Cambodian name

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Cambodian 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 (i.e. following the Eastern name order).[1][2] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Khmer names are usually pronounced with the stress (emphasis) placed on the last syllable.[9] Khmer uses a glottal stop (the brief stop in uh-oh) 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[edit]

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 Common spellings Origin
កូយ /kouy/ Koy Koy
កឹម /kəm/ Kœ̆m Koem
កែប /kaep/ Kêb 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/ Chab 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, 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, Thorn
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, Sath
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

"Sun"

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  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= (help)
  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 Headley, Robert K. "SEAlang Library Khmer", SEAlang Library, 05/14/2018