A nickname, says
Hazlitt, is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man, yet the
Kashmiris have shown the unparalleled endurance to bear this hardest stone
Pleased with their 'devotion' he (Mr. Devil) seems to have gifted this
stone to them (Kashmiri) for ever. Love of nicknames is mixed in the blood
of Kashmiris, nay, they have nurtured this art with their blood, for generations
together. They give it without asking for and make full use of ordinary
events, actions, habits and even physical feature of persons to coin new
and newer nicknames. Raja Tarangini is full of references of nicknames.
Shalok I6I of Sixth Taranga uses the word Kankanavarsa, which is a nickname
given to a person. Yudhishthira, a king of Kashmir, was on account of his
small eyes nicknamed as the 'blind Yudhishthir'. At one place, an aspirant
to the throne was nicknamed as lame. The verse reads, "what is his fitness
for the throne, who keeps awake during the nights being addicted to sexual
pleasures and sleeping by day, is marred by his inability to get up and
has therefore obtained the nickname of 'the Lame' " A certain king was
nicknamed for having fallen in love with a lady. "As his mind became absorbed
in Didda, the daughter's daughter of Sahi, the king came to be known by
the humiliating epithet of Diddaksama."A merchant is said to have carried
in the lap a black cat (pet). He bore the designation of a cat merchant
which relegated his proper name to oblivion. Kalhan further reports that
the furious tribe of Damras once nicknamed their master as snow king. For
they believed that he can occupy the throne only after snow melts.
Kashmiris never lose their sense of humour. Even
adversity has not killed their instinct of humour. It has on the other
hand, sharpened it to boost their morale and love of boisterous life. Hamidullah,
a resident of remote meadow village of Nobog Nai, has not only exposed
the ruthless Sikh bureaucracy of Kashmir in his Bebujnamah, but has proved
himself a caricaturist par excellence as well as a non-conformist as for
as Sikh administrative system was concerned. This work contains allegorical
names and characters. "It is steeped in symbolism depicting the glaring
traits of bureaucracy under Sikh rulers from the Patwari upto the Nazim
or Governor. According to the author, the whole lot of them was responsible
for all sorts of the sufferings of the peasantry, especially their aim
being simply to grease their own palms and to sustain Sikh power by force.
The significance of the names he has coined for prominent members of the
bureaucracy in the Revenue Department, such as, 'Kazibrathar' for Qanungo;
'Adawat Koul' for Patwari; 'Fasad Bhat' for Harkara, 'Rishwat Baba', for
Qazi, can better be guessed than described. Similarly to describe the state
of general administration, he introduces characters like 'Gurez Singh'
for Mir Shamshere; 'Adbar Singh', for Mir. Bakshi; 'Shahmat Singh' for
Chief Police Officer, 'Mafajat Qulli' for Chief Cavalry Officer, 'Rahzan
Bandey', for Chamberlian, 'KhalaJat Razdan', for Munsif; 'Tawan Koul',
for Amil,' 'Nuqsan Thaplu', for mutasaddi, 'Dewali Dass', for chief storekeeper
of grains; and 'Chughl Beg', for news reporter. They are glaring illustrations.
The selection of these names as their meanings show, represents the basic
characteristics of the holders of the public office. While talking about
allegories, we must not forget to mention that Master Caricaturist of ancient
Kashmir, Kshemendra, who has in a lyrical language exposed a Kayastha,
a prostitute, a Brahmana and many others. His 'Narmala and ' desopdesa
' are available in a printed form.
It may not be right to say that Kashmiris have
never shown an aversion to the nicknames. Pandit Anand Koul has quoted
a classical example of resistance shown against a nickname by a poor Pandit
whose name was 'Vasadev'. He had a mulberry tree in his courtyard, and
was, therefore, called Vasadev Tul. Tul being the Kashmiri name of mulberry.
In order to get rid of this nickname he cut down the mulberry tree. But
a Mond (trunk) remained and he was called, ' Vasadev Mond'. Irritated Pandit
immediately removed the trunk; and a Kkud (depression) was caused and henceforth
he was known as 'Vasadev Khud'. Continuing his battle against nickname
givers he got the depression filled up and the ground became a Teng (a
little elevated). Thus he was re-nicknamed as 'Vasadev Teng'. He had, however,
to give in before the limitless arrows in the quiver of nickname givers
and accepted gracefully his latest nickname, which has become a family
name of his progeny.
Kashmiri's never forget a nickname once coined
for a particular person, even if he makes all the amends in his behaviour,
which had served as the source of his nickname. A certain gentleman by
name of Karim was once found uralking bare-footed in the street. He was
instantly called 'Karim Nanvor' (i.e., Karima the bare-footed). He is reported
to have later on put on very attractive and fashionable shoes. But people
will only whisper "Look! Look! how beautiful shoes have 'Karim Nanvoroo'
put on!". Another incident commonly related is that of an unfortunate family
which gave a dinner party on some occasion of happiness. But the cook employed
for preparing the dishes is reported to have spoiled all the dishes and
a strange smell (Fakh) was found coming out of all the preparations. Thus
the family was nicknamed as Fakh (dirty smell). The head of the house,
in order to get rid of the contemptuous appelation, gave a luncheon to
the members of his Biradari. Every dish was prepared cautiously and under
strict supervision of an expert cook. The party was a grand success. But
the plight of the head of the family can better be imagined than described,
when he overheard two men conversating 'Yar, these Fakhs have this time
given really a grand party!'
The arrows of nicknames do not make a difference
between a richman and poorman, a gentleman and a rogue. It hits its target
with no consideration of caste, creed, or sex. A pious saint was nicknamed
as Zanana Zoi, for the devout women surrounded him all the time. A Pandit
by name of Maheshwar Nath was called Maheshwar Mahlami, because he used
to distribute free of cost an ointment to the needy. The ointment in Kashrniri
means Malham. Another devout Pandit used to bathe and worship his Saligram
everyday and would throw the flowers and water of pooja in the Jehlum river,
early in the morning. He was nicknamed as Madhav Nirmali.
Strange are the sources of nicknames and stranger
are the consequences of certain nicknames. A London-based Pakistani teacher,
Mohamed Haseen, was nicknamed 'Mr. Vortical' at a junior school in which
he was teaching because of the way some children in his school pronounced
'Vertical'. His complaint of a racial discrimination was rejected by an
Industrial Tribunal, when he was banned from being employed in State Schools
because of his accent. He alleged that he was called 'Paki-bastard' by
a student and no action was taken against him. An Indian girl in England
with a nice name like Suneeta has been nicknamed as Snoteater (one who
eats her own phlegm). Khushwant Singh recalling his childhood experiences
with the nicknames writes that "for some reason I was nicknamed Shali which
I did not mind too much. But when it came to be rhymed; Shali Shooli Bagh
Ki Mooli (radish in the garden) I minded it very much. For some reason-
Shali died out. I was re-nicknamed Khusrau which I did not mind too much.
But when Khusrau had its tail docked and I was labelled Khusra (eunuch)
I minded it very much".
