Celtic mythology, the alder tree symbolizes the balance between male and female, so it is the most modern approach to names.

  • Origin: Latin, French
  • Meaning: Spring-like
  • Pronunciation: Lah-VERN
  • Variations: Lavern
  • Namesakes: Laverne Harding, an American animator, and winner of the Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement in 1980. Laverne Cox, an American actress and the first transgender person nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
  • Popularity: Laverne is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Vintage, Unique

Layla

Layla also means “dark” in Hebrew. It’s best known as the name of a famous Eric Clapton song. Layla was given to girls born during the night since it also means “daughter of the night.”

  • Origin: Arabic
  • Meaning: Night
  • Pronunciation: LEY-Lah
  • Variations: Lailah, Laylah
  • Namesakes: Layla Iskandar, a Lebanese footballer for the Lebanon national team. Layla Kayleigh, a British-American TV host on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.
  • Popularity: Layla is rare worldwide, mainly used in Bangladesh, and ranked 25th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Cool, Pretty

Lillian

Lillian is one of the many pet forms of Elizabeth. It’s ranked in the top 100 girls’ names since 2001. Lilian also refers to the “lily” – a beautiful flower symbolizing peace.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Purity
  • Pronunciation: LIH-liy-Ehn
  • Variations: Lilian, Lilliane
  • Namesakes: Lillian Disney, an American artist at the Disney Studios and the wife of Walt Disney. Lillian Pulitzer, an American entrepreneur who founded Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., which makes floral print clothing.
  • Popularity: Lillian is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., peaking at 21st in 2010.
Feminine, Vintage

Loretta

Loretta is composed of the Latin “laurus,” meaning “laurel tree,” a symbol of victory. It originally meant “from Laurentum,” an ancient Italian city. The southern flair comes in via Loretta Lynn, one of the most famous country music stars ever.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bay laurel
  • Pronunciation: Lah-REHT-ah
  • Variations: Lorretta, Loreta
  • Namesakes: Loretta Lynn, an American country music singer known for the song “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Loretta Schrijver, a Dutch news anchor for RTL Nieuws from 1989 until 2000.
  • Popularity: Loretta is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 885th for girls in 2022.
Traditional, Pretty

Louisa

Louisa is the feminine version of the French Louis. It’s also based on the Old German “hlūt,” meaning “famous,” and “wīg,” meaning “battle.” Louisa has ranked in the top 1,000 girls’ names since 2014 and is a classic comeback.

  • Origin: German, French
  • Meaning: Famous warrior
  • Pronunciation: Luw-IY-Zaa
  • Variations: Loisa
  • Namesakes: Louisa Adams, the First Lady of the United States from 1825 to 1829. Louisa Harland, an Irish actress, known for the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls.
  • Popularity: Louisa is rare worldwide and mainly used in South Africa.
Unique, Strong

Lucinda

Lucinda is an English version of the Latin Lucine. In Roman mythology, Lucine was the goddess of childbirth. Lucinda is among the oldest Southern names for girls that can also be shortened to Lucy.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Light
  • Pronunciation: Luw-SIHN-dah
  • Variations: Lucynda
  • Namesakes: Lucinda Cowden, an Australian actress appearing on the soap opera Neighbors from 1987 until 1991. Lucinda Pullar, an Australian rules footballer for Brisbane in the AFL.
  • Popularity: Lucinda is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 1,641st for girls in 2021.
Feminine, Vintage

Mabel

Mabel is a short form of Annabel. It’s based on the Latin Amabilis, meaning “dear.” Mabel has been the name of Southern women, from African-American abolitionists to famous modern bakeries.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Loveable
  • Pronunciation: MEY-Bahl
  • Variations: Mable
  • Namesakes: Mabel Fairbanks, the first African American and Native American skater inducted into the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. Mabel Walker Willebrandt, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General from 1921 to 1929.
  • Popularity: Mabel is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in Argentina, and ranked 374th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Vintage, Cute

