Arabic-influenced baby names! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 08-24-2008, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The thread on naming a Mexican/Appalichian boy made me wonder what mamas like me have named their kids! DH is Lebanese and I'm Mexican, so we had to find names that worked in Arabic, Spanish and English. What we came up with:

Maher Alexander
Maya Cecilia
Samer Nicholas

Also, although DH didn't want middle names at first, he eventually agreed, but we used his first name on their birth certificates as well. So they all actually have three names.

:

What names did you all choose, and how did you negotiate different naming conventions?

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#2 of 57 Old 08-24-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraN View Post
The thread on naming a Mexican/Appalichian boy made me wonder what mamas like me have named their kids! DH is Lebanese and I'm Mexican, so we had to find names that worked in Arabic, Spanish and English. What we came up with:

Maher Alexander
Maya Cecilia
Samer Nicholas

Also, although DH didn't want middle names at first, he eventually agreed, but we used his first name on their birth certificates as well. So they all actually have three names.

:

What names did you all choose, and how did you negotiate different naming conventions?
Well, judging by the names in my signature line, I just skipped the english influence altogether. Actually for my son's name we were concerned mostly just with being able to be pronounced, and with my daughter I tried to pick an english spelling I've seen more commonly used in the U.S. Likewise, middle named we decided on the arabic naming convention to ease things in dual citizenship terms.

I have friends who are a hispanic woman married to an arabic-speaking man and living in America, so they had the same three languages issue ... their children are Salma and Omar.
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#3 of 57 Old 08-24-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, judging by the names in my signature line, I just skipped the english influence altogether.
I LOVE the name Ziad! My SIL is pregnant, and both DH and I are lobbying her to choose Ziad if it's a boy... Your children's names are beautiful. :

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I have friends who are a hispanic woman married to an arabic-speaking man and living in America, so they had the same three languages issue ... their children are Salma and Omar.
You know what's funny? Growing up in Mexico, I never noticed how many people of ME origin there were around me. They seem to integrate into Mexican society so thoroughly, that I never thought of them as foreign. So I had a ton of friends who I now realize had Arab names (like Salma and Omar) and I honestly didn't realize they weren't in Spanish. OK, maybe I'm just slow but it wasn't until DH was looking through my high school yearbook that I realized, as he was pointing it out, how many Arabs were in my school!

Anyone else? Did you negotiate, compromise (or not) and come up with beautiful names?

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#4 of 57 Old 08-25-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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Hi! My dh is also Lebanese, so I know the potential minefield of the middle name quandry! I agreed to use my dh's name for boys' middle names, but not for girls'. So we have (so far): Ali Mustapha and Maya Rose. If we have another boy, it will be Zachary Mustapha or Zain Mustapha. If we have another girl, dh wants Jenna (I also like Lena), but I haven't decided on a middle name--either Jenna Grace or Jenna Eden.
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#5 of 57 Old 08-25-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ChasingPeace View Post
Hi! My dh is also Lebanese, so I know the potential minefield of the middle name quandry! I agreed to use my dh's name for boys' middle names, but not for girls'. So we have (so far): Ali Mustapha and Maya Rose. If we have another boy, it will be Zachary Mustapha or Zain Mustapha. If we have another girl, dh wants Jenna (I also like Lena), but I haven't decided on a middle name--either Jenna Grace or Jenna Eden.
Hey, we both chose Maya! In fact, mine was going to be Maya Rose until about a week before she was born. I heard someone call for Cecilia on the street one day and remembered that I had always loved that name as a child.

And I have an Australian/Lebanese friend who named her son Zain. I think that's such a cool-sounding name.

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#6 of 57 Old 08-26-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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We tried to choose names that were easy for Americans to pronounce, but we're also definitely Arabic (or both). So we ended up with Sami (boy), Ali (boy), and Sara (girl). All three kids have DH's name as middle name, which is a pet peeve of mine... especially for Sara.

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#7 of 57 Old 08-28-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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My children defintiely have arab names. I am Nicaraguan/ everything else and my dh is Tunisian. We are muslim so I wanted my kids to have beautiful arab names. My son has my husbands first name as his middle. It was actually supposed to be his first but I changed my mind when I was filling out the birth certificate. And my daughter's name translate to jasmine,beauty of the night. Since she was born at night and I love the name. Her names have songs in my husbands country, so that's a bonus. And my son has a bunch of stores and famous people to relate to.
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#8 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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DD's name is Amira Lauren
I'm half Arab(yemeni) and Somali, Dh is "white" so there you go.

