Name Sage: A Baby Name for Two Cultures

Leena Gray's sister or brother needs an equally distinctive name


22 Responses to “Name Sage: A Baby Name for Two Cultures”

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BothCoasts Says:

September 29th, 2015 at 10:54 pm

Just tossing in a boy’s name that one of my Indian students had (although I can’t say what part of India his family was from and what subculture it might be): Arik. (AHr-ryk). It’s a bit of a stronger, less playful sound than Ezra or Milo, but thought I’d toss it out there as an option. I always liked it!

peach Says:

September 29th, 2015 at 11:41 pm

These seem like great ideas….
Zara, Mira, Priya, and Yasmin. Rohan, Nico, Devan, Kiran.

Zara Elsie
Mira Elizabeth
Priya Violet
Yasmin Amelie

Rohan James
Nico Matthew
Devan John
Kiran Daniel

New ideas…
Anaya — Anaya Elsie
Amita — Amita Violet
Anjali — Anjali Elizabeth
Indira — Indira Ivy
Vila — Vila Amelie

Arjun — Arjun Daniel
Darius — Darius Matthew
Amit — Amit Michael
Darshan — Darshan Ezra
Tarak — Tarak Daniel

Good luck! Anything appeal?

Swangirl Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 12:33 am

I actually really like the sound of Leena and Elsie 🙂 I think Elsa is too attached to Frozen and too much like Leena, but Elsie is great! And thumbs up for family connection!

Maybe an Indian middle would be nice? I don’t know many Indian names, but something like Elsie Kalinda, Mira Noor, Ivy Noor or Violet Noor would give you the same “juxtaposition” that you like in your first daughter’s name. I love the sound of Leena Gray and Ivy Noor!

As far as boy names go, the suggestion of Nico is my personal favorite! It’s similar to Milo, but with a little more edge. Daniel is a great name that seems to cross cultures well also!

Good luck! I think you have a lot of really great options! … Oh and Name Sage, your posts are the best. I look forward to reading them every week! 🙂

pamjsg99 Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 3:09 am

How nice that you are waiting until the arrival of your baby to learn the

sex. I happened to stumble upon the name Edana. I do not believe that it has an Indian connection, though. It is a girl’s name meaning, “tiny flame.” I thought that it might be a nice surprise for your mother.

Edana Ivy
Edana Violet

Viola Ivy
Vivi Iva

As Shiloh becomes more popular, I thought you might consider the following Hindi names:

Shivani Edana
Shiva Edana

Other names to consider:
Esha Violet
Gaya Leila
Gita (Gee-tah) Elise – means song; ballad
Aarya Danielle
Aasera (AH sir ah)
Abha – splendour; luminous; beauty
Amba Violet
Amiya (ah MEE yah) Rose
Anala (ah NAH lah) Elise
Asha (ASH ah); (AH shah)
Chandra Violet
Daya Violet
Dharma Ivy
Irma Edana
Jayna Violet
Jinelle Edana
Kanya Danielle
Karma Violet or Violet Karma
Kavela Ivy

Good luck to you!

jahanbismi Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 6:57 am

As someone who grew up in the west and is of Indian descent I’m always looking for Indian or Arabic names that aren’t too out there in western culture, I suggest googling Bollywood actresses of European descent since a lot of them have names that easily transfer to western culture while giving their Indian roots some love, here are some suggestion (Sorry I can only think of girl names).





Priyanka nickname Ana






Joellena52 Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 7:00 am

My husband is Muslim and we opted to give our children one Western or Christian name & one Arabic name. We chose Leena as well, but opted to use the Greek spelling of Lena. Her middle name is Elise which is a French form of Elizabeth. One nickname I love that can stand alone as a name is Eliza.

Priya Elise
Eliza Yasmin

I’ll have to think about boy names.

ashbee Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 9:26 am

Name sage gave so many great suggestions. I’ll try to add just for variety:

Alia / Aliyah
Freya (Norse, but I had an Indian friend named this)
Sophia / Saffiya

An Em- middle that doesn’t end in -a is Emmeline.
Norah Emmeline
Norah Elizabeth

And no, I don’t think Elsa and Leena sound too similar. I think they go beautifully together.

I love the international names Nina and Mina, but they rhyme with Leena.

Aran Daniel is great! I have an Indian friend Krishan (Kris) whose son in Nikhil (Nick). Samir can also be Sam.

ashbee Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 9:32 am

Also, I agree that Leena and Mira are wonderful together.

SimoneKadele Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 9:37 am

I love the suggestion of Safiya! (SAH-fee-uh)

jcubed Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 10:47 am

With our kids, my wife wanted a name that would work with her Indian Muslim heritage, without being too difficult for Americans, like her name is. We named our first son Aref Jacob; his first name is after her second cousin, and his middle name is one we both liked. I later found out that Jacob had been extremely popular in my family 9+ generations ago. In daily life, we call him AJ, so he can generally go incognito with a totally American name, if he wants.

ashbee: If we had a daughter, we were going to name her Nadia Noor, since Noor was my wife’s grandmother’s name. We used the grandmother’s middle name, Jahan, for our second son’s middle name. His first name is Zachary, which is a cognate with the Arabic name, Zakaria.

