10 Baby-Naming Traditions From Around the World

baby footWhen you selected your baby's name, was there a special method or tradition you followed when picking it out? Or did you simply find it in a baby book and decide it was the perfect moniker -- like most of the general population does?

Well, believe it or not, many cultures have a definite way of going about things as far as giving a baby a name goes -- and some of them are pretty fascinating, to say the least.


Check out these 10 traditions for baby naming that go on in different parts of the world. (Interesting stuff!)

  1. Jewish -- If you have any Jewish friends who have not told you their baby's name right away, there's a very good reason for it. Jewish baby boys are named eight days after their birth at their "bris," where a circumcision ritual is also performed. Baby girls are given their names 8 to 15 days after being born with a special reading from the Torah.
  2. Chinese -- Chinese babies are not typically given names before they are born. Their names usually consist of two different syllables from the Chinese alphabet, each of which has its own meaning. Girls are usually given elaborate names, while boys are given plain names to ward off evil spirits.
  3. Greek -- Babies are named on either the seventh or tenth day after birth. Many babies are named after saints, while the eldest boy and girl are usually named after their paternal grandfather and grandmother, respectively.
  4. Hindu -- The Hindu religion also holds a naming ceremony, somewhere after the first 10 days of a baby's life. During the ritual, the father whispers the baby's name into his ear four times.
  5. Japanese -- Japanese babies are usually named on the seventh day after birth. Girls are given names that are associated with virtues, while boys are given names that have to do with their position in the family.
  6. Irish -- Folks in Ireland are all about the fam. For example, Irish first born sons are named after their paternal grandfather. First born daughters are named after their maternal grandmother. And then second born sons are named after their maternal grandfather and second born daughters are named after their paternal grandmother.
  7. Polish -- Babies in Poland are named after saints or sometimes after their godparents. Some parents also consult priests or the Roman calendar to name their children.
  8. African -- Parents of African babies sometimes give them two names, one upon birth and then another that is given at a celebration at a later time.
  9. Hawaiian -- This one is so interesting. Native Hawaiians believe a baby's name is passed down by God in a dream or vision. In the event that a name is not passed down, the child is given two names. The first is the one they tell others about and the other is kept secret to make sure it's not heard by evil spirits.
  10. Native American -- Some babies are given names based on their family's clan. Other Native American cultures keep the child's name secret until they reach puberty. And sometimes an event that occurs at the child's birth helps determine his name.

How did you choose your baby's name?


Image via music2fish2/Flickr

Read More >