Mongolian Culture

Undestanding Mongolian Names

Mongolian name meaning

Undestanding Mongolia names

There is an age-old saying, “A peacock cares its feather, so does person loves and honor his name ”
It’s Mongolian custom to name their newborn in 3 days. Names are usually perceived as a favorable omen. There are different methods for choosing baby names. Some Mongolian parents visit a Buddhist monastery and ask a lama. Or family members write their preferred names on slips of paper and put it in a bowl with rise and shake a bowl of rice until a name emerges. There are some names that literally mean that the child has no name. Names like Nergui (nameless) or Terbish (not this one) are chosen by parents who want to avoid bad spirits, if their child were previously passed away.

It is interesting that Mongolian name has been developing along the history of Mongolia.

  • While in ancient times, the names were emerged from their ancestral tribes, clans, origins, etc.
  • From 13th to 16th century, the names meaning were symbolized strength such as Tomor (Iron), Bat, Bekh (Tenacious), Bold (Steel), Munkh (Eternal),
  • Since the introduction of Buddhism in Mongolia, Tibetan names had been predominant. Names such as Ayush (Perpetual), Bavuu (Hero), Myadag(Flower), Suren (Amulet) were very popular.
  • With the victory of the People’s Revolution in 1921 and the expansion of Mongolian-Soviet friendly relations, Mongolians gave their children the names of famous politicians and some Russian names such as Sukhbaatar, Choibalsan, Stalin, Gagarin, Sasha Gurragchaa, Janibekov and Tsedenbal. Also, if child were born on New Year’s Eve, he or she would be called Shinebayar (New Happiness), Shinejil (New Year), Yolk (Christmas tree), if they were born on Women’s Day, she would be called Marta.
  • After the Democratic Revolution of 1990, the ancient history and religious realities that had been forbidden to the Mongols were revived, and the tendency to give the names of ancient kings, queens, and aristocrats to their newborn children became apparent. For example, Temuujin, Burte, Yesukhei, Esui, Esugen, Anu, Anujin, Mandukhai, Temuulen, Khasar, Belgudei and others.

Nowadays most parents give Mongolian names to their children, often in the form of compounds consisting of two nouns or adjectives, representing nature related like Solongo (Rainbow) Oyu (Turquoise), Nomin (Azure), also qualities such as solidity and strength for boys or beauty in the case of girls. Today, the most common Mongolian names are Bat-Erdene (15,079), Khulan (12,033), Otgonbayar (11,521), Temuulen (11,484) and Bilguun (11,165).