Help me name my Tibetan Baby before I pop!
September 29, 2008 10:33 PM   Subscribe

HELP. I'm outrageously pregnant and my husband is Tibetan. We are going to use a Tibetan name, but it's rather hard to find Tibetan name books for babies. In lieu of this MrTaff has given me a list of names he finds acceptable to his ear/culture/language etc. (He's not a Buddhist, he's a Bonpo). I need feedback from people of all language backgrounds and countries and opinions about the list he has given me.

I'm a bit of a "surprise" kind of a person so I don't feel like I want to ask in-person friends.

ToddlerTaff's name is Dechen and I want a name that sort of goes with that. And BabyTaff will have the surname White...or something very similar, for the purposes of not having our identities stolen.

Below is the list he has given me.

I want all thoughts on as many names as you like. Be as rude, revolting or rancid as you like... or as complimentary. All thoughts welcomed.

Thanks in advance... I"ll be back with the way... some seem very similar, it's not a mistake... they're similar but not the same.

Shenlha Woekar
Bumtri (seriously, he had to be kidding about this one!)
posted by taff to Writing & Language (74 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I like Yeshi and Yudrun. Actually I think they're all pretty awesome, most of them, but I think Yeshi in particular sounds good with TodderTaff's name, and would also be pretty easy, comparatively, for most Westerners to pronounce properly.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:51 PM on September 29, 2008

Oh, I like Khandro a lot, too! That's a good, strong-sounding name.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:53 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm considering American English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Playground. Some will say not to consider teasing problems, since kids will tease anyone about anything, but I know three or four people who actually chanegd their own names after enduring a childhood of too much taunting, so I think it's valid.

I'm also assuming "White" so I hope the real name IS very close. :)

Here's the ones that I had some reaction to.

Yeshi White - sounds like a future great jazz musician
Jamma White - rock star, politician, lawyer or rapper. I'm Jamma White, and I approve this message.

Yudron White - I get a hadron reading that but it's cool in a sci-fi way.
Youdron White - ditto
Youdon White - I think that's the best of these variants
Kunga White - nice rhythm

No, No, No
Bumtri White -- you're right that's very scary
Wangdak White -- schoolyard hell
Richen White -- this kid would have every possible advantage in our society!
Metok White -- again, teased relentlessly, but only because "White" is here.
Wangchuk White -- Very Chinese-Jewish-Polish, but too tease-worthy.
Wangdue White -- just disallow anything with 'wang' in it and save some stress.
Pema White -- nothing close to Peepee either.

Anything not listed had no emotional or reflex impact on me, neither good nor bad.
posted by rokusan at 10:53 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

Wow, on preview... I love how InfinityWaltz picked two of the same top three I did from that long list!
posted by rokusan at 10:54 PM on September 29, 2008

I'm assuming you're going to be raising the kid in a primarily English-speaking region, so here's a list of names I feel will cause your future child pain.

Wangdak (Wang is bad.)
Tsewang (Wang is still bad.)
Yudron/Youdron/Youdon (To many possible "You d..." jokes)
Sherap (onomatopoeiac fart jokes.)
Yungdrung (might be turned into Young Dung.)
Metok ("Me tok [talk] funny!")
Chodag (Could be problematic depending on your regional dialect.)
Dhargay (Dhar's gay!)
Dhardon (Hardon jokes.)
Tsewang (Wang jokes.)
Wangchuk (Wang jokes.)
Wangchen (Wang.)
Wangdup (still wang.)
Gurmey (Could become 'germy'?)
Wangdue (Wang.)
Bumtri (I agree with you!)
Tempa (sounds like Tampa or Tampon).
Gelek (nickname: Jelly, even it's pronounced with a hard 'G')

Other than that, I'd go with easy to pronounce and easy to spell. Bonus points if nicknames come naturally. Thinks like Zopa, Yeshi are good. The Dh and Kh and Lh combinations will not be obvious to a lot of people and may cause problems.