Nicknames in one form or the other existed in
ancient India. "A boy was called Balaki because he was brought up in the
company of girls. Gargiya, his son would be referred to by his own name
along with the epithet associated with his father, thus, Gargiya, Balaki
i.e. Gargiya the son of Balaki. Sometimes the personal name was fallowed
by the name of country or locality from which a man or his ancestor came,
eg., Bhima Vidharbha or Bhima belonging to Vidarbha. Names could also be
taken from one's locality of birth, e.g., Vyasa, compiler of the Mahabharata,
was born on an island (dvipa) and was surnamed Dvaipayana. Also common
was the use of the 'Viruda' or (praise) name, often given to kings and
heroes. It was not unknown in Vedic days, as can be seen by the eulogistic
titles bestowed on certain kings, e.g., Puranjaya, 'City conqueror'. Vikram,
and Parakrama, signifying one boldly striding or advancing were among the
royal titles used in medieval times.
Nicknames are a universal phenomenon. Some names
derived from nicknames are: white, brown, longfellow, drinkale, drinkwater,
makepeace, gathergood, scattergood, gotobed (used in England). Names like
Angell, Pope, King, Knight were attached to those who had acted such parts
in medieval pagents.' Imagine the agony of an obese child being called
Bessie or Billy Bunter, Fatso or Motu! or of a thin child being called
skinny! A long nosed one being a Concorde! A thick lipped being a Lipso.
Nicknames these days survive in the form of Kram
names. Another name given to Kram is Zat and it is in no case akin to the
jati as used in the Hindi-speaking areas of India. Kram, says Madan, is
derived from a Sanskrit word and is used as a synonym for Zat. "It means
a ranked category and suggests that internal ranking was, as it still is,
characteristic of Brahmans of Kashmir. Whether the basis of ranking earlier
was politico-economic as it is now, or involved other considerations also,
is a subject on which I lack any data at present.
It is really an interesting job to trace the
origin of Kashmiri Krams (nicknames). The sources of these surnames are
often funny incidents or deliberate attempts to malign a person. Kashmiri
Krams are not the gotra names but pure specimen of nicknames. Late M. D.
Fauq has, in his Aqwami Mardam Kashmir, made a scholarly analysis of these
nicknames. We have tried to reclassify these nicknames under the following
heads: (i) Profession/occupation, (ii) Locality (iii) Abnormal/extra-ordinary
physique or temperament, (iv) Peculiar circumstances / incident, and (v)
Religious/ official/academic epithet.
Classification and finding out of the origin
of Kashmiri Krams has been rendered difficult by a craze for anglicising
these surnames. Many abnoxious and absurd-looking Krams have been Westernised
or Indianised beyond recognition. Thus Khar has become Kher, Wali became
Vali, Thalal became Atal, Sar became Sir, Gor became Gaur and so on. There
may be some justification in reshaping or modifying an awkward-looking
surname. But to change the quite pretty and beautiful surnames like Kaul
and Razdan ls really a deplorable attempt. For example, Kaul is often anglicised
as Kaula and Razdan as Rosedon. Such deliberate modifications sometimes
give rise to very absurd situations. Kaul is derived from Maha Kaul, which
is a name of Lord Shiva. Kaul,therefore means a devotee of Shiva, but Kaula
on the other hand stands for a big fool. See the difference yourself. This
madening craze for anglicising ones names made Kashyapa Bandhu, a noted
social reformer and political leader, to remark sarcastically.
The evolution of nicknames and permutation and
combination of different surnames is a continuous process. Laurence records
that new and newer Krams are sprjnging up "in Zainagiri I found the large
number of famlies rejoicing in the Kram (Chang). Their ancestor was a man
who played on the Jews' harp (chang). Azad the Pathan tyrant, sliced off
the ears of an old and faithful servant because he was slow, and banished
him to Lolab. His descendants are numerous, and their Kram is Kanchattu,
the 'crop-eared'. In Lolab a young Kram is arising known as Dogra. For
two generations they have been in the service of Dogra rulers of the country".
Moreover, to obliterate all traces of lowly origin
men have assumed surnames or nicknames borrowed from familiar animals,
insects, trades, occupations and places, e.g. Gegroo (rat); Dand (bullock);
Bror (cat) Pisu (flea) etc.
Lawrence further records that one of the leading
merchants of Srinagar is known by the name of Jackal. Another man of considerable
influence, has adopted the unpleasent word 'Latrine' as his family appellation
...It would serve no useful purpose to give a list of nicknames. Many are
extremely coarse, and neither the giver nor the recipient of some of them
is to be congratulated either for generosity or wit, and it is strange
that men should have quietly allowed such names t.o be handed down in their
families from' generation to generation.
Bernier and Younghusband imagine without much
authority, that Kashmiris are the lost tribes of Israel. Advocates of this
theory agree with the Quadiani sect of Muslims that the 'Lord Christ' is
buried in Srinagar. Younghusband records that the 'people are in appearance
of such a decided Jewish caste that it arouses curiosity that such a theory
should exist; and certainly, these are real Biblical types to be seen everywhere
in Kashmir, and especially in upland villages Here the Israelitish shepherds
tending their flocks and flocks may any day be seen."
Some local authors have also agreed with the theory
and declare Hebrew language as the source of Kashmiri language. They also
argue that the surnames of Kashmiris, as for instance Magre, Dand, Pare,
etc., are borrowed from the Jewish surnames. More Kashmiri surnames like
Raina Kichloo, Haptu, Varikoo Nehru, etc., are said to be akin to the surnames
of Jewish people. Moreover, the word 'Bal' and 'Hom' at the end of certain
places names is considered similar to the Jewish place names. Examples
of such place names are Gandarbal, Manasbal, Gagribal, Dudarhom, Burzahom,
Dropahom, Balahom, etc.
Bernier established the Jewish identity in Kashmiris
by the frequent use of affix 'Joo' with their names. This title is frequently
given by way of respect or an endearment. To quote Lawrence, 'when a man
has won the title "JU", he ceases to use his real Kram name. Thus Habib
Ju, the well-known silver smith, is probably Habib Gadh. Sul Ju the cloth
merchant, is really Sultan Guzarban. In the villages, too, the affix Ju
displaces the Kram name. Thus Kadir Ganai of Bhawan is called Kadir Ju,
and Ahad Dar of Nanil is always addressed as Ahad Ju.'
The controversy over the origin of the affix 'Joo'
has not been settled so far. Commenting upon the use of 'Aryaraja' by Kalhana
in Shaloka 110 and Taranga II of Rajatarangini, R. S. Pandit says that
Aryaraja means chief of the Aryas. 'The term Arya is used to differentiate
from the Anarya, the non-Aryans, or barbarians. Arya also means gentlemen.
In early times, the pater-families was addressed as Arya and the wife in
the Indian household addressed her husband as Arya-Putra (son of the Arya).
It is interesting to find the survival of this term Arya through the Prakrata
Ajja in the modern "ji" used as a suffix for respect and as a term of address'.
The affix 'joo' seems, therefore, to be a Kashmiri version of the Hindi
honorific 'ji' (which literally means life or soul).
1. Aram - Some of their ancestor had been
employed to collect the taxes from the vegetable growers and in the due
course of time the word Aram became their nickname. Rajatarangini has used
the word Aramak for them.
