We haven’t really…

We haven't really started on names yet, but if it's a girl, we'll start with the same list as last time, and then try to expand it some. We're probably going to keep a Tamil first name again. These are the girl names from last time, plus a bunch of boy names I looked at when we first found out I was pregnant. We haven't really discussed these at all yet...

I'm *starring the ones I particularly like today. :-) Imagine all of these with the last name 'Whyte'. And note that I have a slight preference for longer names with easy short forms. Hence Kaviarasi --> Kavya -- > Kavi. Which has been working really well for us.


  • Amara (immortal)
  • Arul (grace) (wonder if we could spell it Aral or Arali, which I like better?)
  • * Dharani (dhar'-a-ni) (daughter of the Earth)
  • Iniya (sweet)
  • Isai (melody)
  • Maina (bird that sings at night)
  • Mayil (peacock)
  • * Mayuri (peacock)
  • * Priyanka (beautiful or lovable act)
  • * Sarala (fluent)
  • Thenmoli (her words are honey)


  • Ahilan (worldly, knowledgable)
  • * Alaiarasan (king of waves)
  • Deepak (lamp / light)
  • * Devan (like a god)
  • Dhiraj (patience / consolation)
  • Giri (mountain)
  • Girish (lord of mountains)
  • Gyan (knowledge)
  • * Harij (the horizon)
  • Hasan (handsome / good / laughter)
  • * Iravan (king of ocean)
  • Jaison (son of victory)
  • Janak (creator)
  • Jaswant (victorious / famous)
  • Javed (immortal / eternal)
  • * Jitendra (lord of conquerors)
  • * Karthik / Kartik (bestowing courage and pleasure)
  • Karunanidhi (kind-hearted)
  • Madhav (sweet like honey / relating to the spring)
  • Mahavir (the most courageous among men)
  • Mahendra (god of the sky)
  • Mahesh (great ruler)
  • Manas (mind)
  • Mani (gem / jewel)
  • * Manish (wise)
  • * Manohar (one who steals the heart)
  • Marut (the wind)
  • Mirza (prince)
  • Mithilesh (a king)
  • Mitra (friend)
  • Murali (flute)
  • Nalin (lotus)
  • * Narendra (king of men)
  • Nataraj (king of dance) (would be funny, since Kavi's name means queen of poetry :-)
  • Nihal (blissful)
  • Niket (home)
  • * Nikhil (complete / whole / entire)
  • Nirav (silent)
  • * Nishith (night)
  • Nitin (new / master of the right path)
  • Ori (charitable king)
  • * Senkadhir (brilliant like a ray of light)
  • Singan (brave like a lion)
  • Sidhan (enlightened)
  • * Thayalan (kind)
More Tamil suggestions welcome, as are comments on the above. :-)

15 thoughts on “We haven’t really…”

  1. I love the name Amara, as I think I said before. For a boy I really like Mani, but this is probably affected by the fact that I have a friend named Mani.

    Is Mahendra a gender neutral name? I know a woman with that name, although I am not sure it is spelled the same.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    David, I’m afraid I don’t know. I just found these through an internet baby name thingie; haven’t passed them by anyone who actually speaks Tamil yet.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    I know, I love that meaning. We came close to using Sarala last time, but I think hesitated because neither of us much likes the American ‘Sara’. I *think* that we could call her sah-ruh for short, and most people would follow suit, but anytime she wrote Sara, she’d have to deal with people pronouncing it the American way. Although it’s not so much longer to just write Sarala if it bugs her, so maybe it wouldn’t be an issue.

  4. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I have some comments about names:
    1. You may already know this  Most of the names on your list are Sanskrit names, not Tamil names ( eg. Jitendra, Harij etc. )

    2. If you want some Tamil name, let me know. I can send you my list.

    3. Kavita ( your characters name in super hero story) is spelled as Kavitha by SL Tamils. Kavita is Indian version. It is a very popular name. I know at least 11 women named Kavitha who are close to my age. All of them with spelling Kavitha . BTW, a story about a Tamil woman with super powers sounds very exciting!


  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thavika, thanks so much for the comments — I just found those names on a supposedly Tamil website, so clearly, I have been misled! I would love a list of Tamil names!!!

    And I will see if I can adjust the spelling of Kavitha for my superhero. 🙂

  6. Mary Anne, I know several Sara(h)s who pronounce it sah-ruh. That’s actually the correct pronunciation in Hebrew, which is the original source (biblical), so there is some weight behind it even for the American name. In the US, it does mean having to correct everyone the first time, but they figure it out pretty quickly. I don’t think it would be a particularly big challenge for a child and I wouldn’t let that hold you back if you like the name otherwise. Also, I’ve found that whenever I travel (or work with folks with other first languages), I often end up with that pronunciation anyway because it’s closer to the way the name is said in most non-English languages. Which is fine with me, and I rather like having a name that works well in so many cultures.

  7. Mahinder can be a woman’s name, particularly if she is Sikh. Some Sikh names are unisex, and are completed by Kaur for women and Singh for men (so Mahinder Kaur would be a woman, but Mahinder Singh would be a man).

    Maryanne, the issue with all the names with a D or T sound is that it’s difficult to get the right consonant in English, where it defaults to a “D as in duck” or “T as in top”. You also need to watch out for names with “shit” in them, especially for a boy – some kids get teased a lot. Though I like Nishith a lot, that might be an issue.

    – Keyan (who went through this process some years ago)

  8. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thavika, I’m looking forward to seeing your list! 🙂

    Sarah, I think you’re right that the pronunciation issue really wouldn’t be that big a deal if we chose Sarala.

    I hadn’t thought of the ‘shit’ issue, Keyan. Interesting! I think for the d and t names, you can add an h, can’t you? Tharani instead of Tarani, and Dharani instead of Darani? Or am I missing something?

  9. Hmm. I’m not sure about Tamil, but Hindi/ Sanskrit has 4 T sounds and 4 D sounds. All of them exist in English (at least approximately) but not usually at the beginning of names, and may not be recognizable as as single consonant. (One approach is simply to say so what and Anglicise it. After all, Charles is pronounced differently in English and French…)

    I’ll e-mail you some more ideas.

  10. Please don’t name her Priyanaka, which will be shortened to Priya. She will be one of a billion Priya’s in her school.

    Priya is the “Jennifer” of South Asian names.

    Just look up Priya on facebook and you will be amazed at the number of Priyas.

    I like Dharani and Manohar!

  11. I prefer the less common names. Anyone can be named Hasan or Deepak. I’m partial to Jaison because my Jason always wished his name was spelled differently. Jaswant is up there on my list as Jas (Jazz) could be the short version and well, we know why I like that name. I like Jitendra. Jit is such a cool name.

    Karunanidhi is my fav because of it’s meaning. Kind hearted. I think your son would be kind-hearted. It is long (your preference) and the short form is Karun or Kar which is cool and easy to say and spell (though everyone will assume Car) and Kavi begins with a K as well.

    My name has always been different and I couldn’t find a keychain or mug this side of the ocean. Perhaps in France. I felt deprived. Do you think there might be a mug or keychain with any of these names in Sri Lanka?

  12. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    I actually did think about the keychain thing, because Mary Anne doesn’t usually show up either, and I was bitter. But I think in this day and age, you can special order them. 🙂 Overall, I really love having an unusual name.

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