I see a trend with the Indian people around here in the US. Recently I started noticing it and I do not quite understand why?

When it comes to naming the children, most of them choose the name that starts with an ‘A’.
I am seeing names like Anish, Ashley etc., being given to kids of tamil speaking parents.

The two names that led me to writing this post are, Archith and Ashwith (Pronounced as ‘Ash’with).
What is this? what is being achieved by giving this kind of names to the kids?

and that too why it has to start with A ? even then why not ‘Arivudai Nambi’ or ‘Arivazhagan’ ?

If you know any reasons behind this ‘A’ thing, let me know.

26 Responses to “I dont understand why !”

  1. Sarav says:

    I came to know about a kid who came to her parents and asked why they named her with a cursed word in it. Her name is Arshitha!! 🙂

  2. Sadish says:


    that was quite funny… who could have ever thought about that ?

  3. This post obligates me to comment as we have named my son as ASHWIN. Me too wondered about people passionate about names starting with ‘A’, hope they are thinking of getting FIRST in the register (sorting in future could be descending order).

    I strongly believe names are a significant part of culture, family and personal identity, so choosing the right one for a new baby can seem like a daunting and challengin task. These days everyone have their own perception of naming their baby (Having the liberty of the BABY not speaking when it is named).
    Here are a few considerate when naming:
    2.Meaning of the Name:
    While most people do not know the meaning of their own name; the meaning of the name is something to consider that is missing.
    3.Uniqueness of the name
    4.Sound, and Rhythm
    5.Pronunciation of the name
    6.Religions; Ancestry (Nationality) and Heritage

    With us we did consider the following:
    1. Name should adhere to nationality and have a meaning.
    2. Pronounciation: To be honest my wife was so passionate about the sound of “SHA” in a name. We did consider MOTHERS wish as she was almost the god to him.
    3. I always wanted the firstname to be short and sweet (like ‘Sadish”).

    Maynot be an interesting story, but thats fact.

    Hope readers of this article will throw more light and reasoning about this…

  4. Sadish says:

    Thanks Raj for the detailed comment.

    Even I believe the mother should have more freedom in choosing the name for the baby.

    but this ‘A’ thing is a puzzle to me. may be only people surrounding me have this tendancy to start their baby’s name with ‘A’. I dont know.

    let us see.

  5. muthu says:


    i am not sure why we are thinking for names to give a meaning. well, my name muthu, which is pearl, but i am almost dark. well, it’s not funny when i was expected to glitter or shine.

    i don’t buy the concept of having a name which should represent some meaning ? why ? bill gates – i am not sure whether he has some meaning behind his name. so, “excuse me” was also a name of a baby in a movie. i am not too worried about the name, meaning or anything.

    for raj:
    1. Gender – well even though lakshminaryanan is called as lakshmi, we don’t really care whether he should see for an alternate male name.

    2.Meaning – i explained above

    3.Uniqueness – why need to be unique ? let’s take some of our collegemates. at least we had about 4 senthil kumar’s. when you go towards region, yours may not be a great guess to be unique.

    4.Sound – why can’t we take a mozart piece and name it. while calling that name, you will be feel great though !

    5.Pronounciation – well, i never got tired of saying my proud name as muthukumar arumugam as a complete word. this country is messed up. just because of these people, i don’t think it’s advisable to shorten the name.

    6.Religion – hmm, i think i should stop now.

    BUT ONE THING IS THAT we like to name people and we have a story alongside. we are from a culture where people go and ask a politician to name his kid. does it happen over here ?

    don’t get hurt. we have a meaning for a name. not the name itself has a meaning.

  6. Pujiono says:

    Well, the boys and girls with “A” will be enlisted on the top of the class.

  7. Sunshine says:

    Well, it’s for the parents to decide what names to give to their children.. If you don’t like those ‘A’ names, I respect that, but that’s just your opinion.

