Iranian-American boy name

My wife and I are expecting a baby boy in October and we are having a very difficult time trying to find a name we like. We also want to make sure its easy to pronunce in english and the nicknames or meanings associated with it lookin good.

Any idea or help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Replies

1
May 7, 2017 4:48 AM

Taj   Casper  Cyrus

Tarek   Darius

Zain  Navid  Rahim 

Zayd   Zachary

Aryan  Zakariah

Jasper Amir  Asha

2
May 8, 2017 11:40 PM

I may not know much about Iranian names, but the one name on this list that I think would absolutely not work well in an American context is Aryan. I can pretty confidently say that for most Americans, Aryan will bring to mind the "Master Race" ideology and Nazism.

3
May 9, 2017 7:56 AM

I agree. Last year I met an Indian-American boy with this name and had to control myself not to wince when I heard his name. I am sure his parents had (have) no idea about the connotations, and I certainly didn't hold it against the boy, but I couldn't help but think of Hitler. Ugh.

4
June 12, 2017 1:34 AM

That was my wife's fav name, to be honest the only name we both love so much but I knew it would be problem here in usa, I had to put together lots of links and documents how it get connected to racism and WWII origins, to change her mind ... Thanks

5
June 12, 2017 10:21 AM

Oh, that's too bad! It's so hard to give up on a name you both love, but I think you made the right decision.

6
June 12, 2017 2:48 PM

While the sound is very pleasant and on trend, I agree wholeheartedly that this is one of the few names that I would consider truly unusable, so I also think you made the right choice. I wonder if the collective hive-mind here could suggest some similar-sounding names that have less-loaded connotations? Arjun, maybe? I also find Arya, without the n, to be much less problematic.

7
By EVie
June 12, 2017 4:22 PM

There is an Iranian boy in my son's class named Artin. My understanding is it's an Armenian name, but his parents are Farsi speakers, so I assume it gets some usage among non-Armenian Persians as well? I find it works really well as an English crossover name--like Martin with the M chopped off.

8
October 20, 2019 12:14 PM

Oh brother... I have a nephew named Aryan and it happens to be a very common name. NO ONE associates it with Hitler. If you don't know much about Iranian names, then perhaps you shouldn't be commenting here.

9
May 7, 2017 11:09 PM

Since most of us know absolutely nothing about Iranian names, it might be more productive if you posted some Iranian names you were thinking of, and then we can tell you how they sound to American ears. (Even if you weren't asking about a language we know nothing about, without at least a few names to go off of, we'd really just be stabbing in the dark, which is rarely helpful.)

10
By EVie
May 8, 2017 1:52 AM

I'm not Persian myself, but my family has connections to Iran and there are a number of Farsi speakers in the family, so I have a passing knowledge of Persian names. I'm generally better with girls than boys, but I can give it a shot.

In my mind, Darius is the top crossover Persian name for boys. It's pronounced differently in English (DA-ree-us as opposed to dar-YOOSH), but it's totally ok for a kid to have different pronunciations with family and with the rest of the world--lots of bilingual kids do. If you really wanted the Persian pronunciation 100% of the time, you could also transliterate it as Dariush or Daryush, which I think would be pretty easy for English speakers after one correction. 

Note that with many Persian names, the stresses won't be intuitive for English speakers, as Farsi tends to put the stress on the last syllable of a word, which doesn't happen much in English. For example, a name like Nader will always, always be read as NAY-der (in part thanks to Ralph Nader, but even without him, I think it would be the same). You would constantly be correcting, "No, it's nah-DEHR," as I did that one time at work when we were discussing an application from a Nader and my colleagues kept getting it wrong. 

English speakers will have trouble with the "au" sound in Persian, as in Azideh--they will pronounce it as "ah" as in "father." This may or may not bother you. They will also never, ever be able to pronounce that back of the throat sound as in "gheimeh" (I can't even), so I would steer clear of names with that sound. 

