Ethnic Origin of Names

Names are a form of identification for a person or object and they are usually in the form of proper nouns. It indicates reputation, identity, and family association.

Therefore, some people can go to great lengths to choose the best name for their child. The baby naming system may be loosely held in some societies while others take baby naming quite seriously.

Every year, a list of popular baby names is compiled and released for public reference. These popular names indicate that many parents name their children after such names.

However, there are also many parents who opt for highly unusual baby names with cultural connotations.

What is behind these names? What is the ethnic origin of names?

Before we go on, it helps to understand the word “ethnic”. A particular ethnicity refers to a particular race or culture. Humans are often affiliated through such ties and the members can identify with each other due to shared similarities.

Many names today are culturally unique and highly popular parents’ choices because we live in a society where different cultures converge. Some names today had their origins in Teutonic, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The diversity of languages prompted the creation of names and name meanings that are unique.

For example, the search for an African name often relates to languages spoken in central Africa and they often belong to the Niger-Congo language family.

Chinese names are related to languages spoken in China (i.e. Mandarin) while Japanese names may be related to Altaic languages. These languages relate to a particular (or a few) ethnic groups and they may be spoken in different regions around the world.

Naming can be further personalized as parents combine names of different ethnicity or include more than two individual names for the child.

African-American and Hispanic-American names are gaining popularity in different parts of the world. Sometimes, religious influences prevent parents from adopting other ethnic-based names readily.

Parents may also choose names that are popular in the country where their ancestors once lived. Name meanings and ethnic origin of names are diversified, leading to endless choices for parents.

However, parents should choose their children’s names wisely and carefully.