40 Indian Names for Multicultural Babies 42


Naming your baby can be a difficult task, there are just so many things to think about! You want the name to complement your surname, have a significant meaning and not remind you of anyone you would rather forget…

There is a little extra to consider when your baby is going to be born into two cultures, two countries and two languages. Does the Indian name sound like a negative English word and vice versa? Will both our families like it and be able to pronounce it? I imagine this is also important for Indian expats or Non-Resident Indians living and raising babies overseas.

I wanted to share with you my hours research and my 40 favourite multicultural Indian baby names!

20 Girl Names

Indian Name

Sanskrit Meaning

Similar to/Other meanings

Anjali Offering Angela, Latin name meaning ‘Messenger of God’
Anita Full of Grace Hebrew name meaning ‘Grace’
Anushka Ray of Light Russian name of endearment
Arya Noble, Precious Hebrew name meaning ‘Lioness’, a Character in Game of Thrones
Dhara Plant Earth Dara, Irish name meaning ‘Pearl of Wisdom’
Heera Diamond Hera, a Greek name meaning ‘Queen of Heaven’
Janika Mother, Goddess Sita Slavic name meaning ‘God is Gracious’
Kareena Pure Carina, an Italian name meaning ‘Cute’
Lola Goddess Lakshmi Spanish name meaning ‘Virgin Mary’
Maya Illusion, Goddess Durga Roman name meaning ‘Mother Earth’
Meghna Thunder Meghan, a Welsh name meaning ‘Pearl’
Nikita Earth, Temple Russian name meaning ‘Unconquerable’
Rita Truth Spanish name meaning ‘Pearl’
Roma Goddess Lakshmi Italian name meaning ‘Of Rome’
Saraswati Goddess of Knowledge Sara, Hebrew name meaning ‘Princess’
Sheela Good Conduct Shelia, Latin name meaning ‘Heavenly’
Sonia Golden Russian variation of the Greek name ‘Sophia’, meaning ‘Wisdom’
Tanya Of the Family Name of an early Christian martyr
Tara Star Irish name meaning ‘Where the Kings Meet’
Tula Born under the star of Libra Germanic name meaning ‘Strength’
mother-in-law baby naming ceremony | western sounding Indian baby names

A traditional Indian naming ceremony, with my mother-in-law’s cook’s grandson!

20 Boys Names

Indian Name

Sanskrit

Similar to/Other Meanings

Ajay Unconquerable, Invincible A.J.
Anand Bliss Andy
Arun Sun Aaron, a Hebrew name meaning ‘Lofty’
Ashwin Light Anglo-Saxon name meaning ‘Swift, Thai name meaning ‘Brave Knight’.
Biren Lord of Warriors Byron, the romantic poet
Bodhi Enlightenment, Bodhi tree Popular name used by many American celebrities. Similar to Brody
Dharun Supporting Darren, an English name associated with the Oak tree
Dhilan Son of Waves Dylan, Welsh name meaning ‘great sea’
Hans Swan Scandinavian name meaning ‘Gift from God’
Hari Lion, Name of Vishnu Harry, you know, like Potter
Jay Victory English name meaning ‘To Rejoice’
Kiran Ray of Light Kieran, an Irish name meaning ‘Little Dark One’
Milan Coming Together of People Slavic name meaning ‘Beloved’. The fashion capital of Italy
Mohan Charming Moe
Neil Acquirer Gaelic name meaning ‘Cloud’ or ‘Passionate’
Nikhil Complete Nick
Rahul Conqueror of Miseries Arabic name meaning ‘traveler’
Rohan Ascending Gaelic name meaning ‘Red’. It’s also the name of a realm in ‘the Lord of the Rings’.
Samesh Lord of Equality Sam
Sunil Dark Blue Sunny

Many cultures in India wait until the baby is born and determine the name from their astrological birth chart. We decided not to do that because we wanted the name to reflect both cultures in some way. We decided on Rohan’s name whilst I was still in my second trimester of pregnancy. I loved that it was both a Sanskrit and Gaelic (I’ve some Celtic blood) name.

Turns out there that his name was also written in the stars in a way. On the day Rohan was born, we realised it was the Christian holiday, Ascension Day (the day Jesus ascended to heaven) and Rohan means ‘ascension’ in Sanskrit. A special little coincidence!

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About Lauren Mokasdar

Lauren fell in love on the internet, took a one way flight from England, got married & started a new life & bicultural family in India. She writes about finding happiness & balance between two very different worlds, when her baby takes a nap.