English speakers will be more familiar with the Arabic import names than Persian language names, so there will probably be fewer mistakes made with those. I'm not sure at all what kind of distinction is made in Persian culture between the two, and whether you prefer one way or another--do more religious Muslims choose Arabic-origin names? I find the Persian language names more interesting, but that's partially because I hear the Arabic ones all the time and they're less exciting to me, and I find Farsi to be a beautiful language.

Other names that I quite like--stars for the ones I think would be easiest: *Amir, *Arash, Arastoo, Ardashir, *Azad, *Azar, Bahadur, *Bahram, *Baraz, *Eskandar, *Hassan, Kaveh, Kian, Kianoush, *Kurush, *Mehr, *Navid, Parvis, *Rahman, *Reza, Sardar, Shahin, Shahriyar, *Shahzad, *Shir, *Soroush. 

I do think a good strategy would be for you to give us a list of names you like, and we can give you feedback on how they work as crossovers.

11
May 8, 2017 4:04 AM

I agree with all of this. I went to high school in an area with heavy immigration from Iran, and most of the names EVie mentions were classmates of mine. We had a Nader and an Azideh, for example, and they were pronounced in English the way EVie says. I don't believe anyone tried to correct pronunciation ... this is actually the first I've heard of it that we were pronouncing them wrong. I agree that two pronunciations is not a big deal.

I notice my Iranian friend who has a son has opted for a more obvious crossover name (Jasper). 

Another name I always liked was Mehraban (hope I'm spelling that correctly: it's been a while)., nn Mehr (possibly influenced by its bearer's extreme good looks circa 1999). :P 

12
May 8, 2017 9:35 PM

Hello!  I am an American who lives in Asia, so I love these cross-cultural naming threads.  I am unfamiliar with Persian names, although I was an aid worker in Afghanistan once upon a time, and of course Dari is a dialect of the same language - except I was in an ethnic Pashtun area, so I'm not sure which colleagues' names came from which language.  All that said, from the names of my Afghan colleagues, Javed works very, very in English.  It's not an English name, but it sounds like one and has a lot of popular, familiar sounds and I think it would fit right in. 

Another cross-cultural naming pattern that I have seen consistently work well is a long name in one language that shortens to a nickname in the other.  In this way the child has a name from both languages, and they can fluidly go between the two depending on preference and context.  And I have an Iranian example!  I grew up with a classmate named Babak, nickname Bob.  This worked great.  The other way around also works, for example Rafael nickname Rafi - a name which is easy to spell and pronounce for Americans.  Alistair nickname Ali would be another option.

I agree with the above poster that it would be easier to share with us your shortlist of Iranian names and we can give you feedback on whether the sounds and spellings fit well into USA.

13
May 26, 2017 6:35 PM

Alborz/Elbrus 

Arman

Casper

Cyrus

Darius

Faridoon/Feridun

Gaspar

Jasper

Mirza 

Xerxes 

14
May 28, 2017 2:30 PM

Darien / Darius, Jahan, Jasper, Parviz, Roshan, Sargon, Xerxes

15
By JuLu
May 28, 2017 4:16 PM

I love Vahid!

I also think Soheil, Amir, Reza are nice names.

 

16
June 13, 2017 11:30 PM

 

Forgive me if these aren't actually Persian/Iranian, the origin of names on the internet can be so inconsistent!

  • Amir
  • Aryo (but please, not Aryan! It means white supremacy to us!! Ack. Though "Arya" wouldn't be a problem, for a girl)
  • Azad
  • Arash
  • Armin
  • Darius (we would pronounce this DAR-ee-us or DARE-ee-us)
  • Derin
  • Danyal - (nickname Danny) or you could spell it Daniel (English variation, though that spelling it does have a more biblical connection, in case you want to avoid that)
  • Javed
  • Kayan
  • Kaysar
  • Kian/Kiyan
  • Kamran - or could spell it Cameron (English variation)
  • Naveed
  • Nasreen
  • Nikan/Nickan (nickname Nick?) Some might pronounce Nikan as Nee-kin, FYI
  • Omran
  • Rashid
  • Roshan
  • Rayan - or could spell it Ryan (English variation)
  • Shareed/Sharid
  • Shaheen
  • Sanjar
  • Samir (nickname Sam?) (I actually quite like the name Samir! Nice sounding name, easy to pronounce and a western nickname!)
  • Stefen/Stefan?
  • Tarik (I had a friend named Tarik! Tar-eek)
  • Shaheen
  • Yashar

I hope I was able to help. Congratulations on your baby boy and good luck!

