Name Generator > Character Names > Cambodian Names
Cambodian Name Generator
Struggling with a script? Need to name a Cambodian character and not sure how to go about it? Our Cambodian name generator is here to help!
About Cambodian Names
In the dominant Khymer ethnic group in Cambodia, surnames are usually taken from the given name of their father, which means that rather than having long-running family names, the family changes its name from generation to generation. The naming format is one of father's given name, followed by the individual's given name (and with no middle name). Within Cambodia, there are also a selection of different approaches to naming – the Sino-Khymer (from China) and Viet-Khymer (from Vietnam) follow Chinese and Vietnamese naming traditions. The Cham group differ in that they reverse the order of their names, and have the given name first and the father's given name last. Women keep their father's given name after marriage.
While women are often given names relating to beauty, and men are given names connected to virtues, there are also plenty of Cambodian names that are effectively unisex and are used by both genders. With the population of Cambodia being ninety per cent Buddhist, names are often taken from or inspired by Buddhist sources, although Arabic names are common among the minority of Cambodian Muslims.
Most Cambodian names have fairly simple meanings connected with positive attributes like Khay (triumphant), Phan (to be abundant), Long (dragon), and Bopha (flower or blossom), while certain Cambodian surnames are identical to Vietnamese or Chinese surnames. Some given names would seem insulting to Western observers - for example, the given name Map means chubby or fat! Families can sometimes also combine shorter names to create longer ones (like Chandarith, which is made up of Chanda (meaning 'heart' or 'mind') and Rith (meaning 'power')) and this is especially common among the wealthier members of Cambodian society.
The differences in approach to naming also extend to how people are addressed. Instead of using Mr, Miss or Ms, Cambodians will usually just use a person's given name (although they do place importance on titles like 'Dr.'), while nicknames will usually be based around the last syllable of a person's name, rather than the first (for example, 'Kunthea' would be shortened to 'Thea'). Even in general conversation, Cambodians will always put an emphasis on the last syllable of a person's name.
We've followed the Khymer naming convention in our Cambodian name generator - patronymic name followed by given name – and have done our best to make the names historically and culturally realistic, making them perfect for writers, creators, and gamers who want to generate historical or minority characters accurately.