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Cambodian name

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Khmer names are names used in, or originating in, Cambodia which usually consist of two elements including a patronymic, which serves as a common family name for siblings, followed by a given name.[1][2] Surname then given name (Eastern name order). An example is famous singer Sin Sisamouth, his surname (last name) is Sin and his given name (first name) is Sisamouth. (In Western sources, the two are sometimes reversed.)[3] Traditionally, the Khmer do not have Western-style family names shared by multiple generations or entire families. Instead, Khmer children use their father's given name as their family name.[4] Other Austroasiatic indigenous people groups within Cambodia have similar naming customs, while the Sino-Khmer and Viet-Khmer may follow Chinese and Vietnamese naming patterns, respectively. Chams in Cambodia may have either Khmer or Cham names or a combination of both. Cham name order is the reverse of the Khmer; the given name is followed by the father's given name.[5]:23

Given names

Generally, women are given names relating to beauty, while men are given names of virtues.[6][7] Some Khmer given names are unisex names.

Surnames

Surnames are usually taken from the surname or the given name of the father[1] and are generally monosyllabic.[8] Khmer surnames are sometimes identical to Chinese or Vietnamese surnames.[8] Women keep their maiden names after marriage.[6]

Origin and meanings

The meanings of Khmer names are generally very simple and reference positive attributes. Cambodian people are called by their given names without a title (informal) or by their given names with a title (formal); the full name, including both family name and given name is often used[2][6] (Surnames are used as a form of address, however, in the case of names that originated as revolutionary aliases).[clarification needed]

Different naming traditions exist among ethnic groups other than the Khmer majority. The Cambodian population is 90% Buddhist and names are often taken from Buddhism. Among the Muslim minority, Arabic names are often used as family names.[1]

Pronunciation

Khmer names are usually pronounced with the stress (emphasis) placed on the last syllable.[9] Khmer uses a glottal stop (the Cockney stop in "ten green bo'les") and other stops: p, t, c and k which may or may not occur with aspiration. In romanizations of Khmer script, aspiration (i.e., a breath sound) is usually marked with an h. Final r, d, g, s, b, and z sounds are not heard: Ngor is pronounced Ngow. Some final consonants are written but not pronounced.[10]

List of some family names

Khmer "family" names are usually simply their father's given name, and as such change with each generation. Other ethnic groups, particularly Chinese-Cambodians and Vietnamese-Cambodians, may have a family name that is taken by each generation, in which case the name is pronounced similarly to the language of origin but within the bounds of Khmer phonology. Below is a list of some common family names,[11] some of which are also found as given names.

