For many Indians, their birth name is different from their official name; the birth name starts with a letter considered auspicious on the basis of the person's horoscope. Some children are given three names: a given name, a second given name (middle name), and a family name. In communities that don't use family names, the third name can be a god's name, or the grandfather's or grandmother's name, depending on the sex of the child. Many children are given two names: a given name and a family name. Having four names is uncommon, as is having only a single name.
|Andhra Pradesh||Telugu||Burujula,Chikkala, Gontu, yadav, Reddi, Sastry, Sarma,Tripurana, Varma, Murty, MudiRaj, Rao, Gupta,Gandavarapu, Setty, Reddy, Chowdary, Goud, Naidu, Vaka,Badam, Kalla, Potluri, Akurathi, Akkineni, nandamuri, Surapaneni, Paravathaneni, Sayala, Geddada, Dasari, Akkiyana, Vanukuru, Kanmuri, Kanuganti,Adhikarla, Allu, Alapati, Avuthu, Banothu, Jujjavarapu, Tumarada, Sasanapuri, Putta, Some villages, fruits, vegetables names in the native language.|
|Assam||Assamese||Barua, Baruah, Bora, Borah, Borkakoti, Bordoloi, Gogoi, Goswami, Sarma, Bhattacharya, Choudhuri, Das, Kalita|
|Bihar, Jharkhand||Hindi||Giri, Puri, Sinha, Verma, Pandey, Goswami, Bharti, Yadav, Mishra, Dubey, Thakur, Srivastava, Jha, Dhanjit, Choudhary,|
|Chhattisgarh||Hindi, Chhattisgarhi||Chandrakar, Verma, Agharia, Sahu, Dewangan, Bhoi, Nishad, Patel|
|Goa||Konkani, Marathi||Alphonso, D'Costa, D'Silva, D'Souza, Da Cunha, Fernandes, Lobo, Loliyekar, Mendes, Naik, Pinto, Prabhu, Rodrigues, Saldanha, Shirodkar, Timblo|
|Gujarat||Gujarati||Acharya, Adani, Ajmera, Ambani, Amin, Asher, Barot, Bhagat, Bhansali, Bhatt, Bunha, Chauhan, Chikhalia, Chokshi, Chudasama, Contractor, Dalal, Dave, Desai, Dhaduk, Doshi, Gaekwad, Ganjawala, Gajjar, Gandhi, Goswami, Grigg, Jadeja, Jobanputra, Juthani, Kanakia, Kapadia, Katira, Karia, Kotadia, Kotak, Kotecha, Kyada, Lal, Lalbhai, Makavana/Makwana, Mehta, Modi, Munim, Naik, Odedra/Odedara, Oza, Parekh, Parikh, Pathak, Patel, Pipalia,Prajapati, Rathod, Sampat, Sarabhai, Savalia, Shah, Sheladia, Sheth, Shroff, Solanki, Soni ,Sutaria, Suthar, Talati, Tandel, Tanti, Thakar, Thakkar, Trivedi, Visaria, Visariya, Vora, Vyas, Zariwala|
|Haryana||Hindi, Haryanvi||Ahlawat,Sheoran, Shangwan, Beniwal, Chauhan, Chautala, Rathee, Sharma|
|Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi||Marwari, Hindi, Garhwali, Kumawani||Rawat, Bisht, Gusain, Thapliyal, Naugai, Baurai, Kumavat, Niraniya, Juyal, Verma, Sharma, Trivedi, Mishra, Aggarwal, Agrawal, Yadav, Bansal, Mittal, Negi, Srivastava, Dhounndiyal, Nautiyal, Ghilidiyal, Dwivedi, Chaturvedi,Tripathi,Tiwari, Dixit, Singh, Asthana, Kaushal, Karamchand, Ghatori,Choudhary,Chaudhary,Chauhan,Thakur,Shekhawat,Rajawat,Bhati, Visariya|
|Jammu and Kashmir||Dogri, Kashmiri||Ahmed, Butt, Bhatt, Dhar, Ganjoo, Kakapuri, Handoo, Kaul, Koul, Maam, Ogra, Pandit, Raina, Syed, Tickoo, Wali, Wani, Dogra, Sharma, Khajuria, Mangotra, Balotra, Samyal, Charak, Dubey, Sadotra, Jasrotia, Gandotra, Upadhyaya, Sadathia, Salathia, Proach, Sangra, Baldotra, Rajwal , Bhat|