Mae

Mae is a unique spelling variation of the English May, originally from Mary. It’s associated with Maia, the Roman goddess of growth. May is a popular middle name that celebrates the springtime month of May.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Bitter, pearl
  • Pronunciation: MEY
  • Variations: May
  • Namesakes: Mae A. Schunk, the 45th lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. Mae West, an American actress, voted the 15th greatest female screen legend by the American Film Institute.
  • Popularity: Mae is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 505th for girls in 2021.
Cute, Informal

Magnolia

Magnolia also refers to a “big laurel tree” and returned to the top 1,000 names for girls in the U.S. in 2013. Magnolia was originally called “Magnol’s flower,” named after the botanist Pierre Magnol. The flower is a symbol of “splendid beauty.”

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Flower
  • Pronunciation: Maeg-NAOL-iy-Ah
  • Variations: Magnolea, Magnoliah
  • Namesakes: Magnolia Antonino, a Philippine senator married to Senator Gaudencio Antonino. Anne Hartkamp (performing as Magnolia), a German musician who co-founded the a cappella quartet Harem 4.
  • Popularity: Magnolia is rare worldwide, primarily used in Colombia, and ranked in the top 200th for girls in the U.S. in 2020.
Formal, Unique

Maisie

Maisie is a Scottish nickname for Margaret. It has ranked in the top 1,000 girls’ names in the U.S. since 2014. Maisie is still more popular in the UK but has remained one of the cutest Southern names for women.

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Pronunciation: MEY-Siy
  • Variations: Mazie
  • Namesakes: Maisie Summers-Newton, a British Paralympic swimmer and gold medalist at the IPC Swimming European Championships. Maisie Peters, an English singer-songwriter known for the album You Signed Up for This.
  • Popularity: Maisie is rare worldwide and mostly used in England.
Cute, Vintage
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Mavis

Mavis is the French name for the thrush bird known for its beautiful song. It’s derived from the French “mauvis” and means “purple” in Greek for whatever color little bird you wish for.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Songbird
  • Pronunciation: MEY-Vihs
  • Variations: Maviss
  • Namesakes: Mavis Hutchinson, a South African athlete and the first woman to run across the U.S. Mavis Staines, a Canadian ballet dancer with the Dutch National Ballet.
  • Popularity: Mavis is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in Ghana, and ranked 759th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Vintage, Traditional

Minnie

Minnie is the Scottish nickname for Mary, used in England in the 19th-century. It can be used as a shorter form of Miryam and also means “rebellious,” “mind,” and “intellect.”

  • Origin: Scottish
  • Meaning: Bitter, of the sea
  • Pronunciation: MIHN-iy
  • Variations: Mini, Minni, Minny
  • Namesakes: Minnie Riperton, an American singer-songwriter known for the 1975 single “Lovin’ You.” Minnie Marx (born Miene Schönberg), the mother and manager of the Marx Brothers.
  • Popularity: Minnie is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 1,975th for girls in 2022.
Cute, Informal

Myrtle

Myrtle is taken from the Latin Myrtus, referring to the myrtle tree. It was popular in Victorian times, as were many plant and flower names. The myrtle tree symbolizes love and prosperity, all good things to hope for your baby girl.

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: Evergreen shrub
  • Pronunciation: MER-Till
  • Variations: Mirtle
  • Namesakes: Myrtle Allen, an Irish chef and owner of The Yeats Room at Ballymaloe House. Myrtle ‘Molly’ Kool, a Canadian sea captain and the first female Master Mariner in Canada.
  • Popularity: Myrtle is rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Vintage, Unique

