My name in real life means "sword", but it's not a Sikh name. I hated my name when I was little because all the other little girls had pretty names and mine is old-fashioned and not very feminine, but now I love my name and it does seem to me to be a very strong name, and I try to be a protective, honourable person, like a sword in the right hands.
My name is Gurinder Singh (Im told it breaks down as follows: Gur = Guru and Inder = Prince, of course Singh = Lion). But really, my name could have been John Smith... Actually, in alot of way's... Gurinder Singh seems like the "John Smith" of punjabi names. Ah Well.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet" - Shakespeare
As far as i know (and someone can correct me if I'm wrong) but you get a first name ate birth. For me I think my parents called some baba ji in nanaksar and they opened the Guru Granth Sahib to a random page and the first letter of the first verse on that page would be the first letter of my name and from there they chose "Gurinder."
My grandpa's name was chosen in a similar fashion except it was the first letter of a tree (lol, so I guess I'm saying that there might be some kinda naming tradition involved but its at birth).
Singh was suppose to be the "defacto" last name but has now become more of a middle name shared by many sikhs. If it wasn't for a passport error when my parents arrived in Canada my last name would be Hunjen.
Those kinds of last names seem to be "Caste-Specific." Even though Sikhism is not suppose to have a caste system.
All depends on whether you are a convert or born into a Sikh family. And also whether you become a baptized sikh or not.
A baby born into a Sikh family has a naming ceremony called Janam Naam Sanskar. This takes place as soon as his/her mother is able to "take a bath" according to the Sikh Rehat Maryada, which means really in modern terms that she is able to leave the home safely, without complications following delivery of the child. The naming ceremony includes family at home, or with sangat at a gurdwara. A Hukam or random page from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is taken, and the first letter of the first word identifies the range of possible names. The first word might be Hari, starting with H, and then other names that begin are considered. Family and friends decide.
Some converts have naming ceremony as adults. This is a point of controversy among some Sikhs, who don't go with that approach. Some converts keep their original names and use Singh or Kaur along with it. E.G. Ralph Singh and maybe he will also use his family name, DeMeo. So he will have the name Ralph Singh DeMeo.
Convert or born to a Sikh family, when one accepts baptism, or amrit sanchar, one as a rule takes a new name. There too, the first letter of the first word of a random page from Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji gets the selection underway. Sangat may help the new initiate decide on a name that has meaning for them.