|Karnataka||Kannada||Poojari, Kotian, Salian,Kunder,Nairi, Papanashi, Bhadranavar, Chetti, Hukkeri, Jamakhandi, Sonnad, Kanthi, Sinnur, Sukali, Kulkarni, Patil, Mayachari, Sangati, Chikkatumbal, Halemani,Hosamani, Dharawadkar, Doddamni, Jadhav, Madivalar, Hiremath, Jituri, Benakannakarvar, Torath, Talwari, Jakkannavar, Kogilagaddi, Ponarkaar, Noorkhan, Kodhanch, Bellubbli, Lohar, Basidoni, Kabadagi, Jalageri, Mallammanavar, Giddananavar, Menashinakayi, Ullagaddi, Bhajentri, Nayak, Gondkar, Huded, Datanal, Kallanagowdar, Marigodar, Wali, Walishettar, Dundur, Shetty, Dixit, Dasar , Kumbar, Jolad, Hoskeri, Hubli, Uppin, Bapakar, Badni, Hanchinal, Athani, Turamri, Gourishetty, Hurkadli, Akki, Kalal, Chatnis, Khatawakar, Bargi, Kadni, Kabboor, Reddy, Yadav, Dasegouda, Bhandarkar, Padki, Dasannanavar, Simi, Belgavi, Naravatte, Navalagi, Bellad, Malagi, Shettar,Goudar, Gowda, Rao, Hegde, Udupa, Handhe, Shasthri, Kamath, Shanbhag, Shanubhogue, Murthy, Aithal, Shenoy, Tantry, Pai, Upadhya, Prabhu, Kini, Bijapur, Veerapur,Devarmani, Gangannavar, Kattimani, Math, Tatpatti, Akkur, Jambagi, Khavatekar, Beedi, Zalaki, Hallur, Negalur, Hondadakatti, Itagi, Koluvailu, Hosagrahara,Naregal, Paramshetti, Kanthi, Iyengar, Padukone, Kulkarni, Lingayat Setty, Pandit,Nayaka,Anna,Swami,Eshwar,Prasad,Rai,Bahudur,Deshpande,Wodeyar,Prasad,Rao,Nadig,Sheshadri|
|Kerala||Malayalam||Adikal, Adiyodi, Asaan, Bhattathiri, Chakyar, Channar, Chekavan, Chekavar, Chovan, Eradi, Ilayath, Kaimal, Kartha, Kurukkal, Kurup, Marar, Menon, Moosad, Nair, Nambiar, Nambudiri, Nayanar, Nayar, Nedungadi, Pandala, Panikkar, Pillai, Pisharody, Pothuval, Samoothiri, Thampi, Thangal, Thankkal, Unnithan, Unnithiri, Vaidyan,Vaidyar, Valiathan, Valodi, Variar, Varma|
|Madhya Pradesh||Hindi||Jaitley, Jadhav, Scindia, Goyal, Mistry, Asthana, Kalsangrah, Patidar, Gurjar|
|Maharashtra||Marathi||Agarkar, Ahirrao,Angre,Atre, Bade, Bhamare,Bhadane, Bapat, Bhat, Bedekar, Bhave,Bhoite, Bhinge, Bhonsale, Birnale, Borse, Borkar, Chavan, Chitale, Chitnis, Chitre, Dahake, Dahanukar,Dahapute, Dalvi, Damle, Dandekar, De, Deshmukh, Deshpande, Deulkar, Devre, Dikshit, Donde, Gaikwad, Gadgil, Gaekwad, Gaitonde, Galvankar, Gantare, Ghatge, Gholkar, Ghorpade,Godambe,Gire, Gite, Godbole, Godse, Gokhale, Gore, Gothe, Gujarati, Gulgule, Gupte, Hardas, Hegde, Holkar, Jadhav,Jagtap,Joshi,Kadam,Kaamat, Kadam,Kale, Kamath, Khalfe, Khandke, Khare,Kulkarni,kokate, Landge,Mali, Mapkar, Marudkar,More, Matondkar, Mhatre, Mukaddam, Mulge, Mulye,Nikam, Naik, Nakhtare,Nimbalkar, Pathak, Patil, Patwardhan, Pavaskar, Pawar, Penkar, Phadke, Phadnis, Phule, Rao, Rane, Rasam, Raundal, Raut,Sawant, Surve, Sonawane, Shikhare, Shinde, Shirke Soman, Sonde,Solunke,Salunkhe, Tambey,Tupe, Telang, Thackeray,Thorat,Thatte, Undre, Walkhede,Wankhade, Wasgare, Welling,Wagh|
