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Names!

Mapraputa Is
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In another thread:
Ravish said:
AW I wonder what does last name in west signifify ??
If its Indian name I can make out lot of things from the last name, like area, religion, caste(obviously ), Gotra, Vansh etc.
What does last name tell in west ??

Axel answered:
German last names tell very little.
There are no upper/lower class last names.
Think one could take that as indicator for more social mobility in European history than in Indian history. From the little I know about India, I think this is fact.
From some names you can sometimes deduce the origin of the fathers branch of the family. My last name is very common in northern west of my country. My father is from there. But its not very good indicator, because in last 150 years there have been more and more regional mobility (transport system, unification 1870).
Name of noblemen are with "von". Noblemen form kind of a warrior "caste", which were build very early in european history. So your caste might be the one with most paralel developments in Europe. But I think that Kshatriya and noblemen have lots of diferences, if one starts to look at the details.
Influence of noblemen diminished since Middle Ages and very significantly since industrial revolution.
There are no priest castes in christian societies.

This is a fascinating subject, if we to include non-Western names also.
[ December 20, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Mapraputa Is
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Arabic names
"Basically, a traditional Arabic name given in full consists of the kunya ('father/mother of X'), the ism (the actual given name, e.g. Muhammad or Abdullah), the nasab ('son/daughter of Y'), the nisba (an adjective indicating one's place of origin, religion, or some other identifier), and one or more laqabs (nicknames to provide further identification), in that order. To use Annemarie Schimmel's example, the name Abu'l-Mahasin Yusuf ibn Abi Yusuf Ya'qub al-Makki al-Hanbali al-Zayyat means "Yusuf, father of al-Mahasin, son of Abu Yusuf Ya'qub [note that Ya'qub is identified as father of Yusuf], from Mecca, belonging to the Hanbali school of religious jurisprudence, the oilman." Unfortunately for the outsider, people can be referred to by any part of this string (except, usually, the ism, since given names are too common to be of much use); if there is a conventional name by which the person is traditionally known, it is called the 'urf ('custom'). So our friend Yusuf might be generally known as Abu'l-Mahasin or al-Zayyat (the other laqabs being too common themselves to identify him). The great philosopher Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abdullah ibn Sina is known as ibn Sina (hence "Avicenna") or Abu Ali ibn Sina (in Persian he is Bu-Ali Sina). "
Arabic Names
Jim Yingst
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What does last name tell in west ??
Since the question was asked by an Indian, I would say: very little. At least in the US. That is, compared to what Indians seem to be able to determine from names. Here you can probably use the name to guess what other country a person's ancestors came from (on the father's side at least) and you might be able to guess the ancestors' socioeconomic status to some degree - but little else. Many names did mean something orinally - "Smith" and "Miller" were actually a smith and a miller, while "Johnson" was a son of someone named John. But we're talking about the middle ages here, I think; the original meaning is almost completely irrelevant nowadays.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Steven Broadbent
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Some english names have definite regional or class overtones but it is not always easy to tell.

For example Borsthwick is very much a northern name, Smythe would usually be an upper class name.


"....bigmouth strikes again, and I've got no right to take my place with the human race...."<p>SCJP 1.4
Tim Baker
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There's also a more modern trait in that a lot of people from middle class england have both their parents surnames hyphened together. Which if you ask me is rediculous


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Mapraputa Is
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Jewish Names
All the following is a quote(s), I just did not want to clutter the post with tags.
Adopting family names by Jews is a relatively modern usage. For centuries, until the last four hundreds of years or so, with the exception of a few famous families, Jews did not have surnames. Much the same like during biblical times, each individual was known by his given name to which, sometimes, his/her father's name was added: David ben Yaakov (David the son of Yaakov). For that reason, "Ben Yaakov" was not a family name, but part of his given name. His son's name, for instance, was not called Ben Yaakov, but Ben David (the son of David).
First examples of family names among Jews have been documented in France, Spain, Italy and North Africa as early as the 10th century. In Central and Eastern Europe, family names started to appear in the 16th century, especially among a handful of affluent families. Having a family name was considered another sign of belonging to a prestigious and much esteemed family.
Only towards the end of the 18th century, and even then depending to the specific area in which they lived and the local political circumstances, did Jews adopt family names. <...> In some Jewish communities the practice of having only given names was maintained until the end of the 20th century - for example among the Jews of Ethiopia.
In North Africa, the biblical Yaakov became the family name Vaaknin, which is a diminutive of Yaakov in the local Berber language. As a result, the Hebrew name sounded more similar to a local Berber or Arabic name.