Nellie

Nellie was once a nickname for Cornelia. It also means “of the Cornelius family.” Nellie means “God is my light” when derived from Eleonore, and “God is my oath” when derived from Elizabeth.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Horn
  • Pronunciation: NEHL-iy
  • Variations: Nelly, Nelli
  • Namesakes: Nellie Kim, a Soviet-Belarusian gymnast and gold and silver medalist at the 1976 Summer Olympics. Nellie Melba (born Helen Mitchell), an Australian opera singer and one of the most famous of the Victorian era.
  • Popularity: Nellie is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 742nd for girls in 2022.
Informal, Cute

Norma

Norma comes from the Latin Norma, meaning “precept.” It also means “the standard” or “the norm” as the female equivalent of Norman. Norma can also mean “Norse woman” if your Southern-styled girl is also a Viking.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: From the north
  • Pronunciation: NOHR-Mah
  • Variations: Normah
  • Namesakes: Norma Major, the wife of former British prime minister John Major. Norma Smallwood, the winner of the Miss America 1926 pageant.
  • Popularity: Norma ranked 291st worldwide, is primarily used in Mexico and ranked 16th in Argentina in 2014.
Unique, Feminine

Odette

Odette consists of the German Oda and the diminutive suffix “-ette.” It’s the feminine alternative to Otto with connections to the French “auda,” meaning “rich.”

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Wealthy
  • Pronunciation: Ow-DEHT
  • Variations: Odett
  • Namesakes: Odette Monard, a French swimmer who competed at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Odette Kahn, a French wine editor of the La Revue du vin de France.
  • Popularity: Odette is uncommon, mostly used in DR Congo, and ranked 1,422nd for girls in the U.S. in 2022.
Vintage, Unusual

Opal

Opal is based on the Sanskrit Opala, meaning “jewel.” It’s also associated with the Greek “opállios,” meaning “to see a change in color.” It’s been in the top 1,000 U.S. girls’ names since 2017 and is the national gemstone of Australia.

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: Gemstone
  • Pronunciation: OW-Pael
  • Variations: Opel
  • Namesakes: Opal Whiteley, an American writer known for the 1920 journal The Story of Opal, appearing in the Atlantic Monthly. Opal Hill, an American golfer and winner of the Women’s Western Open in 1935 and 1936.
  • Popularity: Opal is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., where it ranked 514th for girls in 2022.
Unique, Pretty

Pearl

Pearl means “precious gemstone,” while pearls are associated with innocence and elegance. Pearl is a nickname for Margaret and perfectly symbolizes old-fashioned charm among Southern girl names.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pearl (gemstone)
  • Pronunciation: PERHL
  • Variations: Pearle
  • Namesakes: Pearl Buck, an American writer of The Good Earth and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. Pearl Prescod, a Tobagonian actress and the first Black woman to appear with London’s National Theatre Company.
  • Popularity: Pearl is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 750th for girls in 2021.
Vintage, Unique

Piper

Piper began as an occupational name for a pipe player. It’s based on the Old English “pipere” and the Old Norse “pipari,” both meaning “flute.” Piper has been in the top 100 U.S. girls’ names since 2019.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Pipe player
  • Pronunciation: PAEY-per
  • Variations: Pyper
  • Namesakes: Piper Gilles, an American-Canadian ice dancer and two-time Canadian national champion. Piper Laurie, an American actress, known for the Twin Peaks TV series.
  • Popularity: Piper is very rare worldwide and mostly used in the U.S.
Cute, Unusual, Rare

Precious

Precious means “highly esteemed” in Latin. It comes from the Latin “pretiosus,” meaning “of great value” for the baby girl you hold in such high esteem.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Of great worth
  • Pronunciation: PRESH-ahs
  • Namesakes: Precious Dede, a Nigerian footballer for the Nigeria women’s national football team. Precious Adams, an American ballet dancer with the English National Ballet.
  • Popularity: Precious is uncommon worldwide, mainly used in Nigeria, and ranked 31st in Malawi in 2014.
Cool, Unique
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Priscilla