2. Kral - There are many localities in
Kashmir known by the word Kral viz., Kralpur, Kralgund in Kupwara district.
In the city of Srinagar we have two Mohallas known as Kral Khud and Kralyar.
The Pandits employed for collecting taxes from 'Krals' (potters) were nick
named as Kral.
3. Gooru - A milk man and a cowherd is
called Goor in Kashmiri. Pandits did neither of these jobs However, certain
Pandits were employed as Patwaris to keep the accounts of their cattle
heads and collect the Government taxes from them. In the course of time
their original family names became obscure and were known as Gooru.
4. Bakaya - An officer of the rank of a
Tehsildar was appointed in the time of Sikhs and Pathans to realise the
outstanding taxes from the people. His descendants were nicknamed as Bakaya.
5. Manwati - Manwati used to be a standard
weight in Kashmir. It was equal to two and a half seers. Government used
to levy a tax of one Manwati of rice on the tenants and an official employed
to collect this tax was known to people by the name of Manwat. His descendants
also lost their original family name and the nickname Manwati became an
irremovable attachment to their names.
6. Guzarwan - A Guzarwan was an Official-incharge
of an excise check-post on the outskirts of a town. Every article coming
to the town from outside was to be checked and tax at a previously fixed
rate to be realised. A Guzarwan was also to check the smuggling and unauthorised
entry of articles to the town. An official employed, thus to perform this
duty became famous by the name of Guzarwan. His children, whatever their
profession might have been, were also known by this name.
7. Bakshi - It is a common Punjabi surname.
A Pandit employed as an Assistant to a Punjabi officer, having Bakshi his
surname, was also known as Bakshi. Mr. Fauq says a Pandit employed as a
clerk of the Army was known as Bakshi or Mir Bakshi.
8. Jawansher - Jawansher was a famous Afghan
Governor of Kashmir. He had a Pandit as his Peshkar (Assistant) who became
famous by the name of his master. Jawansher is the nickname of many families
bearing different surnames.
9. Munshi - It is a common surname among
many linguistic groups of India. K. M. Munshi was a Gujrati and a famous
Indologist. Munshis exist in almost all the Hindi-speaking areas of India.
Munshi means a clerk. Mr. Fauq says that a certain Pandit of Tikoo family
was employed as a Munshi during the rule of Sikhs or Pathans. He was the
most intelligent and efficient Munshi Kashmir had ever seen. Therefore,
he became famous by his professional name and his children were also known
by this name.
10. Misri - A Pandit employed in service
of a trader who had come from the Egypt (Misr) was known by the nickname
Misri. One more probability is that some Pandit had gone to Egypt and when
he came back he was known by the name of the country he had visited. Some
describe it to be the nickname of those Pandits whose ancestor was employed
by a trader dealing in Michari Kandi.
11. Turki - A Pandit was employed as a
clerk by a Turk trader and was nicknamed as Turki. Fauq mentions Pandit
Tab Ram Turki to have been a famous poet who wrote 'Jangnama of Sikhs.'
A 'Turki' friend has been re-nicknamed as 'Istambol'. Perhaps, because,
Istambole is the capital of Turkey.
12. Gandnoo - 'Gandan dasta' is kind of
toy and a decoration piece and 'Posha Gandun' is the flower vase. A pandit
manufacturing or selling these articles was nicknamed as Gandnoo.
13. Kuli - 'Tarkuli Khan' and 'Noor Kulikhan'
were two Afghan chiefs during the rule of 'Durani' kings. Pandits employed
by them as Government servants were known as Kuli.
14. Wazir - The Pandits employed in the
service of Wazirs of Kashmir during Pathan and Mughal rule became gradually
famous by the name of Wazir.
15. Ambardar - Ambar means a huge store.
Land revenue was being realised in kind, instead of in cash, in the past.
Naturally certain people were employed to look after these stores of levy
rice. They were called Ambardar and their later generations also were identified
by this name.
16. Chakbast - 'Chak' in Kashmiri is the
name given to a large piece of land. Chakdari was a common £eature
of Kashmir's agrarian system. It was abolished after the end of Dogra regime
in 1948. Before the passing of Agrarian laws large pieces of land would
be given to influential zamindars as the 'Chaks' on a nominal rent. Therefore,
the officers entrusted with the job of keeping a regular- account of these
land holdings were known as 'Chakbast.' They were also known as Kanoongo.
17. Bhan - It is an ancient Kashmiri nickname
given, perhaps, to those who sold the utensils. Bhan is the name of the
Sun also but this name does not justify itself to be a source of a nickname
or a family name. There is a locality, known as, 'Bana Mohalla', in Srinagar.
18. Langar or Langroo - Some of
their ancestor must have been the manager of a Government kitchen. His
descendants were, therefore, nicknamed Langar or Langroo.
19. Fotedar - It is an Arabic and Persian
word and was used as a nickname for those Pandits who were entrusted with
the duty of looking after the royal treasury, during the rule of Mughal
20. Wattal - It is a very derogatory term
and is used for a low caste tribe. It is also used for a person who indulges
into very mean and lowly acts. It is presumed that some Pandit must have
been appointed as an officer of Wattals, who himself was later on known
by this very name. Fauq says that during Hindu rule many people swept the
premises of temples, without any compensation, out of devotion to the presiding
deity of the temple. They and their descendants were later nicknamed as
Wattal. One more theory being forwarded is that the Pandits whose family
name is Wattal are the descendants of some famous saint by the name of
21. Hakim - It is the family name of such
families whose ancestors have been hereditary Hakims.
22. Waza - It literally means a cook. Mr.
Fauq is of the view that it was a nickname given to the professional cooks.
It may be true of the Muslim Wazas, of whom there is a separate Mohalla
by the name of Wazapora in Srinagar. Among Hindus of Kashmir the profession
of a Waza is by no means an honourable one. It is adopted only under compelling
circumstances, and Waza or a Kandroo (baker) is never addressed by the
name of his occupation. But the families known by the name of Waza never
feel ashamed of this suffix to their name. It is argued that some of their
ancestor was highly fond of good dishes and had gained sufficient knowledge
of preparing palatable dishes for himself. He is said to have won the nickname
of Waza which continued its company with his descendants, whether or not
they had any knowledge of cookery.
23. Katwa - Mr. Fauq describes it to be
a branch of professional cooks, who earned this nick name for being in
habit of using small Patilis (utensils) for cooking.
24. Sultan - Their actual family name is
'Koul'. Some of their ancestor was employed as a clerk with the Sultans
of Kashmir and became famous by the name of his employers.
25. Nala - Mr. Fauq says that there is
no family of this name in Srinagar. An ancestor of this family must have
been a guard of some Nala (Rivulet). Their gotra is Dattatriya.
26. Nehru - It is a nickname which originated
from a canal. Probably any ancestor of this family was Mir Munshi of canals
(i.e., a supervisor or an overseer of canals). They originally belong to
Koul family and are commonly nicknamed as Naroo. A Naroo in Kashmiri means
a pipe. It is possible that any of their ancestor was as thin as a pipe
and was, therefore, called Naroo, which in due course of time became Nehru.
Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in his autobiography sees the genesis of the word
Nehru under a different situation. He says, 'we were Kashmiris. Over two
hundred years ago, early in the eighteenth century, our ancestor came down
from that mountain valley to seek fame and fortune in the rich plains below.