Khmer IPA UNGEGN (Transliteration) Revised Origin
កូយ /kouy/ Koy Koy
កឹម /kəm/ Kœ̆m Koem
កែប /kaep/ Kêp Kaep, Kep
កែវ /kaew/ Kêv Kev, Kaev, Keo Second most common Khmer surname, meaning glass or jewel or crystal
កាំង /kaŋ/ Kăng Kang
ខាត់ /kʰat/ Khăt Khat
ខាយ /kʰaːy/ Khay Khay 凱/凯 (triumphant, victorious)
ខៀវ /kʰiəw/ Khiĕv Khiev, Kheav 喬/乔 (Chinese "qiao", Vietnamese "kiều")
ខ្លូត /kʰlout/ Khlot Khlot generic name for melon-like fruit
គ្រី /kriː/ Kri Kri, Kry, Kree
គឹម /kɨm/ Kœ̆m Koem, Kim (Korean "Kim" / Mandarin Chinese "Jin", meaning gold)
គួច /kuəc/ Kuŏch Kuoch
ឃាង /kʰiəŋ/ Khéang Kheang
ឃិន /kʰɨn/ Khĭn Khin Chinese 欽/钦 (respect, admiration)
ឃីម /kʰiːm/ Khim Khim
ចន្ទ /can/ Chăn Chan Sanskrit word canda (चन्द) meaning moon
ចាន់ /can/ Chăn Chan
ចាប /caːp/ Chap Chap means Bird in Khmer
ចេង /ceːŋ/ Chéng Cheng
ចេន /ceːn/ Chén Chen, Jen 陳/陳 (Given only to Cambodians of Chinese descent)
ឆន /cʰɑːn/ Chhân Chhan, Chhon, Chhorn 終/终; whole, complete, entire.
ឆាយ /cʰaːy/ Chhay Chhay
ជា /ciə/ Chéa Chea (Chinese Xie)
ជាម /ciəm/ Chéam Cheam bowl.[12] From Persian جام (jam) meaning "cup". Or could be from Chinese (zhan) meaning "talk too much."
ជិន /cɨn/ Chĭn Chin, Jin
ជី /ciː/ Chi Chi, Chy
ជឹម /cɨm/ Chœ̆m Choem
ជ័យ /cɨj/ Chey Chey, Jey Most popular surname in Cambodia, the Cambodian word "chey" meaning "victory" or "victorious", derived from Sanskrit Jaya (जय)
ឈិត /cʰɨt/ Chhĭt Chhit (odd, unusual)
ឈិន /cʰɨn/ Chhĭn Chhin 陳/陈 (old)
ឈឹម /cʰɨm/ Chhœ̆m Chhoem (respect, admiration)
ញឹក /ɲɨk/ Nhœ̆k Nhoek abbreviation of 涅槃 (Nirvana)
ដួង /ɗuəŋ/ Duŏng Duong beloved, dear, darling
ឌិត /ɗɨt/ Dĭt Dit, Dith ḍita from Sanskrit Paṇḍita (पण्डित) meaning wise man or scholar; or Chinese ("Di")
ឌិន /ɗɨn/ Dĭn Din from ḍina (डिन) in Pali meaning flight
ឌី /ɗiː/ Di Di, Dy, Dee
ឌុល /ɗul/ Dŭl Dul from ḍula (डुल) in Pali meaning earring or tremble
ឌួង /ɗuəŋ/ Duŏng Duong Chinese 東/东 (east)
តក់ /tɑk/ Ták Tak Droplets of water
តាង /taːŋ/ Tang Tang
តាត /taːt/ Tat Tat, Tath 達/达 (attain)
តូច /touc/ Toch Toch, Touch Small or Tiny
តាំង /taŋ/ Tăng Tang Possibly from Chinese meaning "bench" or "chair".[12]
ថន /tʰɑːn/ Thân Than, Thon
ថៃ /tʰaj/ Thai Thai
ទាវ /tiəw/ Téav Teav
ទី /tiː/ Ti Ti, Ty, Tee
ទុំ /tum/ Tŭm Tum
ទ្រី /triː/ Tri Tri, Try
ទេព /teːp/ Tép Tep from Deva (देव), Sanskrit for god or divine
ធី /tʰiː/ Thi Thi, Thy,
នី /niː/ Ni Ni, Ny,
ប្រាក់ /prak/ Prăk Prak Khmer for silver
ប៉ាង /paːŋ/ Pang Pang 龐/庞 (vast)
ប៉ុក /pok/ Pŏk Pok (Bo)
ប៊ុន /bun/ Bŭn Bun (the four winds, from Vietnamese bốn). Or from
ប៉ែន /paen/ Pên Pen, Paen 賓/宾 (guest/visitor)
ផាន /pʰaːn/ Phan Phan (to overflow; be abundant)
ពិជ /pɨc/ Pĭch Pich,
ពេជ្រ /peːc/ Péch Pech Khmer word for diamonds
ភី /pʰiː/ Phi Phi, Phy guardian, one of great importance
មា /maː/ Ma Ma ม้า (Thai version of Chinese "Ma")
