Part 2: Burmese personal names – Miscellany

This is the 2nd in a 4 part installment on Burmese personal names
[1] Introduction
[2] Miscellany
[3] Male Names
[4] Female Names

Burmese personal names: Miscellany

I recently got a hold of a small but useful trove of data, a 2014 exam roster of nearly 600 Burmese university students (in their early 20s). Using Excel, I began parsing the data, segmenting the names by word (not syllable) and categorizing by gender, to discern patterns in naming preferences. Given that there’s not much out there regarding Burmese names (statistically-speaking), I thought I’d take a stab at this and present some simple findings.

I’ve been able to shed some light on the top name choices and discern some naming patterns. However, I have to admit, given that almost every single name on that roster was one-of -a-kind, it’s difficult to really assess the complete picture and see conclusive patterns.

In light of the ongoing nationwide census, the first in Burma since 1983, it’s gotten me thinking. How useful would it be for the government to release the raw data to the public to manipulate? Of course, the accuracy of this census is debatable, as are many of the questions being asked..

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Part 1: Burmese personal names – Introduction

This is the first in a 4 part installment on Burmese personal names
[1] Introduction
[2] Miscellany
[3] Male Names
[4] Female Names

Burmese personal names: An Introduction

Burma is unique among mainland Southeast Asian countries in that Burma does not legally recognize surnames, as the overwhelming majority of Burmese do not possess surnames, only given names (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam all have surname systems in place). And Burma is rare in that it has never even attempted to institutionalize a family name system, despite being administered by the British for 124 years.

All of which raises the question, how all these folks with the same name distinguished from one another? How are different family lineages tracked?

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