Mama to a 3.5 yo dd
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#9 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 07:51 PM
 
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two girls DH is Lebanese, I'm American

DH is a big duran duran fan and I'm a hippie chick, so he picked our DD#1's name and I picked her middle name, I would not budge on my girl(s) having a boys middle name, however, when we register the girls in Lebanon, they will have Dad's first name as their middle name there so DD#1 is Rio Rayne (pronounced 'rain')... I love her name, I had no problem with the name Rio, however, in Lebanon many felt the need to correct us stating that a girl cannot have a Spanish name ending in 'o' and when we would say her name is Rio they would answer, "oh, you can't have a girl's name ending in 'o', so you mean her name is "Ria"... eventually my DH gave up on arguing and when we take her there to visit she can be the one to tell people off.

DD#2: I really wanted to have another 3 letter name, but the Arabic names didn't do it for me or my husband. I really love the name Kai which is Hawaiian for ocean and I thought it would be really cool to have a river and an ocean, but DH said that Kai was a boys name and not that pretty. He brought up "Yasmine"... I wasn't too thrilled with it and I didn't think it matched "Rio"... I didn't think it was that unique. Then one day we were watching the today show and miss universe from Japan was on and her name was Riyo (pronounced 'Rio') and she said that Riyo in Japanese means 'jasmine' so I was sold, both of my girls names mean 'jasmine' one in Japanese and one in Arabic. But we didn't want people to pronounce it "American" we wanted it to be pronounced "Yesmeen" so that's how we spell it. Her name is Yesmeen Sky. I picked her middle name too LOL

so in America, my girls are named Rio Rayne and Yesmeen Sky and in Lebanon their names are Rio Najib and Yesmeen Najib.

If we have a boy, it's a no brainer, he would get FIL's name.
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#10 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by umsami View Post
We tried to choose names that were easy for Americans to pronounce, but we're also definitely Arabic (or both). So we ended up with Sami (boy), Ali (boy), and Sara (girl). All three kids have DH's name as middle name, which is a pet peeve of mine... especially for Sara.
I love your kids' names! Both Sami and Sara are names we considered at various times.

I'm loving this thread!

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#11 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mommy2Amira View Post
DD's name is Amira Lauren
I'm half Arab(yemeni) and Somali, Dh is "white" so there you go.
Her first and middle names go so well together!

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#12 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Happiestever View Post
My children defintiely have arab names. I am Nicaraguan/ everything else and my dh is Tunisian. We are muslim so I wanted my kids to have beautiful arab names. My son has my husbands first name as his middle. It was actually supposed to be his first but I changed my mind when I was filling out the birth certificate. And my daughter's name translate to jasmine,beauty of the night. Since she was born at night and I love the name. Her names have songs in my husbands country, so that's a bonus. And my son has a bunch of stores and famous people to relate to.
I love all the variations on Jasmine. My BIL named his daughter Yasmeen.

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#13 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MommyJoia View Post
two girls DH is Lebanese, I'm American

DH is a big duran duran fan and I'm a hippie chick, so he picked our DD#1's name and I picked her middle name, I would not budge on my girl(s) having a boys middle name, however, when we register the girls in Lebanon, they will have Dad's first name as their middle name there so DD#1 is Rio Rayne (pronounced 'rain')... I love her name, I had no problem with the name Rio, however, in Lebanon many felt the need to correct us stating that a girl cannot have a Spanish name ending in 'o' and when we would say her name is Rio they would answer, "oh, you can't have a girl's name ending in 'o', so you mean her name is "Ria"... eventually my DH gave up on arguing and when we take her there to visit she can be the one to tell people off.

DD#2: I really wanted to have another 3 letter name, but the Arabic names didn't do it for me or my husband. I really love the name Kai which is Hawaiian for ocean and I thought it would be really cool to have a river and an ocean, but DH said that Kai was a boys name and not that pretty. He brought up "Yasmine"... I wasn't too thrilled with it and I didn't think it matched "Rio"... I didn't think it was that unique. Then one day we were watching the today show and miss universe from Japan was on and her name was Riyo (pronounced 'Rio') and she said that Riyo in Japanese means 'jasmine' so I was sold, both of my girls names mean 'jasmine' one in Japanese and one in Arabic. But we didn't want people to pronounce it "American" we wanted it to be pronounced "Yesmeen" so that's how we spell it. Her name is Yesmeen Sky. I picked her middle name too LOL

so in America, my girls are named Rio Rayne and Yesmeen Sky and in Lebanon their names are Rio Najib and Yesmeen Najib.