  8. Sadish says:


    Yes. It is just my opinion. but if people are naming their children, just so it will appear first in the school register, I want to know what do you achieve by that ?

    The kid should be first in the studies, or sports but need not be first in the attendance roll. Well. this is also my opinion. 🙂
    what is your opinion ?

  9. Sunshine says:

    Well, nothing great is achieved, obviously. But I personally feel, there shd have been more reasons than just to make their children appear first in the attendance. I know of parents who name their children like Zeba, Zhora etc – I don’t think they want their children to be last (in attendance or anywhere)- they just like the names, that’s all.
    The point I was trying to make was that, it’s just a harmless thing and if that’s what makes the parents’ happy who are we to complain? – even if we don’t like the names. And abt ‘Arivudai Nambi’ – Come on, now. Your name itself is noway near that, right?

  10. Sunshine says:

    And I must say, I agree with most of the things Muthu has said.

  11. umarewa says:

    as for as naming of children is concerned, i would like to draw your attention to Periyar e.ve.ra(you know him as your from Swamimalai)’s view:
    from the name of a person, one should not be able to
    identify the religion,caste or even the sex of the person concerned
    i remember 2 names christened by him to 2 kids:
    Russia has served as the first Registrar of MGR Medical unversity….Viduthalai is a senior advocate in Madras high court
    can you identify their country,religion, caste or sex from their name?
    remember the concept of GLOBAL VILLAGE

  12. Anonymous says:

    Its upto to the parents to name their kids.

    Why are you guys worried about them?

  13. Anish says:

    My name is Anish George . I do not know the meaning of my name. I asked to my Dad & Mom. They are helpless.


    All names must have some meaning.

  14. Sadish says:

    I think Anish – means the “Lord Eshwar”

  15. IamKams says:

    came across your blog, wondering about your name and lo, I find a post about names…
    Just curious about your name ‘Sadish’..is it just a new way of spelling ‘Sat(h)ish/Sat(h)eesh’ or different?

    IMHO, practically speaking, another factor Indian parents in the US should consider while selecting a name is how difficult it is to pronounce for Americans and if it will have a negative meaning if mispronounced(which is likely with most names).
    One of my friend’s name is ‘Smriti’ and I couldn’t help sympathize with one of her co-workers who attempted unsuccessfully to pronounce her name had to say: “How do you put 3 consonants successively in a name and expect me to pronounce it right?”

    The name Anish in Sanskrit means “The Supreme One”, who is Lord Vishnu for some and Lord Shiva for others..(google: Anish+name+meaning :-))

    I have had the exact same thoughts on why Tamil-speaking people have a penchant for North Indian names(other than Sanskrit Gods’ names) like Purabh, Anirudh etc. Is the desire to find a unique, uncommon name to blame?

    Ever noticed how some Tamil movies still mention beautiful Tamil names like: “Thamizhazhagi”, “Thaenmozhi”, “Chudarkodi”.. a few of my friends in US have managed to name their children in Tamil, without compromising other considerations, by choosing: Kavya, Oviya, Nithila..albeit, I couldn’t walked the talk -my daughter’s name is Vatsala, after her grandma.

  16. Sadish says:

    Good IamKams.

    Yes, Sadish is just a different lighter way of calling ‘Sathish’.

    Is the desire to find a unique, uncommon name to blame?

    I also wondered the same thing.

