Having my 1st, and its a baby boy! Help!

Hi everyone,

Trying to think of a unique but not too esoteric boy's name that goes with my last name, Rajan (which means king). I'd love if the meaning of the first name could go with the meaning of the last somehow. My family is of Indian descent but I grew up with a hard name to say, so it would be great if the name was easy to say even if it's unique! We have also spent alot of time in Scandinavia, and I love:

Soren, Aslan, Nayan, Luca, Stellan (middle), Jayan, Sendhil......I'd looove a 3 syllable name with a cute/simple nickname too!

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!!


June 14, 2015 10:16 AM

Thank you!!

By Fly
June 14, 2015 9:18 AM

When you say 'goes with the meaning', do you mean that if you combined the two meanings it would make sense (little king, brown eyed king)?

I like Sebastian for you Behind The Name gives its meaning as;

SEBASTIAN   m   German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Finnish, Romanian

From the Latin name Sebastianus which meant "from Sebaste". Sebaste was the name a town in Asia Minor, its name deriving from Greek σεβαστος (sebastos) "venerable" (a translation of Latin Augustus, the title of the Roman emperors). Saint Sebastian was a 3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in medieval Europe, especially in Spain and France. It was also borne by a 16th-century king of Portugal who died in a crusade against Morocco.

I think 'venerable king' would work, meaning wise?

Otherwise Benedict means 'blessed', Julian - as in Julius Caesar (Roman Emperor).  Adonis apparently means 'lord' (a king is the high lord)... although I'd recommend being familiar with Greek Mythology before you use Adonis.

Those are the best three syllable names I can find... I couldn't find many Scandinavian names though, and a lot of them have Christian meanings which don't mesh well with 'king' (e.g. Daniel - 'God is my judge', Solomon, Abraham, Michael), unless you consider God to be king... but that's a whole other story.

Aslan reminds me of the Lion in the Narnia books/movies.  I love Soren, but Luca is probably a little bit common. Haven't heard of Nayan, Stellan, Sendhil before but I can't see anything wrong with them.

June 14, 2015 10:22 AM

Yes exactly. I mean like the names sound good and flow together, and optimally make a more complete meaning like 'kind king' , 'loyal king' etc.... without sounding too grandiose. I love Sebastian, but one of my friends named her son that just recently! :-/ 


Benedict and Julian and great! I love Soren. Is there a middle name that you think flows between the two, Soren Rajan, or Julian Rajan? I may use a family name too for the middle. I'm having him later in my life and he may be my only child, so it feels like alot of pressure and I want to love the name, and hope he does too!I find that other more traditional Indian names that have regal meanings are Arabic and I don't think that fits with the rest of my family. 

Thank you so much!!


By Fly
June 19, 2015 7:43 AM

Middle names mostly get used as initials, or are not seen at all, so you could really do whatever you like there.

So you could mix up the three names you just identified;

Julian Soren Rajan (too many -ns?)

Soren Julian Rajan

Soren Benedict Rajan

Julian Benedict Rajan

You could also use Sebastian as a middle name even if you can't use it as a first.

Otherwise, maybe pick a name that fits with your family's style, to honour them?  I'm not sure about Arabic names, some of them might cross into English easily enough, and I could look up a bunch of them with meanings for you, but I don't have a clue what the cultural associations are or what might be appropriate.

July 3, 2015 10:50 PM

Thank you for taking the time to help! Love these....I've tried them on for a bit! Still feels like something is missing. I think I have to go with an Indian first name. What do you think of Ayan (rhymes with Ryan). Too hard to get right? Then I could do a 3 syllable middle name, so there arent too many 'en' sounds. I stlll love Soren though. I think what's hard is that I dont love it yet! I also saw Lachlan (Irish), Minahl, Anik. Any of those fit with any middle names you know and love?

about 3 weeks away!!! :)) 


July 4, 2015 11:50 AM

Don't rely on a middle name to fix first-last name "flow": 99% of the time, he'll be Firstname Lastname, or at most Firstname M. Lastname.

I think "Ayan, rhymes with Ryan" would be easy enough for English speakers to learn, but isn't that awfully rhyme-y with your surname?

By Fly
July 4, 2015 12:27 PM

HNG is on the money, like usual :)

Are there any other Indian names that you like and which go with your last name? I wouldn't worry about pronunciation unless the spelling is completely unnatural for English phonology. People will learn, and if it's really too hard he might acquire a nickname.

I don't know cultural associations for Indian names, but there is a list that has loads of Indian boys names, many of which would combine well with the meaning "king", here:


Maybe pick out a few that you like and we can give you some feedback about them?

As for Lachlan, Minahl and Anik they're interesting choices. All three flow well with your surname, though Lachlan Rajan is a tiny bit rhymey. Lachlan also rhymes with Soren and Julian, so those are out, as they'll only make the little bit of rhyme sound like a lot.  Benedict might work. Minahl or Anik would go fine with Soren, Julian or Benedict, or something else if there are others you like.