If we have a boy, it's a no brainer, he would get FIL's name.
I love Duran Duran, too. And I love your daughters' cool, hippie names! I hadn't thought about what will happen when we register our children in Lebanon. We haven't done it yet . I'm guessing they'll have to drop their middle names, too. Oh, well.

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#14 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by umsami View Post
We tried to choose names that were easy for Americans to pronounce, but we're also definitely Arabic (or both). So we ended up with Sami (boy), Ali (boy), and Sara (girl). All three kids have DH's name as middle name, which is a pet peeve of mine... especially for Sara.
Ditto. My DS's name is Laith and he has DH's name as his middle name, Hamza, as will any other children we are blessed with. I did talk to DH and told him that I want my daughter to have an actual middle name, so I am hoping that if some day we have a girl (inshallah) that I can give her a middle name as well as my husbands name.
DS was originally going to be Zekeriah, but DH didn't want Americans to pronounce it Zackariah or shorten it to Zack, so we finally changed it to Laith.
DH won't really discuss names ahead of time...with DS, we did talk about it, but it was usually very briefly...and he refuses to talk about names of children to come...I think part of that is b/c we lost our first child, who we thought was a girl, and during the pregnancy (we lost her at 12 wks) we 'named' her Ayah...which, DH would like to use again for a girl...

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#15 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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not arabic, but thought i would chime in anyway...
i am armenian and my dh is jewish so the name we chose for our ds is Ari... which has armenian, hebrew and greek roots. and yesterday a friend told me that her old boyfriend who is persian is also named Ari

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#16 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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Her first and middle names go so well together!
Thank you!
we think so too

Mama to a 3.5 yo dd
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#17 of 57 Old 09-02-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Speaking of male (after the dad) middle names, I have it too. It doesn't really bother me but it is a hot topic for small talk.

Mama to a 3.5 yo dd
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#18 of 57 Old 09-04-2008, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Speaking of male (after the dad) middle names, I have it too. It doesn't really bother me but it is a hot topic for small talk.
I have many friends who have it, too! And really it rarely comes up. Most of them don't really use the name except as a way of explaining which family they're from during introductions... and on official documents some of them shorten it to an initial rather than using the whole name.

But I guess if you're not used to it, and you're from a culture where middle names are as important as first names, it can feel odd to give your daughter a male middle name. I think if it had been super important to DH, I would have gone for it, but he didn't put up too much of a fight, once we agreed to three names on the birth certificates.

I wonder how many Arab moms married to non-Arab men give their daughters their husband's middle names. I'm imagining a hypothetical Amira Derek, or Yasmeen Jason.

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#19 of 57 Old 09-04-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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I have many friends who have it, too! And really it rarely comes up. Most of them don't really use the name except as a way of explaining which family they're from during introductions... and on official documents some of them shorten it to an initial rather than using the whole name.
Growing up with a male middle name (realistically a gender ambiguous middle name, but in my area male) I was definitely self-conscious about it, but I was the sort of kid to be self-conscious about everything, and as an adult I just don't care.

Though as I think I had once mentioned in another thread on the subject, when we settled on our own little cross-cultural naming convention we decided to give our kids both my husband's first and second names as dual middle names so that they would share a last name with their father as per the american norm. I didn't really want to be always answering whether our kids were adopted, etc, that they didn't have either of our last names. But that means my poor daughter has to contend with "Mahmoud Mohamed" as a middle name. All I can say is that if we remain in the U.S. I hope she's a less self-conscious kid than me.
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#20 of 57 Old 09-06-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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this is fun.
my dh is from afghanistan, i am irish, welsh, german,?? anyways, it was fun to find names that appealed first to us, and also to both sides of the family as well as reflected there cultural background. we ended up with:
Asja Juliet
Jovan Cricket
Nelo Dew
Opal Elizabeth


I would love to try to post pictures, but I am a bit spazy when it comes to technology.
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#21 of 57 Old 09-08-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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I love Arabic names- my ds1 middle name is Hakeem. If ds2 was a girl his middle name was going to be Yasmeen.