  17. Luthien says:

    Great thanks to Raj Coimbatore and IamKams for their posts! I’ve really enjoyed them! 😀
    I agree that parents are free to give a baby the name they like. And maybe meaning isn’t the most important reason they should consider choosing the name (actually, almost all the names have beautiful or at least interesting meanings), but the name mustn’t be difficult to pronounce by all means! I’m sure that our name can influence our fates – not ’cause there’s any mysterious power in names. I have some model stories to illustrate my point of view.
    Once upon a time =) there lived a boy. He was a son of a Russian man and an Italian woman. His mother was given a favor: she was allowed to name her son as she wanted. And she gave him a beautiful name Rodrigo. But she didn’t take into account that they lived in Russia where there are patronymic names and that her husband’s name was Piotr. So, the baby became Rodrigo Petrovich – an awfully ugly and inappropriate name. The contrast between ancient foreign name and common, simple Russian patronymic name made him ridiculous. His classmates laughed at him. He felt miserable.
    The same story happened to Akaky Akakievich. (Doesn’t the name seem funny to you, foreigners? =) It does to me. I’m Russian.)
    Another story. Jevlampy Vladimirovich Jeniseev is a very difficult name to pronounce for Russians. A Russian couple gave such a name to their son. They thought it was unusual and outstanding. Jevlampy was a laughing-stock of the whole school. That’s why he decided to keep his mind sternly fixed on a studious career and not to pay any attention to his classmates. Then he became an outstanding scientist who studied… ants. =) A happy end? Oh, no, unfortunately! He was very unhappy all his life. He didn’t know anything in the world besides his beloved ants. He never married. He was an unsociable melancholic. And maybe everything would have happened another way if his parents had given him a usual Russian name, something like Sergey or Kolya…
    I’m sorry if I’ve made any mistakes in this post.

    The main thought is: don’t make your children unhappy by your desire to be uncommon! Just choose the names that sound beautiful and are pronounced easily – and be happy! =D

  18. Levi says:

    By giving your child an “A” name you can increase the chances of them being picked first for millions of things during their life. Maybe that’s why they’re doing it?

    Helping their kids move to the ‘top of the pile’.

  19. Luthien says:

    Also I want to say that we don’t have such a problem here in Russia, ’cause a class list is made here according to family names (surnames), not first names. And you can’t choose your surname, so choosing a name for their baby Russian parents don’t have to think about its first letter.
    My conclusion: hey, everybody! Come to us, come to Russia! =)))

  20. Tyler says:

    Other common American-Indian names I have come around are Nishi, Ritu, Niraj, and Rahul.

  21. Kelly says:

    hehe…Sadish, I never thought about it until I read this and my Indian friend just had a baby girl and her name STARTS WITH AN A!!! LOL Her name: Anisha.

    I’m going to pay more attention and see if I notice this… =)

  22. Well to comment first, Class rosters go by last name not first names, Second it seems a little strange that you are catigorizing “Indian people” as naming with an A than most others. What is up wiht all the J’s and b’s etc in american culture??? If there is a reason (I don’t think specifically with A other than personal heritage and culture (such as the all american name John). Would be curious to hear…

    Also other names to help in the consideration..


  23. John says:

    Its so that if they go to public school they will get everything first – duh!!!!

  24. menta says:


    Iam planning to have my baby name Anish its not that I want to start with A but I wanted to keep the name meaning with Lord shiva then I found Anish thats the reason .Ma be many are like me particular with meaning:-)BTW my daughter name is Liesha

  25. Gyanesh says:

    We are planing to name our son Anish. We had to choose between Vijay, Sakar, Gautam and Anish. Vijay and Gautam were my favorites and Sakar and Anish were my wife’s. I liked the meaning of Anish (supreme or lord Vishnu). It also has a greek meaning. So we decided to name our son Anish. We chose this name not because it starts with A, instead because it is easy to pronounce, it has a good meaning and our daughter’s name is Anusha which sounds similar to Anish.
    We named our daughter Anusha because it was the nakshatra (star) at the time of her birth. Plus she was born in the morning and Anusha also means beautiful morning.

  26. ANISH REDDY says:

    HI my name is ANISH REDDY.Its quite interesting to see the confusion about my name.ok let me solve this puzzle.it has two origins.one is indian origin.it says that anish means “born without a master”.to make it simple it means “the supreme one” or “the ultimate”.
    the other origin is from greek where anish is “a form of gift from god”.

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