The south has its own unique culture, including the naming of children. Here are the most popular southern boy names in recent years.
Furthermore, this is according to the Social Security Administration. They are broken down by year of birth and by region (North, South, East, and West).
The SSA uses postal codes to determine where a baby was born to choose their birthplace’s region.
Table of Contents
The name Colton is of English origin and means settlement. It also refers to a location for church meetings or a community gathering area.
Also, the earliest documentation of Colton as a southern boy was found in the USA in 1813. Colton is not famous but is rising fast on charts for Southern boy names.
Declan comes from a form of de Clare, a name belonging to one of Britain’s most important dynasties. The Clares produced 13th-century king Richard I, known as the Lionheart. From an Irish point of view, Declan is spelled Diarmuid.
However, it connects to ancient Celtic figures—namely, Dierdre of Emain Macha. For girls, we have Deirdre—the wife of King Conchobar mac Nessa in Ulster Cycle tales.
Also, Deirbhile (pronounced der-villy), daughter of Donn Cúailnge, from Ulster Cycle stories. But for our purposes today, let’s stick with boys’ names, especially the Southern boy names.
The history of William as one of the Southern boy names has to do with British influence on American culture. The name, of course, comes from King William III and Queen Mary II, who ruled England then.
The Dutch form of Wilhelm was introduced to America by settlers from Great Britain and Northern Europe.
Furthermore, this happened between 1840 and 1900. Its popularity as one of the Southern boy names declined after World War I.
However, it has become popular again in recent years. According to SSA records, its most significant spike in popularity came just before 1960.
Did you know that Jackson was originally a surname? That’s right, and it’s not just a city in Tennessee. Jackson has been one of America’s most popular boy names since 1989.
However, it shows no signs of slowing down. What does Jackson mean? It comes from an Anglo-Norman word meaning son of Jack.
Also, who is Jack? For starters, he’s one of England’s most famous mythical heroes. Furthermore, He also happens to be Jacob’s mother and father. Jackson is one of the famous Southern boy names you should consider naming your child.
James is a popular boy’s name across America, in northern and southern states. James ranks fourth overall in terms of popularity for American boys. This makes it to be among one of America’s favorite male baby names.
Also, in states like Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, James is among the ten most popular names for newborn baby boys.
The name has a distinct southern flavor and was likely brought over from England. Southerners who left England during Colonial times (the early 1600s) and settled in northern states like New York.
Furthermore, over time, they brought their culture with them. This includes common names like James that were simply pronounced differently in southern states due to dialects. James is also one of the famous Southern boy names you should consider naming your boy child.
Travis is a classic name and also one of the Southern boy names. It was popular in years past and remains strong today. The name comes from Sir John Moore, an English general during Napoleon’s invasion of Spain.
Furthermore, General Moore served alongside Spanish troops that had helped British soldiers liberate Madrid in 1808.
General Moore sustained the injury during a battle when his horse fell on him and died shortly after. Afterward, he became known as El Castrador de Los Ingleses, the butcher of the English.
However, more than 200 years later, Travis remains a classic name and a favorite in southern states like Texas (#2). It ranked #12 nationwide in 2014 with 2,268 babies named Travis.
The name Trevor is considered of English origin, not a southern boy name at all. However, since it’s in high demand, many parents from different parts of America choose it for their sons. This is especially true for those with southern roots.
Also, it’s true for those who live in areas where people are fond of Southern boy names. That said, it can be used as a part of other boy names associated with southern boys and men.
For example, Owen Trevor James and Tavis Ryan Tucker could be great alternatives, especially if you love Trevor but want something more traditionally American.
The popular name is most commonly given to American boys. Wade entered the top 1000 in 1988 and rose steadily since then. It reached its peak position of #253 in 2015, after which it has fallen in popularity.
Also, it was #257 out of 779 male Southern boy names. This name is less common than a girl’s, with Wade appearing at #812 in 2016. In 2016, it ranked as an attractive baby boy name when paired with other expressions.