|Manipur||Manipuri||Ahanthem, Atom, Chakpram, Kamei, Oinam, Nandeibam|
|Orissa||Oriya||Patnaik,biswal,Samal,Satpathy,Dutta,Das,Mohanty,Sahoo/Sahu,Pati,Mishra,Sarangi, Raut/Rout,Ray,Pani,Ratha/Rath,Acharya,Tripathy,Naik/Nayak,Patra,Mohanta,Singh Deo,Senapati,Sandha,Bagh,Hati,Paschimakabata,Gochhayata,Singh,Raj, Khandayata,Dehuri,Basantaray,Behera,Kaibarta,Sarangi,Panda,Mohapatra,Mahapatra, Parija,Parida|
|Punjab||Punjabi||Sehgal, Singh, Kaur, Khalsa, Khosla, Gabbi, Dhonsi, Sidhu, Sandhu, Bal, Brar, Poddar, Dullo, Shergill, Walia, Cheema, Chishty, Boparai, Badal, Gill, Gulati, Sarai, Dhillon, Benipal, Padda, Dulay, Multani,Khanna, Kapoor, Arora, Malhotra, Saigal, Suri, Puri, Soni, Tuli, Gupta, Agarwal, Malik, Sahani, Saini, Talwar, Chopra, Bajaj, Sharma, Verma, Bhardwaj, Vashisht, Sood, Bhatia,Dhawan|
|Sikkim||Nepali, Tibetan||Bhutia, Chetri, Sungte, Dolma, Dorjee|
|Tamil Nadu||Tamil||Gounder, Chettiar, Iyer, Iyengar, Mudaliar, Nadar, Lebbai, Rowther, Maraikayar, Naicker, Pillai, Thevar, Vellalar|
|West Bengal||Bengali||Banerjee (Bandyopadhyay), Mukherjee (Mukhopadhyay), Chatterjee (Chattopadhyay), Ganguly (Gangopadhyay), Bagchi, Basak, Bose/Basu, Ghatak, Ghosh, Guha, Mitra, Kumar, Kundu, Sen, Bhattacharya, Roy/Ray, Das, Sengupta, Sinha, Sarkar, Dasgupta, Gupta, Banik, Dutta/Datta, Dastidar, Ray, Chakrabarti, Dey/De, Haldar, Saha, Poddar, Acharya, Pal/Paul, Maitra, Lahiri, Brahma, Thakur, Chanda, Rudra, Majumdar, Mal, Nandan, Sensharma, Bhatta, Dhar, Pramanik, Deb, Mandal, Biswas, Mallick, Nag, Chakladar, Baidya, Guhathakurta, Laha, Bid, Sur, Kabiraj, Bhanja, Manna|
Many upper caste Indians use ancestral village names, occupations, honorifics, titles, caste or clan derivatives as their family names. The subcaste names are themselves derived from occupations or characteristics of the subcaste, for example, within subcastes among Telugu brahmins: "Niogi" derives from ancestral appointments as ministers of the royal court. "Vaideeki" denotes an ancestor who followed the profession of religious teaching, and "Velanati" and "Telaganya" indicate the ancestral places of their origin. These are used for subcaste identification and not necessarily used routinely as part of a person's official name or daily use name.
Due to caste-based discrimination or favouritism (mostly in government jobs), many people started adopting generic last names such as Kumar. Many film stars such as Dilip Kumar, Manoj Kumar and, more recently, Akshay Kumar have adopted Kumar as their last names for marketing reasons. As Kumar became too common, people adopted names such as Ranjan and Anand as their last names e.g. Rajesh Ranjan or Abhishek Anand. Many people have two given names as their name e.g. Amit Vikram.
Sometimes a family name is added on to the end of the name as an initial, eg. Noushad S. U. (or S. U. Noushad) the shortened form of Noushad Shafi Ulooji, which is interpreted as Noushad, son of Shafi of the Ulooji family.
