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75 Popular Southern Last Names With Meanings

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Southern last names are undeniably some of the most captivating and interesting ones you’ll encounter among all American surnames. Southern last names are rife with cultural influences and reflect the richness of customs, literature, music, cuisines, and history. They are reminiscent of historical traditions and Southern culture. They are a great way to trace one’s family lineage and history.

Southern last names enjoy immense popularity, and deservedly so. After all, they often hold deep meanings and are charming and intriguing. Southern last names are sweet, fierce, fun, and much, much more.

As you look for inspiration in your name search, and an excellent place to look is in the South — more specifically, among Southern last names. Peruse through our list of popular Southern last names with meanings and be inspired by these lovely surnames.

75 Popular Southern Last Names

Our collection of beloved Southern last names and their meanings will give you the naming inspiration you need!

  • ABEL

Abel is a Southern last name that is of Anglo-Scottish origin. This surname originated from “Hevel,” which is a Hebrew name that has the meaning of “breath” or “vigor.” Abel is presumed to have been a term of endearment or a nickname. Variations of Abel include “Able,” “Abelle,” “Abele,” “Abelson,” and “Ableson.”

  • ABERNATHY

Abernathy is a Southern last name that was once a habitation name originating from Abernathy in the southeastern area of Perthshire. It was a Scottish surname that once belonged to a clan that resided beside the mouth of the River Nethy.

  • ADAMS

When it comes to Southern last names, Adams stands out for its Biblical origins and its connection to the story of creation. In the book of Genesis in the Bible, Adam was the first man who came to be on earth. Adams is said to have been derived from “Adama,” a Hebrew word that means “Earth.” The “S” at the end of this last name is indicative of a patronymic nature, “son of Adam.”

  • ALDEN

Among Southern last names, one that connotes a sense of camaraderie is Alden. This last name is of Scottish origin. Alden carries the poignant and lovely meaning of “old friend.”

  • ALLEN

If you are looking for Southern last names with various meanings, a great one to consider is Allen. Allen stems from Ireland and is derived from “Ailin,” a word found in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, which has the meaning of “harmony” and “little rock.” Others say that Allen is derived from “Aluinn,” which is Celtic for “handsome.”

  • ARMSTRONG

Of Southern last names, one that figures very prominently in modern history is Armstrong. This surname is Scottish in origin and carries the meaning of “the son of the strong man.” A very notable bearer of this name is Neil Armstrong, an American astronaut who was the first to walk on the moon.

  • BAKER

Baker is a Southern last name that was once an occupational surname. It is of Anglo-Saxon roots and may refer to a baker of bread. Baker is derived from “Bacan,” which means “to dry by heat.” A variation of this surname is “Bakeman,” an English origin Southern last name which means “one who bakes.”

  • BANKS

Short and impactful, Banks is a Southern last name, a Scottish and English topographic last name. This one-syllable surname refers to one who resided by a riverbank on a hillside’s slope.

  • BARNES

Another one among the one-syllable Southern last names that have made an impact is Barnes. This surname is of English origin and carries the meaning of “barn.” Barnes can also have the meaning of “granary.”

  • BASKIN

Among Southern last names, one that is prominent in pop culture is Baskin. This surname is Scottish in origin and means “someone who is a descendant of little Bass.” A very well-known bearer of this name is the ice cream company called Baskin-Robbins.

  • BATES

This surname of English roots carries the meaning of “bat.” It can also mean “boat” or “lush pastures.” Norman Bates is a famous bearer of this name, a fictional character in the thriller novel “Psycho,” which has spawned successful movies and TV shows. Bates is another among Southern last names with prominence in pop culture, specifically in literary and entertainment circles.

  • BELLE

If you desire Southern last names with irrepressible and undeniable beauty, a fantastic one you can look at is Belle. This surname is Old English in origin and holds the meaning of “beauty.” Perhaps the most known of its namesake is Beauty and The Beast’s titular character named Belle. This last name has successfully crossed over to becoming a personal name as well.

  • BEAUREGARD

For Southern last names with a touch of posh sophistication, a strong choice would be Beauregard. This English surname has the meaning of “beautiful view.” It has a certain elevated, upper-class appeal.

  • BERKELEY

Graceful and stately, Berkeley is a Southern last name that is very well-known, particularly in education. This Old English surname is said to mean “birch lea.” UC Berkeley is the name of a prominent university in California.

