Saturday, October 11, 2008

Indian surnames & their meanings

Will keep updating this list as and when I get some time...please feel free to contribute...

Agarwal = Derived from Agarwala or 'a descendant from Agroha' (the ancient name of Hissar city). Agroha had 18 districts - Garg, Mangal, Kucchal, Goyan, Goyal, Bansal, Kansal, Singhal, Jindal, Thingal, Airan, Dharan, Madhukul, Bindal, Mittal, Tayal, Bhandal, and Naagal. All of these names are synonymous with Agarwals.
Ahluwalia = A descendant of a person from Ahlu (a village near Lahore).
Ahuja = A descendant of Ahu. Does anyone know anything about Ahu?
Arora = A descendant from Aror (today's Rohri in Sind).
Bandopadhyay = Venerable teacher.
Banerjee = Teacher from the village of Bandoghat.
Bharadwaj = One who has strength or vigour.
Bhat/Butt = Priest or Scholar.
Bhattacharya = Priest & teacher.
Chaturvedi = Learned the 4 vedas.
Chattopadhyay = A teacher with roots from the Chatta village in Bengal.
Chopra = Descendants of warrior Chaupat Rai.
Dhawan = Messenger on the field of battle.
Dubashi = Person who knows two languages = Translator.
Dutta = Drived from Aditya or Sun.
Dwivedi = Learned in 2 vedas.
Gill = Lake/Moisture/Prosperity.
Guha = Another name for Lord Kartikeya.
Gupta = Ruler/Protector.
Iyer = Derived from Tamil word Ayya which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word Arya which means Noble.
Iyengar = One who has undergone the 5 purification rituals.
Jain = Follower of Jainism. Which is derived from Jina (one who overcomes).
Jha = Reciter.
Johar = Sanskrit for Jewel.
Joshi = Practioner of Jyotishi or astrology.
Kakkar = Strong.
Kapoor = Descendants of Moon.
Kaul = Means well-born. Derived from Sanskrit word Kula.
Kaur = Princess.
Khan = Turkish in origin. Means Chief/Ruler.
Khanna = Derived from Khanda (sword).
Khatri = Punjabi version of Kshatriya (ruler). Khanna, Kapoor, Seth, Mehra, Malhotra, Chopra and Walia are all Khatris.
Kocchar = Armour.
Krishna = Dark.
Mahajan = Means literally Big People. Perhaps an indicator of status.
Malik = Arabic word for King.
Mehra/Mehrotra = Descendants of Mihr (Sun).
Mishra = Mixed or blended.
Mukhopadhyay = Main Teacher.
Nehru = One who lives on the bank of a Nehr or canal.
Patel/Patil = Village headman.
Rana = Ruler. Some speculate it's the male version of Rani.
Saini = Head of army.
Sethi = Derived from Sanskrit word Sreshti (Merchant). Incidentally Shetty/Chettiar has the same roots.
Shah = Persian word for Monarch.
Sharma = Joy/Protection.
Shukla = Bright.
Singh = Derived from Sanskrit word Simha which means Lion.
Tagore = Anglicised version of Thakur (Lord).
Talwar = Swordsman/Sword.
Tandon = Warrior or sun.
Trivedi = Learned in 3 vedas.
Verma = Shield.