Surnames – Curious cases all around

Surnames continue to amuse me . Ever since I have made Pune my home, the amazement just keeps going North.

Let me give you  the top 3 which come to my mind :

1.  Kate ( pronounced Kaa- tay ) :  This in common Hindi means to cut..

2. Ubale ( pronounced  Ooo Baa lay ) : Means literally to boil.

3. Chate ( pronounced Chaa – tay )  : This may literally  mean to lick

Read  sequentially, it  may describe the process of cutting, boiling and licking..

All three mentioned aboce are Maharashtrian surnames and I will share some more in this post a little later..

There are some which excite me by their meaning . The following are the most notable :

7. Boob :   This surname exists mostly among the people in Punjab. Now this refers to breasts and female breasts in particular.  Imagine a girl having a name Lovely Boob  and the reaction it will generate among the first timer.

6. Chutia : Prononunced( Shoo-tia ) : Often mispronounced by people as Choo tia .. which in popular Hindi would mean block head. This surname was banned by facebook and for all the people having this surname , the accounts were suspended.  Many Assamese have this surname

5. Sood : This essentially means ‘interest ‘as in financial terms. imagine a person’s name as interest.. We however need to have some on mool ( Principal )

4. Magazine : I do not whether it has roots in the magazines we read or it is from the component of a gun. Famous example Pradeep magazine

3. Kurup  ( Pron : Ku – roop )  : This may mean some body ugly.. I wonder why somebody’s name should be suffixed like this.

2.  Hange ( Pron : Hun- gay ) : in popular North Indian slang this would mean defecate… imagine Dinesh Hange, Kiran Hange and so on..

1. Chodankar :  : Now this generates a lot of voyeurism .  The word  derives from the act “Fuck ” and whenever someone comes across the name  immediately a lot of snide humor starts rolling in.. Imagine the predicament of a girl whose name is called out for the first time in College in a room full of teenagers.

The Parsis in India have taken surnames from what business their forefather where in.. sufffixed by “Wala ” or one who owns or possesses or deals in it. Some interesting ones are :

4. Lakdawala : THe one who deals with logs, the huge wooden logs

3, Treasury wala: : The one who deals with treasury..

2. Batli wala : The one deals in batli or bottles

1. Daru khanawala : The ones who runs a bar

Also some interesting sounding surnames .

This is dominated by Chinese sounding names like : Woo, Choo, Wang, Chang , Li, Pi etc but here my personal favorites are :

3. Hingo rani : This seems to suggest Heeng ( Asafoetida -a spice ) which is queen of spices.

2. Maggoo : This sounds interesting and seems to derive from Mug.

1.  Gurung : This makes me feel that some groups of antelopes are taking long strides

An article in Wiki describes in details about the classification of various surnames :

However, I am amazed by the forest rush to claim the title of king i.e Singh. This seems to be the most prevalent surname in India and also in Sri lanka . Popular examples are :

3. Chatur Singhe – A clever lion

2. Vikram Singhe – A brave lion

1. Madhur Singhe – A sweet lion

I wonder why Foxes, elephants, rhinos, cat, dog ( i.e lomdi, haathi, gaindas, billi, kutta ) have been left out. After all animal spirit can manifest in various glories.. Please suggest if you know any other notable animal names.


Surnames on the basis of animal which was killed by one of their forefathers :

1. Waghmare :  This is very popular in Maharashtra  and it appears some of their ancestors had killed a tiger. Now there is a big community of Waghmares ..

I wonder if their are surnames for killing lions, hyenas, jackals  and crocodiles as well. That will be interesting to read.

Holders of various kinds of penises :

4. Dick :  Slang for penis. Here is a poster which seem to suggest that if you dine at this inn you may improve your performance

The inn may pass on great benefits

3.  Malinga : Now this is difficult to interprete . Mal in Sanskrit may mean ‘Shit’  or Mall means wrestling  which means a penis which can do wrestling..

2. Ramalingam : Holders of penis of Lord Rama.

1. Mahalingam :  Holders of great penises.  How do they ensure that everybody holds a great penises.

As I said, these surnames continue to amaze me. What are some of the  most striking surnames you have come across ?  I will keep updating this post to make it the more amusing. Thanks Have a great Sunday

3 thoughts on “Surnames – Curious cases all around

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