However, this combination has been rising in popularity since 2012. Also, it is currently similar in trend to Avery (#6) and Finnegan (#9).
John has been a staple for parents in every corner of America for generations. However, it has become even more famous among Southern boy names.
John is among the most popular names for people surrounded by hills and fields and draws heritage from multiple countries.
Also, John will probably be one of your family’s favorite names, especially if your family comes from that part where everyone is related to everyone else on both sides. Now all you need to do is decide whether or not you want to spell it differently.
Furthermore, you can spell it with a y at the end. Do you like Johnny or John? So many decisions!
Wyatt is one of the Southern boy names that are still on-trend but is starting to lose its allure. The name has roots in England. However, it was pretty popular in 2010, as it came in as No. 16 for boys that year.
Also, as you might imagine, many families with boys named Wyatt are proud of their heritage. After all, plenty of famous people have carried it.
For example, Actor Matthew McConaughey’s full name is Matt Wyatt McConaughey; his son Levi Alves McConaughey was born in 2008.
Meanwhile, actor Ryan Philippe carries three names: Ryan Mèlanie Chick Murray; his son William Daniel Murray was born in 2005. Also, actor Kiefer Sutherland is named Jack Kiefer Donald Sutherland.
Banks is one of the Southern boy names that has always been popular. Especially among families in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. A lot of kids born in those states have been named Banks.
Furthermore, this is because it’s a timeless name that evokes images of old-school southern charm. For example, Homer Lusk was one of three characters on The Andy Griffith Show with that first name.
He was portrayed by Jean Vander Pyl, who played Deputy Sheriff Frank Smith for 139 episodes from 1960 to 1967.
David is one of the famous Southern boy names for many reasons. It fit in well with traditional southern names like John and James.
Also, it has Biblical connotations that resonate with folks who live in more traditional southern states. If you like the name David, but want something more southern (or standard), consider combining it with another name.
David Michael or David Thomas are good examples of nice combinations that keep things southern with distinctiveness and modernity.
Bates was first used as a boy name in 2016 and is of English origin. Bates (rare) is one of the Southern boy names.
Also, the baby name Bates sounds like Battles, Bateys, Baits, Bacos, and Bathe. Other similar baby names are Castes, Chadis, Cates, and James.
Camden is a city in New Jersey, but it’s also a boy’s name. Camden ranked as one of 2013’s most famous southern boy names.
Also, it has hovered near the top of that list since 2000. The name is popular in New England and Pacific regions, ranking #8 (New England) and #9 (Pacific). Camden reportedly means crooked hill.
Furthermore, other variations of Camden include Camden, Camden, Camdyn, and Kamden. Try another variation of Camden for your son to have a traditionally southern first name with that other-regions appeal. All are pretty trendy right now.
Thomas means twin and is one of the famous southern boy names. The name is also used in the northern part of America.
However, it’s mostly known as one of the southern boy names. Thomas has risen in popularity over the past years. Thanks to Hollywood star Tom Hardy and his older brother Ben, a famous actor.
Also, Hardy’s performances in Lawless and Inception have caused a stir amongst fans. This made Thomas one of Hollywood’s most popular male baby names.
Dukes are known for being sophisticated, charming, and intelligent. They’re natural leaders with a knack for making other people feel important. Duke is an excellent choice for parents as one of the southern boy names.
Also, it’s a good choice for those looking to give their son an edge in life. Duke is #3 on our list of most popular southern boy names. It comes from Duck, which refers to someone that God has given water.
In fact, in other words, it means someone who is destined for greatness. (If you want your child to be great, it might be time to start praying.)
Also, as one of the southern boys’ names, Duke can only mean one thing: success! This highly-regarded title sits comfortably at #2 on our list of most popular boys’ names in America.
Emory is a unique name to be sure. This name is believed to have been inspired by a character in 1853’s Hildegarde.
It was written by an author named Emory Smith. Also, since its inception, Emory has risen in popularity every decade. It ranked #296 overall as of 2014.