  • BIRDIE

When it comes to Southern’s last short and sweet names, a shining example would be Birdie. This gentle, unassuming, and very charming last name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Birdie holds the lovely meaning of “for God.”

  • BOSEMAN

If you hunt Southern last names that connote sharpness of mind, a stellar choice would be Boseman. This surname stems from Germany and carries the meaning of “cunning.” A beloved namesake is Marvel actor Chadwick Boseman.

  • BOWEN

Bowen is a Southern last name that is Welsh in origin. This surname refers to “the son of Owain.” Among its notable namesakes is Modern Family actress Julie Bowen.

  • BROWN

Another among Southern last names with prominence in the field of education is Brown. This surname is of Old English origin and has the meaning of “brun.” A notable namesake is Brown Universe, an Ivy League research university located in Providence, Rhode Island.

  • BUCKLEY

A Southern last name many music lovers may know is Buckley. This surname hails from Ireland and carries the meaning of “buck.” It can also mean “a boy.” Famous bearers of this name include musician Jeff Buckley and actor Robert Buckley.

  • CALLAWAY

Searching for Southern last names that hail back to medieval times? A splendid option would be Callaway. Callaway is a medieval English last name that originated from a place named Caillovet-Orgeville in France. It comes from “cail (ou),” an Old Norman French word that means “pebble.”

  • CARSON

Carson is a cute Southern last name that would also make for an appealing personal name. Hailing from Scotland, this surname has the meaning of “the son of Carr.” Famous bearers of this name include TV personality Carson Daly and legendary host Johnny Carson.

  • CLARK

Perhaps one of the most well-known Southern last names turned personal name is Clark. This one-syllable surname of English, Scottish, and Latin roots carries the meaning of “scribe,” “clerk,” or “secretary.” This name figures prominently in pop culture as the name of Superman’s alters ego, Clark Kent.

  • COOK

This Old English surname carries the meaning of “one who cooks” and “one who sold cooked meat.” Many famous bearers of this last name, including Hollywood celebrities Dane Cook, Rachael Leigh Cook, and A.J. Cook. Short and charming, Cook is perfect for those looking for Southern last names on the shorter side.

  • CORBIN

Among Southern last names, one with a gentlemanly appeal is the surname Corbin. With roots in Old English, Corbin has the meaning of “raven” and may refer to one who has dark locks. Corbin has also become more popular as a first name. A known namesake is High School Musical actor Corbin Bleu.

  • CUNNINGHAM

If you would like Southern last names with a powerful vibe, a superb option would be Cunningham. The surname Cunningham stems from Scotland. This last name carries the meaning of “chief” as well as “leader.”

  • DAVENPORT

If you fancy Southern last names with an elegance about them, an excellent one would be Davenport. This graceful surname was derived from a locational name in Cheshire. Davenport is of Old English roots and has the meaning of “market town.”

  • DAVIS

Sleek and appealing, Davis is a Southern last name quite popular both as a surname and a personal name. It is a patronymic last name with Welsh roots and means “son of David.” Famous bearers of this surname include Tinseltown stars Bette Davis and Geena Davis.

  • DAWSON

Another among Southern last names that enjoy popularity both as a last name and a personal and enjoy a place in pop culture is the surname Dawson. This surname has the meaning of “son of David.” Dawson is of English, Scottish, and Irish roots. Dawson has strong pop culture ties thanks to the hit TV series Dawson’s Creek.

  • DOBY

Doby is a Southern last name with a sweet, cute air about it. This surname is a derivative of the Old Germanic “Hrodebert” or the medieval personal name “Dobbe.” Doby hails from Scotland and carries the meaning of “famous” or “bright.”

  • EDWARDS

Edwards is a Southern last name that is of Welsh roots. It is a patronymic surname that carries the meaning of “the son of Edward.” Famous bearers of this surname include actor Anthony Edwards and singer Perrie Edwards.

  • ELLIS

For Southern’s last names that are rooted in faith, a lovely option would be Ellis. This surname is of English origin and carries the beautiful meaning of “the Lord is my God.”

  • EVANS

Evans is a derivative of the personal name “Ifan.” This surname of Welsh origin has the meaning of “son of Evan.” A very famous bearer of this name is Hollywood star and Marvel’s Captain America, Chris Evans. Dashing and utterly charming, Evans is a fantastic choice among Southern last names.