After marriage usually the Hindu woman's family name is changed to husband's family name or, in communities that don't use family names, the husband's given name. In south India if a married woman's name is Sudha Ramesh this means that Sudha is married to Ramesh. In some areas of India, the wife's given name is also changed to one chosen by her husband. Some Indian women have, as some western women have, chosen to keep their original family names and add to them their husbands' family names, such as "Anjali Guha Sharma." In urban areas, increasing numbers of women choose to retain their original family name, especially for professional purposes.
In many South Indian communities, it is typical to abbreviate all but one name, such as in "K.V.M.M. Shastry." Traditionally, the unabbreviated name is the person's principal given name, but in some cases it can also be the family name. The abbreviations usually stand for the patronymic, the name of the family's home village, the family name, and the caste name.
In North India, it is more usual to follow the pattern of given name (one or two) followed by the family name, which is familiar in the West. Unlike South Indian names, North Indian names are unlikely to include home village, caste, patronymic, or clan names, although the caste is often easily inferred from the family name.
In Hindu names the family name often signifies the cast or community to which the person belongs, e.g., Abhijeet Mukherjee (Abhijeet - given name and Mukherjee is a Brahmin family name). Most of the names have some significance and meaning. Many Hindu families have name giving ceremony after the child's birth, usually made after the horoscope of the child. Most Hindu names are identified in some way as an "alternative" name for a Hindu divinity.
Nicknames are very popular among Hindus, and every family member or close friend is free to apply a different nickname to an individual.
An example is the name “X. Antony Alex Miranda.” X stands for Xavier, frequently the child’s father’s name. Antony and Alex are given names, chosen by parents much like first and middle names in the West, and Miranda, the surname, follows. Some Christian names are more common in specific regions and localities of India. In South India, the names Jacob, Peter, and Thomas are widespread, while Northern India favors Michael, Jonathan, and Samuel. Most Indians who bear Christian names were born into Christian families. Those who convert to Christianity in adulthood rarely alter their names unless their given name is associated with another religion. For instance, a man whose first name is “Rahul” need not change his name, as Rahul simply means “reliable” and has no religious connotation. In contrast, an individual named Lakshmi may opt to change her name to fully separate herself from the her Hindu background and to prevent confusion for others.
The caste or subcaste name is often used as part of a name or as a title. These are analogous to western family names like Smith and Barber to the extent that they represent occupation. Chowdary (Hindu Telugu landowner caste) is an example. Mohandas Gandhi belonged to the caste of Gandhis (grocers). Where the use of surnames was not customary, use of the caste name as the surname is increasing in recent times. Examples of surnames of this kind from southern India include Iyer, Iyengar, Gounder, Gowda, Nair, Naidu, Patel, Shetty, Setty.
There are a few exogamous divisions within castes. These are usually on the basis of deities worshipped by the family. For example, Tamma (within the Reddy caste). This is widely followed by the Telugu people. The last name of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, another Independence-era leader, belongs to this category. This is more common among castes, like the Brahmins, that are spread throughout the country. Kamath and Shenoy are both Konkani Brahmin last names. Clan names are used only in small communities scattered around the country. The Chota Nagpur tribals use as clan names the names of animal deities with whom they claim kinship. The Kodavas of South India also have clan names.
Some families in India rename themselves on the basis of their profession. This is common among the Parsis, who often have surnames ending with "wala" (also spelled "walla" or "wallah"), meaning someone who engages in a particular activity. Names like Screwala when the person might have sold screws, or Cyclewala (cycle seller) are quite common; one Bollywood actress is named Shenaz Treasurywala. Many social ranks were also hereditary. Names such as Talukdar, Tehsildar, Tarafdar and Pillai are based on social rank.
It is also common for people to name their children after international personalities. Most of the times the surname is used as a first name, like Einstein, Churchill, Kennedy, Beethoven, Shakespeare etc., and tend to denote the parents' political affiliations. Like in Western societies, parents are beginning to experiment with uncommon names, or are using words that aren't usually considered names, like Proton Padmanabhan, Alpha Jyothis and Omega Jyothis.
The concepts of initials, middle names, family names and surnames are foreign to a Tamil. Everyone had a single name like Murugesh or Lakshmanan. Occasionally these names were extremely lengthy. A lengthy name could be interpreted as a sign of parental affection. However it was not the full name of a particular family, nor did it give more information about that family.
Under British rule, Indians were expected to follow English procedures for official purposes such as registering births, enrolling children in school and registering land ownership details.
