Name of the Day – Vidalia

vidalia onion

Did you know that at least five babies in Georgia have been named Vidalia [vie-DAYL-ya] since 1990?

The unusually sweet Vidalia onion is Georgia’s official state vegetable. It was first grown near Vidalia, Georgia, around 1931. The town name may have been inspired by that of Vidalia, Louisiana, which was named after Don José Vidal. The Vidal surname can be traced back to the Latin personal name Vitalis, which comes from the Latin word vita, meaning “life.”

Vidalia has never been a popular baby name nationally, but that makes sense — seems like more of a local thing anyway.

UPDATE, Nov. 2019: Here’s a graph of the national usage of Vidalia, which saw peak usage in 1997 following the release of the country song “Vidalia” by Sammy Kershaw. (Hat tip to Jack in the comments!) The song was about a girl named Vidalia whose mother was named Violet and whose father was named Dale. “I know when they named ya / They surely meant well, but…”

7 thoughts on “Name of the Day – Vidalia

  1. I’m willing to bet most of the girls named Vidalia since 1997 were named after the Sammy Kershaw song. I know I did. My daughter was one the 7 babies born in 2013 named Vidalia.

  2. i HATED my name until i was about 15. before then, literally EVERYONE called me onion girl, and it drove me absolutely insane. being from a small town in rural illinois, only a handful of people had ever even heard my name before, let alone met someone with it. as i’ve gotten older, though, i genuinely cannot imagine being named anything else

  3. I named my puppy Vidalia. Last year when I was trying to think of a name for her and nothing on my list was quite right, out of the blue the song popped into my head and it just fit. Now I can’t imagine her being named anything else.

    Obviously I’m biased, but I think it’s a lovely name with a slightly old-fashioned feeling to it.

    And yes, she lovingly gets called ‘the onion’ by a couple of people.

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