What’s in a Khmer name?

It’s worth noting that these names have different meanings depending on the context, and the spelling might have variations. It’s also worth mentioning that Khmer names are often composed of two or more words that convey a specific meaning and are chosen with care by parents.

It’s important to remember that in Khmer culture, names are considered to have a powerful influence on a person’s life, and parents often choose names based on their meaning, tradition, or the astrological sign of the child.

What’s in a Khmer name?

Are you looking for a Khmer name for your newborn? This is one of the most important topics, especially for those who would soon become parents of their brilliant baby. First thing first, you usually spend a lot of time doing research online and offline into the meaning of the name, especially a Khmer name.

The Cambodian name reflects the personality, identity, and characteristic of the individual. In Cambodia, parents or grandparents (sometimes a Buddhist monk) give their baby a great last name as they can find. The first name is named after the father’s first name (some time, father’s last name). In some cases, the parents combine their first names to give them to their baby.

Khmer names are different from the western counterparts. The family name comes first, before the given names.

In this blog post, you’d learn about the Cambodian given names popularly chosen by Khmer parents. All Cambodian names help define the gender, between woman and man. These are some of the most beautiful and meaningful Cambodian names since they’re derived from Hindu or Buddhist words.

How about choosing the right Khmer name to bring prosperity and great fortune for your children? Let’s get started!


A List of Popular Khmer Names for Your Baby Boy

– Bona, Bonne, Bora, Borey
– Chan, Chantra, Chantha, Chanto, Chanthul
– Chea, Cheat, Cheata
– Dara (literally means star), Daro, Darith
– Lideth, Leap
– Makara (literally means January), Meng
– Kakada (July), Kosal (good deed), Kiri (mountain), Kuntha
– Nimul, Nimith
– Oudom
– Ponleu, Pheakdey, Puthea, Puthi (wisdom)
– Ratana, Rith, Rithy (or Ritthy), Roatha, Ratana, Ratanak
– Samnang (lucky), Say, Sarath, Sambath (wealth)
– Seila or Sela (stone), Seth, Setha, Sereyvath, Sithen
– Sopheak, Sopheaktra, Sophal, Sodeth, Socheat, Sophat, Sokun
– Sothea, Sothearith, Sotheara, Sovath
– Theara, Tharo
– Udom or Oudom, Uddom
– Vireak or Virak, Vanna (gold), Vannak, Vannda, Visal, Vantha, Vantharith

A List of Popular Khmer Names for Your Baby Girl

– Bopha (flower), Bosba
– Chantrea (moon), Chenda, Chanthou, Chanthy
– Kongkea (water), Kunthea, Kalyan, Kalyaney
– Leakhena, Leaphy
– Mealea, Mala, Malen, Molika
– Panha, Phalla, Phally, Phary, Pich, Pisey,
– Rachana, Rachany, Rany, Ratanak, Raksmey
– Socheata, Sreyleak, Sonida, Sotheavy, Solika, Sonita
– Sophy (sounds like Sophie or Sophia), Sopheap, Sovathana
– Theavy, Thavy, Theany, Thany
– Vortey, Vorleak, Vimean, Vimul

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Here are 20 traditional Khmer names for a baby starting with C:

1. Channarong
2. Chanthou
3. Chantrea
4. Chantou
5. Chenda
6. Chhay
7. Chheng
8. Chhun
9. Chivy
10. Chantana
11. Channary
12. Channak
13. Channida
14. Channoeurn
15. Channol
16. Channouch
17. Chantin
18. Chantrea
19. Chantrey
20. Chantril

How to choose the best Cambodian name for your baby

Traditional and Trend While old Cambodian names are based on pure Khmer language, or Pali, or Sanskrit, the new generation of Cambodian parents take on a new trend. Naming their baby English name is nothing new, but trendy.

Popular Khmer names like Sokha, Sokchea, Sothea, Sopheap, Sok, or Sao embed the meaning of happiness and healthy. Other Khmer names like Sreyleak, Leakhena, Bopha, or Neary give the characteristics of the female baby. These given names have been in use for many decades among Cambodian people.

Culturally educated Cambodians or Khmer intellectuals tend to be highly creative with the way they name their children. These Khmer names literally mean intellectual. For example, Puthi, Panha (Pagna), Kati, Bandit, and Udom.

Samnang (luck), Sambath (fortune), Leap (also luck), Samkhan (vital), are Serey (freedom) also some of the most popular Khmer names. Usually, these Cambodian names set the difference of the gender.

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