Between my 3 kids, the names have Nigerian, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Anglo, Spanish, and Catholic Saint (Jude) origins.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#22 of 57 Old 09-08-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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My first and middle names are Arabic (I was raised Muslim, but am not Arab), and DH is half-Mexican ... we've chosen Inara for our daughter's name. It has several meanings, depending on what part of the world you're in. In Arabic it means "ray of illumination" - it is in the Qur'an meaning an illumination or lamp (as in, an insight from the heavens). Its root is the word "Nur" (light). Inara is a name that is had by people of latin, african, thai, and eastern european heritage.

Other names that are good compromises between Spanish and Arabic are: Omar, Sami, Salma, Zobeida (one of my Cuban cousins is married to a woman named Zobeida), Zahra, Zaida, Marya/Mariah, Alej(andro)/Ali, Dalila, Sara, Sofia (of course!), and there are many more ....
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#23 of 57 Old 09-09-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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Speaking of male (after the dad) middle names, I have it too. It doesn't really bother me but it is a hot topic for small talk.
I have this to... I don't like my first name much... sometimes I wish I had middle name to default to.

btw... I love the name sufiyan for a boy.

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#24 of 57 Old 09-09-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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DH is Palestinian and I'm American/Puerto Rican.

We went back and forth on DD's name for a while. We came up with an Arabic influenced first name of Lyela (pronounced Lye - la, not Layla) and the middle name I always wanted for a DD Serendipity.

For DS, I let DH give his first name as the middle name. But only for our first son, not any others. For his first name, Yuri, DH thinks he named him after the singer Yuri Mrkadi, but I only agreed because Yuri is Russian for George after DH's dad and my grandpa.
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#25 of 57 Old 09-09-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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I have:
Zaker (dad's name, grandfather's name, last name)

and
Sophia (dad's name, grandfather's name, last name)

New baby is likely to be Zahir (dad's name, grandfather's name, last name)


Dh wanted to do all Z's at one time because in his family, that's what they do, everyone has a letter.
However, I was EXTREMELY attached to "Sophia" and I let him name his first son, and I compromised on not giving my daughter my grandmother's name as a middle name because he said it can't go on any legal stuff in his country, they wouldn't recognize it or something.

and besides that, I didn't flat out say this, but I really do NOT like sticking with one letter, I think it's stupid and takes away some individuality for the kids. I think it's plenty that I've already given in to giving them all the same middle names per his culture.

lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#26 of 57 Old 09-09-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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hey.... i'll play this one!! i am of irish and german descent and dh is egyptian. our first dd is gehan alexandra (pronounced jee-han).... you can see who one the debate on the middle name for her!! our second dd is selma mahmoud (dh won this time!) and our ds is noah mahmoud (pronounced nuh by his arabic family and no-ah by his english speaking family). it was important to both of us that our children's names fit in both cultures and be pronouncable to everyone. i enjoyed reading all the beautiful names...

peace

jen

jen mommy to dd1 (11y), dd2 (6y) and ds (3y)
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#27 of 57 Old 09-09-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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One of my first loves, great loves was Syrian.

His name was Kamil Jardone Alachi. I loved his name, but his father's name made me swoon. Elias. I would love to have a son named Elias. Both because I loved his dad almost more than I loved him, and I thought the name was beautiful.

They are Catholic Arabs, does that count as an Arabic based?
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#28 of 57 Old 09-10-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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They are Catholic Arabs, does that count as an Arabic based?
Yup!

My DH is a Lebanese Greek Catholic. Definitely an Arab!

We could not settle on a boy's name for DS, who was born in France. We had such a hard time. The French are very racist towards Middle Eastern males, so we needed a name that was neutral.

In the end, we followed the convention that the first son's first son is named after his paternal grandfather. (DH isn't the first son, but his older brother will NOT be having children). DS' middle name is my father's name.

Luckily, my FIL's name is a traditional (if old-fashioned) Christian name that works in France, the US and Lebanon.

I love the name Elias, too, but that is DH's uncle's name, and his sons have first dibs on it in the family!
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#29 of 57 Old 09-10-2008, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They are Catholic Arabs, does that count as an Arabic based?
Everything counts! I titled the thread "Arabic-influenced" for that very reason.

I'm loving all these names. Everyone's so creative with cultural compromises and have come up with such beautiful names.

Keep them coming...

DS1: 2/02 ROTFLMAO.gif DD: 9/04 blahblah.gif DS2: 9/07jog.gif and EDD: 11/13 belly.gif

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#30 of 57 Old 09-10-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I'm Lebanese, DH is Cuban.
DD is Saidy Caroline.
Saidy after my grandmother, and Caroline after his, whose real name is Carola.

Mommy to DD 5-07
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