However, it may not make your top southern boy names list immediately. But it has grown enough over time to deserve a spot on your radar.
Lastly, consider naming your son Emory especially if you like hipster-sounding baby names that are more than just a handful of syllables long.
You might think of Joseph as a reasonably severe name. However, it works well for boys who are out-going and friendly. The name Joseph has Hebrew origins.
Also, it is one of only two Hebrew names to appear in over 50% of all U.S. baby name databases. It was #42 on last year’s top 100 list, falling eight spots from 2014 and 28 from 2013.
However, it was popular among Southern boy names during both World Wars. Its peak popularity (21st) occurred in 1945.
George is traditional among southern boy names. This means it’s commonly found in southern families. The term originates from England but was popularized by King George II, who ruled England during colonial times.
Furthermore, George is also one of the names given to the golden age of Hollywood babies born between 1920 and 1959. Famous Georges include actors George Clooney, Chevy Chase, and musician George Harrison.
Also, sports stars like basketball legend George Gervin (also known as The Iceman) and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
Austin is an excellent alternative to traditional, old-fashioned boy names among southern boy names. This name’s popularity spiked in 2011, so you probably haven’t heard of anyone named Austin.
However, Celebrities like Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman have chosen their son Austin as a name for their first sons.
It was also one of Sandra Bullock’s baby names when she became a mother. To give your baby boy an uncommon (but not too unusual) name, Austin might be perfect for him.
Kingston is very popular among southern boy names. Many southern parents have made it their favorite when looking for baby boy names.
It’s used in many states, including Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Georgia. Some might think that Kingston originated in these southern states, but it’s English in origin.
Furthermore, Shakespeare first used it as a poetic term for England. Eventually, it became a more widely-used name in English history. Moreover, you can still see Kingston making its way back into current use.
Among southern boy names, Lawson, used chiefly for boys and girls, is a name of Celtic origin. The meaning of Lawson is a son of Lugh, where Lugh was a well-known Celtic deity. Other sources suggest that it’s derived from Saint Leondelius (an Irish saint), or even Lothario, meaning a brave warrior.
Also, Lawson was reasonably famous in England in 1881, but by 1911 it had dropped to #177. And then, quite suddenly in 1997/1998, there was a sharp increase in its use. This means that you should probably choose another name if you’re thinking about choosing Lawson.
Furthermore, its popularity is on the decline now. However, I’m just as glad I didn’t have to compete with all those Lawtons when I graduated college!
Parker is one of many southern boy names popping up all over. This is a traditional girl name, but it has become increasingly popular with boys since 2005. Many celebrities use Parker as their son’s name.
This includes Eddie Murphy and Alyssa Milano, who gave birth to their son in 2004. It has a solid western/American feel to it. This might be why it resonates so well with parents looking for a masculine name for their son.
It’s one of my favorite among southern boy names. However, I also happen to know a lot of boys named Saylor! And if you’re worried about spelling, don’t be.
Consequently, it turns out that not all versions of Saylor are as hard to spell as you might think. Saylor has been given both with and without I in front, making it easy to pronounce and spell. However, some people seem to like adding both. The pronunciation is more straightforward: Say-lee.
A great and most popular name among southern boy names is Reeves. It started in Wales, eventually made its way to Ireland and Northern Ireland, and reached America around 1760. Since then, it’s spread like wildfire from coast to coast. Also, what a good thing too! It means wise ruler or counselor.
That may be why parents like it: it sounds dignified without overbearing. No wonder we love Reeves as one of the southern boy names!
According to baby name statistics, Porter isn’t a trendy name in most states. It is ranked all over between #340 and #10,000.
However, seven of those states that list Porter on their top boy names lists are southern ones. Arkansas (where it’s in #40 place), Kentucky (#45), Louisiana (#52), Mississippi (#54), Tennessee (#83), Texas (#94) and Virginia (#275).