When you say something is missing, what do you mean? Not in love with it? Doesn't seem to fit with your family?

If you're wanting more responses, the BNW dilemmas forum might be a better place to post. :)

July 5, 2015 6:11 PM

Thx so much HNG and Fly! It is a bit rhymey those options! My last name is pronunced Rah-Jenn. But ppl usually say Ra-Jzahhhn. And you're right - I think I'm reying on the middle name for flow... Also, my family very much wants me to choose a family middle name : Kumara or Kumar, which I think links with Rajan well. I like Benedict but my family is a bit thumbs down on that, I guess it reminds them of the actor. 

What do you think about the following names: (I looked at meanings already)

Amil Rajan

Kian (Keeyan)

Niam (Neeyam)


Lysander (not sure what nickname would be, Xander?)

Ansel with Indian middle name



Elekh (accent on first syllable), but Alek is probably going to be what ppl say


I guess I am terrified of namers remorse b/c he may be my only one! :)

Thx again guys for any thoughts. I didnt realize there was the other forum too...so I will try that if I dont decide soon!

July 6, 2015 11:40 AM

I like all of these choices. 

Amil: This seems like a great cross-over choice. Easy to pronounce and spell, and similar enough to Emil/Émile to seem familiar.

Kian: My kids have a (non-Indian) friend with this name, spelled slightly differently but pronounced the same, so I think it fits quite well in the current American naming landscape. Might occasionally get confused for the more common Keaton. It might be a little tougher flow with your last name than some of the others, due to the -n ending.

Niam: This seems like it would be really easy to explain--"like Liam, with an N". A first name that starts with N (instead of ending with N) gives a pleasing bounce to the name, I think. In spelling it's quite similar to Irish girl's name Niamh, but that's pronounced very differently, I believe (it's generally anglicized as Neve).

Leander: A name I have long liked. I like the flow of the three syllables with your last name.

Lysander: Another name I like, though this one always trips me up on the first syllable--is it Lie or Lih? I think you could use Xander, or Sander, or Andy. I think there are enough options that this doesn't need to be a deciding factor (especially since lots of nicknames arise from something other than the given name).

If deciding between Leander and Lysander, you could go with the easier pronunciation (Leander) or the legendary lover with the happier ending (Lysander). I probably lean slightly toward the latter.

Ansel: This name is strongly tied to Ansel Adams for me (to me that's a good thing).

Naveen: I have a good friend named Navin, pronounced like Naveen, so I'm somewhat partial to this one. I think it is an Indian name that's fairly familiar as such to Americans.

Sahale: The only one that looks like it might pose a pronunciation problem to Americans--is it sa-HALE, sa-HALL, sa-HALL-EE, something else?

Elekh: I don't think you'd necessarily get Alek, especially if folks see it written. The similarity does make it an easy cross-over.

Do you mind saying what the Indian names mean? My usual reliable go-to source for baby names (Behind the Name) is really spotty for non-European/Biblical names.

Namer's remorse is always possible, but if you focus on what you love about these names hopefully one or two will float to the top for you. And remember, you can always change your mind! Even after the baby's born, if you don't mind paying a few hundred dollars for the name change.

Good luck! 

July 6, 2015 11:54 PM

So very helpful! Its so hard to do this with only family feedback! 

Amil in Hindi means Unattainable / also Muslim

Kian is Irish and means ancient, but it seems to go with Indian names. I would do an Indian middle name if I went with this.

Niam means gift of god or contribution of God

Naveen means New

Sahale (Sah- hale) is native american and means Falcon

Elekh / Aalekh means picture or painting

I agree about Lysander - Im not quite sure how Id say it, but optimally I want a 3 syllable first name if I can find one that I love. I love that they end in 'r' and roll right into the last name though without being too common. 

Amias is another short 3 syllable name I think is so cute but not sure what the nickname would be. 

Or Amery - German means Divine/ same as my initials

Or Anik - Means soldier. Nik or Nicky woukd be nickname....I like the hard K ending w/ my last name. 

Would love to hear your thoughts or how you'd combine any of the above. Was going to do Kumara as middle name b/c of my great gpa, but a friend  today said it reminds them of Harold and Kumar! 

Thank you!




July 7, 2015 2:50 AM

Amery/Emmerich doesn't mean divine.  The -ry/-rich/-ric comes from a root meaning power (cf. with the Modern German Reich).  The first part could be derived from a number of roots, but none of the likely candidates has anything to do with divinity.  If the meaning 'divine' is important to you, there are many other possibilities in many languages of names referencing 'god' in some way.  For examples, I know a man of Indian background who is named Deva which is simply Sanskrit for 'god', cognate with Latin deus.

July 7, 2015 2:02 PM

Sorry meant to send that to HNG! Thx. Oh thats good to know. That's what it said online about Amery . Any thoughts about the other names? And no- I'm not looking for a name that means divine.

