Tibetan name

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Tibetan names typically consist of two juxtaposed elements.

Family names are rare except among those of aristocratic ancestry and then come before the personal name (but diaspora Tibetans living in societies that expect a surname may adopt one). For example, in Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, Ngapoi was his family name and Nga-Wang Jigmê his personal name.

Tibetan nomads (drokpa) also use clan names; in farming communities, they are now rare and may be replaced by household name.

Tibetan culture is patrilineal; descent is claimed from the four ancient clans that are said to have originally inhabited Ancient Tibet: Se, Rmu, Stong and Ldong. The ancient clan system of Tibet is called rus-ba (རུས་པ), meaning bone or bone lineage. [1] The four clans were further divided into branches which are Dbra, Vgru, Ldong, Lga, Dbas and Brdav. With inter-clan marriages, the subclans were divided into many sub-branches.

While Tibetans from Kham and Amdo use their clan names as surnames, most farming communities in Central Tibet stopped using their clan names centuries ago and instead use household names.

Traditionally, personal names are bestowed upon a child by lamas, who often incorporate an element of their own name. In the Tibetan diaspora, Tibetans often turn to the Dalai Lama for names for their children. As a result, the exile community has an overwhelming population of boys and girls whose first name is "Tenzin", the personal first name of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Personal names are in most cases composed of readily understood Tibetan words. Most personal names may be given to either males or females. Only a few are specifically male or female.

Meanings of some of the common names are listed below:

Tibetan Wylie ZWPY Chinese English Common
བསྟན་འཛིན bstan 'dzinDänzin丹增Tenzin, TenzingHolder of Buddha Dharma
རྒྱ་མཚོ rgya mtshoGyamco嘉措 Gyatso Ocean
སྐལ བཟང skal bzangGaisang格桑KelsangGood destiny, Good luck, Golden age, Flower
ཉི་མ nyi maNyima尼玛NyimaSun, Day, Sunday
རྡོ་རྗེ rdo rjeDuo Jie多吉,多杰 Dorji Indestructable, Invincible, Vajra
དོན་གྲུབ don grubDang Zhou顿珠DhondupWish come true
མེ་ཏོག me tog梅朵MedoFlower
ལྷ་མོ lha mo拉姆,拉莫LhamoPrincess, Goddess, Tibetan opera
སྒྲོལ་མ sgrol maDrölma卓玛Dolma Tara, Goddess
པད་མ pad maPema贝玛,白玛 Pema Lotus
ཚེ་རིང tshe ringCering才仁TseringLong life
རྒྱལ་མཚན rgyal mtshan坚赞GyaltsenBanner of victory, Dhvaja
ཡེ་ཤེས ye shesYêxê伊喜,益西 Yeshe Wisdom, Jnana [2]
བསོད་ནམས bsod namsSoinam索南,索朗 Sonam Merit, Virtue [3]
བདེ་སྐྱིད bde skyidTêci德吉 Diki Happiness
ཟླ་བ zla waDawa达娃 Dawa Moon, Month, Monday
བཀྲ་ཤིས bkra shisZhaxi扎西 Tashi Auspiciousness, Good fortune
བདེ་ལེགས bde legs德勒Delek, DelehBliss, Happiness
རིན་ཆེན rin chen仁钦 Rinchen Treasure, Precious Jewel, Gem
དབང མོ dbang moWangmô旺姆 Wangmo Lady with wealth and luck
བདེ ཆེན bde chenDêqên德钦,德千 Dechen Great bliss [4] [5]

Other common Tibetan names include Bhuti, Choedon, Choekyi, Chogden, Chokphel, Damchoe, Dasel, Dema, Dhondup, Dolkar, Gyurmey, Jampa, Jangchup, Jungney, Kalden, Khando, Karma, Kunchok, Kunga, Lekhshey, Lhakpa, Lhakyi, Lhami, Lhawang, Lobsang, Metok, Namdak, Namdol, Namgyal, Ngonga, Norbu, Paljor, Pasang, Peldun, Phuntsok, Phurpa, Rabgang, Rabgyal, Rabten, Rangdol, Rigsang, Rigzin, Samdup, Sangyal, Thinley, Tsomo, Tsundue, Wangchuk, Wangyag, Woeser, Woeten, Yangdol, Yangkey, and Yonten.

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  1. "How ancient Tibetan people combine different clans_News_History_China Tibet Online". eng.tibet.cn. Archived from the original on 2014-09-17.
  2. The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa. Vol. 6. Shambhala Publications. 2010. p. 426. ISBN   9780834821552.
  3. Buswell, Robert E. Jr.; Lopez, Donald S. Jr. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. p. 1232. ISBN   9780691157863.
  4. 陈观胜 [Chen Guansheng] 安才旦 [An Caidan] (2004). 《汉英藏对照常见藏语人名地名词典》[Dictionary of Common Tibetan Personal and Place Names]. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. p. 74. ISBN   7-119-03497-9.
  5. Payne, Richard Karl; Tanaka, Kenneth Kazuo (2004). Approaching the Land of Bliss: Religious Praxis in the Cult of Amitåabha. University of Hawaii Press. p. 49. ISBN   0-824-82578-0.