In all Diaspora communities, Jews had a preference for surnames of biblical or Hebrew origin. Not only did they choose biblical given names that had been in Jewish usage for generations - Shimon, David, Yaakov, Abraham, Aharon and many others - but also biblical toponyms like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other venerated sites and landmarks of the Land of Israel. Yet, Jews did not use the name in the original form, but generally changed its spelling and pronunciation or added prefixes and/or suffixes from other languages.

Sometimes family names were created by using acronyms or anagrams of Hebrew words. Thus, the name's sound and spelling was changed, transforming it into a European name while keeping the original meaning: Katz, which is a Hebrew acronym of Kohen Zedek ("rightful priest") means "cat" in German. <...>

Translating a Hebrew name was another popular method for selecting a family name: Hayyim (literally: "life") became Vivas or Bibas for Ladino speaking Jews, while Cohen (meaning "priest") was translated as Kaplan ("chaplain", in German).

Another important group of family names is made up of terms that originally designated an occupation, like Tischler ("carpenter", in German), or Attar ("chemist", in Arabic).
Names that designated the geographical origins of the family form a separate class. Pressburger became the family name of an individual that either came or was associated with the city of Pressburg (now Bratislava, in Slovakia), Toledano was the name of someone who came from Toledo, in Spain, and Damari designated a family linked with the town of Damar, in Yemen.
Finally, there are names that originally were nicknames, sometimes with a pejorative meaning: Klein (in German) or Zairi (in Arabic), for a short person, Roth (in German) for a red hair person, Tawil (in Arabic) for someone tall etc. In general, the names in this category either were imposed upon Jews by the local authorities or are based on the nickname of one of the family's ancestors.
Jewish Family Names - An Introduction
Michael Morris
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O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse they name,
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet...
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy...
What's Montague? It is not hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.

--Romeo and Juliet


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
stara szkapa
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Adopting family names by Jews is a relatively modern usage.

Family names is relatively new concept for everyone else in Europe. There was no need for family names until taxes and administration became powerful enough to enforce last names on people. At this point meaning had to be replaced by uniqueness. Since orthodox Jews lived in their own ghettos, outside of influence of external administration, they were the last to adopt family names.
[ December 20, 2003: Message edited by: stara szkapa ]
Mapraputa Is
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Russian names
Russian last names are grammatically patronymics, which is to say they mean "son of" ("Ivanov" - "son of Ivan") or "daughter of" ("Petrova" - "daughter of Petr"). Not too informative. But some historical details are interesting. Let's do some cluttering
In modern Russian, names consist of a GIVEN NAME, a PATRONYMIC, and a SURNAME <...> More precisely, Russian names started only as a given name, adding the patronymic around the 10th century, and finally the surname (from the patronymic constructions) only in the late 15th or early 16th century. The surname did not become common, in fact, until the 18th century.
In Russian, linguists tend to differentiate between so-called "Christian" or "Canonical" names and "Old Russian" given names. The former are usually Biblical (like Ivan, Konstantin, and Pavel) while the others are traced to the Vikings or to earlier inhabitants of the steppes (like Oleg, Igor', and Ol'ga). From the adoption of Christianity in 988 onward, most Russians used Christian names, but many also had a Russian name. <...> The Russian name, if it existed, had been received at birth. The "Christian" name came at baptism. If the child had been given a Christian name by his/her parents at birth, the Church would merely baptize the child by that name (and the child would then have only one given name).

Here are some ways how Russian last names were formed.
Patronymics
While it cannot be denied that only one patronymic construction (-ovich/-evich for men and -ovna/-evna for women) has been preserved to the present day and that the other patronymics are now treated only as surnames, it is difficult to determine when this change occurred. <...> Most estimates place the beginning of the use of surnames to the late 14th century but they are not commonly in use until the 18th century.

Possessive and Descriptive Bynames
Adjectival bynames consist, in turn, of two sub-categories. There are numerous cases of simply adding a common adjective onto a given name, as in: Korotkii/Korotkaia ("short"), Dorogoi/Dorogaia ("dear"), Pervoi/Pervaia ("first"), Beloi/Belaia ("white"), Shirokii/Shirokaia ("wide"), or Krasnyi/Krasnaia ("red").
The second type of adjectival byname is actually a special type of a possessive element (serving the same purpose as a patronymic). Most often found in women's names (and more rarely in men's), these types of names indicate the literal owner of the subject. <...> When this form is found in men's names, it is almost exclusively in Western Russia and in late period. It seems to have been a way that Russians copied Polish names (i.e., made themselves sound more "Polish").