Many South Indians, especially Telugu people, use the name of their ancestral hometown, or the family profession as the family name. In this case the surname is placed before the given name. Some Tamil people have both a village name and a caste name as part of their name, for instance Madurai Mani Iyer. Here, Madurai is a town and Iyer is a caste. Many Keralites especially Syrian Christians use as the "tharavaad", a description of their ancestral home. Names like Pramod Perumparambil and Paul Chemmanoor fall under this category.
In southern India, especially in Tamil Nadu where caste symbols tend to be kept private, there is widespread usage of a patronymic: use of the father's given name as the second name. This means that the given name of one generation becomes the second name of the next. In many cases, this second name is used as an initial and the given name may appear like a second name. For example a name like "Ajith Abraham" means "Ajith son of Abraham". If Ajith then has a son named Ashwin, then his name would be Ashwin Ajith.
It is common for Tamil women to adopt their husband’s given name as a second name. Sunitha Gopalan (Sunitha daughter of Gopalan) might change her name to Sunitha Rajiv (Sunitha wife of Rajiv) after marriage. Some South Indians use an inverted patronym. For example, Chitra Visweswaran is a dancer whose last name is either a patronym or the given name of her husband. More common among women, the inverted patronym is also adopted by people migrating West who want to be called by their given names without having to explain Indian naming conventions. The given names of their fathers or husbands become their family names.
Among Christians in Kerala, it is a common practice to have a second given name (middle name) which is the baptismal name, usually the first name of a grandparent or godparent, like Roshni Mary George and Anoop Antony Philip. Until about two decades ago, some people were named in the 'Family name-Given name-Caste' format. Eg Kannoth Karunakaran Maarar, interpreted as Karunakaran of the Maarar caste from the Kannoth family.
In some parts of Tamil Nadu, traditional family names have recently been abandoned in favour of a father's/husband's given name as a family name. The use of a father's/husband's given name as a family name is in vogue. These names are also used as initials. School and college records would have the names with initials as given below.
Legal documents such as passports will have the last name fully expanded, instead of initials. Other legal documents such as property deeds will have any of these name formats with the mention of father’s /grandfather’s/husband’s given name and/or village/town/city name. Mandating expansion of initials in passport and multinational companies that are influenced by western standards are big source of confusion in South India--letter for Raja Gopala Varma, son of Krishna Kumar who is usually referred as "K. Raja Gopala Varma" will be addressed incorrectly as "Krishna Kumar Raja Gopala Varma".
Men's names are usually prefixed with initials as mentioned before. Some men used to omit the initial, adding the father's given name in the end. However, this isn't a legal name and won't change their name in official records. For example, both P. Chidambaram and Chidambaram Palaniyappan are valid; however the latter form is not legally used. Generally, the initials are omitted, and father's name is suffixed in order to shorten a name, for example, G. Raja Ravi Varma, son of M. Gopal Krishnan, becomes Raja Gopal.
For women, the system of initials is slightly different. Before marriage, a girl uses her father's initial, but after marriage, she may choose to use her husband's initial. Of late the trend has changed and many women, especially those employed, do not change the initials, but continue with their father's initials. This is mainly for convenience, since school degree and career papers have the woman's father's initials on them. Changing a name legally is a cumbersome procedure, including announcing the proposed change in a newspaper and getting it published in an official gazette. So the modern trend is to add the husband's name at the end, like some Western women who add their husband’s name with a hyphen.
People who do not understand the South Indian naming protocol sometimes expand the initials in an incorrect manner. For example, the name P. Chidambaram, tends to be expanded to Palaniyappan Chidambaram, which is incorrect in the sense that it implies that the person's given name is "Palaniyappan", and the family name is "Chidambaram". In fact, the person's only name is "Chidambaram", with an initial of "P". Other such famous misrepresentations include the chess grandmaster, V. Anand (wrongly expanded as Vishwanathan Anand); cricketer, L. Sivaramakrishnan (Laxman is his father's name); and the freedom fighter and statesman, C. Rajagopalachari (often cited as Chakravarty Rajagopalachari). On the other hand, north India media refers to Dr. Anbumani (son of Dr. Ramadoss) often simply as Dr Ramadoss, which again is incorrect as Ramadoss is his father's name and not his family name.
Family names are not common among the Tamil people, but most of the rest of India uses a family name.