មាន /miən/ Méan Mean rich or wealthy; or 緬/缅 (nostalgic, distant)
មាស /miəh/ Méas Meas Khmer word for gold
មួយ /muəy/ Muŏy Muoy means one
មូល /muːl/ Mul Mul, Moul round
មេង /meːŋ/ Méng Meng (Chinese "Meng"). Or from meaning "bright"
ម៉ៅ /maw/ Mau Mau, Mao (Chinese "Mao"), locals argue that it came from a spoken form of the Khmer word black or kmav (ខ្មៅ).
However this word is reconstructed from Proto-Austro-Asiatic as *kVm and thus is unlikely to be so.
យស់ /yuh/ Yós Yos, Yoh
យុន /yun/ Yŭn Yun (Chinese "Yun")
យូ /yuː/ Yu Yu, You (Chinese "Yu")
រស់ /rʊəh/ Ruŏs Ruos, Ruoh, Ros to live
រួយ /rʊəj/ Ruŏy Ruoy
លន់ /lun/ Lón Lon
លិម /lim/ Lĭm Lim, Lym (Chinese "Lin", meaning forest)
លី /liː/ Li Li, Ly, Lee
លីវ /liːw/ Liv Liv
លីម /liːm/ Lim Lim
វ៉ាង /ʋaːŋ/ Vang Vang
វង្ស /ʋuŋ/ Vóng Vong Circle, line of descent. Derived from the Sanskrit word vansha (वंश) meaning lineage.
/sɑː/ Sa, Sar, Sor White
សង /sɑːŋ/ Sâng Sang, Song Payback
សន /sɑːn/ Sân San, Sorn
ស៊ន /sɔːn/ Sôn Son, Sorn
សម /sɑm/ Sám Sam, Som
សរ /sɑːØ/ Sa, Sar, Sor
សាង /saːŋ/ Sang Sang (Variation of Chinese "Chang")
សាត /saːt/ Sat Sat
សាន /saːn/ San San
សាន់ /san/ Săn San
សាយ /saːj/ Say Say
សិន /sən/ Sĕn Sen, Sin 森; (Forest)
សឺន /səɨn/ Sœn Soen, Seun, Son
សុខ /sok/ Sŏk Sok the most common Khmer surname, from Sanskrit sukha (सुख) meaning joy or happiness
សុង /soŋ/ Sŏng Song
សុន /son/ Sŏn Son
ស៊ុន /sun/ Sŭn Sun
ស៊ុយ /suj/ Sŭy Suy (Sui Dynasty)
សូ /soː/ So So 蘇/苏 (Chinese "Sū")
ស៊ូ /suː/ Su Su 蘇/苏 (Chinese "Sū")
សួន /suən/ Suŏn Suon Garden
សឿង /sɨəŋ/ Sœăng Soeang
សៀង /siəŋ/ Siĕng Sieng, Seang Soy or Shang (From Shang Hai City)
សេង /seːŋ/ Séng Seng (Variation of Chinese "Chang"). Or from Chinese (seng) meaning "to multiply".[12] Or meaning "to succeed"
សេន seːn Sén Sen Cent
សោម /saom/ Saôm Saom, Som from Sanskrit soma (सोम) meaning moon or sky
សៅ /saw/ Sau Sau, Sao
ហាក់ /hak/ Hăk Hak
ហុង /hoŋ/ Hŏng Hong from Chinese "Hong" meaning water or flood listed 184th among the Song-era Hundred Family Surnames
ហ៊ុន /hun/ Hŭn Hun money investment, share (of stocks)[12] Possibly from ("Hun" in Hokkien) meaning "share, portion." Or from meaning "fragrance"
ហូ /hou/ Ho Ho (Chinese "Hu")
ហេង /heːŋ/ Héng Heng
ឡាយ /laːj/ Lay Lay 來/来 (Chinese "Lai", meaning Come)
ឡុង /loŋ/ Lŏng Long 龍/龙 (Chinese "Long", meaning dragon)
អាង /ʔaːŋ/ Ang Ang 吳/吴 (Cantonese variation of surname "Wu")
អិម /ʔim/ Ĕm Em, Im, Yim (Hakka Chinese 'jim5')
អុង /ʔoŋ/ Ŏng Ong (Chinese "Wang" (pronounced Ong in Hokkien dialect), meaning king)
អ៊ុច /ʔuc/ Ŭch Uch To Light
អ៊ុយ /ʔuj/ Ŭy Uy
អៀម /ʔiəm/ Iĕm Iem, Eam, Iam
អៀវ /ʔiew/ Iĕv Iev, Eav, Eaw 楊 (Chinese "Yang")
អ៊ុំ /ʔum/ Ŭm Um Aunt (A parent's older brother or sister)
ឯក /ʔaek/ Êk Ek, Aek Self, Single; from Sanskrit eka (एक)
/ʔaːo/ Ao, Or
ឱក /ʔaːok/ Aok 玉 (Jade)
ឱម /ʔaːom/ Aôm Aom, Om 嚴/严 (Chinese "Yan")

