152 Southern Last Names: for Little Beaus and Belles

Southern last names kick mundane monikers into the tall grass.

If ever there was a place with a rich cauldron of cultures, religions, languages, and folklore, it’s the deep South of America. From Native American tribes to Spanish, French, and British colonizers, the Southern states of America have it all.

We delve into the fascinating world of Southern last names to bring you a slice of this rich and varied cultural pie.

152 Southern Surnames

Put down that banjo because we need your full attention for this tour of Southern family names.

  1. Abbott – in Old English, an Abbott is the head of a religious community and means “father or priest.”
  2. Abel – is a biblical name of Hebrew origin, meaning “breath.”
  3. Abernathy – a Scottish/Pictish name meaning “mouth of the River Nethy.”
  4. Adams – of Hebrew and biblical origin, meaning “earth.”
  5. Aiken – possibly a Scottish form of Atkin, meaning “little Adam.”
  6. Alden – derived from the Old English “Ealdwine,” meaning “old friend.”
  7. Allen – is of Gaelic and Old German origin, meaning “precious.”
  8. Antonio – this Italian/Spanish name derives from the patron saint of the poor, meaning “worthy of praise.”
  9. Armstrong – possibly a Scottish and English nickname for someone with “strong arms.”
  10. Atkinson – an Old English and Scottish name possibly meaning “Adam” or “son of Adam.”
  11. Bailey – this Old English name has several meanings – “berry clearing, bailiff, and city fortification.”
  12. Bakeman – from the Dutch Baakman, this habitational name means “from the homestead of Baak.”
  13. Baker – an occupational English name derived from “bæcere,” meaning “to bake.”
  14. Baldwin – derived from the Old German Baldavin, meaning “brave and bold friend.”
  15. Ballard – taken from Middle English, meaning “bald head.”
  16. Banks – a topographical English name for someone living by the “riverbank.”
  17. Barker – an Old English occupational name for someone who tanned leather from tree bark.
  18. Barnes – possibly an Old English occupational name meaning “of the barn.”
  19. Baskin – derived from the Irish name Bascaoin, meaning “fair of hand.”
  20. Bates – a gender-neutral name meaning “son of Bartholemew.”
  21. Beale – a variant form of “beau,” this French name means “handsome.”
  22. Bean – a Pictish/Scottish name meaning “life.”
  23. Beauchamp – this classic Old French name means “the beautiful field.”
  24. Beaufort – French is such an expressive language – with this one meaning “from the beautiful fort.”
  25. Beauregard – a stereotypical Southern family name meaning “beautiful gaze.”
  26. Belle – Southern surnames can sometimes be “beautiful.”
  27. Benedict – this classy Latin name means “blessed.”
  28. Bennett – derived from the Latin name Benedict, meaning “blessed.”
  29. Berkeley – a habitational English and Irish name denoting someone living near a “birch wood.”
  30. Birdie – is of English and Swedish origin, meaning “bird.”
  31. Black – a classic Gothic fictional name, but this English name means “fair.”
  32. Blake – an Old English surname meaning “black, pale, or white.”
  33. Boone – redneck last names don’t get any more hillbilly than Boone, meaning “good.”
  34. Boseman – derived from High and Middle German, meaning “audacious and daring.”
  35. Bowen – of Welsh and Irish origin, meaning “son of Owen” or “victorious.”
  36. Bowman – an occupational English surname for an “archer.”
  37. Boykin – according to some, Boykin comes from Latin and means “strength.”
  38. Brown – a common English surname for someone with “brown hair, dark clothes, or skin.”
  39. Buckley – possibly means “deer meadow;” this Old English name could also mean “goat wood.”
  40. Bush – a habitational Old English name meaning “lives near the bush or thicket.”
  41. Butler – from the Old French word “bouteillier,” meaning “wine steward in a medieval household.”
  42. Caldwell – a habitational English and Scottish name meaning “cold stream or spring.”
  43. Calhoun – a classic Irish and Gaelic name meaning “the narrow woods.”
  44. Callaway – an Anglo-Saxon habitational name possibly meaning “pebble place.”
  45. Carson – country last names often come from Scotland and England, with Carson meaning “son of the marsh-dwellers.”
  46. Clarke – from the Latin “clericus,” this popular English and Irish name means “clerk.”
  47. Cooke – derived from the Old English word “coc,” meaning “someone who cooks or works in a cook house.”
  48. Copeland – an Old Norse name meaning “bought land.”
  49. Corbin – meaning “crow,” this Anglo-Norman name refers to someone with “dark hair.”
