Parsi Irani Surnames

Normally Surnames do not have any meanings. Our ancestors had no Surnames, they were known by their Father’s / Family name. e.g. Rustom bin Zal. (Rustom of Zal), later on they took on names of places/ family names as additional to their names. It was only when they came to India that they adopted their trade/service/vocation/family/or some traits -(Waghmaru, Batki etc.). A very interesting collection by Burjor Minocher Daboo of Ahmedabad.

Click here for the full list and some interesting, some amusing  meanings.


  • I am i Kashmiri sikh. But all my family members,they’re Kour in their name has an “o” but all the other sikhs … they’re kour is like “kaur” …. y ? we r aryans …. but our great grandparents parents were zoroastrians… is that y our kour has an o???

    • Hello Roshani,
      Punjab & NW India was for thousands (right upto the islamic invasion of Persia) part of Persia (Iran).
      So, while there was a plethora of religions existing side by side, just like in modern India; there was substancial Zorastrian influence. The Sikh emphasis on 5 elements & Guru worship are just 2 examples.
      I am intrigued that you say your ancestors were Zorastrian, because I personally believe that Kashmir valley was the Aryanam Vaejah of the Avesta & very possibly also the Arya Shetra of the Vedsa. Also there are many sites identified as natural fire temples; but no documentation of Zorastrians in modern times.

      • Hello Roshni/Nader:

        With the full sense of being humiliated or laughed at , let me tell you my story which I am holding in my heart since 1944 when I was in the then
        Standard 4th.

        Ours being a Parsee school, we were not observing school holiday on the first “Shravanio Somvar” (first Monday of the month of Shravan), but were observing Saturday schedule, i.e. half a day school. It being a holiday, mostly teachers were giving religious stories. One of our teachers, Raman C. Dalal talked about Amarnath Yatra he had performed few months earlier. He said in that cave (goofa) if you say
        Om or even Ah it echoes “OM” seven times.

        Out of inquisitiveness, I asked “From where “OM” came in and in which language it is written. In reply to the first question, he said “This was the first word Bhagwan Manu said when he was born and in reply to second question he said it is written in that goofa and quickly added that “It is uncemetrical “Bedol” and ugly “Kadhangi”.

        On hearing the above comment, I wrote “Ahu” (Devine=Divia) in .our Avesta language which is almost similar. He confirmed it is like that,
        Then I said it is not “OM” but it should be “AHU” if properly said sounds like OM. He believed me and discussed with other teachers and they all agreed the word “OM” has root in “AHU” and should be correctly pronounced.

        It proves Zorastrians (Parsees) entered India thru Kashmir and placed
        name of our Bhagwan, Ahu as a markee. You might question like my teacher that our Bhawan;s name is Ahura Mazda and not only Ahu.

        For your information Ahura Mazda is a compound word made of AHU means Divia,, the word RA is conjunction meaning ‘no’ MAZDA means
        light, in Gujarati it is Divia no Prakash and in English it is Divine light.

        Roshni, if you don’t believe me, look at the faces of male members of your community. Don’t they have Asyrian nose like Parsis> It says all.
        and put your question to rest..


    • I would suggest getting a DNA analysis. It would confirm or rule out your queries or doubts about your origin.

    • Mangesh Sirdeshpande

      Dear Madam , I am answering your query in my capacity as a linguist & etymologist !
      First of all – Kour or Kaur / ਕੌਰ / ਕੌਰ
      is simply a spelling difference in English !
      Like Koul / Kaul or Koushalya / Kaushalya !
      It has absolutely nothing to do with it`s etymology !
      This kour/ Kaur is the CORRUPTION of Vedic Sanskrit >
      KUmAr / KUmAree ! ਕੁਮਾਰ / ਕੁਮਾਰੀ !
      Meaning a virgin [ non-married – pure ] , also meaning a virgin God/Goddess ]
      Like in Kanya Kumaree ! [ Virgin Daughter ] !
      But in the case of Sikhs this addition Kour / Kaur / ਕੌਰ is added to the names of females ONLY !
      Singh /ਸਿੰਘ [ Sanskrit Sinh / Lion ] is added to the names of males ONLY !
      The Punjabi [ Gurumukhi Script ] words > ਕੌਰ & ਸਿੰਘ – have NOTHING to do with FARSI !
      Both are of 100% Sanskrit Origin !
      * There were No Zoroastrian souls in Jammu or Kashmir during the Maharaja`s rule in the 19th century !
      So , the question of anyone converting to Sikhism from the Zoroastrians does not hold water !
      Most important > Sikhs did not change their original lat names after accepting Sikhism !
      Rai is the corruption of Sanskrit > RAjA or RAj !
      Just for further info. I had posted this to several Zoroastrian Groups on FB >
      Mangesh Sirdeshpande
      8 June at 10:13 ·
      ज्योत्स्न / Jyotsn in Sanskrit means Moon Light !
      the feminine is JyotsnA !
      Old Avestan it is RaoshnA !
      Persian ROSHAN [ a female name ].
      In Old European Languages it traveled from Ancient PArsy [ Persia ]
      Old Prussian` lauxnos `stars
      Leuksna > Latin ` luna` / “moon, Goddess of the moon !
      Thanks !

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  • I read somewhere that in 1911 all Indians were told to get a surname, so some chose their location, some chose an occupation and some their caste.

  • I am doubtful of the word “bin” when you state that ancestors first called themselves “Rustom bin Zal”.
    Bin is the arabic word for son, but in Persian, it is “Pesar “. It is possible that they started using the word bin after the arab invasion. But prior to that, it could not have been so.

  • The Surname Elavia is missing. The apparently were landlords and diamond merchants.

  • No comment except that it was very interesting reading the views expressed by readers. Thank you.

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