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(27 Posts)
claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 11:47:17

Hi I'm half sri lankan and my boyfriend is quarter polish. We are looking for sri-lankan or polish names and whilst we have been given a few ideas, I'm trying to find good internet resources but am struggling.

I don't suppose anyone has any ideas - sorry a bit trivial, but I can't stand english baby names and am due in a couple of weeks.

savoycabbage Thu 14-Aug-08 11:48:23

You can't stand English baby names hmm

belgo Thu 14-Aug-08 11:49:21

'I can't stand english baby names'

that's not really going to encourage people to help!

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 11:57:04

ok, apologies first of all! My name is english as is my boyfriends, to put it in context, I guess I'm just surprised that in all the baby name threads all the names suggested tend to be the same i.e all felix, edie, sam, charlie, harry, etc etc and I suppose I'm just getting sick of seeing the same old names over and over again.

No offence intended, I've just been through so many baby books and feel like I'm losing my mind, could only find one asian baby name book (didn't buy the others but bought this one), but it's hard to get info when you are mixed race as most of mine and my boyfriends family are dead.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 12:11:32

why so? My brothers both have sri lankan names,

ChopsTheDuck Thu 14-Aug-08 12:18:04

there are lots here

I'd personally stay away from sri lanken names as they tend to be so hard for westerners to pronounce, and the poor child ends up with a name that is constantly misprounced. A lot of Indian people end up with anglicised names because they jsut get fed up with explaining.

My dts are mixed race and have Hindu names but we did consider how they were going to be said in a western accent and how easy they were to pronounce.

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 12:27:19

Thanks very much for that ChopsThe Duck, I'll check it out
- obviously having to spell my last name every time all my life, I am aware of these facts!

Personally I prefer one or two syllable names anyway, and not all asian names are hard to pronounce. I have to say I assumed posting on the multi-cultural families board might not elicit the responses I've had - I haven't felt bad about having a non english surname name since being at school (which in the early 80's was very racist) and didn't think I would be discouraged from referring to my child's heritage on this board.

Also whilst I would be sensible, I wouldn't choose a name to suit a very narrow minded cultural mentality that is skewed towards making pronunciation easier for english people. I'm still not sure what the mildmanneredjanitor is insinuating!

I think asian and other communities in england might be slightly offended if the implication is that their names are 'difficult' - I know I am!

MKG Thu 14-Aug-08 12:59:12

I have bi-racial, bi-cultural, bi-lingual family and it is a delicate balance to find names that reflect the culture of both sides of the family.

We went with first names in dh's language and middle names in mine, but all of the first names have to be easily pronounced in both.

savoycabbage Thu 14-Aug-08 13:03:47

Don't you think that it is racist to say 'I can't stand English baby names' It's certainly quite rude.

My children are as mixed race as yours but posting on the multicultural board does not mean you can have a pop at English people.

I had this baby name book here which had lots of more multi cultural names in it and lists of names from lots of different countries. I have lent it to someone though so I can't check to for you.

Dragonbutter Thu 14-Aug-08 13:04:55

baby names around the world
if you search on amazon for 'world baby names' there are a few books that might be useful.

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 13:23:27

Thanks Dragonbutter.

savoycabbage - when I said 'I can't stand english baby names' I accept that this does appear rude and have apologised for that, however I am stating what my personal preferences are for the way names sound, I do actually have some english baby name ideas... I don't feel it's racist, and yet I am really quite shocked that no one feels

'is your child going to be brought up in england? if so think very carefully before giving the child a polish or indian name'

is racist and I feel really uncomfortable that no one has challenged that - making me feel that I've just been responded to from white british perspective - maybe I am being judgmental though, are there any mixed race mums here?

As an individual who has had to put up with some really racist attitudes I wouldn't want to make racist comments, and I'm really sorry if you feel I have been racist towards english people. I'm define myself as english primarily and think my own name is very dull and have had conversations with my english partner about english names that he likes that I have said 'I can't stand', he hasn't been offended by it...

I guess I was wondering where the diversity was on mumsnet (all the names suggested tend to be traditional english names) and then I found this board, so was hoping to get some alternative perspectives..

Incidentally my dad anglicised his name when he first came to the UK in the 60's, but changed it back when attitudes changed. His name was not difficult to pronounce in the first place but obviously at the time the emphasis was on assimilation rather than diversity.

I was terribly ashamed of my surname as a child and love it now! Thank god I didn't change it when I was a teenager (as I had sadly considered doing).

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 13:25:02

and thanks savoycabbage for link

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dragonbutter Thu 14-Aug-08 14:03:32

claremu, i am envy that you have the opportunity to use names other than traditional english names without sounding like you're trying too hard to be different.