42 thoughts on “40 Indian Names for Multicultural Babies

  • Kelly

    Hi Lauren. Thanks for the research and great article! I am just in my second trimester and we too are trying to make name decisions. It seems some names I like are most certainly NOT appropriate in Malayalam! I found your list really interesting and will be showing my husband when he comes in. Happy snuggles with the beautiful boy of yours.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Aw CONGRATS Kelly! That’s lovely news! I’m so glad it could be of help! Exciting times ahead! Hoping you, your hubby and bump are well! Lots of love xx

  • friend

    This is quiet a comprehensive list. There is a slight variation of the name Neil which is Neel (blue) which could also be used. It also reminds you of Neelkanth (blue throat) another name of Lord Shiva.

    Another very common name is Aditya very popular among north Indians which could become Adie/Eddy. The most common name could be aryan which is known to the western world.

    Well, your husband’s name Abhiram could be pronounced as Abraham.

  • Tracy Patil

    Hi Lauren, What an interesting post! We named our daughter Estelle Anjouli ( Anjali), Estelle means star in Greek and as you said in your article Anjali means gift. We chose to have the indian name as a middle name but we would have had the names around the other way if we were living in India. We tried to pick easy names to pronounce. Our daughter loves her names, so I think we did a good job!! Incidently when in India or when speaking to Indian family Estelle uses Anjouli as do we. We are so used to doing that, we don’t even notice that we switch over to it. Incidently we chose Phillip Krishna for a boy. My favourite book is Great Expectations and both names are in that. I would love to have a pretty name with meaning, not keen on trendy names. You and your husband chose well, it’s a lovely name !! x

  • Olivia

    Hi Lauren,
    I loved this post! I think a name should not only sound nice but also have an auspicious meaning. That it has to fit nicely between two cultures just makes it that more challenging. When we found out we were having a girl, my husband was quick to decide on traditional Pashtun names. Names that while very pretty unfortunately don’t sit on an American tongue so well. We finally compromised on Zara, Arabic for Eastern Splendour or Princess. Turns out hubby was also thinking of more western sounding names and he turned me onto Vanessa, German for Little Esther (which means of the Stars). We also wanted it to sound nicely with our last name, Zeb or beauty in Persian. So come mid-November we wil have a little princess of the stars beauty to gush over. Haha
    Ps: I think Rohan is a great name. Not only from a cultural standpoint but as a life- long LOTR fan , I give it two thumbs up.

  • Gopal Sekhar

    Hi thank you for this beautiful research you made on indian names.My name’ Gopal ‘ means one who look after or protect the cow. I never new there was day dedicated to comming of jesus to earth.Thanks for this information.

  • Samrandomnumber

    That’s an interesting list. Have you decided to pronounce Rohan as Ro-haan or something a little more like Rowan? God, I shouldn’t dwell too long on this post or I’ll get melancholic – my Indian chap and I can’t see a way out of our perpetual LDR (almost 3 years and counting) and I’m in my mid-thirties now, so family-building etc is distressingly off the table (more distressing than I ever imagined before I met him), but I can’t help contemplating names for our imaginary children. Dhilan is a new one to me, and it’d be a lovely choice, as I’m Welsh and have lots of maritime connections – though not so apt on his side as he’s only seen the sea once!

      • Samrandomnumber

        Shakti – true, but sadly all the problems that render us unable to live together would have to be solved pretty much yesterday, and that’s really not going to happen. I suppose there could be some kind of miracle but I think it’s best for my sanity that I put the idea out of my mind and just appreciate what we do have together. Thanks for the optimism though!

    • Verity

      Oh, your comment makes me sad. I’m also in a 3+ year LDR with an Indian chap and I’m in my early forties – it’s very hard, isn’t it? I also contemplate names for imaginary children!

      • Samrandomnumber

        So hard – my total sympathy. I don’t know many (if any) other people in a cross-continental LDR with no hope of resolution. (Definitely none when I add ‘he’s illiterate, so we can’t write to each other’ to the mix!) When I tell people about it, and I’m generally quite cagey because it’s not a story with a happy ending, they tend to say variations on ‘Wow, that’s amazing’, which, yes, it kind of is, but it’s awful too. You get jealous of the most petty things … having a joint bank account; picking out furniture for a home you both own. And the worries about now being physically there for each other if something goes wrong at the wrong time, the anxiety about the inability to build a stable future … and of course the imaginary children. But I tell myself it’s worth it all for the joy of the reunions … and if we’ve put up with all of this for so many years and with the promise of many more, these are some pretty tough relationships. Pyaar, eh. Solidarity, Verity. x

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Big hug Sam!
      I hope that you and your man can get together soon! <3
      We pronounce it Ro-haan but my grandparents call him Rowan, I let them because I also love the name Rowan (one of my favourite names for a girl).
      I love Dhilan to, I think I would probably spell it Dylan (Rohan and Dylan sound cute together right?)
      Sending love xx

  • Melissa

    Hi Lauren,

    Loved this new post about baby names, very complete list you have completed. I love the name you and your husband has picked, Rohan, and has special meaning. My congratulations to you and your family on this lovely child.