Congratulations on the pregnancy, and good luck!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:54 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

Kelden. Definitely Kelden.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:55 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

I thought Richen was well, bitchen'...until I saw it paired with White. Then I laughed out loud so hard I woke up boyfriend sleeping in next room.

I really like Yeshi, Jamma, Palmo, Seldon, Kelden, and Dolkar (that one is nice with Dechen).
posted by iamkimiam at 11:01 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

(Wow, I'll give my opinion on anything.)

From U.S. perspective (New England and California):

Hard-ish to remember/spell in English: Namgyal; Jamtso; Rabyang; Tsewang; Gyamtso; Lhundrup; Ugyen; Tsamchoe; Dhargye; Yangtso; Rabgyal; Dhargay; Gyalchok; Tselha; Palkyi; Tsewang; Choedon; Choezom; Thubten; Nyandak; Tsultrim; Choephel; Dhakpa; Dhadul; Choephel; Gephel; Shenlha Woekar

Possible mockery: Wangdak; Yungdrung; Wangdue; Kundang; Jangchup; Lhundrup; Gonpo; Yangzom; Wangchuk; Wangchen; Wangdup; Gurmey; Khedrup; Bumtri

My faves: Rapten; Jampa; Richen; Dolker; Dolkar; Samten; Sherap; Khando; Seldon; Kelden; Zopa; Namdak; Chodrak; Gelek; Khandro

Fine: Yeshi; Yonten; Sherab; Yonten; Kechok; Yudron; Youdron; Penpa; Kunga; Metok; Monlam; Sangmo; Jamma; Norbu; Khetsun; Dakpa; Jinpa; Kunchen; Chonden; Chodag; Monlam; Youdon; Yeshi; Bhuti; Tamdin; Chokzay; Dhardon; Yangdon; Rinchen; Norzin; Paldon; Rigzin; Palmo; Kesang; Tempa; Lhamo; Pema; Namdol; Samdup; Jamyang; Topden; Samdup; Sangey
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:02 PM on September 29, 2008

Whatever you do, don't pick Dhardon.
posted by Nattie at 11:10 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

I like Yeshi, though you might open yourself up for "yes, she...." jokes. Still, it sounds like the name of a happy person. Also like the rhythm of 2 beats first name, one beat last name.

Like Yeshi White. Yeshi Green, Yeshi Brown.

Khando does sound strong, with khan for a nickname. Kelden also shines.

posted by anitanita at 11:15 PM on September 29, 2008

Tamdin, Paldon, Seldon and Kelden all sound like they could be American names, although unusual ones. They're similar to Camden, Sheldon, Kelsey, stuff like that. I like Kelden a lot.

Khandro and Yeshi are the 'coolest' ones, just to my ear. Jamma is also pretty cool.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:22 PM on September 29, 2008

I really like the sounds and rhythm of all these:
Pema: my tibetan is way limited and rusty, but doesn't this mean pretty or flower? I think it's a really pretty sounding name, at least
Jampa: pretty simple for english speakers to get
Kunga: I had a friend named Kunga, and I really like the name too. Reminds me of a lion for some reason. Another fairly easy to pronounce.
Norbu: Probably recognizable to a lot of non-Tibetans thanks to Jamyang Norbu. Also, means jewel doesn't it? Very unique. Feels more masculine to me.
Khetsun: just like it..., similar vowel sound to Dechen
Jinpa: very charming
Choezom and Choedon: again, a good sound, although the pronunciation may be a little nuanced for english speakers

Congrats on having a valid excuse to use Tibetan names, I love Tibetan!
posted by dahliachewswell at 11:25 PM on September 29, 2008

My favourite is Yeshi. You must've liked it 'cos you've listed it twice.

I like it 'cos it's one letter away from Yoshi.

I'd steer clear of anything with funky spelling (Gyalchok), as they will spend a lot of time spelling it for people...and yes avoid anything with Wang in it.

