color by numbers

mindless musings of a semi-creative guy

The Process of การเลือกชื่อ

One thing every new parent faces, regardless of where they live, how much money they have, what kind of baby will be born… is figuring out what to call their child once it arrives.

The process of การเลือกชื่อ, choosing a name, varies in difficulty from person to person. Some have had a name picked out for years before even becoming pregnant. Others like to decide in the moments after birth, once the face of their new little baby has been seen. Some couples agree right away, and others go through a timely process of writing down possible names and making lists for each other to go through for the purpose of either approving or vetoing certain selections.

Our little poser.

I’ve been making baby name lists, altering them every now and then, for a few years now. Brook, on the other hand, has not.  In fact, he told me early on in this pregnancy that he didn’t want to officially start thinking of names until we found out the gender of our soon-to-be little human.  Now that we have finally found out what little Sarver is going to be, the process has begun!

But still, it’s not as simple as that.

Since we live in Thailand, and the language of the people, of course, is Thai – a highly tonal, very much pronunciation-sensitive language – we need to take that into account when choosing what to call our new addition.  Every name we consider goes through the usual “Do we like it? Can we say it a million times and not get tired of it?  Does it flow well with our last name?” tests… but, it must also be run through an extra filter, if you will:

  • Does it sound the same as any Thai vocabulary, and if so, does it have a meaning?  Is the meaning acceptable or will we be inadvertently cursing every time we call our kids in for supper?
  • How will it sound when a native Thai speaker pronounces it?  If they say it differently, does it sound like any other Thai words which could also be wildly inappropriate not only for naming a person, but also for everyday speech?
  • How will it be spelled in Thai, so others will know how to say it?

There have actually been a few names already taken off of the docket, as all we can do is laugh when we ask some our Thai friends to say them.  They come out completely different – either because it is too difficult to say, or their pronunciation changes the name’s implied gender drastically.  It’s quite humorous, actually, to hear some of the things that come out of names we’ve chosen.  (And yes, I know there are more than plenty enough Thai names that I butcher mercilessly when attempting to say them as well.)

All that said, we have not officially chosen a name for our baby yet, but there is one that we are currently testing out seriously for the next couple of weeks.  Am I going to tell you what it is?  Nope.  Not until a final decision has been made, and a middle name assigned… and that probably won’t be for at least another month or so.  🙂  We’ve still got somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 weeks left, as far as we know, and we intend on using that time fully!


May 22, 2011 Posted by | Personal, Thailand | 1 Comment