Help picking an Indian (Desi) baby name - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 11-12-2008, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I cross-posted this from my due date club. I am pregant and due in December. My husband is Indian and we are thinking of naming the baby an Indian name. We want one that is pretty but also easy to remember and pronounce for non-indians. We don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl so I have a list of our top contenders for either. What do you think? Are these names too difficult? Any other suggestions?

Girls

Priyanka
Samira (has good nicknames, Sam, Sami, Mira)
Amrita (also has easy nickname, Rita)
Uma (my husband doesn't like, so probably won't happen)
Shyla
Roshni
Gita or Sangita (pronounced with a hard "g")

Boys

Dharmik (nickname Mik)
Prashant
Roshin
Sandeep (nickname Sunny)
Vikram (nicknam Vik)
Vivek
Deven
Jitendra
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#2 of 27 Old 11-12-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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as a typical american, the names i find easy to pronounce and spell are:
girls-
samira (gorgeous name, i vote for it)
amrita
shyla

boys-
roshin (my favorite from your list)
vivek
deven
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#3 of 27 Old 11-12-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Umas my favorite.
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#4 of 27 Old 11-12-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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ooh! ooooh! I'm desi! Well-- first gen american.

We have some of these in our family.
I love the name sangita, the meaning is beautiful. we sangi for short. (sounds like sungee)
Amrita-- means potion? we say Ami for short, sounds like (uh-mee). Alot of times people will pronounce her name Amy.
Roshini-- means light? we say Roshi (or Roshi-baby) for short. Priyanka-- priya for short. I think these two are the easiest names to say with an american accent. It sounds almost identical both ways.

Some how I don't like indian boys names that much -- I want to name my kid caleb.

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#5 of 27 Old 11-12-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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Oooh, I vote for Priya! I always wanted to name a baby Priya (even though I'm not Indian), but it doesn't go with my husband's last name.

I think Shyla is gorgeous too!

I like Deven and Vikram most from your boys list.

Mama lady to my lady baby born 3/09 on the kitchen floor.  Looking forward to seeing which room's floor the next one will be born on in October.  love.gif
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#6 of 27 Old 11-13-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I like Priya a lot....also Anjali, Padma, and even Indira (Indi for short!).

Boys, hmmm...
Anand, Arun, Vijay? I find boy names harder in general

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#7 of 27 Old 11-13-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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How do you feel about religious names? Muslim/Hindu?

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#8 of 27 Old 11-13-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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I'm Indian too! I like Shyla best from the girls names because it sounds Indo Western to me! I like Samira too. I don't have any favorites among the boys names.

Sahara
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#9 of 27 Old 11-14-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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My friend (both he and his wife are Indian, living in the US) named their daughter Henna.
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#10 of 27 Old 11-15-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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.

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#11 of 27 Old 11-15-2008, 04:49 AM
 
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BTDT with trying to find a South Asian name that my side of the family could pronounce (the test was, if my Mom could pronounce it (almost) right, then anybody can!) From your list, I like Samira, Amrita, and Sangita for girls. RainCoast also mentioned Asha, which was the runner up for our daughter. For boys, I like Amit and Arun. From your list, I like (and find easy to pronounce) Roshin and Deven.

My DH was very focused on the meaning of the name as well (nothing flowery, no names/derivatives of gods, not to mention the generational issue)...so we went through A LOT of names. We ordered a book of Sanskrit names which gave us a list of less common names to choose from. We both fell in love with "Amiti", which means "without bounds".

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#12 of 27 Old 11-15-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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names that are indian and western depending on how they are pronounced

trisha = wish/desire (nick name trish, pronounced more like tree with a soft t)

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#13 of 27 Old 11-15-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Don't know if this is Indian. But there is a singer named Devendra Banhart. I love him name... Devendra.
Oh and I've always liked Lakshmi for a girl. And Sadira.

Newly single mama to DS 4/20/2005. Recently back from ALASKA.
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#14 of 27 Old 11-16-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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Kiran is also nice for a boy.

