65 Common Punjabi Surnames Or Last Names With Meanings

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Punjabi surnames originate from occupation, location, and often from the names of ancestral clans within a community. There are three basic communities in Punjab, namely the Khatri (mostly warriors and merchants), the Arora (mostly merchants), and the Jatt (mostly landlords). The majority of Punjabi surnames trace their roots to these three communities.

In this MomJunction post, we have compiled a list of 65 Punjabi surnames, along with their interesting origins and meanings. 

List Of Popular Punjabi Surnames With Meanings

1. Ahluwalia

It has a toponymic origin referring to those who originally belonged to a village named “Ahlu,” a village believed to be situated near Lahore during the Sikh Confederacy. The surname also contains the “walia,” a common Punjabi suffix.

2. Ahuja

A surname with a patronymic origin, Ahuja refers to the “descendants of Ahu.”

3. Anand

Its origin is probably in the name of “Anand,” who was the founder of the Anand clan in the Khatri community.

4. Aneja

The surname has its origin in the name of a clan within the Arora community.

5. Arora

The surname Arora has a toponymic origin, referring to those who originally belonged to the ancient city of “Aror,” which is presently known as Rohri, situated in Pakistan.

6. Attwal/Atwal

The surname Attwal/Atwal has its name derived from “Attalika,” a Sanskrit word meaning, “high hill-tops.” The surname Attwal has its origin from a Jatt clan name from the Punjab region.

7. Babbar

The surname has its origin in the clan name “Babbar” within the Jatt community.

8. Bajaj

It probably has its origin from a Punjabi word, which refers to a “clothier.” It is a common surname among Punjabi Arora and Khatri community.

9. Bajwa

It is derived from “Baaz,” a word that originally came from Persian and refers to a hawk or a falcon.

10. Basra

Basra probably has a toponymic origin and refers to individuals whose ancestors migrated from Basra, a place in Iraq.

11. Batra

The surname Batra has its origin in the name of a clan in the Arora community.

12. Bedi

The surname is derived from “vedi,” a Sanskrit word referring to an individual “who knows the Vedas.” The surname is also the name of a clan within the Khatri community.”

13. Behl

It is derived from “bahala,” a Sanskrit word which means “strong.” It is also the name of a clan within the Khatri community.

14. Bhalla

It is derived from “bhalla,” a Sanskrit word which means “bear” or “auspicious.” The surname is common among Punjabi Khatris and Sikhs.

15. Bhasin

It is derived from “Bhasin,” a Sanskrit word which means “the sun.” The surname is the name of a clan within the Khatri community.

16. Bhatia

The surname likely comes from the name of a clan or community of landlords or merchants located primarily in western to northwestern India.

17. Bhatti

Thesurnamehas its origin in the Sanskrit word “bhatta,” which means “lord.” It might even have a toponymic origin referring to individuals that originally belonged to the region called Bhattiana, situated across Punjab and Haryana.

18. Bindra

It has origins in “Bindranath,” a Sanskrit word that refers to the “high hill-tops.” It is a common surname among Khatris and Jatts.

19. Brar

The surname has its origin in the name of a tribe from the Jatt community.

20. Chawla

It is the name of a clan within the Arora community. Chawla surname is also found in Khatri and Jatt communities.

21. Chopra

The surname likely referred to those belonging to a merchant clan within the Khatri community.

22. Choudhary

The surname Choudhary has an interesting origin and is known to be derived from “chadhur,” which means “four” combined with “dhar,” which means “to own” or “possess.” Choudhary probably means “holder of four,” where four, being indicative of a measure of land. The surname was common among zamindars or landlords.

23. Deol

A common Punjabi Jatt surname, Deol was originally the name of a warrior clan and has its origin in the name of a place called Diraval.

24. Dhillon

The surname Dhillion probably has its origin in the name of a clan within the Jatt community.

25. Dosanjh

A surname common among the Jatt Sikh, Dosanjh, probably has a toponymic origin, deriving its name from “Dosanjh,” a village situated in Punjab. The name Dosanjh also “means a union of two.”

26. Duggal

It is derived from the name of a clan within the Khatri community.

27. Gambhir

The surname Gambhir comes from the name of a clan within Arora community.

28. Ghai

The surname Ghai is common among Punjabi Khatri and probably has its origin in a Khatri clan name.

29. Gill

The surname likely has origin in the name of a clan within the Jatt community. The name “Gill” likely has origin in a word, which either means “moisture” or “prosperity.” 

30. Grover

The surname Grover, has its origin from “Guruvara/Gorovare,” which, in turn, is derived from “guru,” a Sanskrit word meaning “a teacher or an instructor.” The surname is common among Khatri, Jatt, and Sikh communities.

