The Southern U.S. contains multitudes: famous hospitality, drama, scorching temps and a laid-back drawl that makes you yearn for sweet tea and biscuits. Yes? No? Whether you're from the South or not, looking for a Southern baby name means you're likely looking for something with a truly American sound. Nothing too modern, maybe it's got a country twang to it and bonus points if it ends in "Lee" or "Lou."
Well guess what? You're in luck, because we've rounded up the best down-home baby names straight from the Heart of Dixie — and, you know, all those other Southern states too.
Each year, the Social Security Administration releases a list of the top baby names taken from birth certificates of babies born that year. Check out the top baby names of the Deep South, which includes Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina. With this list, you'll find the perfect baby name in two shakes of a lamb's tail.
Double names, such as Billy Bob or Ida Mae, are a deep-rooted naming tradition of the South. These Southern names are created by a choosing a traditional name and combining it with a family name. The combinations are endless — and no, they don't all sound like hillbillies (maybe skip ending in "Bob" if you want to avoid that).
The first names of Mary, John, Jacob, Annie and Billie are great starter names when searching for the perfect double.
Another Southern baby name tradition is to pass on a family surname, or last name, as your child's middle name. This would be a great way to pay homage to a dear grandmother or other relative with a different last name from the child.
Be inspired by some of our favorite country music singers of the past and present who sang and wrote songs about growing up and living in the South. Although not all of these stars were born in the South (yes, we know Shania Twain is Canadian), they have strong country roots and pretty perfect Southern names.
A version of this article was originally published in January 2012.
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