Priscilla is the Latin diminutive of Prisca, the feminine version of the Roman family name Priscus. It originally meant “former” but also means “venerable” as a classically styled example of Southern female names.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Ancient
  • Pronunciation: Prih-SIHL-ah
  • Variations: Pricilla, Priscila
  • Namesakes: Priscilla Presley, an American actress and former wife of American singer Elvis Presley. Priscilla Welch, a British marathon runner and winner of the 1987 New York City Marathon.
  • Popularity: Priscilla is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 561st for girls in 2020.
Feminine, Traditional

Prudence

Prudence originated from the Latin “prudentia,” the word for “prudence.” It’s one of the famous Puritan virtue names, meaning “discretion.” Prudence can also refer to “good judgment” and is adorable as the nickname Prue.

  • Origin: English, Latin
  • Meaning: Caution
  • Pronunciation: PRUW-Dahns
  • Variations: Prudance
  • Namesakes: Prudence Farrow, an American author and subject of the Beatles song “Dear Prudence.” Prudence “Prue” Leith, a South African TV host of The Great British Bake Off.
  • Popularity: Prudence is rare worldwide, mostly used in South Africa, and ranked 144th in Zambia in 2014.
Formal, Vintage

Raleigh

Raleigh was first a surname for a place in Devon, England. It also means “dweller at the roe meadow” and is a city in North Carolina named by Sir Walter Raleigh.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Deer’s meadow
  • Pronunciation: RAA-Liy
  • Variations: Rawley, Rawle, Rawleigh
  • Popularity: Raleigh is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 1,541st for girls in 2021.
Formal, Unusual

Reba

Reba is a diminutive of Rebecca. It may derive from the Hebrew Ribqah, meaning “to tie firmly” or “link.” Reba was used for the fourth child born into a family when based on the Hebrew “raba,” meaning “four.”

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Fourth born
  • Pronunciation: RIY-Baa
  • Variations: Ribah
  • Namesakes: Reba McEntire, an American country music singer with over 75 million records sold worldwide. Reba Rambo, an American Christian singer-songwriter and a Grammy Award winner.
  • Popularity: Reba is rare worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 1,219th for girls in the U.S. in 2014.
Informal, Pretty

Ruby

Ruby is based on the Latin “rubeus,” meaning “red.” The gemstone Ruby is associated with wealth and prosperity, often appearing on royal crowns, and is the birthstone for July. Ruby’s color represents love and passion, both great attributes to pass down to your baby girl.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Ruby
  • Pronunciation: RUW-Biy
  • Variations: Rubi, Rubye
  • Namesakes: Ruby Svarc, an Australian rules footballer for Brisbane in the Australian Football League. Ruby Garnett, an American singer with the group Ruby & the Romantics.
  • Popularity: Ruby ranked 1,872nd worldwide and is mostly used in the U.S., where it ranked 66th for girls in 2019.
Cute, Vintage

Savannah

Savannah is a Taino language word of Native American origin, meaning “open plain.” It’s also a coastal city in Georgia and a well-represented classic among Southern names for girls.

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Treeless plain
  • Pronunciation: Saa-VAA-Naa
  • Variations: Savanah, Savanna
  • Namesakes: Savannah Fitzpatrick, an Australian field hockey player for the Australian women’s junior national team. Savannah Maddox, an American politician in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
  • Popularity: Savannah is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 68th for girls in 2021.
Vintage, Formal

Scarlett

The color Scarlet symbolizes courage, passion, and joy. It began as an occupational surname for medieval fabric dyers. Scarlett also comes from the Arabic “siklāt,” meaning “dyed silk,” as vibrant as your little one.