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#15 of 27 Old 11-16-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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What part of India is your dh from? There may be names that are unique to his language (of the many that are spoken in India). Maybe he would like to use one from his own language, or maybe he doesn't care. Also, if his family belongs to a particular religious heritage you want to probably try to keep the name agreeable to that. For example if they worship Vishnu as their main family God you don't want to give the baby a Saivite (those who worship Siva) name. If your dh's family is not that religious or they are more ecclectic within Hinduism then it doesn't matter as much.

I was going to use the name Easwaran for a boy (Easan for short) but we didn't have a boy.

My girls are Abirami Neha (Abi is her nickname) and Nitara Sivagami (called by her full name). I get compliments on the names all the time.

I got Nitara's name from a baby name website and instantly it spoke to me. Her name means "has deep roots." I knew a family whose dd was named Sitara and I really liked that name, too. It's a musical instrument. I like the name Veena too. Uma was on our list of names, Shanthi (glad we didn't use that because dd1 doesn't fit it!) . . there are so many nice names. Make sure you look at the meaning just as much as the sound of the name.

Does your dh or his family have any name suggestions? Abirami's name was for a temple goddess at an ancestral temple they have been visiting for generations. It means "powerful goddess" and everyone approved of the name. My dd2's middle name Sivagami is for another goddess at another temple, and it's also the name of a great grandmother who was reportedly a saint of a person.

Personally I don't like the idea of Westernizing a name too much. Like if you take someone named Hari and turn it into Harry, or Narayanan and turn it into Ryan. It's okay to shorten a name a bit, but keep it Indian if you are going to be giving the child an Indian name to begin with. Teach them to be proud of their Indian heritage, not obligated to hide it or turn it into a Western name when it's not. I mean, look at Obama. He didn't turn his name into anything else and he was elected president!! So there you go. You don't need to have an average Joe or Jane name to be successful.

Even my dd1's nickname Abi is said "AH-bee" not "Abby". I like the fact that their names are unique and pretty and they don't need to be changed. People have learned to say them.

Oh, and with the naming of my dd1 we went through SO many names. Dh couldn't up with a single one on his own, and he didn't like the ones I came up with. So what I did finally is made a list of 3 names that met his criteria, passed it by his mom, and then asked him to choose which one of the three he liked best. And that's how Abi got her name! With Nitara I just absolutely fell in love with her name and basically told him that's what her name was going to be. Luckily he agreed it was a very fine name.

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#16 of 27 Old 11-16-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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I love Indian names!
my favorites are
Girls


Samira (has good nicknames, Sam, Sami, Mira)
Amrita (also has easy nickname, Rita)
Shyla
Roshni


Boys


Roshin
Deven
Jitendra

good luck!

Denise, Mama to DS1 (7) and DD1 (5) and new baby due June 2012!

 
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#17 of 27 Old 11-17-2008, 05:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
What part of India is your dh from? There may be names that are unique to his language (of the many that are spoken in India). Maybe he would like to use one from his own language, or maybe he doesn't care. Also, if his family belongs to a particular religious heritage you want to probably try to keep the name agreeable to that. For example if they worship Vishnu as their main family God you don't want to give the baby a Saivite (those who worship Siva) name. If your dh's family is not that religious or they are more ecclectic within Hinduism then it doesn't matter as much.

I was going to use the name Easwaran for a boy (Easan for short) but we didn't have a boy.

My girls are Abirami Neha (Abi is her nickname) and Nitara Sivagami (called by her full name). I get compliments on the names all the time.

I got Nitara's name from a baby name website and instantly it spoke to me. Her name means "has deep roots." I knew a family whose dd was named Sitara and I really liked that name, too. It's a musical instrument. I like the name Veena too. Uma was on our list of names, Shanthi (glad we didn't use that because dd1 doesn't fit it!) . . there are so many nice names. Make sure you look at the meaning just as much as the sound of the name.