July 9, 2015 12:21 AM

Amil is a really great choice, I think. Similarity to Emil and Amir (and Anil) make this a very broadly international-feeling name.

Kian would fit right in to many trends -- K- names and -n names for boys are both having a particular moment in the sun. I know I have heard a name that SOUNDS like Kee-yan on boys from many backgrounds, and Keegan is another well-loved favorite. Thus, this is one of the most seamless blending in choices. I suspect this is an instance in which many cultural backgrounds that have convergently evolved the same sounds.

Niam (Neeyam) - I like Niam a lot!! But I think it's worth mentioning that it would get misheard as Liam a fair bit. "Like Liam with an N" is however a really good mnemonic, and would make the name instantly stick. And, the pronunciation is completely obvious to me. And Liam is obviously a very well-loved name, so I think this is likely to get a very positive reception everywhere. (ETA: It occurs to me that depending on where you live, occasionally someone might see it and think it's a truncated Niamh, aka "Neeve", the female Irish name... but I think that would happen approximately once or twice in a lifetime since Niamh is not exactly common in the US. Anyway, one of my favorite choices for you.)

Leander - I like this one a lot, though I think I prefer Evander (by a little) and Lysander (by even more). I think the biggest criticism I've heard of this name is that it sounds feminine, what with the Leanne part, but I am not particularly fussed by that. I'd want to have thought of it ahead of time, though, and make sure that you're the sort of people who could lead your son by example into treating the occasional being misheard as a girl's name as not a big deal. (One of my sons has a name like this, and it really hasn't bothered him or me at all. We just use the right pronoun or matter-of-factly correct and that solves the issue. The person who messed it up usually thinks it's a much bigger deal than we do.) Anyway, I really like it, and if you are nicknamey people then I think Leo is another fun option in addition to Ander/Andy/Anders.

Lysander is my runner-up name if we have another boy, so obviously I really love it. It does run together a bit with Rah-jenn a bit, though. I say Lie-sander, and if we were to use it we probably wouldn't set out intending to use a nickname, but if we did we'd probably end up with Ander or Sandy.

Ansel - Another great choice. Also think of Ansel Adams.

Naveen - I like this! It's a name I'm familiar with and if I recall correctly it has an intuitive pronunciation. Also, v is a particularly stylish letter right now. As above, I'd be aware that -een endings on the whole tend, to my American ear, skew female, so I'd go into this with an attitude that it'd be okay for having Naveen Rah-jenn occasionally mistaken on paper as female, for people who are not familiar with the name.

Sahale - pronunciation on this one isn't as clear, so you'd have to be clarifying that a bit. I like all the different possibilities I'm envisioning, though.

Elekh (accent on first syllable)- I think this one is really nice and the similarity to Alec makes it a good crossover. I'd pronounce it as intended from having seen it, but I wouldn't come up with the spelling correctly from hearing it, so I'd prepare to spell it out a bit. It's not too long or unwieldy, though, so it doesn't seem like too big an obstacle. Flow with Kumar/a in the middle isn't superb, but I don't think that matters at all because the names won't get said aloud much by anyone besides you, and you can always insert a little pause.

July 9, 2015 12:42 AM

It occurred to me that Leandro would take care of the run-together r issue and the "sounds like a girl" issue, plus it has the fashionable -o ending.  I once had a doctor named Leandro, and he went by Lee, which I think would be comfortable in a number of cultural contexts.

July 9, 2015 1:25 AM

Great suggestion! I know a Leandro, too, and I like it even better than Leander.

By Fly
July 9, 2015 2:01 AM

/oops. Double posted.

By Fly
July 9, 2015 2:02 AM

Niam immediately sticks out to me, it seems perfect for you.

Kian, as well as Keenan, Keegan, Kieran, Keaton is also very similar to Keano, as in Keano Reeves, the actor.

If you like Benedict you should use it. Aside from the actor there's also the character in Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), and a bunch of Catholic Popes and Saints. If you're worried about the last syllable sounding like something else, you could put it as a middle name with an Indian first name? Or perhaps two middle names.

I was filling out application forms the other day and the Australian forms have space for 27 characters for given names, including punctuation and spaces... And another form had three separate lines for first, second and third given names. So it's definitely an option, and then you will have three names that might honour your heritage, suit the country you're in or a country you might one day live in... And that will hopefully prevent name regret.

At the end of the day he will be your son, and he will live his own life with you and then independently in a country of your and his own choosing. What your family thinks of his name is not important, as long as it's not a distasteful word in Indian culture. Honouring them with one of your name spots is one thing, but giving them veto power over the whole process is not really appropriate (in my opinion).

July 10, 2015 2:11 PM

Hi all - Great thoughts. Thank you all! And not to worry. No one has veto power but me! :)

I think you're right about Kian. I do think its international but easy. But it does conjure up names  like Keanu! 

