Waleed’s name was a fairly simple affair and when we were musing the prospect of a daughter we had a name picked out for ‘her’ too. But now? Now that we know its going to be another little munchkin of the male variety blessing our home, we are nervous, happy, excited and. . .
. . . trying to figure out what his name will be.
It’s not that there are a limited number of names to choose from, on the contrary, there are ten tons I’ve learned of since googling the question but we do have our parameters. They’re simple enough:
- Arabic and/or traditional Muslim name.
- With a good meaning. Either historical, personal, or literal.
- Easy to pronounce for mainstream America. We typically write it down for non-Muslim friends and if said friends approach the task as if reciting the scientific genus of an extinct species of leaf, its a no-go.
- Not so easy as to be confused for the non-Arabic version of the same name. i.e. Adam in Arabic would be pronounced Aw-dhum, Sarah would be Saw-raw, but they would likely not be pronounced as such since the names already have a decided pronunciation in the American lexicon and it would be silly to constantly correct it and yet it would not in keeping with our intention of the pronunciation we’d prefer.
- Won’t easily lend itself to playground torment. Think Anas, a lovely name to be sure but, well, yeah. And while kids will make fun of any name surely, I don’t want to hand it to them on a silver platter either.
- Isn’t a name already named by someone in our family. And considering 62% of the males in our families are named Omar this name is decidedly out.
K and I always have to pronounce our names three times each when introducing ourselves and we’ve learned to just wince and accept the butchering at doctor’s office and when the hostess tells us our table is ready, and while this is low on the totem pole of issues I’ve had in my life, if we can avoid it, it would be nice.
What parameters did you have when naming your own children? Did you plan the names in advance or wait until you laid your eyes on your little one before you made a final decision? We have narrowed down to a few names at the moment but nothing is set in stone, if you happen to have any Arabic names to share I would love to hear your thoughtst!