Toponyms
Names could also appear with geographical qualifiers, as they do with most other European languages. ... Far more common was the transformation of the geographical location into a more standard patronymic construction (i.e., Pskovich -- literally, "son of Pskov"), a noun (Pskovitianin -- "Pskovite"), or an adjective (Pskovskii -- "the Pskovian").

Surnames
There are, however, surnames that (while looking like patronymics) are actually surnames. <...> Names that are based upon animals, inanimate objects, animals, or occupations are likely to be surnames. Bynames based upon occupations are almost always surnames (unless the person just happens to be the offspring of a person with that occupation). Therefore, Barsukov (literally, "son of a badger") and Miasnikov ("son of a butcher") probably are surnames and not patronymics and therefore mean "the Badger" and "the Butcher" respectively.

All quotes from Paul Goldschmidt's Dictionary of Russian Names - Grammar.
[ December 20, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
stara szkapa
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Speaking of meaning; in what languages LOVE, TRUST, and HOPE are names?
John Dunn
slicker
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After slavery ended the newly freed African Americans had to get themselves a lastname. Some choose their the Plantation owner's name, (if the owner was nice.) Some picked towns, some the plantation name, some just made them up.


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Yosi Hendarsjah
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In Indonesia, most people don't have family name. (Even if they have more than one words in their names, the last ones aren't necessarily family names). Some young people have started the tradition to use family name by adding his last name to his children's. A lot of people even have only one-word names. It makes them difficult when they have to fill out 'name' field in a form when they are abroad.
Guy Allard
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'Hope' is not uncommon for a female in the southern US.
Motivation is from religion - Christian, Baptist .....
G.
Mapraputa Is
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I am done with quotes.
Don't think that I just googled them out, I collected them over time and today got a chance to share it.
Yosi!
You said: the last ones aren't necessarily family names -- then what are they?
Jim Yingst
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'Hope' is not uncommon for a female in the southern US.
And there are a number of other names like this - Faith, Charity, Chastity, Constance, Prudence, Patience, and probably others. (Hmm, I can't think of any male names fitting this pattern.) Only Hope And Faith are very common nowadays though.
stara szkapa
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I was thinking of very common female Russian names Lubov("love"), Nadezhda("hope"), Vera("belief"). Would it mean Russian females are spiritual and romantic?
Mapraputa Is
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SS: I was thinking of very common female Russian names Lubov("love"), Nadezhda("hope"), Vera("belief").
Dictionary of Russian names said that all these names are Old Slavonic calques from Greek words charis, elpis, pistis.
San Su
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Ravish said:
If its Indian name I can make out lot of things from the last name, like area, religion, caste(obviously ), Gotra, Vansh etc.

I don't agree with that entirely. This is true for only very few castes. Can you predict my caste, Gotra( ), Vansh ( - never heard of it) from my name? I bet you can not. The same can be said to most of the people in TamilNadu. I am not sure about other part of the country. But some people attach their caste with their name (like "Iyer", "thevar", "Muthaliyar", "chetti" etc). Without that, I don't think it is possible to get all the information you have mentioned in your post (atleast 75% of the case).
[ December 21, 2003: Message edited by: Sankar Subbiah ]
Murasoli Maran
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Originally posted by Sankar Subbiah:
---

what ravish said was correct.second name of an indian gives a sound information about area, religion, caste, Gotra, Vansh etc.
San Su
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Originally posted by Murasoli Maran:

what ravish said was correct.second name of an indian gives a sound information about area, religion, caste, Gotra, Vansh etc.

Well.. you can predict area (in most case) and religion (almost all cases) but you can not say the same thing for caste, gotra, Vansh (whatever the last two are ). I can say you are from TamilNadu and You are a Hindu (if that is your real name). But, I can not predict the other three from your name. When you say "second name", are you talking about last name?
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Sankar Subbiah:
caste, gotra, Vansh (whatever the last two are

Even you cant know mine Gotra and Vansh.
AW let me just clear these two terms.
Vansh - Family name.
Gotra - Name of the Guru.
One cant marry in same Vansh/Gotra.
AW If I write my full name then it would be Ravish Kumar Singh 'Bash' Bhardwaj.
Now who knows how to read names can make it out very easily who I am .


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Mapraputa Is
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So Ravish, what is your Vansh - "Kumar"? "Name of the Guru" - do you have only one Guru? What is the word for a given name, we need to update our name policy: "All JavaRanch users are asked to use a real name as their display name, please provide xxx and Vansh". Just kidding.
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
So Ravish, what is your Vansh - "Kumar"? "Name of the Guru" - do you have only one Guru?