The forerunners are Niam, Amil, Ayan so far, but I do still feel stuck on a 3 syllable name but want it to have a nickname thats easy. Lysander I agree is less feminine. And I had never thought about Leandro. For some reason I'm just not big on Leo as a nickname. I must have known one that was disagreeable in the past. There is something about the Leander myth that concerned me too... I still love Soren, but honestly love the nickname 'Wren'. Which I know is unisex, but I think its a seeet name for a kind boy. Do you think it works as a nickname or middle,, with Rajan being the last name? Or is that too much of the 'R' sound? I always try to think if I would like it if that was my name. 

I'm glad to know about the name forms, and that longer could be ok! 


As in:

Narayan (Ayan)  'Wren' Rajan

Soren 'wren' Rajan, 

Or Niam Wren, Niam Soren 'Wren', 

Lysander Wren Rajan

Anik Soren/Wren Rajan

Ayan Wren Rajan

I am getting closer I hope!!


Too many 'en' sounds maybe? And too many 'R's' ?? Maybe so. I think I'm having trouble combining names! 

July 11, 2015 12:40 AM

I think Soren, nicknamed Wren is absolutely fantastic! However, it's in the category of names that I probably wouldn't pair with your surname - it makes it harder to pronounce your surname correctly, too, somehow, in addition to being too repetitive. However, one person's repetitive is another person's rhythmic and melodic, so it's very subjective. If you like it, go for it -- I've heard far more repetitive names in usage.

My judgement is also different if Wren is just a fun, around-the-home sort of nickname, rather than the call name that your child uses for the entire world.

It's also worth noting that to me Wren is reasonably derived from Rah-jENN, so I probably would just leave it at that - not try to use a first name that can also derive Wren, and just use it as a nickname from the surname. (I have known many people, especially boys/men, who used their surnames or a shortened pet form thereof as a nickname among their peers.) In your place, I would have quite a lot of fun designing an stamp for use on address labels and bookplates that has an image of a wren for the Rajan family. (My family did similar with flowers/garden motifs as our surname as it's close to containing the word "garden", and I always really enjoyed that, growing up.)

I would tend away from Ayan Rajan for similar reasons - it's too rhymy for me to want to use it myself. I am, however, on the far end of the spectrum in terms of not loving repetition between first and surname, so other people might have different feelings.

I think Niam Rajan sounds fantastic, as does Amil (or Anik, if it's not a typo) Rajan. From there, I'd pick a middle name based on sentiment: either honoring an idea or a person or perhaps your time in Scandinavia or whatever else is important to you and your spouse. I'd be much less concerned about flow with the middle name, since that combination will be said much, much less frequently.

July 11, 2015 1:58 PM

Cannot begin to tell you how helpful this feedback is. I would never think to derive Wren from Rajan! I love the idea of the stamp! Rajan is always shortened to Raj usually. Its my father's first name so as such holds a lot of sentimentality for us already! I think Niam and Amil are in my top 2 so far. Do you think Amil Lysander or Niam Lysander, or Kian Lysander are out for the same reasons? I think I'm going to keep the first name Indian... The only thing keeping me from Niam is how often it would be confused with Liam, in a good way too, making it easy. Niam also means contribution from God/ gift of God which means alot to us as this baby is a miracle for me! All of my Indian mom friends feel constrained by name options for similar reasons, but I'm going to try to choose b/c I love it. I like Elekh Rajan for the same reasons.

I still love Soren but I'm not big on Rhymey names. Although I think it works with Soren Amil Rajan. I love Anik b/c of the K at the end and the hard stop a K provides before the R. Like Nikhil Rajan too, but I have a nephew named that already. I agree about Ayan and Nayan as well. Although they are quite simple to say. You'd have to say Rah-Jahhhhn, not Rah-Jenn. 

What do you think about:

Niam Elekh/Alekh Rajan

Or Amil Elekh Rajan?

Most of my friends say go with a Western-ish middle name so if he wants to use it later he can, and for schools and 'on paper'. Feels like I'm running out of time! I want to take 4 options with me then meet him. He is already very active these last few weeks and I wish the baby could vote!! lol :))

Thank you all!


By Fly
July 11, 2015 10:07 PM

Unless you're always going to call him by a first-middle combination, I wouldn't rely on the middle name to make the first and last names work together. I forget who, but someone on here was originally planning to use first-middle combo as a call name, and ended up just using the first name, which might be difficult.

I like Wren from your surname. And I love that stamp idea too.

Your surname reminds me of the name of the tiger in the Disney movie Aladdin, would that be the right pronunciation?

Elekh looks more like Eric, and associated with Scandinavia and New Zealand (don't know why New Zealand), or perhaps electricity, whereas Alekh looks like Alec, and Alexander, Alec Baldwin and Alexander the Great. So it depends on the association you're going for with that, but both work equally well as a middle name. Also if they're variations of the same name or if they have different etymologies in India, that might play a part too.