On second skim over the list, I also liked Tempa...although they will get "temper, tempa" in a condescending voice every time they get angry...which of course will encourage bullies to get them angry so they can say it, which of course will then make them angrier...and so on.
posted by robotot at 11:25 PM on September 29, 2008

Of course, this all depends on where you live. My ultimate pick is bolded.

Khetsun Yeshi Khandro

Sherab Yonten Kechok Yudron/Youdron/Youdon Kunga Richen Samten Sangmo Jamma Norbu Jinpa Kunchen Chonden Gonpo Monlam Tselha Rinchen Norzin Paldon Khando Seldon Kelden Kesang Tempa Samdup Shenlha Woekar Namdak Zopa Dhadul Samdup

Namgyal Rabyang Yonten Rapten Sherap Penpa Dolker Dolkar Metok Kundang Monlam Dakpa Lhundrup Tsamchoe Rabgyal Palkyi Tamdin Choedon Choezom Nyandak Choephel Chodrak Gelek Khedrup Dhakpa Gephel

Jamtso Wangdak Jampa Tsewang Gyamtso Yungdrung Lhundrup Jangchup Ugyen Dhargye Tsewang Wangchuk Wangchen Wangdue Wangdup Yangtso Chodag Dhargay Gyalchok Bhuti Yangzom Chokzay Dhardon Yangdon Rigzin Palmo Thubten Lhamo Tsultrim Pema Namdol Jamyang Topden Gurmey Bumtri Sangey
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:27 PM on September 29, 2008

This is really interesting, by the way. All of us seem to be gravitating toward the same few names independently. I remember doing linguistics exercises where we had to choose which random assortments of syllables could be English words and which ones couldn't, and everyone got close to the same results. A similar thing seems to be at work here.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:28 PM on September 29, 2008

Thanks for this list. I'm trying to find an interesting middle name for my newborn... these are interesting possibilities.

But I have to say; the reason I want a strange (by Western standards) middle name is to balance out a relatively normal first name. If you're choosing a strange (by Western standards) first name, you might want (or your child might eventually want) a relatively normal middle name.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:31 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have a what seems like an easy name that people always misspell, so I'm all for going as phonetic as possible, and leaving out anything that a 8 year old boy could possibly make into a slang word for penis. Wang-due, -chuk, -chen, -dup, -dak, for instance, are right out. These are my favorites: Rapten, Sherap, Sherab, Samten, Kundang, Jamma (sounds like a girl's name), Khetsun, Jinpa, Yeshi, Tamdin, Rinchen, Kelden, Kesang, Khandro.
posted by tula at 11:34 PM on September 29, 2008

To my eye/ear, the ones that work best in North American English are:

Khetsun / Ketson
Seldon (although ppl will mis-hear it as "Seldom" a lot)

Shenlha (if spelling is flexible, might wanna cut that last H- Shenla is easier to read)

Names that end with A (Telsa, Tempa, etc) are a wee bit weird for a boy in English. A is usually a feminine ending in Latinate/Romance-language names. It won't be a huge deal, and he probably won't be teased for it, but seen on paper, most anglophones will probably tend to assume a person with an unfamiliar name ending with A is a woman.

On a man, names ending with "EE" or "Y" sounds (Yeshi, Gurmey) will sound a little babyish to Anglophones, as many English names take EE endings to sound diminutive: Katie, Petey, Billy, Davey- these names are really cute on little kids but may seem a bit unprofessional on a grown man. Few CEOs are named Jimmy, you know? It's not as big a deal for females though- although some EE names seem a little cutesie or diminutive on a woman (Jenny, Katie), many others- Hillery, Julie, Lucy, etc. are all fine on adult women).

Nothing with "gay" or "wang" or "bum" as a syllable. Also "Bhuti" sounds like "Booty" (bum).
The syllable "Kun" is probably better to avoid, too- it sounds kind of rude.