  • FARROW

Are you looking for Southern last names with medieval roots? An excellent choice would be Farrow. This surname is of Medieval English origin and means “ironworker” or “blacksmith.” Famous bearers of this surname are Mia Farrow and her son, Ronan Farrow.

  • FERRELL

A well-known name bearer is comedian Will Ferrell. Ferrell is a Southern last name with a good-natured, stand-up vibe about it. This surname is derived from the Irish name “Fearghail.” Ferrel has the meaning of “man of valor.”

  • FISCHER

Straightforward, Fischer is a lovely Southern last name that is of German or English origins. This surname carries the meaning of “fisherman.” A known bearer of this last name is The Office star Jenna Fischer.

  • FRY

When it comes to Southern last names that are very short and impactful, a solid choice would be Fry. This one-syllable, three-letter surname is of Cornish, Welsh, and English origins. It is derived from “frig,” an Old English word that means “free.” Fry is likewise used as a nickname referring to an offspring or a small person.

  • FULLER

Fuller is a Southern last name that has a wholesome charm about it. This surname is of English roots. Fuller was derived from “Fullo,” which is Latin. This last name is said to refer to “one who deals with woolen clothes.”

  • GOOD

If you are looking for Southern last names that connote a faithful nature and goodness of heart, look no further than Good. This one-syllable surname is of Middle English origin. It is derived from the personal name “Gode,” which pertains to “someone pious and respected.”

  • GOODWIN

If Southern last names connoting purity of heart and being good-natured and are on the longer side are what you are looking for, a fantastic one would be Goodwin. This surname of English roots holds the meaning of “good-hearted” and refers to “someone who has a good soul.” A famous bearer of this surname is Hollywood actress Ginnifer Goodwin.

  • GRADY

For Southern, last names that connote a noble character are what you are searching for; check out Grady. This surname hails from Ireland and brings with it the meaning of “noble.”

  • GRAVES

Graves is a Southern last name with a certain steadfastness about it. This surname is a locational name that is of Anglo-Saxon descent. It was used to refer to one who resided near a grove or a thicket. Graves is also said to refer to a “steward” or “manager.”

  • HARDING

Harding is a great choice for those looking for Southern last names that signify strength and a solid character. This surname is of English origin. Harding means “hardy” or “strong.” Popular namesakes include former American figure skater Tonya Harding and Pretty Little Liars actor Ian Harding.

  • HARRISON

A stellar pick among Southern last names that have successfully crossed over to being personal names is Harrison. This surname is of English roots. Harrison has the meaning of “the son of Harry.” A very famous bearer of this name is Hollywood star, Harrison Ford.

  • HAZEL

Of Southern last names, one that has enjoyed popularity as a personal name for girls is Hazel. This Old English surname has an enchanting quality to it. Hazel refers to the “color of the hazel tree.”

  • HENDERSON

This surname is of Scottish origin. It means “the son of Henry.” Actor Martin Henderson is a known bearer of this last name. Stately and elegant, Henderson is a superb choice among Southern last names.

  • HOLT

Are you on the lookout for Southern last names that are short and have an effortlessly cool vibe about them? A standout one would be Holt. This one-syllable, four-letter surname is of Proto-Germanic origin and has the meaning of “forested upland.” Australian actress Claire Holt is a known namesake.

  • HOWARD

This surname of English roots carries the meaning of “brave” and “spirit.” It can also mean “Hardy.” A famous name bearer is TV personality, Howard Stern. Perhaps one of the most well-known Southern last names that have successfully become personal names is Howard.

  • IRWIN

When looking at Southern’s last names, one that embodies friendship and camaraderie is Irwin. This surname is of Irish, English, and Scottish roots. Irwin was derived from “Eoforwine,” which means “friend.” A famous bearer of this name is Steve Irwin, also known as “The Crocodile Hunter.”

Also Read:- 57 Cool Hunter Names For Boys And Girls

  • JEWEL

Among Southern last names, Jewel is another one that has gained traction as a personal name. This surname is of Celtic and English roots and has a mesmerizing appeal to it. Jewel means “bountiful” and “generous.” Famous bearers of this name include actress Jewel Staite and musician Jewel.

  • JOHNSON

Johnson is a Southern last name that has figured prominently throughout history. This surname hails from Scotland and has the meaning of “son of John.” In turn, “John” is derived from the Hebrew “Yohanan” or the Latin “Johannes,” which means “Yahweh has favored.” Famous name bearers include NBA star Magic Johnson, Hollywood actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, actress Dakota Johnson, musician Jack Johnson, and former US presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Andrew Johnson.