There is no concept of middle name in Telugu people's names. Some names are preceded by Hindu gods names For e.g., Venkata Sai (both are gods names) precedes the name Laxman Vangipuram is abbreviated as V. V. S. Laxman (Vangipuram Venkata Sai Laxman)
Unlike other South Indian names, the name of father is rarely used in a person's name.
Srihari M ---------------- Nellore
Mangalapalli Narasimha Murthy--------------vizianagaram
When the initial is expanded it refers to the name of the father, and not the person bearing the name. So the final name in the sequence is the actual given name of the individual and first name stands for the father. For example, C. V. Raman who won the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the Raman effect. Sir Raman was from Tiruchirappalli a town in south india, Tamil Nadu. His full name is Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman (C. V. Raman), but Raman is the given name of the nobel laureate. Where 'Chandrashekharan' is his father name. Raman is not the family name of the nobel laureate as mostly misunderstood by the people of the Europe and US.
In Tamil Nadu, only the first initial (father's) is used with the given name. The first name of a person is expanded and used only at legal documents such as passports, court proceedings and wills.
Tamil names also contain the village name in the following order: village name-father name-given name. For Eg Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan who is known as M. S. Swaminathan is one of the most popular Indian scientist and known as "Father of the Green Revolution" in India. Swaminathan is the name of the person, Sambasivan is the name of the father and Monkombu is name of the village from where they have originated.
Family names in south India would be their caste names if have to be strictly followed. Caste names are rarely used, since they are not unique and people exclude the caste in their names as castism is viewed as a controversial social problem in India and young people like to identify themselves not just by the caste they belong to. Unique family names are hidden in the "caste", "sub-caste" and "tribe" names.
1. Family name followed by Given name followed usually by the caste name or title. This was the common pattern (for men and women) among the upper-caste Hindus, especially of Malabar and Cochin. Examples: Mani Madhava Chakyar (Mani is the family name or tharavad name, Madhava(n) is the given name and Chakyar is the caste name), Vallathol Narayana Menon (Vallathol is the family name or tharavad name, Narayana(n) is the given name and Menon is the caste name), Olappamanna Subramanian Nambudiri, Erambala Krishnan Nayanar, etc. Sometimes the caste name/title was omitted, e.g., Kannoth Karunakaran (where the caste name Marar has been omitted). In the case of women the caste name/title was, traditionally, usually different, for example "Amma" was used for "Nair", "Andarjjanam" was used for "Nampoothiri", "Varyasyar" for "Varyar", "Nangyar" for "Nambiar" "Kunjamma" for "Valiathan/Unnithan/Kartha" etc. (see the Singh/Kaur convention in Punjab), e.g., Nalappat Balamani Amma whose brother was Nalappat Narayana Menon and Savithri Andarjjanam (A renowned author). Quite often the family name will have more than one part to it, e.g., Elankulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, Madathil Thekkepaattu Vasudevan Nair, etc. The family name is usually initialled, the given name is sometimes initialled (never when there is no caste name following) and the caste name (if present) is never initialled. This is completely arbitrary. So we have as common forms Vallathol Narayana Menon, C. Achutha Menon, E K Nayanar and P. Bhaskaran (here Bhaskaran is the given name; the caste name, Nair in this case, has been omitted).
2. Family name followed by Father's given name followed by Given name. This is common among the rest of the population. For example most traditional Christian names followed this pattern. Usually the Family name and Father name were initialled. In case of (Hindu) women "Amma" was frequently used (as in the previous case). Examples include K M Mani, K G George, V S Achuthanandan, K R Gowri Amma. Many Palakkad Iyers (Kerala Iyers) use an adaptation of this convention by replacing the Family Name with the name of the "gramam" (village). Example: Tirunellai Narayanaiyer Seshan (T N Seshan), where Tirunellai would be the village name, Narayanaiyer is the Father's given name and Seshan is the given name; or Guruvayoor Shankaranarayanan Lalitha abbreviated as G. S. Lalitha.
3.Given Name followed by Title. This is common particularly among Syrian Christians in the old central Travancore area, where the king (Maharaja) or the local ruler (Raja or Thampuran) used to assign some titles to select families. Examples include Varghese Vaidyan(Vaidyan)of Famous Vaidyan Family whose roots are in Thevelakara,Kollam, Fr. Geevarghese Panicker (Panicker), Chacko Muthalaly (Muthalaly), Avira Tharakan (Tharakan), Varkey Vallikappen (Vallikappen), etc.