List of given names

Unlike Khmer family names, given names may have multiple syllables and differ greatly. Given names were influenced greatly by Sanskrit.

Khmer IPA UNGEGN Revised Origin
បទុម /ɓɔtum/ Bôtŭm Botum means lotus
ចន្ថា /cɑntʰaː/ Chăntha Chantha
ជា /ciə/ Chéa Chea good health
ជាតា /ciətaː/ Chéata Cheata (chea-tah) meaning birth, nation, origin
ឆេង /cʰeːŋ/ Chhéng Chheng 鄭/郑 (Variation of Chinese "Zheng")
ឈៀង /cʰiəŋ/ Chhiĕng Chhieng (Chinese "Chang")
តា /ɗaː/ Da Da (Similar to Chinese "Da" but not related; Khmer meaning for "elder man")
តារា /ɗaːraː/ Dara Dara Sanskrit, meaning star
ឡេង /leːŋ/ Léng Leng (Chinese "Liang")
ណារ៉ុង /naːroŋ/ Narŏng Narong
និមល /nimul/ Nĭmól Nimol Which is without doubt, without blemish, always happy
ភួង /pʰuəŋ/ Phuŏng Phuong (poong) name of a kind of flower
សារឿន /saːrɨən/ Sarœăn Saroean, Saroeun
ស្រី /srəj/ Srei Srei, Srey means girl; from the Sanskrit strī́ [स्त्री]
សន /sɑn/ Sân San, Son, Sorn (sawn): 孫/孙 (Variation of Chinese "Sun")
បុប្ផា /ɓopʰaː/ Bŏpha Bopha (bo-pha): Meaning flower or blossom
បុរី /ɓorəj/ Bŏrei Borei, Borey
ចិន្ដា /cənɗaː/ Chĕnda Chenda (chen-dah): Meaning heart or mind
ឈួន /cʰuən/ Chhuŏn Chhuon (choo-en)
ខាន់ /kʰan/ Khăn Khan (kahn)
កុសល /kosɑl/ Kŏsál Kosal (ko-sahl): Meaning good deed
គុន្ធា /kuntʰiə/ Kŭnthéa Kunthea (kun-thea): Means "sweet-smelling" or "good deed"
ឡាយ /laːj/ Lay Lay (lah-ee): 賴/赖 (Chinese "Lai")
លំអង /lumˈɑŋ/ Lum-âng Lum-ang, Lum Ang (loom-ang): 倫/伦 (Variations of Chinese "Lun" and "Wu")
ម៉ាលី /maːliː/ Mali Mali, Maly (mahlee)
ម៉ី /məj/ Mei Mei, Mey (mae) "妹" (Chinese "mèi" meaning "youngest" sister or "little" sister)
ម៉ាប់ /map/ Măp Map (mahp): Mập ("Fat" or "Chubby")
ណារី /naːriː/ Nari Nari, Nary
បញ្ញា /paɲˈɲaː/ Pănha Panha, Pagna meaning "smart", "intelligent"
ពិសិដ្ឋ /pisɨt/ Pĭsĕt Piset, Piseth
ផល្លា /pʰɑllaː/ Phálla Phalla (pah-lah): Meaning fruit (फल्ला) in Pali
ភារៈ /pʰiərĕəʔ/ Phéareăk Pheareak (phi-raek)
ភិរុណ /pʰirun/ Phĭrŭn Phirun (phi-run): Means "rain" in Khmer, from the name of a rain god in the mythologies of southeast Asia. The god's name is possibly derived from Varuna.
ពៅ /pɨw/ Pŏu Pou, Pov (pohew): youngest (sibling)
រស្មី /rĕəʔsməj/ Reăksmei Reaksmei, Reaksmey
រិទ្ធិ /rɨt/ Rĭt Rit, Rith (rit) meaning power
រី /riː/ Ri Ri, Ry (ree)
សម្បត្តិ /sɑmˈɓat/ Sámbăt Sambat, Sambath
សម្ផស្ស /sɑmˈpʰŏəh/ Sámphoăs Samphoas, Samphors meaning "beauty"
សំណាង /sɑmˈnaːŋ/ Sâmnang Samnang luck
សារិទ្ធ /saːrɨt/ Sarĭt Sarit, Sarith (sahrit)
សុខា /sokʰaː/ Sŏkha Sokha
សុធា /sotʰiə/ Sŏthéa Sothea
សុផល /sopʰɑl/ Sŏphál Sophal (sohpahl): (More popular Khmer names)
សុផាត /sopʰɑt/ Sŏphát Sophat
សុភា /sopʰiə/ Sŏphéa Sophea (so-pia): Means "wisdom"
សុភាព /sopʰiəp/ Sŏphéap Sopheap (so-piap): Means "gentle or proper"
សួន /suən/ Suŏn Suon (soo-in): meaning garden
ទី /tiː/ Ti Ti, Ty
វណ្ណា /ʋannaː/ Vănna Vanna (van-nah): gold, golden, from Sanskrit varṇa (वर्ण)
វាសនា /ʋiəˈsnaː/ Véasna Veasna (vea-snah): Means opportunity, good fortune, or fate.
វិបុល /ʋibo/ Vĭbŏl Vibol (vee-bol): Means abundant, large, vast
វុឌ្ឍី /ʋuttʰiː/ Vutthi Vuthi, Vuthy (voo-tee): meaning prosperity. Derived from the Pali word vuddhi (वुद्धि) of the same meaning.[12]