Raj Koul was the name of that ancestor of ours and he had gained eminence
as a Sanskrit and Persian scholar in Kashmir. He attracted the notice of
Emperor Farrukhsair during the latter's visit to Kashmir, and, probably
at the Emperor's insistance, the family migrated to Delhi about the year
1716. A Jagir with a house situated on the banks of a canal had been granted
to Raj Koul and from the fact of this residence 'Nehru' (from Nahar, a
canal) came to be attached to his name; this changed to Kaul Nehru; and
in later years, Kaul dropped out, and we became simply Nehrus.' The above
statement of Pandit Nehru has been disputed by many on the grounds of historical
facts as well as usage of language. Firstly, Farukhsair is never reported
to have visited Kashmir. Aurangzeb was the last Mughal King to visit Kashmir.
Secondly, Delhi was the home of Urdu language and literature. Naturally
the adjectival form of Nahar (canal) would be Nahree and not Nehru. We
see many people by the name of Lucknowee, Jullandaree, Ahmadabadi etc.,
but none with the name of Lucknowoo, Jullandaroo or Ahmadabadoo etc. Kashmir,
however, has a tradition of using 'oo' instead of 'ee' viz., Kathjoo, Waloo,
Chagtoo, Saproo, Wangoo, Ganjoo, etc. Therefore, it is almost certain that
the ancestor of Nehrus who had gone from Kashmir had taken the nickname
'Nehru', from the valley itself, with him. Taking up of residence at a
canal bank is only a coincidence.
27. Bazaz - Some ancestor of the family
must have been a cloth merchant.
28. Taimani - It is presumed some Pandit
must have been under the service of Taimini Pathans of Kabul and earned
this nickname. Fauq believes it to be a word of Hindu or Buddhist origin
and considers this family to be the followers of some Rishi or Muni. At
the same time, it is suspected that some ancestor of this family might
have been of black colour, and was called Tamini as the Tamun in Kashmiri
means the carbon formed on the bottom of the utensils.
29. Mattu - It is derived from the Sanskrit
word Math. Some of the ancestor of this family must have either been a
founder or a manager of some Math.
30. Darbari - It means a courtier. Some
ancestor of the family was a courtier of some Pathan or Sikh Governor's
31. Bhandari - Some ancestor might have
been the in-charge of some Governmental store (Bhandar).
32. Akhoon - During the Muslim rule a teacher
was called Akhoon. Some elder member of this family was teaching Persian
and Arabic to the pupils and was known by the name of his profession rather
than by his family name.
33. Mirza - Some ancestor was in the service
of a Mirza family.
34. Hashia - They were professionals engaged
in putting margin on papers.
35. Nasti - It is nickname of a family
whose ancestors sold the snuff. (Naswar).
36. Vani - A petty shopkeeper.
37. Hak - Growers of Hakh.
38. Kotha - It means a granary in Kashmiri.
An official-in-charge of the Government granaries was given this nickname.
39. Kandhari - Some ancestor of this family
was an employee of the traders from Kandhar.
40. Diwan - An officer in the Sikh Court.
41. Chagtu - An employee of Chagutais.
42. Hastwaloo - An employee of the Royal
Court in-charge of elephants.
43. Durrani - Ahmad Shah on becoming an
independent ruler of Afghanistan styled himself as Durri-Durran (pearl
of the age). His successors were known as Durrani. In Kashmir this nickname
was given to those Pandits who were the employees of Durrani Pathans.
44. Bamzai - Employees of Bamzai Pathans.
45. Jallali - Clerks employed by Jallali
Shias were known as Jallali.
46. Chak - Employees of Chak Kings.
47. Zradchob - Traders of turmeric (Haldi)
or their employees.
48. Khaibari - Khaibaris were influential
chiefs of Kashmir. Their Pandit employees received this nickname.
49. Zalpuri - Employees of traders from
Zablistan. It is often mispronounced out of Kashmir as Zalpari.
50. Khazanchi - Some ancestor must have
been a Cashier.
51. Khar - It means an ass in Kashmiri.
A Pandit employed to realise taxes from donkey drivers (Markaban).
52. Araz Begi - A person employed to read
out petitions in the Sikh and Pathan Courts.
53. Hazari - A servant of Hazari Pathan's
got this nickname.
54. Lal - Some ancestor of this family
was serving with a Punjabi Lala.
55. Karwani - Some elder member must have
been selling Kara (i.e., Peanuts).
56. Nagari - A Pandit employed as an officer
of the royal heralds during Mugal rule got this appellation.
57. Aoonth - This nickname was used for
a family whose some elder member was employed in Government service, and
entrusted with the duty of collecting taxes from camel drivers.
58. Kalapoosh - It was a kind of lady's
cap used by Pandit as well as Muslim woman to cover their skull over which
traditional Tarang or Kasab (traditional headwear of women) would be used.
A Pandit selling these Kalpushas or having at anytime used a Kalpush for
himself, was nicknamed Kalpush.
59. Dral - A name given to those families
whose ancestor was working as a broker. It's Hindi equivalent is Dalal
and is used as a surname by many families in Hindi-speaking areas of the
60. Nazir - Fauq states it having been
a nickname of a person and his descendants, who was manager of a Government
Kitchen. Nazir is also used for a clerk in the court. Pandit Jia Lal Nazir
was an efficient teacher and historian.
61. Zaraboo - Those Pandits are called
Zaraboo whose some ancestor was in-charge of a Government mint.
62. Ogra - It means watery rice, just like
a Kheer. Fauq states that a Pandit was entrusted with the duty of distributing
cooked rice to the hungry during a famine. Once he found the quantity of
rice was less and the number of hungry people more. He ordered to get prepared
a Wugra, and distributed among the needy. Thus Wugra became a part of his
name. It is now written as Ogra.
63. Badam - An almond merchant must have
been nicknamed as such.
64. Tufchi - An ancestor of this family
was employed either as an officer of gunners or was himself a gunman during
Muslim rule. Tufchi is a corrupted form of Top (a cannon).
65. Cheru - A few families of this name
reside in Anantnag city. A common ancestor of these families is reported
to have been trading into Charkha rods made of apricot wood. An apricot
is a succulent orange pink fruit known as Cher in Kashmiri.
66. Khachoo - A Khoch in Kashmiri means
a special kind of boat used for transporting the goods from one place to
another. An ancestor of this family was employed to collect taxes from
these special boatmen and was thus nicknamed as Khachoo.
67. Mirakhur - Some ancestor of this family
was officer of the department entrusted with the duty of maintaining the
68. Shora - An ancestor of this family
was either a Government officer in-charge of gunpowder makers, or was himself
a trader of the explosive material. Shora in Kashmiri means gunpowder.
1. Sahib - It is an honorific. Some elderly
Pandit who had attained highest stage of spiritual perfection or was well-versed
in the religious Scripture was out of reverence called as Sahib. There
is a spring of sweet water known as Sahibi Spring near Chashma Shahi Sahib
Koul was a great saint from this family.