  50. Cunningham – derived from the Scottish words “cunny,” meaning “rabbit,” and “hame,” meaning “home.”
  51. Darville – a habitational name describing someone “from Arville” in France.
  52. Davenport – a market town derived from the Welsh “dafnu,” meaning “to drop or trickle.”
  53. Dawson – is of Old English origin, meaning “son of David.”
  54. Dillard – derived from Old French, this funny surname means “loyalty.”
  55. Doby – a Harry Potter character; this Scottish diminutive of Robert means “renowned, bright, and famous.”
  56. Drayton – a habitational Old English name meaning “drag or portage settlement.”
  57. Dufraine – possibly meaning “counselor, perfectionist, and compassion,” this French-inspired name is a classic Southern name.
  58. Dupree – a pretty French surname meaning “of the meadow.”
  59. Duvall – this Old French surname translates as “of the valley.”
  60. Edwards – a patronymic English white name meaning “prosperous guardian.”
  61. Ellis – derived from the Hebrew name Elijah, meaning “benevolent.”
  62. Evans – very few Southern family names come from Welsh, meaning “son of Evan.”
  63. Ewing – country last names aren’t classier than this fictional TV family, meaning “law friend.”
  64. Farrow – a Medieval French name meaning “litter of pigs.”
  65. Ferrell – the perfect Irish name for tough kids, meaning “ brave.”
  66. Fischer – a mix of Old German and English, this occupational name describes a “fisherman.”
  67. Freeman – of Old English origin, this epic surname means “free man.”
  68. Fry – a top German and English surname meaning “free.”
  69. Fuller – one of many occupational names to make the list, for a “dresser of cloth.”
  70. Garcia – a popular Spanish and Portuguese first and last name that means “bear.”
  71. Good – this cute Old English Caucasian name means “respected and good person.”
  72. Goodwin – derived from an Old English name, Go-dwine, meaning “good friend.”
  73. Grady – a stereotypical Irish name meaning “descendent of Gradaigh.”
  74. Graves – this creepy Old English name means “steward.”
  75. Green – while this Old English name has no meaning, it does represent “youth and freshness.”
  76. Greenway – this Old English family name means “road” – for “dwellers near a grassy path.”
  77. Harding – a classic Viking name from Old French, meaning “strong and hard-working.”
  78. Harrison – a wealthy and mainly white person’s name meaning “son of Henry” or “ruler.”
  79. Hayes – this old-timey Irish and English name means “descendent of Aodh.”
  80. Hazel – of English origin, describing a “hazel tree.”
  81. Henderson – a powerful Old English name meaning “son of Henry.”
  82. Herman – this badass Old German name means “soldier.”
  83. Hernandez – of Spanish and Portuguese origin, meaning “son of Hernando.”
  84. Holt – this English name means “son of the unspoiled forest.”
  85. Howard – is of Scandinavian origin, meaning “noble watchman.”
  86. Irwin – mainly of Scottish and English descent, meaning “boar friend.”
  87. James – from the ancient Hebrew Yaakov, meaning “supplanter.”
  88. Jameson – this Scottish and Old English surname means “son of James.”
  89. Jarvis – a classic civil war surname meaning “spear.”
  90. Jefferson – a patronymic English surname meaning “son of Jeffrey.”
  91. Jenkins – a medieval diminutive of John, meaning “little John.”
  92. Jenkinson – an English diminutive of John, meaning “son of John.”
  93. Jewel – this unique and beautiful English surname means “precious stone.”
  94. Johnson – an Old English patronymic name meaning “son of John.”
  95. Jones – this Welsh favorite is derived from the Latin Johannes, meaning “Yahweh is gracious.”
  96. Juanita – a Spanish version of the Hebrew male name John, meaning “God is gracious.”
  97. Kennedy – derived from the Celtic “ceann” and “eidigh,” meaning “head and ugly.”
  98. King – possibly the most aristocratic of surnames, meaning “monarch and ruler.”
  99. Lacroix – country last names are rarely this attractive, meaning “the cross” in French.
  100. Langley – an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “long wood or clearing.”
  101. Legare – this historical Old German surname means “people’s spear.”
  102. Leonard – some South American names sound European, meaning “brave as a lion.”
  103. Lois – originally of Greek origin, possibly meaning “famous warrior, better, or superior.”
  104. Lula – combines Old English and German, meaning “famous warrior.”
  105. Mabel – is derived from the Latin “amabilis,” meaning “lovable and dear.”
  106. Madison – an Old English surname meaning “son of Matthew.”
  107. Marks – from the Roman boy’s name Marcus, meaning “devotee of Mars.”