  • JONES

Among the more common Southern last names is Jones. This one-syllable surname is Welsh in origin. It is derived from “Yehohonan” or “Johan,” which have the meaning of “son of loan.” Among its famous name bearers are Hollywood stars James Earl Jones, Catherine Zeta-Jones, January Jones, Rashida Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, and musicians Norah Jones, Tom Jones, and Quincy Jones.

  • KEITH

Well-known namesakes include musicians Keith Richards, Keith Urban, and Keith Sweat. When talking about Southern last names that have crossed over to becoming personal names, we can’t mention Keith. This one-syllable surname has a cool, easygoing vibe about it. Keith is derived from “kit,” a German word meaning “offspring.”

  • KENNEDY

One of the most famous Southern last names has to be Kennedy. This elegant surname is derived from “O’Cinneide,” which is Irish and means “helmet head.” Kennedy is likewise the Anglicized form of “O Ceanneidigh,” a Gaelic name that means “descendant of Ceanneidigh.” The esteemed Kennedy clan is among the most well-known bearers of this last name.

  • KING

As you peruse through Southern last names, one that has a kingly, royal vibe is the majestic King. This one-syllable surname is one with an undeniable magnificence about it. King was derived from “Cyning,” which is Old English and means “tribal leader.” Famous name bearers include legendary host Larry King, acclaimed novelist Stephen King, tennis great Billie Jean King, and American music great B.B. King.

  • LEONARD

Leonard is another among Southern last names that have since gained popularity as a personal name. This surname originated from the Old High German name “Leonhard” and the Latin name “Leo.” Leonard carries the meaning of “lion-hearted.” Famous bearers of this name include actor Leonard Nimoy, musician Leonard Cohen, and composer Leonard Bernstein.

  • LOIS

Lois is a Southern last name that is full of gentle, sweet charm. This surname stems from France. Lois carries the meaning of “more desirable” and can also mean “wise.” Lois now also enjoys popularity as a personal name. It has a very cool pop culture connection because of Superman’s lady love, Lois Lane.

  • MABEL

Of the Southern last names, Mabel is one that is overflowing with charm and sweetness. This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Mabel holds the wonderful meaning of “lovable” and has become a favorite when it comes to personal names for baby girls.

  • MADISON

If you fancy Southern last names that have a chic, modern vibe about them, a stellar option would be Madison. The name Madison is of English roots and has the meaning of “the son of Maud,” “the son of Maddy,” or “the son of Matthew.” Madison is also now popular as a personal name. Famous bearers of this name include actress Bailee Madison, American football player Cole Madison, and actor Guy Madison.

  • MARGARET

This surname is of Greek origin and has the meaning of “pearls.” Among the famous bearers of this name is British stateswoman Margaret Thatcher, comedian Margaret Cho, and Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood. When talking about Southern last names that have since become popular personal names, we’d be amiss not to mention Margaret.

  • MARTIN

As we discuss Southern last names that have successfully crossed over to becoming famous and beloved personal names, no list would be complete without Martin. This handsome, charismatic name is of Latin origin and holds the intriguing meaning of “of Mars.” Famous bearers of the name Martin include Hollywood stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Martin Sheen, musicians Chris Martin and Ricky Martin, novelist George R. R. Martin, and of course, renowned activist and human rights advocate Martin Luther King Jr. Pretty cool.

  • MILDRED

Mildred is a Southern last name that has an old-fashioned appeal about it. It has gained traction as a personal name as well. Mildred is derived from “Mylddryd” or “Mildthryth” and is of Old English origin. This surname carries the meaning of “gentle strength.”

  • MOORE

Of the Southern last names, Moore is among the more common. This surname is of Middle English origin. Moore means “open land” and has many famous name bearers, including Hollywood actresses Mary Tyler Moore, Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, and Mandy Moore.

  • NASH

Dashing and cool, Nash is an excellent choice when looking at Southern last names. It is a topographic surname that is of Welsh, English, and Jewish origins. This surname pertains to one who resided near an ash tree. Nash has a great pop-culture association in the form of the popular TV series Nash Bridges.

  • NORWOOD

Norwood is a Southern last name that was once an English locational surname. This last name was derived from “north” and “wood,” words in reference to one who resided near a forest.

