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 (i.e. following the Eastern name order).[1][2] An example is singer Sinn Sisamouth, his surname (last name) is Sinn and his given name (first name) is Sisamouth (in Western sources, the two are sometimes reversed).[3]

The use of surnames in Cambodia is relatively recent and was not mandated by law until imposed by the French in 1910.[4] Surnames are typically derived from the father's given name.[5]

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.[6]: 23 

Given names

Generally, women are given names relating to beauty, while men are given names of virtues.[7][8] Some Khmer given names are unisex names.

Surnames

Historically, Khmer practiced cognatic kinship and reckoned descent bilaterally, and surnames were not used to trace descent. Surnames became mandatory only by legal decree during the French colonial era in 1910, but was rarely used outside of legal and administrative matters. After the passage of the law, parents often gave their children the father, grandfather or great-grandfather's given name as a surname. Some Khmer may also have surnames from the mother or two given names with one used as a surname. This heterogeneous naming practice continued into the 1970s and 1980s.[9][10] When they were used, they were usually taken from the father's given name and are generally monosyllabic.[11] Khmer surnames are sometimes identical to Chinese or Vietnamese surnames.[11] Women keep their maiden names after marriage.[7]

Origin and meanings

The earliest attested names among Khmer either have indigenous origins or were drawn from Sanskrit. The use of Sanskrit and Indic words as names continues to the present.[9]

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][7] (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.[12] 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.[13]

List of some family names

Although historically, surnames were chosen from the father, grandfather, or great-grandfather's given name, in modern practice, surnames are now usually transmitted from father to children. 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,[14] some of which are also found as given names.