  108. Martin – this evil name derives from the Latin Martinus, meaning “god of war.”
  109. Martinez – a common Spanish surname meaning “son of Martin/Martino.”
  110. McCrae – is a beautiful Scottish surname, meaning “son of Grace.”
  111. Mendoza – this gorgeous Spanish surname means “cold mountain.”
  112. Moore – of Middle English, Old French, and Gaelic origin, meaning “dark-skinned and swarthy.”
  113. Moxon – a cool-sounding Old English name meaning “pearl.”
  114. Nash – a sexy Old English name meaning “by the ash tree.”
  115. Norwood – this Old English surname translates as “north wood.”
  116. Oakley – a habitational Old English name meaning “from the oak tree field.”
  117. Owen – is derived from the Welsh Prince Owain, meaning “noble, youthful, and well-born.”
  118. Parker – a longer form of Parker, with the same meaning.
  119. Parks – an occupational Old English name for a “park keeper.”
  120. Perkins – derived from the Welsh name Perthyn, meaning “the little one.”
  121. Peyton – is of Old English origin, meaning “fighting man’s estate.”
  122. Pierce – a variation of the Greek name Peter, meaning “rock.”
  123. Pinkney – of Germanic origin, meaning “Pincino’s town.”
  124. Pruitt – this Old English surname derives from the French “proux,” meaning “valiant or brave.”
  125. Redd – of Scottish origin, meaning “redhead.”
  126. Riggins – from the Old English term “rigge,” meaning “ridge.”
  127. Rodgers – of Old German descent, meaning “famous spear.”
  128. Rodriguez – this common surname with Spanish roots means “son of Rodrigo.”
  129. Rutledge – of Old Norse and English origin, meaning “root ledge or red ledge.”
  130. Sanders – the famous colonel, meaning “son of Alexander.”
  131. Sanderson – an Old English patronymic surname meaning “son of Alexander.”
  132. Saunders – this Anglo-Norman nickname derives from the Greek Alexander and means “defender of men.”
  133. Shepherd – an Old English occupational name for a “sheep herder.”
  134. Simmons – a derivative of Simons, meaning “hearing and listening.”
  135. Simons – derived from ancient Hebrew, meaning “listen or hearing.”
  136. Smalls – derived from the Old English word “smal,” meaning “thin, narrow, or small.”
  137. Smith – this common Old English name means “blacksmith.”
  138. Spalding – this habitational Old English surname means “divided field.”
  139. Sullivan – an old-fashioned Celtic surname meaning “black-eyed one.”
  140. Taylor – derived from the French word “tailleur,” meaning “tailor” in Old English.
  141. Tradd – an uncommon Southern surname meaning “spear.”
  142. Underwood – this popular Old English surname means “below the forest trees.”
  143. Ventura – sexy Southern family names are rare, meaning “good fortune.”
  144. Villarreal – a classic Spanish name meaning “royal village.”
  145. Walker – derived from the Old English “wealcere,” meaning “filler of cloth.”
  146. Ward – some Southern surnames are short and sweet, like Ward, meaning “guardian” in Old English.
  147. Waring – derived from the Frankish term “warin,” meaning “guard or watchman.”
  148. Wilkins – an early medieval English name meaning “son of Wilkin.”
  149. Williams – is a short form of Williamson with the same meaning.
  150. Williamson – a common German/English name meaning “determined protector” and “son of William.”
  151. Willis – many Southern last names come from Europe, like Willis, meaning “well.”
  152. Yeller – possibly meaning “yellow” or “loving change,” or an occupational name for someone who yells.

Southern Last Names FAQs

What Are the Most Popular Southern Last Names?

The most popular Southern last names include Ward, Sanders, Beauregard, Duvall, and Dupree. Other prominent names, like Martinez, Rodriguez, Juanita, and Garcia, hail from Spanish and Portuguese.

Are Southern Last Names Based on Native American Culture?

Very few Southern last names are based on Native American culture. Many southern surnames are French, Spanish, Old English, and even German and Latin.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark has always been fascinated by the stories behind names, their meanings, and the rich histories they carry. It's a curiosity that has grown into a full-fledged passion project, engaging him in the study of how names shape our identities and reflect our cultures. Since stepping away from his previous career, Mark has delved deeper into this fascinating realm. He spends his days unraveling these narratives and sharing his findings on Honey Name. He does all this amidst the tranquility of England's rivers and canals from his charming widebeam barge. His constant companions on this journey are his wife, Julie, and their adorable King Charles Cavalier, Eric.