I like Richen the best, personally- easy to say (Anglos will likely pronounce it RITCHen, so hopefully that's okay with you). That's easy to remember, it has a "cool" vibe to it, and sounds masculine and high-status. Plus it echoes the word "rich", which is a common English nickname for Richard, and a nice omen for your kid's future finances! It does sound like "Rich and..." though, so consider the last name: "Rich and White", not so good! But "Rich and Smith" would be fine.

Congratulations on the baby!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:47 PM on September 29, 2008

Yeshi is my fave out of that list. Its simple and pronounceable. Kelden is good too.
posted by missmagenta at 11:53 PM on September 29, 2008

Oh thank God I thought to ask for advice! Dhardon had never occurred to me and was a serious contender. Everyone is adding more food for thought, which I'm grateful for.

I didn't like the sound of any of the "wang" names but hadn't thought of the penis thing. Thanks for pointing it out. It could have ended up being a middle name because that'spart of my father in law's name but Tibetans don't usually name children after family so it was only a possibility.

I should have added.... generally Tibetan names are unisex. Some of those are not but it doesn't matter because we don't know what we're having and we (ok, actually, that's me) like to have two to three for each gender as back up.

Please keep commenting. And if anyone knows of any other Tibetan names and wants to throw them in I'm happy to consider and double-check with MrTaff anything you come up with. I really, really, really wanted Tenzin, but seeing as MrTaff is not a Buddhist, and every second Tibetan is called Tenzin, (after His Holiness) it's not an option. Double bugger, I say.

Oh... should ask... why is Richen White bad? I'm sure it's obvious and I'm just being a bit dim (pregnant brain)... you're going to have to spell that one out for me.
posted by taff at 11:53 PM on September 29, 2008

Lots of people like Yeshi, but FYI it makes me think of Yeti and Yanni.

I think my absolute favorite is Rapten.

Richen White = Rich & White.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:59 PM on September 29, 2008

Rich and White.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:59 PM on September 29, 2008

You're absolutely right there. People are gravitating towards names that don't violate the phonotactic rules of English. For example, in English, words with the following consonant clusters aren't generally allowed:
(these are sometimes allowed when spread across syllable boundaries - the first 1-2 consonants being the coda of one syllable and the last 1-2 being the onset of another)
tso, tse, tsu, tsa, etc.

Some of these aren't simplified as much as they could be; there are more rules to it, but you get the general idea. The names we like fit the patterns we're familiar with.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:59 PM on September 29, 2008

Oh... should ask... why is Richen White bad?

As in the much-used stereotype of 'rich white guys;' e.g., the establishment, the Man, the guy driving the Hummer.

My favorite is Jamma.
posted by frobozz at 12:01 AM on September 30, 2008

Yeshi is . . .
no 'e isn't.
posted by grobstein at 12:02 AM on September 30, 2008

Yeshi makes me think of nintendo's Yoshi character, and Jamma makes me imagine children teasing "PajamaHead, PajamaHead!"

Seldon and Khandro are my favourites of the bunch.
posted by zarah at 12:11 AM on September 30, 2008

Seldon is great if you're an Asimov fan.
posted by grobstein at 12:13 AM on September 30, 2008

Rapten could start a band and call it Rapten and the Raptors.