Khmer IPA UNGEGN Common spellings
កូយ /kouy/ Koy Koy
កឹម /kəm/ Kœ̆m Koem
កែប /kaep/ Kêb Kaep, Kep
កែវ /kaew/ Kêv Kev, Kaev, Keo
កាំង /kaŋ/ Kăng Kang
ខាត់ /kʰat/ Khăt Khat
ខាយ /kʰaːy/ Khay Khay
ខៀវ /kʰiəw/ Khiĕv Khiev, Kheav
ខ្លូត /kʰlout/ Khlot Khlot
គ្រី /kriː/ Kri Kri, Kry, Kree
គឹម /kɨm/ Kœ̆m Koem, Kim
គួច /kuəc/ Kuŏch Kuoch
ឃាង /kʰiəŋ/ Khéang Kheang
ឃិន /kʰɨn/ Khĭn Khin
ឃីម /kʰiːm/ Khim Khim
ចន្ទ /can/ Chăn Chan
ចាន់ /can/ Chăn Chan
ចាប /caːp/ Chab Chap
ចេង /ceːŋ/ Chéng Cheng
ចេន /ceːn/ Chén Chen, Jen
ឆន /cʰɑːn/ Chhân Chhan, Chhorn
ឆាយ /cʰaːy/ Chhay Chhay
ជា /ciə/ Chéa Chea
ជាម /ciəm/ Chéam Cheam
ជិន /cɨn/ Chĭn Chin, Jin
ជី /ciː/ Chi Chi, Chy
ជឹម /cɨm/ Chœ̆m Choem
ជ័យ /cɨj/ Chey Chey, Jey
ឈិត /cʰɨt/ Chhĭt Chhit
ឈិន /cʰɨn/ Chhĭn Chhin
ឈឹម /cʰɨm/ Chhœ̆m Chhoem
ញឹក /ɲɨk/ Nhœ̆k Nhoek
ដួង /ɗuəŋ/ Duŏng Duong
ឌិត /ɗɨt/ Dĭt Dit, Dith
ឌិន /ɗɨn/ Dĭn Din
ឌី /ɗiː/ Di Di, Dy, Dee
ឌុល /ɗul/ Dŭl Dul
ឌួង /ɗuəŋ/ Duŏng Duong
តក់ /tɑk/ Ták Tak
តាង /taːŋ/ Tang Tang
តាត /taːt/ Tat Tat, Tath
តូច /touc/ Toch Toch, Touch
តាំង /taŋ/ Tăng Tang
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
ធី /tʰiː/ Thi Thi, Thy,
នី /niː/ Ni Ni, Ny,
ប្រាក់ /prak/ Prăk Prak
ប៉ាង /paːŋ/ Pang Pang
ប៉ុក /pok/ Pŏk Pok
ប៊ុន /bun/ Bŭn Bun
ប៉ែន /paen/ Pên Pen, Paen
ផាន /pʰaːn/ Phan Phan
ពិជ /pɨc/ Pĭch Pich
ពេជ្រ /peːc/ Péch Pech
ភី /pʰiː/ Phi Phi, Phy
មា /maː/ Ma Ma
មាន /miən/ Méan Mean
មាស /miəh/ Méas Meas
មួយ /muəy/ Muŏy Muoy
មូល /muːl/ Mul Mul, Moul
មេង /meːŋ/ Méng Meng
ម៉ៅ /maw/ Mau Mau, Mao
យស់ /yuh/ Yós Yos, Yoh
យុន /yun/ Yŭn Yun
យូ /yuː/ Yu Yu, You
រស់ /rʊəh/ Ruŏs Ruos, Ruoh, Ros
រួយ /rʊəj/ Ruŏy Ruoy
លន់ /lun/ Lón Lon
លិម /lim/ Lĭm Lim, Lym
លី /liː/ Li Li, Ly, Lee
លីវ /liːw/ Liv Liv
លីម /liːm/ Lim Lim
វ៉ាង /ʋaːŋ/ Vang Vang
វង្ស /ʋuŋ/ Vóng Vong
/sɑː/ Sa, Sar, Sor
សង /sɑːŋ/ Sâng Sang, Song
សន /sɑːn/ Sân San, Sorn
ស៊ន /sɔːn/ Sôn Son, Sorn
សម /sɑm/ Sám Sam, Som
សរ /sɑːØ/ Sa, Sar, Sor
សាង /saːŋ/ Sang Sang
សាត /saːt/ Sat Sat, Sath
សាន /saːn/ San San
សាន់ /san/ Săn San
សាយ /saːj/ Say Say
សិន /sən/ Sĕn Sen, Sin
សឺន /səɨn/ Sœn Soen, Seun, Son
សុខ /sok/ Sŏk Sok
សុង /soŋ/ Sŏng Song
សុន /son/ Sŏn Son
ស៊ុន /sun/ Sŭn Sun
ស៊ុយ /suj/ Sŭy Suy
សូ /soː/ So So
ស៊ូ /suː/ Su Su
សួន /suən/ Suŏn Suon
សឿង /sɨəŋ/ Sœăng Soeang
សៀង /siəŋ/ Siĕng Sieng, Seang
សេង /seːŋ/ Séng Seng
សេន seːn Sén Sen
សោម /saom/ Saôm Saom, Som
សៅ /saw/ Sau Sau, Sao
ហាក់ /hak/ Hăk Hak
ហុង /hoŋ/ Hŏng Hong
ហ៊ុន /hun/ Hŭn Hun
ហូ /hou/ Ho Ho
ហេង /heːŋ/ Héng Heng
ឡាយ /laːj/ Lay Lay
ឡុង /loŋ/ Lŏng Long
អាង /ʔaːŋ/ Ang Ang
អិម /ʔim/ Ĕm Em, Im, Yim
អុង /ʔoŋ/ Ŏng Ong
អ៊ុច /ʔuc/ Ŭch Uch
អ៊ុយ /ʔuj/ Ŭy Uy
អៀម /ʔiəm/ Iĕm Iem, Eam, Iam
អៀវ /ʔiew/ Iĕv Iev, Eav, Eaw
អ៊ុំ /ʔum/ Ŭm Um
ឯក /ʔaek/ Êk Ek, Aek
/ʔaːo/ Ao, Or
ឱក /ʔaːok/ Aok
ឱម /ʔaːom/ Aôm Aom, Om

