The Tibetan name Jigme

Speaking of recent name sightings…I was on the Bhutan Wikipedia page yesterday and noticed that both the Prime Minister and the King are named Jigme.

In fact, four out of Bhutan’s five kings have been named Jigme. (Bhutan has been a monarchy only since 1907.)

Where does Jigme (pronounced JIG-mee) come from? It’s a Tibetan word meaning “fear not” or “fearlessness.” It seems to be a popular name among Tibetan Buddhists. (The older brother of the current Dalai Lama was Thubten Jigme Norbu, for instance.)

Other Tibetan names include Dikyi, meaning “happiness”; Dorje, “noble stone” or “thunderbolt”; Phuntso, “satisfaction”; Sonam, “fortunate”; Trashi/Tashi, “good luck”; and Tsering, “long life.”


  • Fader, H. Louis. Called from obscurity. Kalimpong, India: Tibet Mirror Press, 2004.
  • Goodman, Michael Harris. The Last Dalai Lama: a Biography. Boston: Shambhala, 1987.

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