Seriously though, here's what your kid will find googling themselves: Namgyal White, Yeshi White, Jamtso White, Rabyang White, Yonten White, Rapten White, Sherab White, Wangdak White, Yonten White, Jampa White, Kechok White, Tsewang White, Yudron White, Youdron White, Sherap White, Penpa White, Gyamtso White, Yungdrung White, Lhundrup White, Kunga White, Richen White, Dolker White, Dolkar White, Samten White, Metok White, Kundang White, Monlam White, Jangchup White, Sangmo White, Jamma White, Ugyen White, Norbu White, Khetsun White, Dakpa White, Jinpa White, Lhundrup White, Kunchen White, Tsamchoe White, Dhargye White, Chonden White, Gonpo White, Yangtso White, Chodag White, Rabgyal White, Dhargay White, Gyalchok White, Monlam White, Tselha White, Palkyi White, Youdon White, Yeshi White, Bhuti White, Yangzom White, Tamdin White, Chokzay White, Dhardon White, Tsewang White, Choedon White, Choezom White, Yangdon White, Rinchen White, Norzin White, Paldon White, Khando White, Seldon White, Kelden White, Rigzin White, Wangchuk White, Palmo White, Kesang White, Tempa White, Thubten White, Nyandak White, Lhamo White, Tsultrim White, Wangchen White, Pema White, Namdol White, Samdup White, Jamyang White, Topden White, Wangdup White, Zopa White, Namdak White, Choephel White, Chodrak White, Gelek White, Gurmey White, Khedrup White, Dhakpa White, Dhadul White, Samdup White, Choephel White, Wangdue White, Gephel White, Sangey White, Khandro White, Shenlha Woekar White, Bumtri White, Namdak White

Did you know Rapten is the Spanish third person plural form of Raptar, "to kidnap"?
posted by Mike1024 at 12:52 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I also like Kelden.

As a Norwegian, all of those names are just random syllables to me. Except Dolker, which means "daggers" in Norwegian, which is cool enough.
posted by Harald74 at 12:52 AM on September 30, 2008

Khando slightly more than Khandro. This list is fabulous. I'm using it to pick out a male baby name. We're doing what twoleftfeet talks about - one hippyish name (because I'm the Flower Child in the relationship) and one very traditional one (because Mr. is the stockbroker). That way, there's some sort of back up.

(re: the name thing. i just realized something today and I thought it was hilarious. my bf's name is John James, and his sister is named Mary Margaret (obviously not, but for instance). Their parents' names? John James and Mary Margaret. I'm not sure if it's very cutesy or extremely sad. Oh well - no biggie. I am not naming my child after me or him. NO WAY.)
posted by damnjezebel at 1:02 AM on September 30, 2008

Mike1024: "Rapten could start a band and call it Rapten and the Raptors.

Did you know Rapten is the Spanish third person plural form of Raptar, "to kidnap"?

In certain tenses - the Present Subjunctive and the Imperative. In the present it would be "raptan", though most Spaniards would use "secuestren" for kidnap anyhow...
posted by benzo8 at 1:31 AM on September 30, 2008

I hope you'll pardon me for saying so, but most are, to my ears, pretty clunky in English terms, or have unfortunate playground possibilities, except maybe Tsultrim, which is a bit like sultry or sultan. Tsultrim is strong and sexy. Little kids might try "Sultan" or "Salty" but that wouldn't be so bad.

Namgyal - Nam gal, Nam gel
Yeshi - noshi, Yes with a lisp
Jamtso - toe jam
Rabyang - Rob something or other? "Rob" could turn into a nickname
Rapten - raptor
Sherab - she rob?
Wangdak - wang
Yonten - yawn ?
Jampa - jumper
Kechok - ketchup
Tsewang - see wang, sea wang
Yudron - a subatomic particle?
Sherap - she rap?
Penpa - pen pal
Gyamtso - gum sole
Yungdrung - young drunk
Lhundrup - long drop
Kunga - too Bugs Bunny "unga bunga"
Richen - rich and famous? lichen?
Metok - meat hook, me talk pretty one day, me talk too much
Jangchup - lamb chop
Sangmo - sang mo'?
Jamma - jamma lamma
Ugyen - ugh, ugly, huge 'en, Eugene
Norbu - too Norbert Wiener
Khetsun - ketchup
Jinpa - chimpa
Lhundrup - long drop
Kunchen - cunt chin
Gonpo - gone poor
Chodag - sho' dog
Rabgyal - rob gal?
Dhargay - ? gay
Youdon - you dong, you done?
Bhuti - shake your booty, and "Booty White" is ass pale.
Dhardon - heh
Tsewang - see wang, sea wang, say wang?
Wangchuk - yep
Thubten - tubby, tuba, tub girl?
Lhamo - llama, Alamo
Wangchen - everybody ... tonight
Namdol - extra strength pain reliever
Samdup - summed up
Topden - top down
Wangdup - wanged up
Gelek - gay lick
Gurmey - gurney, gummy
Wangdue - wang dew!
Gephel - gay pal
Sangey - sang gay
Khandro - can do! Khannnn!
Shenlha Woekar - shouldn't a woke her? Wicker? Wanker? Wookiee?
Bumtri - yep
posted by pracowity at 1:50 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love all of the K names - Kelden, Kechok, Kesang, with Kelden being my absolute favourite. Congratulations!
posted by ceri richard at 1:53 AM on September 30, 2008

