How Are Sikh Baby Names Traditionally Chosen?

The way Sikhs choose baby names — by using holy scripture in a rather creative way — reminds me a lot of the way Puritans used to select names.

Puritan parents — not all, but some — would invent a name using a word or phrase from the Bible. (Example: Fly-fornication.) Sikhs, on the other hand, determine the first letter of a baby’s name by picking a random passage out of the Guru Granth Sabib:

Once inside the Gurdwara the Guru Granth Sahib is randomly opened by the Granthi (priest) and a passage is read out aloud. The family will then choose a name by using the first letter of the hymn on the page opened. The baby’s name is announced to the congregation, the Granthi will also add Singh (lion) as a surname if the baby is a boy, and Kaur (princess) if the child is a girl.

And here’s another interesting fact about Sikh baby names: They’re usually not gender-specific. If the chosen first name is Pritam, a boy would be called Pritam Singh and a girl would be called Pritam Kaur. (Certain names are pronounced differently depending upon gender, though.)

Source: BBC – Religions – Sikhism: Baby rites

One thought on “How Are Sikh Baby Names Traditionally Chosen?

  1. Modern Sikh girl names with meaning
    # Gurudaya- mercy of guru or teacher
    # Gurukripa- mercy or favor of guru
    # Yashleen- absorbed in fame
    # Yashkirti- fame & glory
    # Devdaya-mercy of god
    # Devkripa- favour by god
    # Rajdara- royal girl, princess
    # Rajkanya- princess (royal girl)
    # Rajastri- queen (wife of king)
    # Rajputri- princess

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