Choosing your child’s name is one of those things that can feel quite intimidating at first. You know that the name you give them will become a central part of their identity for the rest of their lives, so the last thing you want is to mess it up.
Some people have a special name picked out years before the baby is even conceived. Others wait till right when they hold the baby to name them. Either way, there are a number of things you have to consider as you think about your baby’s name. These shall be explored here.
There are certain popular names in Malaysia that parents go to year after year. For example, Mohamed is pretty popular with boys and Nor is pretty popular with girls. However, Malaysian parents like to mix things up a bit by going with a unique second name that does not sound traditional or Muslim. For example, name formats like Mohamed Aiden and Nor Olivia are not uncommon.
Names from various cultures around the world are also quite popular in Malaysia. These often feature as either first or second names. Daniel, Ethan, Hannah, Sarah, and so on are names that are used by every ethnic community in the country.
Naming conventions in Malaysia will generally differ depending on the parents’ ethnicity. The chosen names will, therefore, also indicate whether a person is Malay, Chinese-Malaysian, or Indian-Malaysian.
Malaysian names are usually structured with the first name followed by a second name, separated by a patronym before the father’s last name. Chinese-Malaysian names follow Chinese naming conventions, where the surname comes before the given names, which can either be one or two names. Finally, Indian-Malaysian names follow Indian naming conventions, which often do not include surnames.
Today, popular names for babies in Malaysia can be split into three groups: modern-sounding names that, while not uncommon, are still quite new (Hadif, Nadia, Maya); traditionally popular names (Maryam, Hassan, Harun); and, unique uncommon names that are derived from various cultures around the world (Arya, Farrell, Elroy).
How to choose your baby’s name
Whatever style you choose to go for, there are a few things that you need to think about as you choose your baby’s name:
- Does it sound right? You want to sound out your baby’s name and make sure it rolls easily off the tongue. Make sure you do not use a name combination that will get your little one teased by other kids.
- Shorter names are better. This will come in handy in the future when your child has to fill out forms and applications.
- What about the nicknames? Think about what the short version of the name is because whether you like it or not, they are going to pick up nicknames in future
- Think about the initials. Make sure that the combination of initials does not spell out something unfortunate
- Be original. There is nothing wrong with using uncommon names. In fact, they have become quite popular in recent years!
- Choose a name that has a meaning that is close to your heart
- If you want to be original, find out what the most popular names are then try to choose something else. No need for your little one to end up with the same name as 5 other kids in class!
In the end, do not be afraid to throw out the rulebook altogether and just name your child something that feels right to you and just fits. Think of naming your child as an art, not a science. There’s nothing exact to it!