I remembered something when you mentioned The Dalai Lama. You and your husband probably already know this, but Thubten (or Thupten, depending on what article you read) Jigme Norbu is the name of The Dalai Lama's eldest brother, Taktser Rinpoche, who lived a long, eventful life dedicated to a cause. He passed away recently. (I did think it might be inappropriate to link to an obituary in a thread about a newborn baby and I apologize if I make you feel bad by doing so.) I do understand your husband is not Buddhist, and I'm also no expert on Tibetan history or politics, but I found his life story to be quite inspiring. So, those are good names in my book.
posted by misozaki at 2:12 AM on September 30, 2008

Kelden's my fave too.

If it matters, I grew up with a weird "ethnic" sounding name with unconventional spelling to boot.
posted by like_neon at 2:13 AM on September 30, 2008

Here's a famous Tibetan I came across lately - Drogön Chögyal Phagpa, a buddhist monk who was a scholar and courtier to Kublai Khan. The Khan commissioned Phagpa to create a new script, a new writing system that could be used to write any of the languages of the lands controlled by the Mongol Empire.

He did so and the script, ’Phagspa script, became the official script and was used for a hundred years until the empire collapsed. Some anthropologists think it might have been the basis for the Korean writing system. Words written in it appear on Tibetan currency sez Wikipedia, so it seems like the Tibetans are proud of him.
posted by XMLicious at 2:55 AM on September 30, 2008

Looking here, I'll add a few name to the list:


From that linked list I'll eliminate:
Diki - Dickie (Bad as fashion, bad as a playground penis sounding name)

From another source I'll add:
posted by 26.2 at 3:06 AM on September 30, 2008

Oh and of course, congratulations!
posted by 26.2 at 3:09 AM on September 30, 2008

I just went through the thread deleting the names people had objected to on grounds of pronunciation and teasing.

The names that nobody has vetoed are below. My top three are in bold.

Kelden (For a boy)
Samten (For a boy or a girl)
Tamdin (For a girl)

I picked those three as faves since they're all easy to spell, easy to pronounce and come with the option of a western nickname (Kel, Sam and Tammy.)

I think Kelden is my overall favourite, just because it goes so nicely with the surname White.
posted by the latin mouse at 3:23 AM on September 30, 2008


My vote goes for Yeshi.
posted by neblina_matinal at 3:29 AM on September 30, 2008

Jamma, hands down. Congrats :-)
posted by so_necessary at 3:37 AM on September 30, 2008

Except Dolker, which means "daggers" in Norwegian, which is cool enough.

And Dolkar means "daggers" in Swedish.
posted by martinrebas at 3:37 AM on September 30, 2008

posted by Lleyam at 3:54 AM on September 30, 2008

I knew a Tibetan monk in college (yeah, Tibetan monks went to my school, it was a pretty hip place) named Sangpo and he was all sorts of awesome. It's a pretty easy name for English speakers to wrap their minds around. Sangpo White has a nice ring to it.

Best of luck and congrats on the baby!!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:21 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Jamma. Great name!
posted by Kangaroo at 4:27 AM on September 30, 2008

My Tibetan pals named their daughter Kunzum. We've preempted the playground by nicknaming her Zoom.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:14 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I like Jamma!