2. Pir - Pir Pandit Padshah, during the
reign of Shah Jahan, has been a famous saint of Kashmir. His miracles and
spiritual attainments brought many people from different walks of life,
under his banner. His desciples were known as Pir.
3. Sadhu - Some of the elder member of
this family were as faultless and self-realising person as a real Sadhu.
So they were known by the name of Sadhu. Another explanation is that some
ancestor of this family had proved himself as an honest person under very
conspiring and hostile circumstances. He won the public applause and was
known as Saidh (the antonym of a thief).
4. Sedhu - Some ancestor of this family
is reported to have been a Sidha Pursha (attained soul). Another version,
of the events leading to this nomenclature, given is that head of this
family was a simpleton and was, therefore, nicknamed as Sedhu. A few families
of this name live in village Mattan of district Anantnag.
5. Sher - Fauq reports an elder of this
family musthave killed a lion and was named Sher for his extra-ordinary
valour. This guess does not seem to be correct, as is natural, such a brave
person would have been called Sah (Kashmiri word for lion) and not a sher.
Most probably this name must have originated from the continued association
of the head of this family with some Sher Khan or Sher Singh, etc.
6. Shair - There must have been a distinguished
poet among Kashmiri Pandits, who was better known by the word Shair than
his real family name. Naturally the epithet became a part of the names
of his progeny.
7. Zutshi - It is a corrupt form of the
word Jyotshi. Zutshis are reported to have been distinguished astrologers
and Sanskrit scholars.
8. Razdan - The census report of 1819 states
that Razdan is a corrupted form of ancient Sanskrit epithet Rajanak. Stein
is of the view that 'the title Rajanak, meaning literaly "a king", used
to be given for services rendered to the King. The title has survived in
the form of Razdan as a family name of very free occurrence among the Brahmans
of Kashmir. It was borne by Rajanaka Ratanakara, the author of the Haravijaya
(9th Century), and by many Kashmirian authors of note enumerated in the
Vamsaprasasti which Anama Rajanaka (17th Century) has appended to his commentary
on the Nisadhacarita. As the designation of certain high officials (Muhammadans),
the term Rajanaka is often used by Srivara and in the fourth chron (also
in the shortened form Rajana).' R. S. Pandit states that the title Rajanaka
was continued under Muhammadan rule and was conferred on Muslim officers.
9. Tikoo - It is said to have originated
from the 'Trika'. The members of this family were special devotees of the
goddess 'Tripura'. Fauq has given one more explanation stating that an
ancestor of this family adopted a non-Brahman boy who was deemed to have
become a Brahman by a Tika (a sacred mark on the forehead of a Brahman).
He and his descendants were later nicknamed as Tiku.
10. Dhar - It is stated to be a pure gotra
name. Dhar Bharadvaja is the name of their gotra. However, many scholars
are of the view that Dhars are the descendants of Damras, the war lords
and a troublesome non-Brahmanic tribe of ancient Kashmir.
1. Khan-Mushu - A village towards north-east
of Srinagar is known as Khanmoh. Emigrants from this place, became known
as Khanmush, in Srinagar.
2. Vichari - There is a sacred spring,
at the outskirts of Srinagar, near Soura. It is said Lord Shiva had meditated
for sometime here. This place is known as Vicharnag. The Pandits coming
from this place to Srinagar were nicknamed Vichari.
3. Ishbari - Nickname of those Pandits
who came to settle down from Ishabari, a village near Nishat garden.
4. Kathjoo - Pandit family residing at
Kathleshwar in Tanki Pora (a mohalla of Srinagar) was nicknamed Kathjoo.
5. Sopori - Pandits of Srinagar, whose
ancestors migrated from Sopore, or the descendants of Soya Pandit (founder
of Sopore) were known as Sopori. Kashmiri Pandits of this nickname in plains
have hanged the word Sopori into Shivpori.
6. Thussoo - Emigrants from a village Thus,
in Kulgam Tehsil, to the Srinagar city became known by the name of their
7. Zadoo - It is said that a certain family
residing near a marshy land was called Zadoo (as Zadoo in Kashmiri means
a wet and marshy land). They are mispronounced outside Kashmir a as Jadoo
8. Zaboo - This name is also derived from
a marshy and wet land.
9. Kakroo - The name to a family who came
from a small village Kokargund, near Achhabal. There are a few families
of Kakroos in Achhabal also.
10. Kar - This name is used for the Pandits
who came from a village known as Karhama in Handwara Tehsil. Swami Krishan
Joo Kar was an illustrious saint, produced by this family.
11. Pampori - Pandits of Pampore, irrespective
of their family names, are known by the name of their locality.
12. Saproo - Dr. Iqbal, who was the worthy
descendant of a Pandit family whose surname was Saproo, wrote to Mr. Fauq
about the word Saproo as follows. He wrote that Mr. Dewan Tek Chand M.A.,
who was a Commissioner in Punjab, had a taste for linguistic research.
He told Mr. Iqbal that the word Saproo had its genesis from the Ancient
Iranian Kings 'Shapur'. Saproos are those Iranians who had settled down
in Kashmir much before the advent of Islam and because of their sharp intellect
were absorbed soon with Brahmans of Kashmir. Dr. Iqbal has further written
that his father used to say that 'Saproos' are the descendants of those
Kashmiri Brahman families who were first to learn Persian and other Islamic
studies, during the Muslim rule. Saproo means a person who is first to
learn a new thing. This name was given to them out of contempt by other
Brahmans. The latter analysis is nearer in the approach of a common Kashmiri
and the former assertion needs full investigation.
13. Kanzroo - They are the descendants
of the Pandits of Kanzar, a village near Tangmarg.
14. Momboi - There is no family with this
nickname at present. However Mr. Fauq was informed by one Mr. Tarachand
Trisal that some contributors to a certain magazine used to write 'Mombai'
with their name. It is presumed that some Kashmiri family had temporarily
settled at Bombay for sometime and, its members used the epithet Mombay
with their names, when they came back. According to another story, a Muslim
named Mohammad (Momma) was so gentle that he would not react even to a
harsh and abusive language. He became known as Moma Bayoo. It is thought
that some Pandit must have been as gentle as Mombayoo and he was along
with his descendants nicknamed as such. Yet one more thesis forwarded is
that it was a nickname given to those Pandits who came down to Srinagar
from Bumai village of Kulgam Tehsil.
15. Purbi - Genesis of this term has been
discussed in the chapter of "Kashmiri Surnames" in full. Mr. Fauq has quoted
an interesting statement of Rai Bahadur Pandit Amar Nath Purbi (ex-Inspector
General Customs, Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir), saying that his grandmother
after adopting his father, (Pt. Dila Ram) who was serving on a good post
with the Nawabs of Lucknow, migrated to Delhi. Delhi people began to call
them Purbi as they had come from the eastern part of the country. Mr. Fauq
further writes that there were a few families of Bhai Purbi in Srinagar,
who according to census report of 1891 were the offspring of a widowed
Panditani by a Purbi (coming from the eastern part of the country), whom
she secretly re-married. Any person coming from U.P. is still called by
the name of 'Bhaia', just as every Kashmiri in plains of Punjab is called
as a 'Hato'.