I have a few japanese friends and I love the sounds and meanings of a lot of japanese names, but felt that if i was to use these names i really should have a direct link with their countries of origin.
For you, it's also an opportunity to give your children names which show that you are proud of their polish/sri lankan links.

Like you, i wanted to give our DS1 a traditional scottish name with the proper gaelic spelling because that is my background.
For DS2 i wasn't so bothered with the scottish thing and gave him a 'nature' name.

I also grew up with a scottish surname that was fairly unusual and had to be spelled out constantly. Didn't bother me in the slightest.

I'd love to hear what you have in mind. Is it possible to have a name that is used in both sri lanka and poland? hmm or will you give two names? who's country gets priority?

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 14:40:32

Hi Dragonbutter - I really value your point of view, and I agree, like you I also love some japanese names but would not personally want to name my child with a name that they don't have a cultural link to.

My boyfriends grandfather is polish and he is very close to him and we are considering his name if it's a boy, which is Kazimierz (he is known as 'Kazik' pronounced 'kashick') His gran also suggested some including Kaspar, which I also like but can't help thinking of the cartoon ghost.

Also his uncle who died is Stefan, which I like, but not sure if it's too boring for me!

If it's a girl we thought about Leila after his other gran, but I'm not sure as I love Leila but his gran was pronounced Leela and as I have a couple of friends called Leila, I always thought pronouncing it Leela was wrong..also his gran had no middle eastern heritage so not sure what iI think about it.

In terms of sri lankan names I am struggling - I liked the hindu name Priya for a girl (but we have gone off it) and Ravi for a boy, but haven't found any others that I like so far.

There was a name that his gran suggested for a boy which was polish and was something like Kamil - which is more of a cross over name as there is a sri lankan Kamal, but again not sure at mo..

I don't personally like names to be shortened, which is why I've wanted to generally stick to one or two syllables, unless I find a name that I like in it's shortened version.

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 14:46:57


As I said my surname has been mispronounced all my life - I have to spell it every time I say it to someone who needs to write it down and have to correct pronunciation about 60-70% of the time. However I don't mind anymore as it's second nature and I appreciate it's a hard name to spell/ pronounce, so I'm appreciative when people get it right first time.

I struggle to pronounce unusual names from different countries sometimes, so I know what it's like on the other side, but it isn't a 'problem' for me.

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 14:54:05

dragonbutter, baby will have partners name as he has no siblings and I have a niece and a nephew who already have my surname, so wanted his name instead. I don't have strong views about priority of country, more about seeing what names appeal to us, so letting the names guide us, rather than rules...
but we're both agreed that polish or sri-lankan names would mean something to us both. I don't have a middle name and never saw the point in them but maybe this baby could have one, so one from each country...

Glad to hear that people mispronouncing your name didn't bother you!

Dragonbutter Thu 14-Aug-08 16:52:30

I like kamil and kamal.
I love the sounds and spookily similar to my eldests name, Calum.
I think that there's a name kemal too, but it may have persian origins i'm not sure.
Kamil however could sound feminine as in Camille, but not necessarily.

How much time do you have left to decide?
Does the name need to go with another siblings?

claremu Thu 14-Aug-08 17:07:38

no, this is our first. I'm 38 weeks on saturday!
My partner also had concern that Kamil sounds feminine, but doesn't bother me. Thanks for your advice!

Dragonbutter Thu 14-Aug-08 17:09:11

well congratulations. and update us on what you decide. smile

WelliesAndPyjamas Thu 14-Aug-08 17:10:51

My name was chosen by my parents for its apparent simplicity (i.e. making it easier for family in a couple of countries to pronounce) however I have spent my life correcting people in many different countries.

Welsh names get mispronounced a lot, even in Wales.

My DS' name was chosen both because we really liked it and because it was a family name. Now we live in a country where your name is indicative of your religion and we have sometimes had to clarify to the less religiously-tolerant around us that his name is simply a name that we like and not some big statement.

Seems to me no-one can win with a more unsual sounding name. Just go with what you like.

madness Thu 14-Aug-08 17:23:54

Make it Laila

CoteDAzur Thu 14-Aug-08 17:35:39

"Don't you think that it is racist to say 'I can't stand English baby names'"

No, it's not racist, actually. Just like "I can't stand English tea" would not be racist. If she said "I can't stand the English", that would be racist.

I think what she means is that she would like to find a name for her child that reflects the Sri Lankan and Polish heritages. She doesn't like her (English) name, and isn't charmed by English names for this reason.

CoteDAzur Thu 14-Aug-08 17:38:43

claremu - Are you Googling for names in English? That might be why you are not getting anywhere looking for Sri Lankan and Polish names.

If neither of you speak these languages, can you ask a member of the family to Google names? My experience is that this search is much easier when done in native language.

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