Much of these traditional naming patterns have now disappeared. The family names are usually not included nowadays (this can probably be attributed to the decline of the joint families or tharavads). The most common patterns nowadays is to have given names, followed by the father's given name (patronymic, e.g., Sunil Narayanan or Anil Varghese) or caste name (e.g., Anup Nair). Sometimes (especially in the case of women) both the Fathers and Mothers given names are used as part of the name, e.g., L Athira Krishna. It is also not uncommon for the village of origin to be use in lieu of the family name, especially in South Kerala, e.g., Kavalam Narayana Panicker, where Kavalam is a village in Alapuzha district.
It should be observed that many of the so-called Christian family names such as Varghese or Kuruvilla are in fact, properly speaking, not family names at all. They are just given names. Due to the modern shift in following western naming systems where parents and children have the same family names these have become de facto family names in many cases.
eg. Kadidal Manjappa, where Kadidal is place name and Manjappa is person's given name.
eg. Kuppalli Venkatappa Puttappa, where Kuppalli is place name, Venkatappa is father's name and Puttappa is person's given name.
e.g Adnoor Bheemappa Narendra, where Adnoor is place name, Bheemappa is father's name and Narendra is person's given name. Adnoor and Bheemappa can be initialled resulting in the name "A. B. Narendra".
eg. Panemangalooru Ramesh Shenoy, Panemangalooru is place name, Ramesh is person's given name and Shenoy is the surname. eg. Satish Ramanath Hegde, Satish is person's given name, Ramanath is father's name and Hegde is the title. eg.Satish Gowda
However, if a person wants to go by only his/her given name, there is a tendency in official circles to forcibly add extra names (generally, the place names). sometimes the surname depends on the work that person does
Example: Murugan the son of Vellupillai would appear as MURUGAN A/L VELLUPILLAI in Malaysian ID Card (MyKad) in the name field and the Malaysian Passport.
In the eyes of authorities in the West, the connective term A/L (son of in the Malay Language) appears deceptively similar to the Arabic prefix 'Al' which appears in numerous Surnames/ Family Names of people of Arab descent.
Using the example above, MURUGAN A/L VELLUPILLAI would also arrange his name in such a way that his father's name become his initial and his given name appears to be his Surname/ Last Name: V. MURUGAN. This practice is similar to the name format of a very famous South Indian writer R. K. Narayan (R - Place of Origin: RASIPURAM, K - Father's Name: KRISHNASWAMI). Since most Malaysian Indians are today born in Malaysia, usually only the father's name appears as the initials.
However an increasing number of Malaysian Indians are migrating to the West, and they have begun using their father's name as the Last Name to avoid confusion. Therefore, Murugan the son of Vellupillai would simply go as MURUGAN VELLUPILLAI or M. VELLUPILLAI in the West. Malaysian Indian females sometimes take their husband's given name as their Surname or Last Name.
Traditionally, married women take their husband's given name as their middle name, in addition to adopting his family name. In Maharashtra sometimes a male newborn is named after his grandfather's name.
In Gujarat, people also add suffixes to their names based on their gender. "Bhai" (brother) for men and "Ben" (sister) for woman. For example, Sunil is called Sunilbhai and Lata is called Lataben. Similarly, Maharastrians address males as "Rao". (Sunil will be called Sunilrao.) This is generally an informal convention, used between friends and not on official documents.
Common Gujarati family names include Patel, Mehta, Shah, Desai, Parekh and Chudasama. Frequent Marathi family names include Kulkarni, Joshi, Deshpande, Deshmukh, and Patil. The family name 'Bhat' is used for a Maharashtrian Brahmin, whereas an extra t is added for the Gujaratis.
A number of Marathi family names end in 'kar', e.g. Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Savarkar, Madgulkar,mayekar and are sometimes associated with the native village of the family or its ancestors. E.g., Chiplunkar may stand for origins in the town Chiplun.
In Gujarat, family names ending in the suffix 'vala' or 'walla' may refer to the place where a person resides when written on wedding invitations (concotri), when listing members of the family, someone who did not live locally, for example, someone from London may have have his surname put down as 'Londonwalla' just to describe the fact the reside there, their actual surname might be the normal family name. It also may describe the ancestral villiage of the family when used as the actual surname. An example of this is the moving of some of the Tandel family from the villiage of Meh to nearby Mogod Dungri (Valsad District) in recent times, changing their surnames to Mehwala, to say that they are from Meh.