16. Madan - Residents of a Mohalla of Srinagar.
viz., Madanyar. Madan is a word used for a romantic man. Some of the ancestor
might have been of this nature and earned the appellation Madan. Another
story forwarded in this connection is that an ancestor of this family was
an employee of 'Madan Talkies' owned by a Parsee of Bombay. He and his
descendants were, therefore, nicknamed as Madan.
17. Haksar - Emigrants from a village named
Hakchar in district Baramullah.
18. Trisal - A boy of Dhar family was adopted
by Pt. Neko Pandit of Trisal. When he came back to settle down in Srinagar
he and his descendants were called Trisal (name of a village in Pulwama
19. Chhachabali - Pandits who took up their
residence, during Afghan rule, in the then suburban area of Srinagar viz.,
Chhatabal, were known as Chhachabali.
20. Chakru - Name given to the families
having come from Chokur village.
21. Krid - Krid in Kashmiri means a thorny
creeper. A few families in Shangas Nawgam bear this name. Their ancestors
took up residence near a Krid and became known by its name.
22. Nad - A family residing near a ravine
in the same village is known by the name of Nad. It means a ravine in Kashmiri.
23. Baghati - A family having a number
of orchards or having taken up their residence in or near an orchard were
nicknamed Baghati. Bhag is also a nickname of the same category.
23. (a) Hangloo - Pandits of Hangalgund
near Kokar Nag.
24. Mujoo - It means a raddish in Kashmiri.
Ancestors of this family are said to have come from Mujja Gund, a village
in district Baramullah.
25. Haloo - Emigrants from the village
Hal in Pulwama district. Haloo in Kashmiri means a Tidi (grasshopper) also.
26. Parmoo - The ancestors of this family
must have come from the other side of Pirpanchal range, to settle down
in Kashmir valley. Parmoo is a corrupt form of Aparium (i.e., one who lives
or has come from the other side). It is, even now, used for any non-Kashmiri
person, particularly for a Punjabi. As a matter of fact, Punjabi and Parium
have become synonymous terms.
27. Nagri - It is different from Nagari.
It is an epithet used for the Pandits who had some connection with Nagri
Malapora a village in Handwara.
28. Ganz - lt is a nickname given to a
family which was residing at a place where some bad smell used to come
from a stagnant pool of water.
29. Danji - One or two families in the
village Mattan are having this family name. Danji in Kashmiri means a small
ravine and in fact, these families are still residing in a small ravine
on the bank of Chaka stream.
30. Kilam - Emigrants from the village
Kilam of Kulgam Tehsil.
31. Booni - A family residing near a big
Chinar tree were known by its name.
32. Sum - It means a small bridge connecting
the two banks of a small rivulet, a pond or a lake. A family residing near
such a mini bridge got the appellation 'sum'.
33. Rafiz - Shia Muslims, in Kashmir, are
called by the name of Rafiz. Some Pandit family for its nearest association
with Rafizs or having lived in a locality of Rafizs, got this nickname.
34. Bali - A family having lived near a
mountain or having some connection with the Bal's (i.e., mountains) was
called Bali. It is in no way connected with the Sikh surname Bali.
35. Kadal Buju - A nickname of those Buju
families which lived near a bridge. Buju nomenclature has been discussed
36. Raina - It is stated that the Pandits
who originally belonged to Rainawari and later settled down in the main
city were known as Raina. Mr. Fauq states that Rainawari was the capital
of the famous King Rana Datta 436 A.D.-497 A.D. There was also a large
garden of this king situated at the site of present Rainawari and Vari
in Kashmiri means a garden. Thus Rainawari meant a garden belonging to
the king Ranadatta. Another view expressed is that it, like Razdan, is
a corrupted form of the title Rajanaka.
1. Waloo or Wali - A fire chimney
in Kashmiri is called Wol. One who got constructed a fire chimney in his
house at first was immediately nicknamed as Wol, which in due course of
time became, Waloo and Wali.
2. Sas - It means a thick Dal in Kashmiri.
It is often cooked along with wopal hakh (a vegetable) and is, thus, known
as Saswopalhakh. It is said that some one was irritated to have been served
with this (for him unpalatable) dish at a dinner or lunch party. He was
asked by some one what dishes were served at the party and instantly came
the reply 'Sas' (using half the name to make his anguish more expressive).
He and his descendants were later on called 'Sas' by every one.
3. Kotru - Some of the elder member of
this family had kept a number of pigeons as his pets. He was forever nicknamed
as Kotur (Pigeon).
4. Wantu/Wanchu - Wantu in Kashmiri is
used for a hard walnut. It is impossible to get a full Kernel (GIRI) out
of a hard walnut, even if it is broken into pieces. Some of the ancestor
of this family must have been a top class miser and was compared to a 'Wont
doon' (hard walnut). Thus was this nickname started to continue for generations.
5. Mantoo - It means one and a half seer
in Kashmiri. It is said that some ancestor of this family underwent a bet
to eat a manut (one and a half seer) of rice at a time, which he won. This
victory brought its reward in the form of a nickname.
6. Wakhul - It is a flat bottomed stone
mortar used for shrinking and washing the woollen clothes. In the past
the professional washermen were not as abundant as they are now. Therefore,
every mohalla had kept at least one Wokhul for the washing purposes. The
family in whose premises this Wokhul was kept was in the long-run known
by its name. Another explanation forwarded is that the head of this family
was in the Government service with a duty to realise taxes from Wakhul
6. (a) Kenoo - It is used for a wet and
watery thing. It is reported that a certain Pandit of Rainawari who had
taken a distasteful dish at some party, was asked by a saint (Mian Shah)
about the taste of the dish he had taken. He is reported to have replied
that it was as tasteless as a Kinoo. Immediately the Pandit lost his real
identity and became known as Kinoo.
7. Kallawat - It is said a Pandit by the
name of Kailash was working as personal assistant of Colonel Watt, who
constructed the Pahalgam Road during the rule of Maharaja Partap Singh.
Kalla is the short form of Kailash, and colleagues of the Pandit connected
with it the surname of the Colonel and, thus, originated a new name e.g.,
Kalawat. The descendants of the unfortunate assistant also lost their real
family name and were known by the name of Kallawat since then.
8. Wangnoo - It stands for a brinjal in
Kashmiri. An ancestor of this family is reported to have been highly fond
of brinjals and was, therefore, nicknamed after his favourite vegetable.
Another explanation given is that Wangnoo is, perhaps, the only vegetable
which is cooked with almost all the vegetables. Therefore, a man who could
mix with anybody and won over even his foes was nicknamed as Wangnoo; Kashmiri
Pandits as a whole were also called as Wangnoo for having successfully
mixed up with all the races and religions, without losing their identity.
This is perhaps a misnomer for a race who could save its identity only
after having submerged its ninety per cent population with other races
and religions. A friend sarcastically, but very correctly, remarked that
gone are the days when they (Pandits) were called Wangans. Now they are
only Wangan Hachi (dried brinjals).
9. Labroo - The head of a certain family
was for tunate enough to win prefix in any venture he under took. He was
nicknamed Labh (profit), which in due course of time became Labroo.
10. Taku - An ancestor of this family was
fond of taking his meals in a fresh taku (an earthen plate) everytime.
He and his descendents were, therefore, known as Taku.