31. Gulati

It is a surname from the Arora community. The origin of the surname is unknown, and it likely would have been the name of a clan.

32. Handa

It is likely derived from a word which probably refers to a “cooking pot.” The surname Handa is common in the Khatri community.

33. Hans

It is an Arora community surname that is derived from “Hamsa,” a Sanskrit word which means “a swan.”

34. Juneja

It is a surname from the Arora community. Juneja likely comes from the name of a tribe or clan that originally belonged to the Sindh region, which is now located in Pakistan.

35. Kakkar

It comes from the name of a clan in the Bahri subdivision of the Khatri community.

36. Kamra

It is derived from a Sanskrit word, which means “beautiful.” The surname is the name of a clan within the Arora community.

37. Kapoor

It is a popular surname among the Punjabi Khatris. Kapoor likely originates from the Sanskrit word “Karpura,” which means “camphor.”

38. Kaushal

The surname likely refers to those who descended a sage named Kaushal. The name Kaushal comes from Sanskrit and means “efficient” and “competence.”

39. Khanna

It refers to those who originally belonged to the city of Khanna in Punjab. It is a popular Punjabi surname from the Khatri community.

40. Khurana

It is the name of a clan within the Arora community.

41. Kohli

A popular Punjabi Surname, Kohli has its origin in the name of a clan in the Khatri community.”

42. Malhotra

The surname Malhotra has its origin in another surname, “Mehrotra,” which itself comes from “Mehra,” meaning a “chief” or a “master.” The surname Mehra comes from Mehr Chand, the founder of the Mehra clan within the Khatri community.”

43. Malik

A Punjabi surname, Malik, has its origin from a status name indicative of a “ruler” or a “king.”

44. Mehta

The surname has its origin in “Mahita,” a Sanskrit word meaning “appreciation.” The surname Mehta may also have been derived from “Mehta,” a word that means “chief.”

45. Nanda

A surname common among Punjabi Khatri, Nanda, has its origin in a clan name in the Khatri community.

46. Narang

It is derived from “naranga,” a Sanskrit word which means “orange.” The surname is found among those from the Arora community.

47. Narula

It originates in the name of a clan within the Arora community. The surname is also common among Sikhs.

48. Puri

It refers to those who originally belonged to the village of Puri in Punjab. The surname is found in the Khatri community.

49. Sagar

It comes from the Sanskrit word “sagara,” which means “ocean.” The surname is found among those from the Khatri community.

50. Sahni/Sawhney

The Khatri surname Sahni/Sawhney is likely derived from a word that means, “companion” or “commander.”

51. Sehgal

It is the name of a clan within the Khatri community.

52. Singh

The surname “Singh” has its origin in a Sanskrit word, which means “lion.” Singh was originally an ornamental title adopted by warriors. Later, with the advent of Sikhism, the surname became mandatory for all Sikhs.

53. Sobti

The surname was originally the name of a clan within the Punjabi Khatri community.

54. Sodhi

It is derived from a Sanskrit word, which means “one who has endured.” The surname is found in the Khatri community and among Sikhs as well.

55. Soni

It is common among Punjabi Khatris, the surname Soni has its origin from in a Khatri clan name.

56. Sood

The surname likely comes from the “soot” or “sood,” which means “interest” or “gain.”

The surname likely referred to those who belonged to a community of merchants or traders.

57. Suri

It is derived from “Suri,” a Sanskrit word which means “a priest” or “the Sun.” The surname is found among those belonging to the Khatri community.

58. Talwar

It is derived from “Taravari,” a Sanskrit word, which means “a sword.” The surname is the name of a clan from the Khatri community.

59. Tandon

It was originally the name of a clan of warriors with in the Khatri community.

60. Taneja

The surname is derived from a Sanskrit word, which means “blade of grass.” Taneja is the name of a clan within the Arora community.”

61. Thapar

Thapar originally referred to the name of a clan within the Khatri community.”

62. Tuli

It was originally the name of a warrior clan in the Khatri community.

63. Vij

A popular surname among Punjabi Khatris, the surname Vij probably has its origin from the name of a clan.

64. Vohra

It probably has its origin in “Vyuha,” a Sanskrit word, which means “battle array.” The surname is common among Punjabi Khatris and Sikhs.

65. Wahi (Wahie)

The surname Wahi has its origin in a Khatri clan name.

Punjabi surnames showcase the diversity of the various communities that originally belonged to the region of Punjab and its surrounding areas. People from Punjab have spread across the world yet have retained their surnames, which reflect their rich culture and heritage.

Do you have any Punjabi surnames to share? Let us know in the comment section below.

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