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Scarlet red
  • Pronunciation: SKAAR-Leht
  • Variations: Scarlet, Scarlette
  • Namesakes: Scarlett Westbrook, a British climate justice activist and the youngest policy writer in Parliamentary history. Scarlett Estevez, an American actress known for the TV series Lucifer (2016 to 2021).
  • Popularity: Scarlett is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 20th for girls in 2021.
Feminine, Traditional

Selma

Selma is a short version of the German Anselma. It’s also the Celtic word for “fair.” Selma, Alabama, is a famous Southern city whose name means “throne,” based on the poem The Songs of Selma.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Godly helmet
  • Pronunciation: SEHL-Mah
  • Variations: Selmah
  • Namesakes: Selma Yağcı, a Turkish boxer and bronze medalist at the 2001 World Women’s Boxing Championship. Selma Björnsdóttir, an Icelandic singer who competed in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1999 and 2005.
  • Popularity: Selma is uncommon worldwide and mostly used in Turkey, where it ranked 63rd in 2014.
Unique, Feminine

Shania

Shania is a Native American Ojibway word meaning “someone on the way.” Shania Twain is the most famous namesake with one of the best Southern names for women.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: I’m on my way
  • Pronunciation: Sha-NIY-Ah
  • Variations: Shaniah, Shaniya
  • Namesakes: Shania Robba, a Gibraltarian footballer for the Gibraltar women’s national team. Shania Gracia, an Indonesian singer and member of the group JKT48.
  • Popularity: Shania is very rare worldwide and mainly used in Bangladesh.
Pretty, Uncommon

Shelby

Shelby also means “willow” in Norse and was initially the surname Selby. Shelby was traditionally a Southern male name but is now shared by adorable little boys and girls.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Estate on the ledge
  • Pronunciation: SHEHL-Biy
  • Variations: Shelbey, Shelbi
  • Namesakes: Shelby Lynne, an American singer-songwriter whose album I Am Shelby Lynne won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1999. Shelby Young, an American actress known for the American Horror Story series.
  • Popularity: Shelby is rare worldwide and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 547th for girls in 2021.
Cute, Unusual
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Suellen

Suellen is a combination of Sue and Ellen. Its “lily” meaning comes from the lilies that grew in the biblical city of Susa in Persia. Suellen was a famous character on the 1980s TV show Dallas and is quirky enough to suit your little lady.

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Lily
  • Pronunciation: SUW-eh-Lehn
  • Namesakes: Suellen Rocca, one of the Chicago Imagist artists with an exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center from 1966 to 1969. Suellen Reed, the State Superintendent of Indiana from 1993 to 2009.
  • Popularity: Suellen is rare worldwide and mostly used in Brazil, where it ranked 686th in 2014.
Feminine, Traditional

Tallulah

Tallulah is a Native American Choctaw word, also meaning “lady of abundance” in Irish. Tallulah Falls, Georgia, used the name because of the many waterfalls surrounding the town.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: Leaping water
  • Pronunciation: Taa-LUW-Laa
  • Variations: Tallula
  • Namesakes: Tallulah Bankhead, an American actress appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944). Tallulah Morton, an Australian fashion model who appeared on The Daily Telegraph’s Sunday cover.
  • Popularity: Tallulah is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 1,026th for girls in 2021.
Feminine, Unique

Thelma

Thelma was popularized by the 1887 Marie Corelli novel Thelma. It was a top 100 name in the U.S. until 1939 but is less common today. Thelma is best known as a character in the American film Thelma & Louise.

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Will, volition
  • Pronunciation: THEHL-Maa
  • Variations: Thelmah
  • Namesakes: Thelma Houston, an American singer famous for the Don’t Leave Me This Way song. Thelma Schoonmaker, an American film editor who’s worked with director Martin Scorsese for over 50 years.
  • Popularity: Thelma is uncommon worldwide and primarily used in the U.S.
Pretty, Uncommon

Tula

Tula also means the astrological sign of “Libra” and “to be tranquil.” It’s been used in Spanish, Greek, Hindi, and Native American cultures and is still quite rare today for girls.