Does your dh or his family have any name suggestions? Abirami's name was for a temple goddess at an ancestral temple they have been visiting for generations. It means "powerful goddess" and everyone approved of the name. My dd2's middle name Sivagami is for another goddess at another temple, and it's also the name of a great grandmother who was reportedly a saint of a person.

Personally I don't like the idea of Westernizing a name too much. Like if you take someone named Hari and turn it into Harry, or Narayanan and turn it into Ryan. It's okay to shorten a name a bit, but keep it Indian if you are going to be giving the child an Indian name to begin with. Teach them to be proud of their Indian heritage, not obligated to hide it or turn it into a Western name when it's not. I mean, look at Obama. He didn't turn his name into anything else and he was elected president!! So there you go. You don't need to have an average Joe or Jane name to be successful.

Even my dd1's nickname Abi is said "AH-bee" not "Abby". I like the fact that their names are unique and pretty and they don't need to be changed. People have learned to say them.

Oh, and with the naming of my dd1 we went through SO many names. Dh couldn't up with a single one on his own, and he didn't like the ones I came up with. So what I did finally is made a list of 3 names that met his criteria, passed it by his mom, and then asked him to choose which one of the three he liked best. And that's how Abi got her name! With Nitara I just absolutely fell in love with her name and basically told him that's what her name was going to be. Luckily he agreed it was a very fine name.
:

Mommy to one adorable little boy and expecting another little bundle of joy in June 2011
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#18 of 27 Old 11-17-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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I love the names on your list, several of them are on my list too!

One thing to keep in mind is that pet names often have nothing to do with the proper name. My DH for example is called Joy, just because. So if you love a name, but also love a totally different pet name, there is no reason you can't use both. And If you love a name that might be difficult for westerners, you might consider doing what we plan on and giving two names, one Indian and one Western.

Boys names are really hard for me, after months of looking i finally decided I like Jivan, only to be told by DH that it's not sophisticated enough. Anyway, on your list I like Roshin. I sounds masculine without sounding harsh, and it's easy on the American tongue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I knew a family whose dd was named Sitara and I really liked that name, too. It's a musical instrument. I like the name Veena too.
:

DH's granny is Bina, the Bengali spelling of the name. We would use the Hindi spelling to avoid the inevitable teasing that would come with a name that's too close to a mean thing to call Mexicans on the west-coast of the US, where we live.
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#19 of 27 Old 11-17-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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oh... I like the name jivan alot.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#20 of 27 Old 11-22-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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Another desi here

Of your boy names I'm partial to Roshin and Devan, just b/c those were my top two picks for ds1 (but dh, Prashanth BTW!), overruled.

Of the girls names, I love Amrita.. but I've often heard it pronounced Am-reeta, instead of Um-r-i-ta. I don't like the mispronounced version and it would bother me if I heard people constantly saying it wrong. I'm weird like that.
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#21 of 27 Old 11-27-2008, 03:49 AM
 
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My dd has an Indian first name and an American middle name. My in-laws didn't really like either, but dh and I LOVE her name. I have a name picked out for another girl, but I don't know what we'll do if we have a boy. None of the Indian boy names really resonate with us

* edited out dd's name because it came up in a google search.
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#22 of 27 Old 12-01-2008, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
What part of India is your dh from? There may be names that are unique to his language (of the many that are spoken in India). Maybe he would like to use one from his own language, or maybe he doesn't care. Also, if his family belongs to a particular religious heritage you want to probably try to keep the name agreeable to that. For example if they worship Vishnu as their main family God you don't want to give the baby a Saivite (those who worship Siva) name. If your dh's family is not that religious or they are more ecclectic within Hinduism then it doesn't matter as much.
Thanks for your thoughtful response USAmma.

My DH is from Delhi, his family are Punjabi hindus who speak hindi. But as far as naming goes, I think his family is probably more what you noted as "ecclectic." For instance, although DH is Punjabi, his own "good name" is, I believe, Bengali.