According to hindu beliefs god created 7 sages. These sages created humans from their �aansh� something similar to cloning in today�s scientific jargon. Every human traces their ancestry back to these seven sages called saptarishi.
So if these sages were true to the task entrusted to them by god and not played around much with bio-genetic engineering back then it is safe to assume that everyone has only one guru
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
So Ravish, what is your Vansh - "Kumar"? "Name of the Guru" - do you have only one Guru? What is the word for a given name, we need to update our name policy: "All JavaRanch users are asked to use a real name as their display name, please provide xxx and Vansh". Just kidding.

If we go back to Gurukul education system then everyone used to have one and only one Guru and the person would get all education from that Guru only.
And basically all pupils are suppose to be "Guru broter/sister". So we cant marry in same Gotra.
Vansh- As it tells family name we cant marry in same family.
And Kumar is just a common middle/last name. Basically it tells nothing
And if any Pandit[from my area], who is in the business of arranging marriages come to know my full name then he will tell me my salary .
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

And basically all pupils are suppose to be "Guru broter/sister". So we cant marry in same Gotra.

We cant marry in the same gotra coz both male and female would have come from the same "aansh" ie the same source of genes due to which genetic deformities would result due to mutations and lesser immunity to diseases unfortunately ravish it has nothing to do with brothers and sisters as actually in some castes in India you can marry your second cousin as long as the family tree of the couple have diff lineage. This is something which the scientific community has woken up to now and marriage counselors actually advise against marriages between couples having certain genetic make up or blood groups.
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
some castes in India you can marry your second cousin as long as the family tree of the couple have diff lineage.

Yes, I came to know about this after a long time, and was very much surprised as we dont practice this.
Even the farthest cousin will also be considered in the family.
R K Singh
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pretty good artile on kinship in India.
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

Even you cant know mine Gotra and Vansh.
AW let me just clear these two terms.
Vansh - Family name.
Gotra - Name of the Guru.
One cant marry in same Vansh/Gotra.
AW If I write my full name then it would be Ravish Kumar Singh 'Bash' Bhardwaj.
Now who knows how to read names can make it out very easily who I am .


i remembered this joke i had got in a fwd on reading this ....
Once it so happened in a flight that, James bond was
sitting besides a Telugu guy. Both were traveling to
US.
Telugu Guy: "Hello, May I know your name please?"
James Bond: "I am Bond...James Bond."
James Bond: "And you?"
Telugu Guy: "I am Sai...
Venkata Sai...
Siva Venkata Sai ...
Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai...
Srinivasula Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai...
Rajasekhara Srinivasula Laxminarayana Siva Venkata
Sai...
Sitaramanjaneyula Rajasekhara Srinivasula
Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai...
Bulusupalli Sitaramanjaneyula Rajasekhara Srinivasula
Laxminarayana Siva Venkata Sai..."

Bond faints!!!
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:

i remembered this joke i had got in a fwd on reading this ....

I wanted to share this joke too but become kinda lazy to search ...
R K Singh
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So why do west have second/last name ???
Eric Pascarello
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    6
Because there would be 5000000 Eric's running around the world..
Most westerners have 3 names first middle last
The commonn thing is that the first and middle name can be family related
My first name is Eric and is not family related
My middle name is my fathers name and my last name is my fathers.
We can basically trace our families through our last name and I know from talking to Indians that it is not as easy since your family naming convetion flips as the generations move on.
When you get married the female usually takes on her husbands lastname unless you are a famous actress then you just never use it and keep your madian name. Some women hyphhenate there last name or take then madian name and make it there middle name.
Names have become less important these days since we have basically become serial numbers stored in databases around the country. I was know in college by an ID number and got my grades by my ID number.
What are names for? For telemakerters to say it wrong durning dinner!
My 2 Cents
stara szkapa
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
So why do west have second/last name ???

So that you won't say something stupid and offensive on MD and get away with it.
[ December 22, 2003: Message edited by: stara szkapa ]
frank davis
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What does last name tell in west ??