Compound names

At times, many families combine shorter names to create a longer name. This happens often among the wealthier class of Cambodians.

  • Sovanna (Combined "So" and "Vanna") means gold in Sanskrit
  • Somally (Combined "So" and "Maly")
  • Chandarith (Combined "Chanda" and "Rith")

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Naming systems of the world" Archived 2008-04-23 at the Wayback Machine (self-published). Citing Huffman, Franklin Eugene. Cambodian names and titles. Institute of Far Eastern Languages, Yale University (1968). OCLC 20035170.
  2. ^ a b Short, Philip. Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare. Macmillan (2006), p xv. ISBN 0-8050-8006-6.
  3. ^ Kershaw, Roger. Monarchy in South-East Asia: The Faces of Tradition in Transition. Routledge (2001), p xiv. ISBN 0-415-18531-9.
  4. ^ Huy, Vannak (2003). THE KHMER ROUGE DIVISION 703: From Victory to Self-destruction. Phnom Penh: Documentation Center of Cambodia. pp. 6 (note 1). CiteSeerX 10.1.1.139.6706.
  5. ^ Ueki, Kaori (2011). "PROSODY AND INTONATION OF WESTERN CHAM" (PDF). University of Hawaii. Retrieved 20 November 2017. Cite journal requires |journal=
  6. ^ a b c Valerie Ooka Pang & Li-Rong Lilly Cheng. Struggling to Be Heard: The Unmet Needs of Asian Pacific American Children. SUNY Press (1998), p51. ISBN 0-7914-3839-2.
  7. ^ Asian American Community Mental Health Training Center. Bridging Cultures: Southeast Asian Refugees in America. University of Michigan (1983), p98. OCLC 10431338.
  8. ^ a b Mary Fong & Rueyling Chuang. Communicating Ethnic and Cultural Identity. Rowman & Littlefield (2003), p40. ISBN 0-7425-1739-X.
  9. ^ Khmer Institute
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2011-06-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "What Language Does He Speak? Asian Last Name Guide" (PDF).
  12. ^ a b c d e Headley, Robert K. "SEAlang Library Khmer", SEAlang Library, 05/14/2018

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