I love Niam Rajan, or Niam Raj.

Amil feels slightly less international than Niam, so it depends if you identify (or want to identify) as primarily a globalised family, or if it's more Indian abroad. Amil Rajan also works well together.

Initials NER, NAR, AER, AAR are all fine. NAR reminds me of NARS, which is the brand of cosmetics that I use (I actually had to google it before I realised it was the cosmetic brand I was reminded of, and not perhaps a disease of some sort, I must've been cross-remembering SARS and NARS). NER and NAR are also like when kids tease each other "ner ner ner ner ner". Honestly I'm splitting hairs on this, no one will notice or care.  NR and AR are also fine, although AR reminds me of Antiques Roadshow's logo (the television show). Again no one will probably notice or care, I'm splitting hairs.

I don't think people will be confused between Niam and Liam, unless you're shouting it in a noisy place. Most people lip read when they're listening to you, and Niam doesn't look like Liam. I guess someone might hear Ian, but that doesn't really look the same when lip reading either. And people are pretty used to unusual names now, they don't normally expect a familiar name with a standard spelling anymore.

July 11, 2015 11:10 PM

Thank you for thinking of the initials as well. I wouldnt want to do SAR! Niam sounds like a clear favorite. I love it with the last name and its pretty hard to mess up. I guess I could still use Wren as a nickname. My friend used Jem as a nickname just at home (I love the literary reference from that too), but find it a bit too feminine. I wont depend on the middle to tie it all together.... but want to do a masculine middle name. 

Thank you for bearing with me in the home stretch by the way! I have all these on post-its and am swapping them around on my coffee table all day. :)

One more option a friend threw out there was Tarun. Its Indian, but can be spelled Taren, Taryn. I think these 2 spellings are confusing and w/ the 'y' its more feminine and are girls names/ Welsch. I think it rates high for the cool factor and easy to say. And goes with Amil, or Niam Tarun Rajan, and I could use 'Wren' as a nickname then too. Again its alot of the same sound. Any ideas for another name without the 'an, en,un' ending for a middle??


By Fly
July 12, 2015 1:32 AM

Tarun as a first name would make him 'TAR' with initials.  Maybe its just me, but Amil suddenly reminds me of 'camel'... I'm not sure why that just occurred to me.

I like the spelling Taren, which feels the most unisex of the three spellings.  In English the pronounciation would probably be 'TA-ren', whereas Tarun makes me want to say 'ta-ROON'.  Either of them could also become 'TAR-en' depending on the speaker.  I know a woman who is Taryn, so it seems sort of feminine to me, while Tarun is definitely masculine.  Wren (like the bird) seems feminine, whereas Jay or Finch seem masculine to me. The spelling Ren looks like a unisex nickname for Soren or many other masculine given names (I wouldn't expect it on a woman, even though it could be short for Karen I suppose).  Jem is like Jeremy, as in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, so that one is masculine (its also a diminuitive of James, e.g. Anne's son in the later sequels of Anne of Green Gables, or perhaps a shortened form of the feminine name Gemma/Jemma, but that's not my first association).  I think as with most names though, you learn to associate it with the wearer of that name, and it becomes whatever gender they are.  These names aren't going to be unanimously masculine or feminine, it just depends on the association, so it wouldn't be like calling him 'Claire' or 'Alexandra'.

You can still use Wren even if his given names are completely different, it certainly wouldn't matter.  I call my brother by the name of a certain cartoon character that he reminds me of, and that has nothing to do with his name at all. And if you watch NCIS, the character Ducky is named as such because it sounds similar to Doctor, his first name is Donald (Donald Duck) and his last name is Mallard (a type of duck).  That nickname is a bit too perfect, but its not a diminutive form of his given name... nicknames can come from a lot of things.  Another example is a child called Beans, a nickname bestowed before birth as a reference to being 'the size of a bean' and perhaps also because she was overactive in utero ("full of beans").

You could look for other names here on BNW, or there's also this link, which has plenty of names not ending with -n: http[colon]//www[dot]behindthename[dot]com/names/gender/masculine/usage/indian (links are tripping the spam filter, sorry)

July 12, 2015 7:50 PM

Niam is a really great choice, but Amil and Anik are also fabulous, too -- I think they're all equally great choices. I would just avoid an -en, -r, or -ren name in the firstname slot, but I think it's fine in the middle name.

I love Taran by any spelling. I associate it primarily with the Lloyd Alexander books, which were childhood favorites (Taran the Wanderer).

