What’s in a Tambrahm Name?

What’s in a Tambrahm name? To answer this question we have to first ask which name. Because for time immemorial, a Tambrahm person will never have just one name. He will have “Sharma” by lineage, an official name for official records and then there is another name which is a surukified version or contrived version of the official name. So much so, that one cannot find any semblance of the official name in it. Fortunately this generations of Tambrahms have escaped this naming but in our paattaas’ and Kollu paattas’ generation, this was at its peak!

In those days, when a child is born, the name has to be that of a God. First things first. No Ashok, Anand, Aryan business. And if it’s a male child, he is named after the paternal paatta or maternal paatta depending upon how “manyeth” child he is! And that Paataa’s name invariably will be an Avatar of Vishnu or Sivan and HIS family!  One can understand if for pet name sake Sivaramakrishnan is called as Siva or Ramakrishnan is called as Rama,… But it has to be only in Tambrahm community that you will find very interesting pet names.

So Ramakrishnan becomes Ramachan!

Krishnan becomes Kichan. If there are many Krishnan’s the junior one becomes Kicha Kuttan!

Parameshwaran is Pammechu or at times Paapa!

A nice name – kept after Lord Vishnu, Venkatachalam usually becomes Vengacham! Venkatakrishnan or Venkataraman ends up being Vengidy!

Ramachandran is often Ramendran!

Subramanian becomes Mani and since there are usually many Subramanis around – Chinna Mani, Mani, Valia Mani,…

This is o.k. But Subramani becoming Chuppa Mani?? This also happens!

Subramani also becomes Subban at times and Venkatasubramanian becomes Venkata Subban!

Vishwanathan is straight forward – Vishwam.

And many times not so straight and becomes Vichu!

Janardhanan – Neat and simple – Jana!

Seshadri invariably is Seshu and Lakshmanan is Lechu!

Narayanan is most often Nana and Narayanan is also Nanu!!!

And there are other typical names which you will find only in Tambrahm lexicon like Athan Kutty, Ambi Kuttan, Appu Kutty etc.

Similar naming happens for the other gender as well.

Like the nice goddess name Lakshmi becoming Yechumi for example!!

Krishnambal becomes Kichambal!  Parvathy is Paaru and since invariably you will have more than 1 Parvathy in the family, the junior one becomes Paaru Kutty!

Any any name can become Raasa!

I tried to find out from many elders the origin of this kind of naming but in vain. If you know the answer, please do tell. And if you have other names which have their pet names, please add to the list.

Postscript: With the obvious propensity of twisting name with “chu” in the end, wonder what will happen if any Tambrahm had the name “Chudamani”?? – Chuchu???

7 thoughts on “What’s in a Tambrahm Name?

  1. Very true. In our house we have these names for many Mahadevan for boys and gomathi for girls and mostly Mahadevan becomes Madhu and even today I have 4 cousins christened Mahadevan and their aathula names are Madhu mahesh Manoj and one cousin after he came to teen wanted him to call only Mahadevan.

    And as you said I have mamas names shortetned as chupa Mani, vengacham. And some more are Ramu/Ravi for Ramakrishnan, padhu for padmanabhan Sathi for sathiyavageeswaran.

    In girls we have 4 gomathi in a closed circle and hence they will either prefix or suffix with their relationship like Periya manni chinna manni athai etc

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have given my other official experience there as that part dealt with interesting names connected to organizations. I have come here again to add few more

        Krishnamurthy becomes Kittu, Balasubramaniam/Balakrishnan becomes Balu/Bala etc.


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