11. Safaya - A certain Pandit is reported
to have been a lover of cleanliness and was known as Safai, which later
on became Safaya.
12. Chengaloo - An ancestor of this family
is reported to have been of a light heart and would not conceal his happiness
and excitement even over small gains. Chengun in Kashmiri means to be jubilient.
There are a few families of this nick name in the village Mattan of Anantnag
13. Jogi - An elder member of their family
had become a Jogi.
14. Buju - There was an old woman in a
Mohalla. She had two or three sons who were called Bujihandi (i.e., Sons
of the old woman). This became their permanent nickname and their descendants
came to be known as Buju.
15. Sukhia - The head of this family is
reported to have played the role of a Sakhi (girl friend) in the Krishan
Leela drama and was nicknamed as Sakhi, which later on became Sukhia. Another
version of facts is given that a parent had named his son Sukh which became
later his nickname.
16. Peshin - It means the time of afternoon
in Kashmiri. A Pandit who was a Government servant had to attend to his
job at the afternoon. He was nicknamed Peshin.
17. Gamkhwar - A Pandit was a born sympathiser.
He would share the sorrow of one and all. Somebody out of envey nicknamed
him Gamkhar. Mr. Fauq reports that one Sadanand Koul was given the title
of Gamkhar by the Mughal King Shah Jahan. His progeny was also known by
18. Bula - One of the ancestors of this
family is reported to have been a foolishman. That is why he was called
19. Choor - An ancestor of this family
had been caught red-handed while committing a theft, or was a shareholder
of the professional thieves. He was labelled as Chsor (thief) for all the
time to come.
20. Zaroo - A Pandit was a habitual gambler
or had allowed gambling den to operate in his house, he was therefore,
rightly nicknamed as Zaroo (a gambler). Another explanation given is that
a certain Pandit was in habit of taking rash decisions without giving a
proper thought to the facts. He was nick named as a Zaroo.
21. Chrangoo - It means a handful in Kashmiri.
A certain Pandit was known for being a parsimony. He would not give to
any begger more than a handful of grain. This led people to call him and
his descendants as Chrangoo.
22. Musa - After a long and tedious journey
or after doing some hard work a man, naturally, relaxes for sometime to
refresh himself. This process of refreshing is called 'Muskadun' in Kashmiri.
There are two or three families of this name in village Mattan of Anantnag
district. They are professional Pandas having their Jajmans (clients) spread
all over the Jammu region and the Punjab State. Every year these Pandas
go to their clients during winter seasan to collect their annual Dan and
Dakshina. It is said that some ancestor of these families would continue
to relax and refresh himself for months together, after coming back from
a long, tedious and risky journey, over the peaks of Pir Panchal. He was
in the long-run nicknamed as Musa and his progeny is known now by this
23. Brayth - It is a Kashmiri form of the
Sanskrit word 'Brasht', which means a deliberate deviation from the religious
path. Some of the ancestor of this family must have been found guilty of
some non-religious act and was declared Brashta, which became Brayth in
24. Band - With the curious exception of
Akingam (a village in District Anantnag) the Bands are all Muslims. 'The
story of Akingam Baghats,' says Mr. Lawrence, is peculiar. Brahmans considered
acting to be degrading, and even now the Brahmans of Kashmir the Akingam
play as with contempt. But the Brahman plays say that they took to the
stage by the express order of goddess Devi. The legend relates that many
years ago Devi appeared to the Akingam Pandits, and, placing a fiddle in
his hands, said, 'play upon this fiddle'. He protested his inability, but
on the goddess persisting, he took up the blow and played unearthly music.
He was bidden by Devi to sit under the deodars of the Akingam and play
in her honour. For some years he and his sons obeyed the goddess behest
but unable to withstand the prejudices of his caste, he finally declined
to play any more. On this he was striken with blindness and wondered away
to the Lidder Valley. In a dream Devi appeared to the Magistrate of the
Lidder, and told him to take old Pandit to Akingam. On reaching Akingam
the Pandit recovered his sight and since that day he and his descendants
fiddled away without further protest. These Pandits never send their children
to school, as they believe that Devi would resent it and would kill their
children. This state of things has now completely changed. Bands of Akingam
(Mohripora) have left this vocation since long but the name has persisted.
25. Gadva - A Pandit was seen always with
a Ghadva (a metal tumbler) in his hand going to purchase milk or curd,
or even throwing the 'Nirmal' in the river was nicknamed Gadva. Another
explanation offered is that a certain Pandit had collected, as a hobby,
a large number of different varieties of 'Gadvas' and got this appellation.
26. Yachh - It is a corrupt form of the
Sanskrit word Yaksha. However, in Kashmir a certain rarely visible animal
possessing supernatural powers is now called Yachh. Pandits offer Khichri
and other sweetmeats to this animal extra-ordinary on Yaksha Amavasi in
December-January, every year. It so happened that a certain Pandit either
used to make sounds like a Yachh (i.e., Bas, Bas) or was some how specially
linked with the characteristic Yaksha Pooja. He along with his descendants
was nicknamed Yachh. The latter assumption seems more true in the light
of the fact that this nickname is used mostlv by Gor families.
27. Bohgun - It means a cooking vessel
made of brass. Some Pandit is stated to have had a hobby of collecting
different varieties of Bahgun, or was fond of the food prepared in a certain
type of Bohgun, and was nicknamed as such, because in appearance he was
as fat and round as a 'Bohgun'. Another explanation given is that it is
a corrupt form of the Sanskrit word Bahuguna (possessor of many qualities).
28. Nakab - It means a veil. Kashmiri Pandit
ladies did not wear a veil in the past. But a family having introduced
this practice at first, during Muslim rule, got this nickname.
29. Thalchoor - It means a plate thief.
A Pandit was either caught red handed while stealing thals (plates) or
was accused of such a theft. He and his descendants got the appellation
30. Kakh - An elder brother, uncle or a
cousin was out of reverence called as Kakh. Some Pandit for his good and
generous nature seems to have won the public respect and was called Kakh
by the people, other than his family members. He lost his real appellation
and was along with his progeny known as Kak. However, there are repeated
references of the family name Kak in Rajtarangini. Shaloka 1311 of Taranga
VII reads, 'As his passage was blocked by warriors of the Kaka and other
educated families, he retreated from. . .' R. S. Pandit in a footnote to
above Shaloka says that the Kaka family is repeatedly referred to by Kalhana.
Shaloka 180 and 599 of Taranga VIII says, 'holders of high military rank
and others, brave men such as Tilka of the family of Kaka. . .'. 'From
the very midst of ..., Sufi captured alive in battle the brave knight Sobhka
sprung from the family of Kaka...' Kaks in the ancient Kashmir, therefore,
belonged to a military class.
31. Chilam - Some ancestor of this family
was a chilam smoker and got this name.
32. Thapal - A few families of this name
live in Anantnag city. Some of the common ancestor of these families must
have been a habitual snatcher and got this nickname.
33. Kuchur - It means penis in Kashmiri.
An ancestor of the family is reported to have been moving without trousers
or a Kacha and thus unmindful of his exposed penis. He was along with his
progeny nicknamed as Kuchur.
