Why Do Filipinos Name Their Babies “Baby”?

The Filipina maid went to New York. She walked into a grand mansion and was greeted by her new American boss.

“Hello. It’s nice to meet you,” the American said, “What’s your name?”

The grown woman responds, “My name is Baby.”

“Huh?”

Yes, Filipinos name their babies Baby. Some are also named Girlie, Darling, Boy, Big Boy, etc. The question is why?

My theory is that this all boils down to language. For Americans, a baby is called a baby, so it doesn’t make sense to name a physical being using the common name that was pre-assigned to it. For Filipinos though a baby is a sanggol or anak. So when Filipinos name their babies Baby, they are naming their sanggol or anak with the foreign word Baby.

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7 thoughts on “Why Do Filipinos Name Their Babies “Baby”?

  1. Ja, I do a lot of internet research and there is not much information about why some Filipinos like to add a letter “h” to their names. Some Filipinos use creative spelling to further distinguish themselves and using the letter “h” is one of them. Jhim, Jhun and even Applhe are some more examples.

    Filipino names could be an entire paper in a university, lol. There are many unique things about names of Filipinos. Especially the nicknames that are double, such as Bong Bong, Tintin, Rinrin, Bambam, Joyjoy and so many others. One of my wife’s friends is known as Maricel, but her. real name is Maria Celia. I have noticed many times that this has also happened when two names were shortened to make one nice sounding name. I wonder what name Maricar came from originally? I am waiting to see Maricarcar from someone else.

    Thanks!

    ~ Gary ~

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  2. For sure, I know people in the Philippines with the names of Baby, Girlie and Boy. Actually, many.

    What I also found interesting are people who have the letter “h” added to their names, which is not common in Western countries. One of my sisters in law is Jhona. We have several friends who are Jhulie. One friend is Jhonny. Also Jhanine. Jona, Julie, Johnny and Janine are not unusual names in the USA but different spelling from what I have sometimes observed in the Philippines. Jhasmine? Have you ever seen your name spelled that way before?

    ~ Gary ~

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      1. I had always thought that putting a letter “h” was just for girls but I found that not to be true. Other than one person I know, Jhonny, one of my brothers in law has the name Bhoy. And then there is the famous singer, dancer and actor, Vhong Navarro. Maybe adding the letter “h” or switching it around is just creativity, to have a son or daughter with a unique name. I know many entertainers create a stage name, which is not their birth name, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.

        Ghary just doesn’t look right for me but I am not an entertainer. .

        ~ Gary ~

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        1. Hahah yeah Ghary doesn’t seem right, but yeah I’m also very curious about this trend. Why do they like putting an “h” in their names? What does it do for them? I never understood it. Thanks for sharing your observations, Gary!

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