17
July 2, 2017 10:23 AM

I really appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. My wife and I decided to choose an american name for our baby boy, since he is getting born here, he gonna be proud american. We want him to have a name, easy for everybody to pronunce and by now our top choice is BRYAN, which has the same meaning as Aryan. Thanks again :-)

18
October 15, 2018 11:07 PM

Hey everyone,

My husband and I are expecting our baby boy, we both want to make sure he will be comfortable with his name at school and later at work. Here are some of the names we have on our list, your feedback is appreciated.

Davin

Radvin

Arsham

Tiam

Liam

Davin

Ramtin

Ryan   

 

Thanks all

19
October 16, 2018 2:02 AM

Davin, Liam and Ryan are fine

Radvin is ok

Arsham,  I think your son could get a hard time with this,  depending what country you are in,  Ars...

Tiam is ok

Ramtin is ok

20
October 16, 2018 3:51 AM

I'm a bit confused.  In May 2017, someone posted about Iranian-American names.  A few days ago someone added to this thread - inactive for a year and a half - with a list of names.  Is the new poster also Iranian-American?  Some of the listed names are unfamiliar to me and might be Persian, but others are clearly not (for example, Liam).  Is the new post a random add-on to an old thread, or is are they trying to specifically link to to Iranian names?

21
October 20, 2019 12:08 PM

I am American (Texan to be exact!) and my husband is Iranian. Our son is named Arman (pronounced like Armani the designer, but without the "i.") We also have a nephew named Aryan. Aryan is a very common Iranian name and none of us or anyone else has considered it as an association of white supremacy or Hitler. I find it a little offensive that some of you are even suggesting that. People who are Iranian know the name. My question is if someone is not Iranian, why would you give your child an Iranian name anyway? 

22
October 20, 2019 7:02 PM

I'd be really surprised if people don't secretly think of Nazis when they see this name--they're just too polite to mention it to your nephew or his family. Presumably they also realize that it's an Iranian name and not meant to evoke Nazis. If I met an Aryan from Iran (or some other non-US, non-European country) I would assume it was a name from that culture unrelated to Nazis and quietly ignore the obvious other association.

Having said that, if someone was specifically asking for advice about naming in the US, I would have to point out the fact that here it is a term closely associated with Nazis and white supremacy.

That's why people come to this name board--to get outside perspectives about names. We often point out and discuss connotations and associations to names that folks are considering, good bad and neutral. For example, recently the name Alexa came up, and we had a discussion about the Amazon assistant, which isn't a negative association really but still could be very awkward. Another time someone was considering the first name Vivienne with last name Lee and wanted opinions on how weird it was to have a sound-alike name to actress Vivian Leigh. Much of the time we'll say that an association is not a deal-breaker, just something to be aware of so the parent isn't blind-sinded if it comes up later.

But occasionally an association is so strong and so negative that it gets a stronger warning. Isis, for example, very sadly has gone from "the primary association for most people is probably the Egyptian goddess, which is a pretty positive association" to "this name is now so strongly associated with the terrorist Syrian quasi-state that you should probably avoid it unless you have a really compelling reason to use it." Many girls were named Isis before the new geo-political association entered the public consciousness, and no one is suggesting that they must change their names or that they are ISIL sympathizers or anything like that. But they do experience problems based on their name, and if I were asked directly if it was a good name for a baby today I would have to say no. Aryan, for good or ill, falls into this same category.