34. Jad - It means the eldest ancestor
in Kashmiri. An elder member of this family is reported to have been behaving
like an old and experienced man even during his childhood. He was therefore,
nicknamed as Jad.
35. Jalla - A family of Rainawari Pandits
was residing on the bank of Dal Lake (now turned into a quagmire). This
part of the lake abounded in delicious fish. The fishermen catching the
fish, would generally spread their nets on the compound wall of this family,
to dry them up. A fish net in Kashmiri is called a Zal. This family was,
therefore, nicknamed as Zalu, which in the long run became Jala.
36. Puran - A few families of this nickname
live in village Zainapora. One of their common ancestor is reported to
have been in habit of quoting from the Puranas on every occasion. He was,
therefore, known as Puran.
37. Zaharbad - An ancestor of this family
is reported to have been suffering from a serious type of Carbuncle on
an exposed part of his body. He was, therefore, nicknamed as Zaharbad.
Another reason related is that some ancestor of this family was a terrible
mischief monger and was intolerably unpleasant man. The people expressed
their displeasure for his mischievous character by an equally unpleasant
nickname (i.e., Zaharbad).
Abnormal/Extra-ordinary Physique or Temperament
1. Mushran - An awkward and ugly man with
a huge and powerful body is called Mushran. Some ancestor of this family
must have been nicknamed as mushran because of his unusual physique and,
later his descendants continued to be called by this name.
2. Kuraz - It is a name given to a very
dangerous water animal. Some elder member of this family must have been
of a fierce nature and was nicknamed Kuraz.
3. Shagali - Shagalis had come along with
Pathans, under the leadership of Gulshagali. He was a long and healthy
young man. A pandit was having an extraordinary physique like Gulshagali
and was accordingly nicknamed.
4. Sharga - It is corrupt form of Shogo
(a parrot). Some member of the family was having small eyes and a long
nose like a parrot.
5. Handoo - This nickname was given to
a Pandit who was fat and fresh like a sheep or to those Pandits who somehow
were connected with flocks of sheep.
6. Atal - It is a corrupt form of Thalal
(i.e., a Samashar). A Pandit with a broad forehead as if a forceful smasher,
received this nickname.
7. Gurtu - It is a nickname given, perhaps,
to those Razdans whose some ancestor was of Gurtu (yellow) colour. Gurtu
is now used for those Pandits who do not cook meat and fish on the Shivratri
8. Shangloo - Some elder member of this
family is reported to have had six fingers in his hand and became known
as six-fingered (She Angul).
9. Mota - A fat man's nickname.
10. Langoo - Some elder of the family was
a lame man.
11. Kaboo - Any ancestor of this family
is reported to have been a hunch backed (Kaboo) man.
12. Marchawangan - A thin and a red faced
man may have been nicknamed as a red pepper. It is also possible that some
ancestor of the family was in possession of a hot and pungent temperament,
ormay be some one of the family elders was a pepper trader.
13. Raghu - A thin and a frail man must
have won the appellation.
14. Kachroo - Some ancestor must have been
as red haired as an Englishman.
15. Kichloo - It means a long-beared in
Kashmiri Some elder of the family must have developed a long beard and
received this nickname.
16. Chakoo - Chouk means 'bottom' as well
as 'sour' in Kashmiri. It is reported that some elder of the family was
a sour-tempered man. Mr. Fauq connects it with an amusing and interesting
story. A man named his twelfth son as Chauk (i.e., bottom) of the chain
of sons and he (the son) became famous by the name of Chauk. It is amusingly
and often awkwardly mispronounced as Chakoo (a Knife) outside Kashmir.
17. Khashoo - A left hander.
18. Ganjoo - A bald man's nickname or an
appellation for a man who was put in-charge of Ganj (treasury).
19. Gagroo - It was the nickname of a person
who was very small and swift.
20. Kharoo - A bald man.
21. Zoroo - A deaf man.
22. Kariholu - A nickname given to an elder
of the family, whose neck was a little curved.
23. Kaw - An ancestor af this family was
as black as a crow.
24. Daraz - A long-heighted ancestor of
the family was given this name.
25. Mam - It means maternal uncle in Kashmiri.
A man was in habit of poking his nose in everybody's affairs. He and his
children were, therefore, nicknamed as Mam.
26. Chacha - The word Chacha is used by
Kashmiri Muslims for a paternal uncle. A Pandit who unnecessarily involved
himself in other peoples' affairs must have received this nickname.
27. Tut - A man with a long chin was nicknamed
28. Bambroo - An ancestor of this family
was as dark complexioned as a black bee. It is also said that some elder
member of this family was in habit of making sounds like a beetle when
alone. That is why he and his descendants came to be known as Bambroo.
29. Kalla - It means head in Kashmiri.
An ancestor of this family had a conspicuous head and was named as Kalla.
30. Sikh - It is said that an ancestor
of this family had grown a long beard to conceal the white patches on his
face. He and his family members were nicknamed as Sikh.
31. Hakhoo - It was used as a nickname
for a thin and frail person. His descendants were also labelled as Hakhoo,
even if some one among them may be as fat as an elephant.
32. Trakroo - This nickname was given to
a man who was of very hot temperament and, of course, a hard task master.
The nickname became part and parcel of his descendants also. Trakur in
Kashmiri is used for anything hard.
33. Miskeen - A man was very kind to poor
and needy. He was nicknamed as Miskeen (poor). Another explanation is that
a well-to-do man used to feign as a poor man. He was along with his progeny
called as Miskeen.
34. Chhot - It means a short statured person.
Some elder of the family was unusually of a short stature and won this
nickname for himself and his descendants.
35. Braroo - An ancestor of this family
must have been a blue eyed man and was nicknamed as Braroo (the cat).
36. Kaloo - It means a person unable to
speak. The name is Kaloo (just like a dumb-man).
37. Nikka - It is an 'affectionate name'
given to small boys in Kashmiri families. Such a name generally gets discarded
as soon as the boy grows up to be a youth. However, some Pandit seems to
have been called Nikka, even after he attained his adulthood, and thus
got the nickname. Another reason could be that an ancestor of this family
was a short and small statured that even in his youth and old age, he looked
like a boy and was called a Nikka.
38. Kissu - It means a small finger. Some
ancestor of the family is reported to have been in possession of an extra-ordinary
Kis, or was in habit of displaying his small finger in a peculiar way and
got the appellation.
39. Mandal - In Kashmiri mandal means buttocks.
An ancestor of the family is reported to have been a large rumped person
and, thus, got this nickname.
40. Dev - Some Pandit seems to have been
nicknamed as such, either for his extra-ordinary valour or having the habit
of taking too much food or sleep - the peculiarities of a Dev. A Dev is
an imaginary being like a Jinnie of Arabian nights.
41. Dasi - A few families of this name
live in Anantnag town. An ancestor of this family is reported to have been
a spend thrift and would become bankrupt in every trade and occupation
he owned. He was thus nicknamed as Dasi, meaning a person who would finish
and destroy everything.
42. Vokhu - An ancestor of this family
is reported to have been of abnormal physiqueas well as temperament.
43. Pedar - An ancestor of this family
is reported to have a deformed foot which looked like a cloven hoof and
was thus nicknamed as Padar.