GermanIris Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 11:08 am

Other suggestions:

Girls: Uma, Tara, Sona, Sheela/Shila, Reena/Rina, Reva, Preeti/Priti, Padma, Nisha, Nikita, Neha, Neela/Nila, Nalini, Nala, Meena/Mina, Maya, Mala, Isha, Ila

Boys: Ved, Ravi, Raj, Nikhil, Naveen, Jay/Jai, Hari, Anil, Amar

LoveBugsMama Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Name Sage knocks it out of the park again with her suggestions! Love Annika & Viveca as suggestions for this family.

HPhilps Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Lots of good options here to go with Leena. My personal favourites are Priya and Kiran/Keiran.

ashbee Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 8:24 pm

@jcubed: Nadia and Noor are truly beautiful names.

Thegratiana Says:

September 30th, 2015 at 10:18 pm

We are in the same boat as this family, although we used the Indian name as a middle.

Girl: Veda, Arya (Noble), Asha (wish, desire, hope), Jyoti (light), Ilesha (earth lord), Kali (black one), Kiran (sunbeam), Maya (illusion), Mira (sea, ocean), Reva (one that moves), Sarita (flower)

Boy: Dev, Jay (victory), Krishna- can be shortened to Kris (dark, also a name of a god), Naveen (new), Raj (king), we used Vyas (the arranger)

Care Says:

October 1st, 2015 at 12:47 am

So many beautiful suggestions!
Mira Yasmin and Nico Rohan are my favorites!

jesstheebest123 Says:

October 1st, 2015 at 12:56 am

Leena is so pretty!

I really like the name Hakeem for a boy and I think that Leena & Hakeem sound really cute together! I also think that Hakeem James would be a very handsome full name!

Other suggestions

Yael is a hebrew name that means transcend and is pronounced “yiy-elle” Leena & Yeal are adorable together! I also like Yael Elisabeth 🙂

Saya- with names like Maya in the spotlight Saya won’t feel unfamiliar even though it is a very rare name in the US

Kaya- more common then Saya but still not very common and extremely cute!

Layana- I don’t remember where I heard this name but I think it’s beautiful. Leena & Layana share their first letter but I don’t think that makes them to similar

Leena & Teagan
Leena & Freya
Leena & Fiona
Leena & Nami

ashbee Says:

October 1st, 2015 at 9:07 am

@jesstheebest Yael is my cousin’s name and is very popular in Israel. It’s pronounced YAH-elle.

Gerda Says:

October 1st, 2015 at 2:46 pm

@germaniris I think your suggestions are on point. I love them…especially
Leena & Mala
Leena & Maya
Leena & Tara
Leena & Uma
Leena & Sheela/Shila
Leena & Isha or Nisha

Leena & Ved
Leena & Jai/Jay
Leena & Ravi
Leena & Hari
Leena & Naveen
Leena & Nikhil

Daisychain Says:

October 1st, 2015 at 2:52 pm

The problem with Anika is that it’s pronounced quite differently in its European and Indian incarnations. That is, it’s really not the same name, it just happens that an Indian name is transliterated into Roman characters using letter that spell an unrelated European name.

Anika in Euro-America is pronounced AHN-ik-uh or ANNE-ik-uh.

In distinction, the Sanskrit-derived Anika, also sometimes spelled Aneeka, is uh-NEEK-uh.

If you’re looking for a girl name that is truly international and travels well in that it’s pronounced the same or similarly in European and American languages and accents, Anika is probably not the best.

I’d suggest:

Meera/Mira, Anita, Monika/Monica, Natasha, or a that doesn’t have a counterpart but sounds nice in the Euro-American context such as Priya, Anushka, Anjali (that’s uhn-juhl-ie, not ANN-juhl-ie), Anoop, etc.

Nora/Nura is another option, although I’m guessing by the names you’ve listed that your husband’s family is Hindu, and Nora/Nura is a name that’s more familiar in Muslim India.

pixelatedinfants Says:

November 7th, 2015 at 10:42 pm

Isla Elizabeth
Monraux May
Norvia Otteline
Kimberley Adelaide
Sade Uma
Niomi Keygen
Teagen Matisse
Rowine Elvira
Ivana Letten
Ashira Yasemin

hippyhilah Says:

May 22nd, 2016 at 12:38 pm

I live in the UK in an area where we have a really huge Indian community, I know people called Jaimus (goes by Jamie), Ashwin (goes by Ash), Kiran, Aran and Dillon, which are all western-sounding, but Indian too. Also for girls, Diva and Deva, Carmen, Nim (short for Nimisha, but still easy for people to pronounce etc), and Lena. I always liked Veda, which was the name of the main character from My Girl, and also the sanskrit word for wisdom – it’s on my list, even though I have no Indian heritage. I do love the Hindu religion though – despite being a Christian, I see it as talking about all the same things in a sometimes clearer, less confusing way, and if I was from an Indian background, Veda would definitely be top of the list for a girl. Ashwin would be the top for a boy (I’m considering this myself also, because I love Ash, but I’m not a fan of Ashton – and I love that Ashwin means ‘light’).

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