July 12, 2015 10:05 PM

I like the Ducky example and get that completely! And thank you again....I forgot about the TAR initials piece but wont rule it out completely yet. I will check out the other thread as well! Sometimes w/ monograms, I always think of the surname intial in the middle anyway! And yes I will probably consider Wren or Ren as a nickname regardless. In India, they say Ta-ROON. Like A-ROON. Nia is still my favorite b/c its more masculine and the meaning, god's gift. I have never read those books! I will look them up. But I love it with an 'a'!  Is Taran the character,  someone whom a  little boy would be proud to be named after? If I do a 2 syllable first name, I would love a 3 syllable middle. Thats what has me a bit stuck, although I know he will mostly just use first and last! I think its b/c my sister and I don't have middle names, it feels like a treat to choose one! 

Anik, they say 'Uh-Nick'. Accent on the first syllable. Another one is 'Arin', or 'Uh-RINN'. But he will go by Aaron most often I think or be referred to that way. 

Here are my top few:

Niam Amil Rajan

Niam Lysander Rajan

Amil Lysander Rajan

Amil Kumara Rajan (family middle)

Ayan Kumar(a) Rajan

Ayan Lysander Rajan

Soren Amil Rajan (initials :/) (Wren Amil is cute I think)

Taran Amil Rajan (initials ;/)

Taran Elekh Rajan

Julien Amil Anik Rajan

Kian Amil Rajan (initials)

Kian Lysander Rajan


If you think there are better combinations with any of the above or any I haven't thought of ....please let me know! You all have been so fantastic and Objective!! :)


July 12, 2015 10:37 PM

I really like both Niam and Amil with Rajan, with pretty much any of your middles. I think I prefer the Ta-ROON pronunciation (and thus, Tarun spelling) with Rajan over what I would guess with the Taran spelling.

For three-syllable middles...would it be really weird for you to use a Sikh name? If not, there are a number of three-syllable options that end in -nder, like Mohinder (familiar to fans of the TV show Heroes) that might appeal.

July 12, 2015 11:59 PM

I agree with nedibes that all the Niam and Anil combos work for me.

I would have a hard time personally using with Ayan or Soren or Kian as firstnames with this surname, regardless of whatever middle name you put in between, because of the repetitiveness of the sounds, and the middle names will not be there as a buffer most of the time. I think they'd be fine to use in the middle name slot, though.

I haven't read the Lloyd Alexander series since my own childhood (my eldest is just now getting to the right age where I can look forward to reading them again with him, soon), but from what I remember, Taran would be a good namesake. You can read plot summaries here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Prydain
The sound of Ta-ROON RAH-jen isn't too repetitive for me, especially given how n-endings are very common for boy surnames now. However, visually Taran Rajan is very repetitive, and I think if you're often around people who don't know how to pronounce either first or last name properly, then I think you'd mostly get TAH-ran RAH-jan, or maybe TAY-ren RAH-jen -- in any case, I'd guess that most people would try to make them rhyme, and then it would become a bit singsongy for my tastes. Given that you have other choices which don't have that issue, I'd upvote those instead.

By Fly
July 13, 2015 1:09 AM

I love Arin (Uh-RINN) and I think in English you could certainly teach people to pronounce it properly. Aaron is not a bad name/pronunciation by any means, but I really like Arin.

I think your combos look really good.  I really like Niam Lysander as a familiarish first name and a three syllable middle. Amil (camel notwithstanding, that was weird and I'm sorry), is great too, and I also like Ayan, Soren, Taran, Julien and Kian for different reasons (though the spelling Julien reminds me of King Julien in the Madagascar movies), but they don't work so well with Rajan.  For that reason, I think it'd be good to try some of those in the middle spot; Niam Julien, Niam Soren, etc.

Family names as middle names are a great way to honour your family and your heritage, and its something I definitely would do.  Are there other family names besides Kumar/a that you could consider? Not that there's anything wrong with Kumar, but so you have choices :)

Also, I think we need a new post coz these responses are in columns less than two inches wide now. :(

July 13, 2015 10:34 PM

Hi all- Thank you for the great feedback! I didnt realize there is a cap on the # of replies! I was wondering why thatwas happening! I apologize for my incredible indecisiveness in that case! I cant see all teh responses when replying so hope to get back to each of your points. I love that you can start reading the Taran the Wanderer novels soon w/ your son. I looked at the link and they do sound wonderful. I agree Taran is too sing-songy! W/ my last name at least. 

And Yes I could use a Sikh middle name in the US, no problem. The actor who plays Mohinder is actually a friend I grew up with! Too funny! Sendhil is his first name (which I love), except I would be naming my son after him! lol I remember he used to be called 'Sandal' as kids! I like Arminder though, but I love in a way that Lysander is Western a  bit, and so many other nicknames can come from that. 

And I have to tell you - I suddenly really like, Niam Julien Rajan, even though its 2 syllable middle. Or Julien Niam Rajan works for me too. Which one is more masculine??

My family prefers the first option.  Its a mix of East and West but has an air about it that's regal I think! Niam Soren, takes it in another direction too. I would love a meaningful middle though. Kumara (great grandpa) was the best of the options. The others are Gopalan, Madhav (grandpa), Hari (beloved uncle, deceased). I will start a new thread if you'll stay with me beyond this round as needed.