(but I may be a bit biased)
posted by jammy at 5:25 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Kelden gets my vote. Great name!!
posted by pearlybob at 5:48 AM on September 30, 2008

Kelden or Samtin for a girl or a boy in either case. I liked Tamdin until someone pointed out the nickname is Tammy. But Kel and Sam are cool.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:58 AM on September 30, 2008

I agree that Yeshi sounds like a fun name, but what will Yeshi think of the name at age 35, when he or she needs some gravitas in the boardroom or courtroom? I vote for names that have optional diminutives rather than one that sounds permanently cute. Kelden and Norbu (boy) float my boat.

I also had problems with Rapten because of the Spanish "raptar."
posted by PatoPata at 6:13 AM on September 30, 2008

I'm liking Kelden.

The thing I noticed about Rapten isn't the Spanish "raptar" connection -- to my ears, "Rapten" sounds too much like "raptor", as in the dinosaur.

Then again, you could be setting a kid up for a career in paleontology that way, which could be neat.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:22 AM on September 30, 2008

Kelden and Samten sound great - also, they give your kid really good options in choosing a nickname if he ever just wants to be a 'Sam.' They're also relatively easy to pronounce and spell (unlike, say, Choephel.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:29 AM on September 30, 2008

Kelden sounds best to me.

Samten sounds too much like Satan.
posted by Slenny at 7:40 AM on September 30, 2008

do not choose anything that has "wang" in it. cross those off the list immediately. now. do it. done? okay.

i also like kelden. and pema.

you mention that many of these names are unisex in tibetan. that's pretty cool i have to say, but in english i think some of them sound/seem gendered. i wouldn't pick richen for a girl for instance because it has "rich" in it, which is traditionally a male name in eurocentric america.

you also should take into consideration what these names mean, if anything, in their native language because it's something your child will be asked for hisher entire life. if it means something lame, like "cleaner of elephant dung" or something, i'd vote against that, too.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:48 AM on September 30, 2008

Heard with an Anglo/Italo/German ear: Yeshi, Kunga, Norbu, Tamdin, Palmo, Tempa, Khandro.
posted by progosk at 8:24 AM on September 30, 2008

I like Khandro and Tamdin.
posted by exceptinsects at 8:38 AM on September 30, 2008

Kelden sounds the nicest to my Anglo-centric ears.
Samten is alright, too.

And what everybody else said about "wang"... it's a bad idea.

The rest of the names just seem like random syllables stuck together... again, I'm being Anglo-centric.
And some of them sound like something Ikea would name an end-table...Norbu...Kunchen.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 8:52 AM on September 30, 2008

I think Rapten sounds great.

I noticed a lot of people like Yeshi, but to me that just screams "old man".
posted by Xianny at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2008

Yeshi or Tamdin. Very very cool.
posted by widdershins at 9:50 AM on September 30, 2008

I said 'em all aloud (or tried), and these are the ones I like.

Sounds like a boy's name:

Sounds like a girl's name:

Sounds appropriate for a boy's or a girl's name:

Samten is definitely my favorite. Sounds pleasant and distinguished, with clear & definite consonants, and no trouble with pronounciation. It also shortens to "Sam" if BabyTaff so prefers.

And, as a side note: Tamdin, Paldon, and Kelden all sound slightly uppercrust/Anglo to my ear. Which I actually like.
posted by ourobouros at 9:54 AM on September 30, 2008

I agree with pracowity, Tsultrim is insanely cool and will definitely be quite sexy when he's older.

I'm sorry, unlike many I don't like Kelden at all. It just has that next-trendy-baby-name vibe to it in my mind, like Brayden and Aiden and so forth.