  • OAKLEY

If you hunt Southern last names that ooze style and sophistication, a great one would be Oakley. Oakley is of Old English origin and was a habitation surname. Oakley is comprised of the words “oak” and “Leah,” meaning “wood.” Thus, this last name has the meaning of “meadow of oak trees.” Oakley has a superb style association as the name of a well-known brand of sports equipment and lifestyle pieces.

  • OMEGA

Are you looking for Southern last names that are absolutely epic in nature? A standout option would be Omega. This surname is of Greek origin. It is derived from the German words “Ohm” and “Ohme.” Omega holds the impactful meaning of “the end” and is the last name that makes a mark.

  • OWEN

With its easygoing charm and cool vibe, Owen is an excellent pick among Southern last names. It is an Anglicized variation of “Owain,” which is a Welsh name that has the meaning of “noble.” Owen makes for a stellar personal name too! Famous bearers of this name include actors Clive Owen and Owen Wilson.

  • PERKINS

Perkins is a Southern last name that just has a cheery, good-natured vibe about it. This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and carries the meaning of “kin of Pierre.”

  • ROGERS

This surname is of English origin and has the meaning of “the son of Roger.” One of the most famous bearers of this surname is TV personality Fred Rodgers, more popularly known as simply Mr. Rodgers. Another famous name bearer is musician, actor, producer, and entrepreneur Kenny Rogers. Classic and with an old-time appeal about it, Rogers is a superb choice among Southern last names.

  • SAUNDERS

Another of the Southern last names with a classic vibe about them is Saunders. This name is of Anglo-Origin and is said to be a pet form of the Greek personal name “Alexander,” meaning “defender of man.” Known namesakes include actress Jennifer Jane Saunders and Canadian baseball player Michael Saunders.

  • SHEPHERD

Among Southern last names, Shepherd connotes a caring and gentle soul. This surname is of Middle English roots and carries the meaning of “guardian” or “herdsman.” Shepherd has a cool pop culture association in fan-favorite Grey’s Anatomy character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy himself.

  • SHIRLEY

If you are looking for Southern last names with literary associations, check out Shirley. This surname is of Old English origin and has the meaning of “shire,” “meadow,” and “bright clear.” Shirley has since crossed over as a personal name. A beloved literary namesake is Ann Shirley of the Anne Of Green Gables series of novels.

  • SMITH

Of all Southern last names, among the most common of them is no doubt the surname Smith. Smith is an English occupational last name that pertains to a “blacksmith.” Smith is also said to mean “to smite metal.” There is an abundance of famous bearers of this name, including the Hollywood family of Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jaden Smith, and Willow Smith, musician Sam Smith, and stars Maggie Smith, Anna Nicole Smith, and Kevin Smith.

  • SPALDING

If you are searching for Southern last names that have a connection to the field of sports, look no further than Spalding. This surname is of English roots and means “people of a district known as Spaid.” Spalding can also mean “ditches.” A superb sports association is through the world-famous American sports company named Spalding.

  • TAYLOR

Among Southern last names, a standout would be the classically lovely Taylor. Taylor is a surname that is of English origin and means, quite simply, “tailor.” There are plenty of famous bearers of this name, such as Taylor Swift, Taylor Dane, Taylor Hanson, and stars Taylor Momsen, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Schilling, and Taylor Kinney. It has become quite favored as a personal name as well.

  • UNDERWOOD

Underwood is a Southern last name that is of Old English roots. This surname carries the meaning of “below all the trees in a particular forest.” Well-known name bearers include country superstar Carrie Underwood and Hollywood actor Blair Underwood.

  • WARD

Ward is a Southern last name that was once a topographic surname. This last name is of Old English or Gaelic roots and means “marsh.” Ward can likewise be an occupational last name referring to “civil guard.” A known bearer of this name is actress Sela Ward.

  • WILLIAMS

Of all Southern last names, one that has a definite charm and elegance about it is Williams. This surname is of English roots and holds the meaning of “protection.” Williams is also said to have been derived from “son of William.” Hollywood stars Robin Williams, Michelle Williams, Treat Williams, and Maisie Williams, musicians Robbie Williams and Pharell Williams, and acclaimed composer John Williams are among the famous bearers of this name.

There is no deficit when it comes to gorgeous and attractive Southern last names. Indeed, the South has more than enough amazing surnames to last lifetimes upon lifetimes. Get creative and be inspired by meaningful Southern last names that can make for wonderful names for your little one.

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