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Friday, July 08, 2005

Malay Name Trends (But You're Chinese...!)

First off, I don’t have a Malay name. Neither do my relatives (I dunno, maybe it’s because I’m Chinese?) But I spent 16 years in Malay schools and university (17, if you include kindergarten...), I’ve befriended hundreds and hundreds of Malay friends and neighbours.

And I’ve noticed trends come and go over the years when it comes to their names. But bear in mind this isn’t definitive, and dudes like MackZul can probably give a better account, but this is just my observation…


Born BEFORE 1970’s:
  • What my friend calls ‘kampung’ names, with short form - Zabedah (Bedah), Latifah (Tipah), Fatimah (Timah), Maimunah (Maimun), Aminah (Minah), Sharifah (Rifah? Pah?).

Born DURING the 1970’s:
  • The prefix Siti. Example – Siti Halijah, Siti Manisah, etc.
  • The prefix Nur or Noor. Example – Nurashikin, Siti Noor Farizah, etc.
  • Traditional names – Jamaliah, Rozilah, Mariam, etc.

Born in the 80’s and 90’s:
  • English names – Sarah, Emilia, Lina, Mimi, Masha
  • Super long names – Siti Nurfarahin Dayangku Intan, Noor Elfina Putri Syafinaz.


Born BEFORE 1970’s:
  • Ali
  • Abdullah
  • And those named after prophets.

Born DURING the 1970’s:
  • Mostly ending with ‘din’. Example – Kamaruddin, Jamaluddin, Hairuddin.
  • Mostly ending with ‘man’. Example – Leman, Azman, Rahman, Lokman, Suparman (no, really!).

Born in the 80’s and 90’s:
  • English names. Example – Alex, Jeffrey, MackZul (I say, joking only aa?)
  • Super long names – Mohd Dzicky Fyemmy Mohd Nor Azwan, Ahmad Iskandar Zulkarnain Al-Bukhari, etc.
  • Indonesian names – Putra Kurniawan, Ismaryanto and some more I can’t remember (not that many around, but there definitely was a trend going)

Malaysian Chinese names? Don’t get me started. OK, I will, next week (*groan*...)

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        • Simon, wow.. those are some modern names. I still prefer the original Bedah and Siti names. Bring back old skool memories. This article also makes me wonder; what happened to the prefix bin (for male) and binti (for female) Have it been abandoned?

          By Blogger MahaguruSia, at 7/08/2005 11:38:00 am  

        • hahah, pretty cool. haven't heard of any alex malay tho.

          By Blogger KY, at 7/08/2005 11:47:00 am  

        • chinese name:
          70' girls name after flower, boys name "ming" and "fook".
          80' girls or boys name after HK celebraties.
          90' girls or boys name toward academic (the 'chim' the better), unisex.
          after 90' all christian name liao.
          I no blog this few days, so I kacau in your blog.

          By Blogger Twinsmom, at 7/08/2005 11:49:00 am  

        • talk about names....I like to go around asking if anybody knows Koay Hock Seng....and everybody ???scratch head. Then I say, Aaron Kwok lah! (also in mandarin, Kwok Fu Tseng) Then only they know. Funny eh? Local flavour not hot enough.

          By Blogger lc teh, at 7/08/2005 01:30:00 pm  

        • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

          By Blogger coppersnare, at 7/08/2005 03:20:00 pm  

        • suparman is a pretty common name here. a malaysian suparman must be of indonesian descent.

          the best one i know is a friend's dad whose name is SUPARNO. now, it doesn't take much to make it more interesting, don't you think?

          By Blogger coppersnare, at 7/08/2005 03:23:00 pm  

        • mahaguru sia - think its not so popular now, some arab countries also don't use bin/binti anymore...

          twinsmom & lc teh - let me compile some malaysian chinese names... :)

          ky - i had a friend who's brother's name is alex. his own name is brian.

          coppersnare - SUPARNO? is that like SUPER UMNO?

          By Blogger Simon, at 7/08/2005 04:39:00 pm  

        • heheh, looks like i was given a 70's name when i'm born in the 80's. heheheh.

          By Blogger Din, at 7/08/2005 06:19:00 pm  

        • MahaguruSia: Many newspapers' 'house style' is to leave out 'bin' and 'binti' from Malay names. Don't know why. Save space?


          By Blogger ireneQ, at 7/09/2005 12:19:00 am  

        • Hehehe good one! Ya lah true about the super duper longified names, with english sounding shorter names.

          By Blogger Shan, at 7/09/2005 11:55:00 am  

        • Malay nowadays are given name yards long that it's a wonder if anyone can remember it in full.

          For me, I'm just an Indonesian poet :)

          By Blogger NSDS3HvLDjJd, at 7/10/2005 09:35:00 pm  

        • nsds3 - really? so cool! which poet?

          shan - yeah, what happen to cool, snappy names like 'polar bear'? :)

          fahruddin - yes that's true, but not many ppl i know have your name.

          ireneQ - definitely saves space. Tun Dr. Mahathir became 'TM'...

          By Blogger Simon, at 7/11/2005 10:45:00 am  

        • Hehe yeah doesn't polar bear just rock :D

          By Blogger Shan, at 7/11/2005 01:14:00 pm  

        • i was born in the 70s. my mum wanted to name me josephine. how un-malay is that? she wanted to name my brother joshua. she said at that time there was a tengku josephine, so she liked that name. however, i ended up having a name which is popular in p. ramlee movies. everytime someone hears my name, they'll say, mak you suka cerita p ramlee ke?....

          anyway, i don't understand why people give such long malay names to their kids, only to end up calling one syllable, like na, or sha, or whatever.

          By Blogger mudslinger, at 7/11/2005 03:22:00 pm  

        • so which p. ramlee movie character did she name you? Rohani?

          "Rohani? Cantik sungguh nama Rohani. Macam nama nenek saya..."???

          By Blogger Simon, at 7/11/2005 04:01:00 pm  

        • yea, polar bear rocks. So does spanky mcW...

          By Blogger Simon, at 7/11/2005 04:01:00 pm  

        • Named after an Indonesia poet, that's all.

          By Blogger NSDS3HvLDjJd, at 7/11/2005 07:22:00 pm  

        • I had a classmate called Fakharuddin. Guess what everybody called him. Poor kid.

          By Blogger james, at 7/12/2005 10:29:00 am  

        • haha simon, i ain't telling. but it begins with the letter 'j' still.

          By Blogger mudslinger, at 7/12/2005 05:28:00 pm  

        • james - i bet i won't be 'Din'!

          mudslinger - hmmm... let me watch some old p.ramlee shows...

          By Blogger Simon, at 7/15/2005 11:28:00 am  

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