    Melissa

  • Anna

    A perfect name combining both the cultures! Congratulations! I found it really hard to come up with a name for a boy, but there are so many girls’ names out there…to add to your list, Mia, Reena, Sia, and Katrina (my daughter’s name). We settled on a combo for my son, Aarun – combining Aaron and Arun, which made both the families happy 🙂

    I’d also be keen to know how you pronounce Rohan? And does he have a middle name?

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Hi Anna!
      Oooh I love your combo and thank you so much for the additions!!

      Rohan is simply… Rohan. No middle name, we couldn’t settle on one so we just decided to keep it like that. I would be tempted to give a middle name to a little girl, if I ever have a daughter (I have 3 middle names myself!) We pronounce it Ro-Haan but my grandparents call him Rowan 😛

      I hope you and your fam are well xx

  • Surya

    Congratulations. I like the way you chose a name acceptable to both the cultures. The child would appreciate the way his parents had considered the cultural sensitivities involved here.. A fine example of sorts.Way to go.

  • Verity

    What a great article! My imaginary Indian-Australian son is called Kiran. Australians could cope with that because they’d just presume the name is Keiran. Australians are terrible at trying to pronounce names from other countries! We put them in the too-hard basket. My imaginary daughter would be Deepika which would be a problem – Deepiwhat?

  • friend

    @Lauren

    There are a few other names which are common to both Christians and Muslims like Abhraham=Ibrahim, Dawood=David, Jabreel=Gabriel, Yusuf=Joseph, Danial=Daniel, Aadam=Adam, Musa=Moses, Yohanna=John (as in John the Baptist)

    I think due to shared mythological heritage, they have more names in common.

  • Nicola

    From your Instagram pictures I see that you were in England for the latter stages of your pregnancy, and also after Rohan was born. Will you be blogging about that? I feel like there’s a big gap that I want to catch up on!
    With Rohan’s name, do you stress the first syllable or the second? Btw, the instant I saw his photo I thought how much you can see his father in him. You must both be so happy.

    • Lauren Mokasdar Post author

      Yess! I’ll slowly catch up with everything. I want to space out my posts a bit otherwise they all come out at once and then I might not have much to say for a while 😀

      Probably more the second! I don’t say it much, taken to calling him Roh!

      Hoping you are well! Lots of love xx

  • sachin2099

    Hi Lauren, hope you are doing great. I am a student of international relations, and i was doing a small research on out of box solutions for the present disorder of the world situation. And some link brought me here, so i went through a little of your journey. And i found it very interesting and intriguing at the same time.
    I had an amazing thought for my research, check this.
    What if ‘inter-country’ or inter-culture marriage was mandatory? We would all be so interconnected. The global challenges would start collapsing.
    Say what? 🙂

  • Aftab Ahmad

    Lot more other names are very common which are originated from Judaism , Christianity and Islam and very commonly used in Indian Muslim society .Unless writer choose to select only Hindu names .India is not only Hindu but also Muslim, Christian, Jain , Buddhist , Sikh and many more religious minorities whose names sounds and means similar to of west.

    Here are few names which not only have similar meaning but they also sound similar.

    Bible (English) Indian Muslim pronunciation / Arabic

    Aaron Hārūn
    Abel Hābīl
    Abraham Ibrāhīm
    Adam Ādam
    Eve Ḥawwā
    Amram ʿImrān
    Cain Qābīl
    David Dāwad

    Eber Hūd
    Elijah (Elias)Ilyās
    Elisha al-Yasa‘
    Enoch Idrīs
    Ezekiel Ðūl-Kifl
    Ezra Uzair
    Gabriel Jibrīl
    Gog and Magog Ya’juj and Ma’juj
    Goliath Jālūṭ
    Haman Hāmān
    Isaac Isħāq
    Ishmael Ismail
    Jacob Yaʿqūb
    Jethro, Hoba
    Jesus ʿĪsā

    Job ʾ Ayyūb
    John the Baptist Yaḥyā
    Jonah Yūnus
    Joseph Yūsuf

    Korah Qārūn
    Lot Lūṭ

    Magog Majuj
    Mary Maryam

    Michael Mīkāeel
    Moses Mūsā
    Noah Nūḥ
    Pharaoh Firʿawn

    Zechariah Zakariyyā
    Zimri (prince) Al-Samiri (Islamic figure) (Al-Samīri is derived from Eastern Syriac ‘Zamri, which is derived from Hebrew Zimri)

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