Common Khmer Names
(as well as some not so common ones)

Khmer names are usually pronounced with stress placed on the last syllable, e.g., Bona = boe nah´. Hence, they are often shortened for informal use by keeping the last syllable of the name, e.g., Davy => Vy (contrast western names, e.g., David => Dave). Longer names may be created by combining various shorter names, e.g., Pichanary = pich [diamond] + chan [moon] + nary [lady]. Since names are transliterated, Romanic spelling may vary.
Note: 'ph' is pronounced 'p' (e.g., Phala = pah lah, Sophy = so pee); 'th' is pronounced 't'  (e.g., Chantha = chan tah, Theary = teah ree)
- pronunciation in brackets
- M/F = typically male name
- F/M = typically female name
  collected and  compiled by Vathany Say
Name Gender Meaning
Achariya M/F wonderful, marvelous
Akara F/M letter
Amara M deity
Anchaly F/M hand
Arun F/M morning sun; name of the sun god
Bona M boy/man
Bonarith M bona + rith
Bonavy F
Bopha F beautiful flowers
Bora M a derivation of boran
Boramy M
Boran M ancient; reference to the distant past
Borey/Bourey M great city
Bunroeun M
Buntha M
Bunthan M
Charya/Chakriya F/M moral; behavior, mannerism
Champei/Champey F flower with fragrant white or red flowers (frangipani)
Chamroeun M/F to progress; to increase; to prosper
Chan M/F moon; Monday
Channa M/F
Channary F chan + nary
Chantha M/F
Chanthol M
Chanthon M
Chanthou F/M a type of flower
Chanthy F
Chantrea M/F moon; a type of flower
Chanvatey M/F chan + vatey (educated person, scholar)
Chanveasna M/F chan + veasna
Chanya F
Chea M/F to be well in person and health (not sick)
Chenda F thought, idea; beloved, dearest
Chhay M attractive, charming; to level
Chhaya F/M shadow; image; beauty; light
Chhean F meditation, contemplation; to step forward
Chhoum F refreshingly beautiful
Chhourn M
Da M/F literally, 'large boulder'; but often simply shortened form of other Khmer names ending in 'da' 
Dara M/F star
Dath M/F
Davy [dah vee] F
Devi [day vee] F angel
Dith M
Heng M lucky
Jorani F radiant jewel
Kaliyan F morally good; charming
Kaliyanei F beautiful, lovely, attractive
Kamol M gentle
Kanika F
Kanleakhana F possessing character
Keriya F
Kesor F beautiful, heavenly lady (but with a touch of vanity)
Khanitha F
Khean M/F
Kunnarie/ Kunneary F khun (good deed, kindness, favor) + neary (female) kunneary = madame
Kiri M mountain
Kolab F rose
Kosal M/F good karma, good deed, merit, virtue
Kolthida F daughter of a respectable family; young woman
Kravann M/F tiny golden brown flower fragrant in the evening
Kunthea/Kunthear F kun (good deed, kindness, favor) + thea (great quantity)
Kuntheary F kun + theary
Leakena F attribute, characteristic, quality
Leap [lea(r)p] F/M good luck, good fortune, success
Lena/Lyna F
Makara M January
Mao M short for kmao meaning 'dark, black'
Malis/Maly F Jasmine flower
Mealea F lei, garland, braid of flowers
Maneth F/M
Many/Mony M/F crystal ball that holds the power of rain; precious stone such as gem
Mum F single girl; dear, beloved
Nakry F small white flower fragrant throughout the night
Narath/Naroth M/F
Narin M/F
Narith M/F
Nary [nea ree] F girl/woman
Navy [nah vee] F
Nearidei F white four-leafed flower fragrant in the evening
Nimol M flawless
Nitha M/F
Nuon F soft and tender, pleasant
Oudom M excellent, supreme, magnificent; plentiful
Peach F/M
Phala F