Thank you again!! 

By Fly
July 14, 2015 12:38 AM

I'm just going to put this here, so it's full width, but I'm responding to Zooey's last reply on the above thread.

I like Niam in the first position, though it sounds equally masculine whichever way you order it. Julien or Soren first will make it rhymey with your surname though.  You could do two middle names, which is perfectly acceptable on every form I've ever filled out. Niam Julien Kumara Rahjan? Niam Kumara Julien Rahjan? Find a few favourites and try out the different combos, see which one flows better :)

July 14, 2015 4:45 PM

I'm also going to post back out here, for ease of reading.

That's amazing that you're friends with the actor! That has to be a first for name suggestions here, certainly for me.

I wasn't necessarily thinking of one of the -nder names with Niam (though it would be fine) but more if you wanted a three-syllable Indian name to go with one of your shorter Western names, like Arminder Kian or Arminder Luca. But I don't think you really need any more names in the mix; you've already got several great options.

I really like Niam Julien, too--and I would actually say Julien or Julian as three syllables: ju-lee-un or maybe ju-lee-en, with about equal emphasis on each syllable. I know it can kind of run together into jule-yen, but I don't think I ever say it as less than 2.5 at least. My only hesitation would be the repeated -n ending between middle and last names, but that's a tiny, tiny quibble and not worth dropping a name you love.

I also second the idea of having two middles if you want to add a meaningful family name. If you go in this direction, I would pick a first middle based on what you like best (sound, maybe derivation) and for the second I'd pick based on who you most want to honor, regardless of sound (just so long as the initials don't spell something crazy, like FEAR or BEER or something). 

July 14, 2015 10:45 PM

Replying to last 2 comments. Great ideas! 4 names - you dont think it speaks to parental indecisiveness at all? lol  I love that idea! Less chance of namers remorse!! I will try to avoid BEER or FEAR, or anything resulting in an acronym! And I agree about stretching 'Julian' to 3 syllables which it is. Do you like the French spelling with an 'e' better? To me it read a little like Julie, although I prefer that spelling as it seems a bit more rare. Only think with Julian these days is that it feels verrry popular to me. So high on the Soc Sec list this year! 

What about these:


Niam Julien Kumar Rajan (dropped 'a' in Kumara b/c it flows into last name that way)

Niam Arin Julian Rajan

Julian Niam Kumar Rajan (I think I could use Jem with this at home), but that's alot of names for 1 child!

Julien Amil Kumar Rajan

Julian Anik Kumar Rajan

Julian Arin Kumar Rajan (too many 'ens' 'ans')

Soren Alekh/ Elekh Kumar Rajan

Soren Kumar Amil Rajan

Amil Lysander Kumar Rajan

Kian Naveen Kumara Rajan

Ketan Amil Lysander Rajan

Taran Amil Kumar Rajan


What do you think? Too much like a list of random names. Seems with 4 they really have to flow, or mean something special! Couldn't have gotten this far without you all! I had to go in today to check about some possible real v Braxton Hix contractions, so I am definitely getting close!! Supposed to have 2 more weeks though.... if I have my way! Wish I was calling the shots with that though! :)

By Fly
July 15, 2015 12:38 AM

Absolutely don't fret about having four names. Royal families seem to have a half dozen names, and Keifer Sutherland probably has a full dozen.  I certainly never could restrict myself to two given names.  As long as they're all chosen for a reason it doesn't matter at all... and obviously no weird initials.

The first name should be the call name, I think. So I think you need to try on the first names (call names) and see which ones "feel right" and that you can see yourself yelling for a five year old's attention in a few years time.

The second name that you need to choose is the honour name.  Pick the one or two people that are most important for you to honour.

The third name you need to choose (which may well be in the second position depending on flow) is the one you like on its own merit.

We'll try and do some recommended combos based on sound, association, initials etc. with whatever names you give us (try to put them in lists, for 'call', 'honour' and 'like' names).

July 15, 2015 10:21 AM

I'd modify the definition of the third name: it's the alternate. Presumably, you like the first/call name on its own merits, too (otherwise you shouldn't be choosing it!). The first middle name -- which is mostly hidden, but not as much as the second middle -- should be the name you like best from the other culture, the one not reflected in the call name. This gives the child an alternate name to use if, for whatever reason, the first name doesn't fit a particular context. The remaining name will be so well-hidden that it can be anything, really: second middle is the perfect place for honor names that just don't work in one of your family's languages.

By Fly
July 15, 2015 11:15 AM

You make much more sense than I do. I was trying to say name #3 was a name she likes but doesn't work as a call name for whatever reason, but I didn't say it very well :)

July 15, 2015 8:44 AM

I like Ketan! It's hard for those not familiar with the name to pronounce, but easy once told ("like Nathan with a K").