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
បទុម /ɓɔtum/ Bôtŭm Botum
ចន្ថា /cɑntʰaː/ Chăntha Chantha
ជា /ciə/ Chéa Chea
ជាតា /ciətaː/ Chéata Cheata
ឆេង /cʰeːŋ/ Chhéng Chheng
ឈៀង /cʰiəŋ/ Chhiĕng Chhieng
តា /ɗaː/ Da Da
តារា /ɗaːraː/ Dara Dara
ឡេង /leːŋ/ Léng Leng
ណារ៉ុង /naːroŋ/ Narŏng Narong
និមល /nimul/ Nĭmól Nimol
ភួង /pʰuəŋ/ Phuŏng Phuong
សារឿន /saːrɨən/ Sarœăn Saroean, Saroeun
ស្រី /srəj/ Srei Srei, Srey
សន /sɑn/ Sân San, Son, Sorn
បុប្ផា /ɓopʰaː/ Bŏpha Bopha
បុរី /ɓorəj/ Bŏrei Borei, Borey
ចិន្ដា /cənɗaː/ Chĕnda Chenda
ឈួន /cʰuən/ Chhuŏn Chhuon
ខាន់ /kʰan/ Khăn Khan
កុសល /kosɑl/ Kŏsál Kosal
គុន្ធា /kuntʰiə/ Kŭnthéa Kunthea
ឡាយ /laːj/ Lay Lay
លំអង /lumˈɑŋ/ Lum-âng Lum-ang, Lum Ang
ម៉ាលី /maːliː/ Mali Mali, Maly
ម៉ី /məj/ Mei Mei, Mey
ម៉ាប់ /map/ Măp Map
ណារី /naːriː/ Nari Nari, Nary
បញ្ញា /paɲˈɲaː/ Pănha Panha, Pagna
ពិសិដ្ឋ /pisɨt/ Pĭsĕt Piset, Piseth
ផល្លា /pʰɑllaː/ Phálla Phalla
ភារៈ /pʰiərĕəʔ/ Phéareăk Pheareak
ភិរុណ /pʰirun/ Phĭrŭn Phirun
ពៅ /pɨw/ Pŏu Pou, Pov
រស្មី /rĕəʔsməj/ Reăksmei Reaksmei, Reaksmey
រិទ្ធិ /rɨt/ Rĭt Rit, Rith
រី /riː/ Ri Ri, Ry
សម្បត្តិ /sɑmˈɓat/ Sámbăt Sambat, Sambath
សម្ផស្ស /sɑmˈpʰŏəh/ Sámphoăs Samphoas, Samphors
សំណាង /sɑmˈnaːŋ/ Sâmnang Samnang
សារិទ្ធ /saːrɨt/ Sarĭt Sarit, Sarith
សុខា /sokʰaː/ Sŏkha Sokha
សុធា /sotʰiə/ Sŏthéa Sothea
សុផល /sopʰɑl/ Sŏphál Sophal
សុផាត /sopʰɑt/ Sŏphát Sophat
សុភា /sopʰiə/ Sŏphéa Sophea
សុភាព /sopʰiəp/ Sŏphéap Sopheap
សួន /suən/ Suŏn Suon
ទី /tiː/ Ti Ti, Ty
វណ្ណា /ʋannaː/ Vănna Vanna
វាសនា /ʋiəˈsnaː/ Véasna Veasna
វិបុល /ʋibo/ Vĭbŏl Vibol
វុឌ្ឍី /ʋuttʰiː/ Vutthi Vuthi, Vuthy

Compound names

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

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "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. ^ Whitaker, Donald P. (1973). Area Handbook for the Khmer Republic (Cambodia). U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 60.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Ueki, Kaori (2011). "PROSODY AND INTONATION OF WESTERN CHAM" (PDF). University of Hawaii. Retrieved 20 November 2017. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Asian American Community Mental Health Training Center. Bridging Cultures: Southeast Asian Refugees in America. University of Michigan (1983), p98. OCLC 10431338.
  9. ^ a b Hein, Jeremy (2006-04-13). Ethnic Origins: The Adaptation of Cambodian and Hmong Refugees in Four American Cities. Russell Sage Foundation. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-61044-283-1.
  10. ^ Ehrman, Madeline Elizabeth; Sos, Kem (1972). Contemporary Cambodian: Grammatical Sketch. Foreign Service Institute, Department of State. p. 108.
  11. ^ a b Mary Fong & Rueyling Chuang. Communicating Ethnic and Cultural Identity. Rowman & Littlefield (2003), p40. ISBN 0-7425-1739-X.
  12. ^ Khmer Institute
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2011-06-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "What Language Does He Speak? Asian Last Name Guide" (PDF).