Plus the "DECHEN AND TSULTRIM COME IN YOUR DINNER'S READY" test works too. "DECHEN AND KELDEN" not so much, sounds like a wacky cartoon duo.
posted by jamesonandwater at 10:05 AM on September 30, 2008

I like Kelden and Samten for boys an Jamma and Zopa for girls.
posted by mercredi at 10:16 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Kelden, Samten, Yeshi, Jinpa, Tamdin and Paldon are my faves. All of those are pretty safe, too, and go with Dechen.
posted by limeonaire at 10:52 AM on September 30, 2008

I'm sorry, unlike many I don't like Kelden at all. It just has that next-trendy-baby-name vibe to it in my mind, like Brayden and Aiden and so forth.

Yes. Don't touch Kelden, if for no other reason than its strange popularity here.
posted by pracowity at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2008

I'm kind of with procowity, jamesonandwater, etc. on Kelden. Unlike, say, some of the "wang" names, the problem isn't that it's too unusual by conventional Western standards, but the opposite: as jamesonandwater points out, it sounds like a generic yuppie/hipster name and sounds "made up" rather than cool and exotic.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:30 PM on September 30, 2008

Rapten is great. For a boy or a girl. Jesus, I love it.

I absolutely agree with the characterization of "Kelden" as dumbass-babyname-soundalike, though. It won't hearken back to Tibetian heritage or anything... it'll just make people think you guys are Foolish Couple #1320843434 to desperately fail at coming up with a creative name for their child.
posted by Coatlicue at 2:35 PM on September 30, 2008

If you go with Pema, you will get a lot of people asking if you named the baby after Pema Chodron (double confusion points if baby Pema's a boy) and assuming you/MrTaff are devout Buddhists.

I like the idea of echoing either the D or the 'ch' in ToddlerTaff's name, although not necessarily in that "I have seven kids and they are called Jane, Jim, Jack, Jasmine, Jefferson, Juniper, and Jezebel" sort of way.
posted by catlet at 6:34 PM on September 30, 2008

I'm thinking of changing my name to Rapten -- it's so dashing and dangerous.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:02 PM on September 30, 2008

What a brilliant bunch of feedback. I"m so impressed and very grateful.

A lot of you are echoing what I'd been thinking.

I like the sound of Kelden a lot but it does have that "I'm a hip parent doing the funky thing at my kid's expense" kind of feel which I thought only I would have felt. Thank God someone else picked up on it.

Tsultrim, Paldon, Palden, Seldon, Tamdin, Rapten, Rinchen, Richen and Rinzin are the final contenders... I think. I'm devastated to lose Dhardon, but very incredibly grateful you all picked up on the dHardon part.

Yeshi is still in the back of my mind.... as is Pema.... hmmm.

This post is probably so old now that nobody will come back to it.... but if you do... please feel free to comment on our short list or add more.

Again, thank so much. I've got a lot to digest now... and not just the dal I had for dinner.
posted by taff at 3:43 AM on October 1, 2008

Is the first part of Kunchen pronounced in the same way as a vulgar term for a particular part of the female anatomy? If it is, don't send the kid to an Australian school. 'Oi, c...!'
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:19 AM on October 1, 2008

Yeah, but it doesn't really matter how you are supposed to say it, it's how other kids (and teachers, employers, coworkers, etc.) will read it, whether innocently or maliciously.
posted by pracowity at 5:29 AM on October 1, 2008

Kunchen is more pronounced like, um.... kun... er, like kunst in german... if that helps. But the similarity to cun is probably going to be noticed eventually.
posted by taff at 3:09 PM on October 1, 2008

I'd go with Tsultrim - sully for short, or Yeshi, or Rapten - tenny, as a nickname.

Good luck!
posted by anitanita at 10:41 PM on October 4, 2008

Quick update in case any one ever looks in the archives..... IT'S A GIRL!

And thanks to AskMeFi her name is Seldon. It was going to be Paldon for a boy.

By the way, important but not salient.... she's absolutely bloody gorgeous.

posted by taff at 9:32 PM on December 13, 2008 [5 favorites]

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