I think his parents will probably just be pleased with an Indian name, whatever its province. Their only other grandchild (my DH's niece) has a totally western name, first and last.

I understand what you are saying about westernizing a name too much. My husband grew up in the U.S. with a "weird," i.e. foreign, name - but he never changed it or went by a western name. And it bothers him that his father, named Jagdish, introduces himself as "Jay." But I can also see how it is easier for his father than trying to say his name 5000 times for someone else to understand.

I read this article in an Indian newspaper recently, describing that the unfortunate trend of shortening of beautiful Indian names is no longer confined to the U.S. but is prevalent in India also. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/m...2100960200.htm

As for Obama, I can't imagine that anyone is not moved and amazed by the fact that a person with his name was able to become president of the U.S. However, he did go by the name "Barry" until he became an adult. Just goes to show that sometimes it takes awhile for a person to appreciate his or her own uniqueness.

The names of your daughters are beautiful and have lovely meanings. And thanks for your response, it gave me a lot to think about.
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#23 of 27 Old 12-07-2008, 03:53 AM
 
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Having just found the multicultural forum, I thought I would add my own two rupees, although stylishly late per Indian culture! LOL

When my son's referral arrived (he was adopted from Kerala) I had thought I was going to name him a Scottish name, because my parents are Scottish.
However, having taken one look at him, he did not look like Ian! My late grandfathers name was Ian, and I wanted to incorporate his name in my son.

I was given the sanskit baby name book and spent hours pouring through there, reading the names, looking at the meanings, deciding if I liked the meaninging, if the birth name would go with the new name ect.

Ex husband and I couldn't decide on names, because he had very different ideas for names than I did (much like usamm was mentioning -regional names).
My sons name was Sarath at his referral time. So finally decided on Ravi.

My dd1 came with a name which I didn't at the time think anyone could handle or say, so we chose to give her a totally new name. We named her Lakshmi Selena Rose, although I thought of naming her Priya, or Saraswati or Lekha. I liked all of those. The problem was that my mil was named Venkatalakshma. So we shortened my dd's name, to make it acceptable to the family.

My dd2 came with the name Supriya, so I named her Priya Sarojini Elizabeth.

My girls can call themselves by their middle name if they want to, and my son is stuck with his name. No one has ever given him a hard time, so he is happy with it, and he has his birth name if he wants to be called something else.

I like all the names you shared, and agree with Darshani..let them be proud of their culture and names.

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#24 of 27 Old 12-08-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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I was wondering if it would be considered offensive for a Caucasion mother such as myself, to name a baby Nitara . I saw that earlier in the thread and it just spoke to me... deeply rooted, very beautiful!
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#25 of 27 Old 12-12-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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Soposdedi, I hope not, because I'm not more than a quarter of anything, so whatever I name my kid is going to be basically "stealing" from another culture. Foo, the important thing is that you respect the name and the heritage and come at it with thankfulness for the beautiful culture that produced it. Just my opinion.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#26 of 27 Old 12-12-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by soposdedi View Post
I was wondering if it would be considered offensive for a Caucasion mother such as myself, to name a baby Nitara . I saw that earlier in the thread and it just spoke to me... deeply rooted, very beautiful!
As someone of Indian heritage, I can say that I am always totally flattered when someone takes a bit of my heritage and uses it. Everything from OM tattoos to naming their kids Indian names.

I think boy names are a lot harder than girl names. I have 3 girl names I love, and no ideas at all about boy names.

Mom to a little boy (June 2009)
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#27 of 27 Old 12-12-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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I like all of your names. Girl-name wise, I love Priyanka (but then again I have a good friend who goes by this name) and Amrita best. Boy-wise, Vivek and Vikram are favorites.

Let's see boy names that come to mind that are also easy to pronounce... Brij, Rahul, Pradeep, and Rohin all come to mind. Girls names are almost unlimited... umm... Padma, Indira, Anita, Ambika, Naseen, etc.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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