  • Origin: Hindi
  • Meaning: Mountain peak
  • Pronunciation: TUW-Laah
  • Variations: Tulah, Tulls
  • Namesakes: Tula Lotay (the pen name of Lisa Wood), an English comic book artist who illustrated the Warren Ellis book Supreme: Blue Rose. Tula Benites, a Peruvian congresswoman between 2006 and 2011.
  • Popularity: Tula is rare worldwide, primarily used in India, and ranked 142nd in Cambodia in 2014.
Cute, Unique

Viola

Viola became a popular woman’s name due to its association with Shakespeare’s heroine in Twelfth Night. Viola is also the name of a flower and a musical instrument, perfect for well-born little girls.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Violet
  • Pronunciation: Vaiy-OW-lah
  • Variations: Violah
  • Namesakes: Viola Smith, an American drummer who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Viola Thompson, an American baseball player in the All-American Girls Baseball League from 1944 to 1947.
  • Popularity: Viola is rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S., ranking 830th for girls in 2022.
Pretty, Traditional

Virginia

Virginia was originally the Roman family name Vergilius. It’s based on the Latin “virgo,” meaning “blooming” and “chaste.” The State of Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I, otherwise known as the Virgin Queen.

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Virginal, pure
  • Pronunciation: Vehr-JHIHN-yah
  • Variations: Virgina
  • Namesakes: Ginger Rogers (born Virginia McMath), an American actress appearing in 1930s RKO musicals with Fred Astaire. Virginia Woolf, an English writer known for the novel Mrs. Dalloway (1925).
  • Popularity: Virginia ranked 425th worldwide and is primarily used in the U.S., where it ranked 907th for girls in 2022.
Feminine, Traditional

Wilma

Wilma is a nickname for the German Wilhelmina. It’s the feminine form of William or Will and was most popular between 1912 and 1940.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Resolute protector
  • Pronunciation: WIHL-Mah
  • Variations: Wylma
  • Namesakes: Wilma Landkroon, a Dutch singer known for the 1968 song Heintje, bau ein Schloss für mich. Wilma Pastrana, the 13th First Lady of Puerto Rico from 2013 to 2017.
  • Popularity: Wilma is uncommon worldwide, mostly used in the U.S., and ranked 95th in the Netherlands in 2014.
Informal, Vintage

Wynona

Wynona is based on the Native American Lakota tribe’s Winúŋna, meaning “firstborn daughter.” Country singer Wynonna Judd is the most well-known Wynona today, using a different spelling.

  • Origin: Native American
  • Meaning: First-born daughter
  • Pronunciation: Wih-NOW-naa
  • Variations: Wynonna
  • Namesakes: Wynona Carr, an American singer-songwriter who performed with The Carr Singers. Wynona Lipman, the first African-American woman elected to the Senate in 1971.
  • Popularity: Wynona is very rare worldwide and mainly used in the U.S.
Cool, Uncommon

Zadie

Zadie was a pet name for the Hebrew Sarah. It also means “prosperous,” “abundance,” and “noblewoman” in Arabic. Zadie began as Zaida, while Zadi is a Persian title used for members of royalty like your little queen.

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Princess
  • Pronunciation: ZEY-Diy
  • Variations: Zaidee
  • Namesakes: Zadie Smith, an English novelist known for the novel White Teeth (2000).
  • Popularity: Zadie is very rare and primarily used in the U.S., ranking 1,584th for girls in 2021.
Cool, Pretty

Zelda

Zelda started out as a nickname for the German Griselda. It also means “gray fighting maiden,” but is best associated with the princess in the Nintendo Legend of Zelda game.

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Strong woman
  • Pronunciation: ZEHL-Dah
  • Variations: Zeldah
  • Namesakes: Zelda la Grange, a South African private secretary to Nelson Mandela. Zelda Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, called “the first American flapper.”
  • Popularity: Zelda is rare worldwide, mostly used in South Africa, and ranked 604th for girls in the U.S. in 2021.
Cute, Strong
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About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.
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