Also, in New York State (the only non-southern state to make any of its top 100 lists for Porter). It clocks in at an unimpressive #972. Porter is a classical name among southern boy names, and you can try it.
Jack is extremely popular among southern boy names. Jack ranked #38 in popularity for 2017, according to Nameberry. There have been several Jacks that rank as some of the most popular southern boy names ever.
This includes John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Jack Black, and Jack Ruby. The name comes from a shortened version of many standard male terms.
Furthermore, at one point or another in history, we’ve called boys John (of course). Also called Jacques, Johan, Jean (pronounced hane), Jan, Gianni, Juan/Juanito/Juanita/Johnnie, and plenty more.
The most popular among southern boy names have to be Robert. It is one of those names that has been around forever.
There have been so many famous Roberts throughout history that you’ll probably recognize a few at once. They include but are not limited to – Robert E Lee. That is, the general who became synonymous with all things southern.
Consequently, after choosing to side with his home state of Virginia during the Civil War. Afterward, he was honored by having multiple statues built in his honor.
Miles is relatively popular among southern boy names. It’s derived from Latin and means soldier or one who fights with his mind (means miles away in Latin). In England, it is typically pronounced MIL-is.
However, in America, it is more often pronounced MILZ. Often given to boys born on Thanksgiving, Miles may be inspired by Colonel Miles Standish.
Other notable historical Miles include Miles Davis, Miles Perkin, and Miles Franklin (though she was not born in America).
Furthermore, the name seems to be more popular among American and British celebrities. However, both are tied for fifth place as far as popularity goes! French actor Vincent Cassel has an 11-year-old son named Milo.
Otis has been a hit in America for some time among southern boy names. However, it’s also been popular as a first name for men in England for centuries. The popularity of Otis took off in America.
After The Andy Griffith Show aired, many named their sons after Sheriff Taylor’s son. Modernly, however, it’s become a staple boy’s name throughout America. Especially in southern states like Arkansas and Oklahoma, where it was ranked No. 5 and No. 4, respectively (in 2016).
Also, the name is among today’s most famous southern boy names. Otis is also one of Disney’s top boy names right now.
Smith is one of the southern boy names and Old English name that was once used commonly for American boys.
The name Smith means one who works with metal and is inextricably linked to blacksmiths and goldsmiths. During colonial times, Smith was a popular family name among those from New England.
Also, this is possible because it can be shortened to initials (like J.S., J., etc.). It may also have been popular because those who settled in New England had migrated from other parts of England, where they were likely known by their surname and a given middle name.
The name Jax probably comes from Jackson, but it can also be found as a standalone name. Many fans of The Walking Dead will recognize actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the lead character Negan in season 7. Also, in season 8, as Morgan Jones.
Furthermore, the famous actor has one son named Jax and another named Henry Lee. In 2016, over 575 baby boys were named Jax across America. We predict that number will grow to well over 600 by 2020!
Also, if you want a sweet girl’s name that starts with J, try terms like Janey or Josie. Both of these names have ranked within our top 100 since 2001. However, Jax is one of the excellent Southern boy names you should consider naming your boy child.
A Hayes as a boy’s name is of American origin. It is also one of the Southern boy names. Some famous bearers include Hayes Carswell (singer) and Hayley Westenra (singer). Meaning: Healing.
As a boy’s name, a Haywood is of Old English origin, meaning hay-covered wood. It is often given in honor of southern writer E.C. Apperson. He wrote under the pseudonym Haywood Fisher, William Haywood, Sr., co-founder with Nat Turner of Southampton County in Virginia, USA.
Also, Famous bearers include: Early African-American poet/activist Hayden Lewis was one of his many descendants. Haywood is one of the beautiful Southern boy names you can consider naming your child.
As you’ve seen, many of these popular Southern boy names are unique. If you’re looking for something traditional, consider Jackson or William.
Also, if you want something a little bit more unusual, we recommend Elliott or Garrison. Each name has unique qualities to make it stand out in your son’s classroom– and beyond! We hope you enjoyed our list of some popular southern boy names.