Slocomb : Dweller in the valley where the black thorn bushes grow.
(comb - dweller in valley, slo/sloe a type of black thorn bush)
Or something like that...
[ December 22, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
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RKSBB: AW If I write my full name then it would be Ravish Kumar Singh 'Bash' Bhardwaj.
Googling out "Bharadwaj Gotra":
"The information about Bharadwaj gotra or clans of the Chitpavan brahmin community from India."
So Ravish, are you a Chitpavan Brahmin?
And then, what is 'Bash'???
R K Singh
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RKSBB
Thanks, but I would prefer to be called Ravish or RK.
OK, let me first tell you that whatever information I have, I got it from my family, relatives or Khandani/family Pandits.
I have not read any book or anything till now.
So Ravish, are you a Chitpavan Brahmin?
OK let me try to explain you.
There are main Seven Rishis(Guru):
1. Vashistha 2. Atri 3. Kashyap 4. Vishwamitra 5. Bharadwaj 6. Jamadagni 7. Goutam.
Ancestors must gave got education from one of these Rishis and that Rishi, in my case, is Bhardwaj.
Where is it written ??
No where.
I heard that in Haridwar or Kashi, somewhere there is a place where you can know all about your family and family tree.
But never been there [I hope, there it must be written]
A brahmin will also have Gotra, which could be Bhardwaj too because his ancestor must have got education from Bhardwaj. [that is what I know.]
Now if you see this page : [it is from the site which you found]
http://www.kokanastha.com/htm/gotra.htm
Gotra's of Chitpavan Brahmins :
In the above page there is a list of Gotra's of Chitpavan Brahmins.
If I have to put similer page on net then the heading will be something like
Gotra's of Bash Kshatriya
AW from the list of sirnames for this brahmin community I can predict that this brhamin community belongs to Maharashtra geographical region.
And then, what is 'Bash'???
Bash is name of our family/Vansh.
Basically there are main four Vansh in Kshatriya community: (in order of merit)
1) Suryavanshi
2) Chandravanshi
3) Nagvanshi
4) dont remeber
others Vanshs are, you can say, subclass of one of these.
If my memory serves me right then we are Nagvanshi.[means 'Bash' is subclass of 'Nagvansh']
Suryavanshis are superior than my Vansh. [why, dont know. But I am sure there would be some story ]
Did you get anything ?? [its complex, even I dont know lot of things ]
AW how many matrimonial sites did you visit before getting that page
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
RKSBB
[/URL] I can predict that this brhamin community belongs to Maharashtra geographical region.
[

Bulls Eye....
If the lineage is object modelled it would have the following association.
Class(4)----->Gotra(*)------>Vansh(*)------>Family(*)------->Person(*)
Mapraputa Is
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Ok, let's check what we have by this moment.
Ravish Kumar Singh 'Bash' Bhardwaj.
Bash - Vansh, Family name, 'Bash' is a subclass of 'Nagvansh'
Bhardwaj - Gotra, Name of the Guru.
So 'Ravish' is a given name? And you still didn't tell us how to say "a given name" in... To what language 'Vansh' and 'Gotra' belong to? Hindi?
And Kumar is just a common middle/last name. Basically it tells nothing
Does it have anything to do with your father's name??? Or people give the last name arbitrarily, just like the first name?
The last question -- what 'Singh' means?
Arjun Shastry
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Singh means Lion.Original is Sinh.


MH
R K Singh
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So 'Ravish' is a given name?
It is the given name by my parents.
Generally for name giving, there is ceremony/finction, in which a pandit tells parents the first letter/alphabet of the name.
Though in my case, this ceremony was skipped[I think thats why I am black sheep of my family ] but in my elder bro case there was this ceremony.
And you still didn't tell us how to say "a given name" in...
I did not get this question.
The ceremony is called "Namkaran".
To what language 'Vansh' and 'Gotra' belong to?
Sanskrit.
And Kumar is just a common middle/last name. Basically it tells nothing
Does it have anything to do with your father's name??? Or people give the last name arbitrarily, just like the first name?

Actually is South India they have tradition of using father's name in the child's name.
But in north India, very few people use their father's name in their own name.
'Kumar' is very common middle name of North India.
And it tells nothing 'these days', as anyone who feels to use it can use it.
I can say, only thing it tells is that person is most likely from North India.
Chosing arbitrary, no, in my family middle name is either one of these 'Pratap'/'Prasad'/'Kumar' or there is no middle name at all.
The last question -- what 'Singh' means?
As Capa says, it means Lion
Actually, you can say more or less it tells about my caste. But again NOW, anyone who feels to use it can use it as his/her sirname.
So it also has lost it relevance
And it is also very common sir name of Sikhs [but you can know whether a person is sikh or not by knowing his first name].
As it has lost its relevance, now some people prefer Vansh or Gotra as sirname.
Ahhh.. tired, first time in my life I am explaining all this B***S*** to someone
Now I am planning to write a book on sirnames in India to keep it as historical heritage.
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Now we are talking about names then there is one very strage thing I found in Indian first names.
They tell us nothing and they are very much free from religion and geographical boundries.
You can find english names very common like Sheila, Daisy, Marry, Micheal, John etc.
You can find Islamic name like Suhail etc.
So basically from the first name you cant know anything apart from the name of the person.
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: Names!
 
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