Indian onomastics

Tue Feb 3 20:38:09 UTC 1998

I am still looking for some info on whether such names were in use
during an earlier period in Indian history viz., early centuries AD. If
so, has anybody come across literary or epigraphic evidence in Sanskrit
or Tamil.

Krishna: Thanks for a detailed answer.

> ----------
> From:         S Krishna[SMTP:mahadevasiva at HOTMAIL.COM]
> Sent:         Thursday, January 29, 1998 8:25 PM
> Subject:      Re: Indian onomastics
> Lakshmi Srinivas:
> >>I am interested in personal names which take after flora and fauna.
> >Forexample, in modern Karnataka especially in the Dharwar-Belgaum
> belt,
> itis not rare to find personal names such as IruLLi (onion),
> >meNasinakAyi(chillies), gubbi (sparrow) etc. It is possible that such
> >names are used to ward off the 'Evil eye'.>>
> >
> Are the names given above first names or family names? If family
> names,
> I suppose you can also add "TeGginakAi"( coconut) to the list
> and badAmI to the list.( I however am not sure about the origin of
> "badAmI", could be from the name of the nut( almond) or could refer to
> the fact that the ancestors of this family came from the town of
> badAmI.
> >  As far as names which are flora and fauna inspired, I suppose in
> >addition to avoiding the evil eye, the names can also be given in
> view
> of the beauty/grace etc of the flowers i.e names like gulAbI/gulAb
> (Rose), champA/champakalakshmI( as in the name of the historian),
> palAz(
> Flame of the forest, a common name for males in Bengal), rajnigandhA,
> mahuA( a common name for women in Bengal, refers to a flower that is
> used for brewing liquor), kimzuka( a flower that looks beautifulbut
> lacks smell, refered to in the subhASitam "vidyahInA: na
> zObhantEnirgandhA iva kimzukA:", a very common name among men in
> Bengal),bElA( jasmine) etc....there is a long list of flowers which
> are
> used as first names for both men and women.
> >
>    As far as surnames go, I know that in Andhra, there are family
> names
> like zoNthi( asafoteida?), vEpa( neem), vEpacEdu( as bitter as neem)
> and
> paccimiriyam( raw pepper). These names I'm told, are a consequence of
> the fact that some ancestor/progenitor had a sense of
> humor/wit/intellect/all which was comparable in terms of
> sharpness/pungency to the spice in question. In mahArASTra, I know
> that
> there are surnames that run along similar lines though I'm not sure of
> the origin. It is interesting to note that there are family names like
> parATHE( not sure if this has to do with "parATHAs":-)
>    Of course, in the realm of poetry, you have very flowery names
> "bonophUl"( Bengali "Forest Flower") and kannaDa "kADumallige"( Forest
> >Jasmine) ( as nom-de-plumes) being two random examples.
> Regards,
> Krishna
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