July 15, 2015 11:06 PM

Such a clear stategy for naming. Makes it more than a string of names. I think I've been reversing the honor and 'alternate' positions, b/c I think ppl will rarely see name #3. You both explained it wonderfully. 

So you would do:

Niam Kumara Julien Rajan?

And yes I agree, I have to like the call name most b/c thats mostly what everyone will use. Our family in India loves Ayaan but they spell it with 2 'a's' But I agree its sing songy as a 'call name.' At this point, I'm putting the names on post it notes and moving their positions around on my coffee table! I think one will speak loudest to me soon! And Elizabeth I like Ketan too and that explanation. Sometimes ppl say 'Kay-Tahhhn' but not after remembering Nathan I bet. 

Did you like any of the options above w/ 4 names? Also, are there any famous Julians, or connotations w/ that name you know of? Just want to make sure b/c I dont know too many Julian's in my generation. Naming is keeping me up 24/7. If any of you have a name that fits in the 'alternate' position that you think goes with the others, please throw it out there!!

Thank you all!!

By Fly
July 15, 2015 11:24 PM

Julian is a character in some of the Enid Blyton novels I read as a kid. Julien reminds me of King Julien from the Madagascar films. But the first association with either spelling is actually Julius Ceasar, the historical Roman Emperor. None of these associations are bad, and they're not dated either.

Put them in groups if you can (some names might fit into two groups). The third name I was talking about could be Ayaan, because it goes in the middle somewhere and won't feel as rhymey. Soren probably also goes into that category, because as a second of three given names it wouldn't really impact the pronunciation of Rahjan.

So category one is names that flow well, that you like, that tick all the boxes as a call name. And category three is the other ones you love but can't use as a call name.

July 16, 2015 12:30 PM

I like Niam and Amil best with your surname, so I would pick one of those options. I'm also still partial to Lysander, just in general.

My boys both have two middle names; they have a Western first name, picked mainly for sound/associations, then a Japanese middle picked mainly for sound/meaning (though meaning is kind of wonky with Japanese names), then a Western family name picked for who it honors (my oldest son's name I would NEVER have chosen based on sound), and then our Japanese surname.

I agree with Fly, my main association with the name Julian is actually as the adjectival form of Julius, as in the Julian calendar. I think John Lennon named one of his sons Julian, too, but I had to dig hard for that association.

Julien is also nice; it might push me more toward the Julie-en rather than Julie-ən pronunciation (which I like). The only (very minor) issue there is that I associate that a little more with the cooking term, julienne, as in cutting veggies into very fine strips. But I'm sure if I actually knew a Julien I'd come to associate it with the person pretty quickly. The other issue is you might run into more spelling tussles; you'd have to decide whether that bothers you or not.

It's great that you're zeroing in! Keep us posted.

July 16, 2015 3:06 PM

One of my sons is a variant form of Julian. It's got a much more complicated spelling than Julien. While you will have to clarify "Julian-with-an-e", I think it's a fairly straightforward correction to make. I wouldn't undertake the alternate spelling without some kind of meaningful reason if it's in the first name slot - but if it's a middle name, you really wouldn't need to worry about the correction at all, since other people very rarely have cause to spell out middle names, and then I encourage you to just go for it.

I also don't think of Julian as a particularly association-ridden name. There's Assange in more recent current events, and Lennon,  but largely it's a pretty blank slate because there have been so very many Julians of note.

July 16, 2015 11:54 PM

Hi all - I have so come to appreciate and look forward to this thread! I haven't read those novels but will take a peek. And yes - my association was to Julian Lennon, and Julius. I like the an spelling too as its adjectival which I didnt think of!. But I work with teenagers and some kids told me its a slang term for a boy 'who is a player.' Not sure what to make of that! Hopefully that wont hold true for my son's cohort. 

Fly - I love the idea of grouping them into these categories, and have been playing around w my options, running them by family too.

So far....

#1 Niam Kumara Julian Rajan (lots of am, an endings) NJKR

#2 Julian Amil Kumara Rajan (puts honor category 3rd tho) JAKR

#3 Niam Kumar Lysander Rajan NKLR (dropped the a in Kumara, so only 1 3 syllable middle) NKLR

Thank you so much for sharing about your sons too! I have been torn about choosing a Western first name!! I always remember wanting one growing up, but love my full name now. The other thing is my name is kind of sing songy and rhymey so maybe thats why I gravitate towards all the 'an's!! My first name is Anjana, now that I feel you are my naming family! :) I thought at first of keeping the initials for the baby AR as well, but want him to have his own identity. I like that Julian and Rajan have regal meanings too! I am sad to not use Soren but my Swedish 'family' assures me that it is a very old, traditional name that 'only men over 50 have' was how they put it!

Also - you dont think Julian is too popular, or common? Or will be in next 5 years?

Thank you all so much for all your help!!