Phalasath M a plant that grows inside a castle
Phary [pea(r) ree] F beautiful; good flower
Pheakdei F/M loyalty, honesty
Phhoung F wreath of flowers
Phirun M
Pich M/F diamond
Piseth M/F supreme, magnificent, greatest
Pisey M/F supreme, special; beloved, dearest
Poeu/Peou M/F youngest one
Polang M
Poly M
Ponleak M strength/endurance
Ponleu M light; illumination
Punlok F/M darling, dear; to sprout
Pros M boy/man
Puthyrith M merciful power
Rachana/Rajana M/F art, fine arts; artistic decoration
Rachany F night
Raksmei/Rasmey F/M ray of light; illumination
Rangsei M/F ray of light; illumination
Rath/Roth M/F a type of flower
Ratha/Rotha M/F
Rathana/Rothana M precious stones; jewels
Rathanak/Rothanak M/F precious stones; jewels
Rathany/Rothany F
Reaksmey F/M ray of light; illumination
Reaksa M/F nurturing
Rida F
Rith M power, strength; courage; prosperity
Rithipol M mystical powers and strength
Ravi/Ravy F
Romduol F a type of  aromatic flower that blooms at night (typically grows around Angkor Wat)
Samai/Samay M modern, contemporary; daydream
Sambath M fortune
Samnang M/F fortunate
Samnith M
Sangha M handsome
Sann M peaceful, quiet, comfortable
Sarak M name of famous Khmer kickboxing champion
Sarann M
Sarath M
Sarey F/M free
Saream F/M
Sareoun F/M
Sareouth F/M
Sarin M/F a Khmer province in present-day Thailand
Saru M/F
Sathea M/F
Savoeun F/M
Savuth M
Seda F
Seng M/F
Serey F/M beauty, charm, splendor; peace, prosperity; power, authority
Seyha M lion; August
Sida F
Sina F
Sinath F
Sinine [se neen] F
Sinuon F the color white mixed with a little yellow; a type of flower
Sitha F
Socheat F well born, well grown
Socheatha F
Sody F/M from sodhi meaning 'pure'
Sok M peaceful (without worries or problems)
Sokha F/M
Sokhan M
Sokhanya F peaceful lady
Sokhem M hope
Sokhom M/F safe, happy
Sokhon M/F
Sokhun F
Sokhunawaddh M circle of good family
Sokhunthea M/F sok + kunthea
Sokhunthy F/M
Sokvy F
Sonith M good conduct or manners; good law
Sony F
Sophal F/M
Sophan F/M
Sophany/Sophanny F/M
Sophea M/F wisdom
Sopheak M/F
Sopheaktra M
Sopheap F/M proper, well-mannered
Sopheary F
Sophon F beauty
Sophy F
Sorpheny F beautiful
Sorya/Soriya F/M sun
Sotha M from soth meaning 'pure'
Sothakhun M
Sothana M
Sothear M clean, pure; bright; light ray; ambrosia; generous
Sotheary F
Sothy M/F intelligence, cleverness; scholar, sage
Sov M Saturday
Sovanara F dream
Sovann M dream
Sovanna M dream
Sovanni/Sovanny F gold
Sovanthary F
Sovath F
Sowatha M/F
Srey F girl/lady
Sreymom F beloved girl
Sreyneang F young lady
Sreynuon F tender girl
Srieng M
Sros M/F charmingly beautiful
Srun M/F
Sunthy F
Thavery [ta vree] F
Teng M
Theara M/F
Theary F/M assistant, aide
Thom M/F oldest one; large
Thy M
Thida/Thyda F angelic girl
Touch F/M young one; small
Vannak M
Vannara F
Vannary F
Vanneth M
Vanny F/M
Veasna/Visna M/F fate, destiny
Veha M sky
Vibol M abundant; large, many
Vichara F
Vichet M magnificent, very beautiful; colorful
Vireak M absence of desire
Visal F/M excellent, large, vast
Viseth M excellent, superb, marvelous
Visothirith M visothi (pure) + rith
Vithara M spacious, large, expansive; long and detailed
Vithu M wise, intelligent, scholarly, erudite
Vuth/Vuthy M
Yan F/M
Yanni/Yanny F/M
Yim M
Yin M

Please email us at with any common Khmer names or meanings we may have inadvertently omitted.

© 2002 Khmer Institute. All rights reserved.