Naming Matters – Indian surnames starting with G and their meanings

Names and surnames in India mean a lot. This series takes a look at some of the popular names and Indian surnames starting with G and what they mean.

Naming matters is a series of explorations that looks at the stories and meanings behind popular Indian names and surnames. Every episode will dig into a fresh batch and give us something to chew on. In this installment, we look at a few popular Indian surnames that begin with the letter G.

Did you know?

According to the Google, the five most common surnames beginning with the letter G are Green (166423), Griffiths (104048), Gray (90917), Graham (80026), and Gibson (66246). Clearly, as far as this Google search is concerned, Indian names and surnames don’t count. Time then, for us, to throw light on the Indian side of this search.


SURNAME
MEANING

Gadhavi
This is a Hindu surname that is commonly found in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. A name that is very common among people of the Gadhavi caste in Charan, which happens to be a name often used in conjunction with Ram, and Charan Ram means ‘feet of Lord Ram’.

Gaikwad
Gahlot is a gotra (clan) of India. The variations of the name include Gehlot, Guhila, Gohil or Guhilot. It is associated with the Rajput community. Gahlot Rajputs once ruled in Banswara, Dungarpur, Mewar, Pratapgarh, and Shahpura. These areas were all in the region now known as the state of Rajasthan. In Gujarat, they are generally referred to as Gohil. Gahlot is also a gotra of non-Rajput castes such as the Ghanchi Mai and Jat.

Gaidher
The Gaidher / Gaidhar also known as Gajdhar is a word of Gujarati, Kutchi, and Rajasthani languages. The word Gaidher derives its origin from the word Gadh or Garh. The word Gadh means a fort. The persons who were expert and had skilled knowledge to plan and build a fort were called Gaidher or Gajdhar. Gaidhar means chief architect. Gaidhar literally also means a construction foreman or a Master Mason. Forts were built at strategic locations, often on a hill-top, to guard the kingdoms. Gaidhar were persons of high integrity as they used to make the blue-print of fort and whole forts were erected under his supervision and guidance.

Gairola
Gairola is a clam of the Garhwali people and were believed to be astrologers and Raj-Purohits.

Gajula
Gajula or Gaajula is a word meaning ‘goddess’ in the kannada language. It also means “bangles” It’s a common surname in Telugu-speaking Kapu communities, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, India.


Gandhi
Gandhi is an Indian (Gujrati and Punjabi) family name. This surname is found in the Modh Vanik caste of Gujarat and the Khatri caste of Punjab.

Ganguly
Ganguly (also called Ganguli, Gangulee, Gangoly or Gangopadhyay) is an Indian family name of a Bengali Brahmin caste; it is a variant of Gangopadhyay. Gangopadhyay (compound of village name “By the Ganges” and “upādhyāya” denoting “priest, teacher”) is the Sanskritized form of the original name anglicized to Ganguly. The historical book ‘Jāti-Bhāṣkar’ mentions that those who were given grants along the Ganges by Ballāl Sena were called Gangopādhyāya (literally ‘the Vedic teachers in the regions around the Ganges’).


Garg
Garg is a one of the gotras or surnames of the Agarwal Vaishya community. It is a Hindu (Bania) and Jain name, which goes back to the name of an ancient Hindu sage Garga. The Agarwal Banias and the Oswal Banias both have clans called Garg. Garga muni was one of the greatest sages of Puranic times. He was better known as Garga muni. He was the son of Rishi Bharadwaja and Susheela. He was the family priest of the family of Nanda (the foster-father of Krishna).

Gayen
Gayen, sometimes anglicised as Gain, is a surname of Bengali origin found in the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam, as well as in Bangladesh. In Bengali, the title Gayen referred to anyone involved in the medieval bardic tradition, i.e. composition of Bengali poetry and music.

Gaikwad
Gahlot is a gotra (clan) of India. The variations of the name include Gehlot, Guhila, Gohil or Guhilot. It is associated with the Rajput community. Gahlot Rajputs once ruled in Banswara, Dungarpur, Mewar, Pratapgarh, and Shahpura. These areas were all in the region now known as the state of Rajasthan. In Gujarat, they are generally referred to as Gohil. Gahlot is also a gotra of non-Rajput castes such as the Ghanchi Mai and Jat.

Ghaisas
Ghaisas as a surname is prevalent only in Chitpavan brahmans of the Bharadwaj gotra who hail from the Konkan region of western Maharashtra. This surname is quite unusual in the sense that it is neither a title, nor does it relate to a place. The word however has meaning and refers to the intellectual abilities of a person who can explore complex subjects. Historically, Ghaisas had proficiency in astrology. Forecasts based on Astrology as well as calculation of time was called ‘Ghatit’, the word was derived from ‘Ghatika-paatra’ i.e. bowl. The method of exploring these probables was an exercise of intellect, which very few people could achieve, and was therefore called Gahiyasahas. The person doing this was called ‘Gahiyasahasik’.

There is another attribute to the word ‘Gahiyasahas’, meaning the administrator of justice and of religious offences. Ghaisas were also holding the posts of ‘Dharmadhikari’, a person who used to take decisions of ‘Garhya’ i.e. despisable misdeeds relating to religion.

The third attribute to the word ‘Gahiyasahasik’ can be found in the history of Karnataka. There were several ‘Ghatika’s meaning religious centres in ancient times, which used to impart advanced learning in various fields of knowledge. Since admission to these Ghatikasthana’s were given only to merited students who excelled in learning, it was known as ‘Ghatikasahas’.


Ghanchi
Ghanchi (Delvadia/Modh/Modi/Sahu/Sahoo/Ganiga) is an other backward caste found in the states of Gujarat, Jammu and various parts of India. The name means a businessman (producer and seller of oils).

Ghatak
Ghatak is an Indian family name and surname found amongst Bengali Hindu Brahmins. Ghataks (literally, one who makes things happen) or matchmakers were middleman who established links between the two parties in a marriage. In the past it was not the custom of Indian society, especially of Bengali society, to allow boys and girls to mix freely. This is why the services of Ghataks were widely used to arrange marriages. Many Ghataks were professionals, and matchmaking was their source of livelihood. When the matchmaking resulted in a wedding, Ghataks used to be rewarded by both parties

Ghosh
Ghosh is an Indian surname found among Bengali Hindus. Ghoshes mostly belong to Kayastha caste in Bengal. The Bengali Kayasthas evolved as a caste from a category of officials or scribes between the 5th/6th century AD and 11th/12th century AD, its component elements being putative Kshatriyas and mostly Brahmins. Ghosh is also used as surname by the Sadgop (milkman) caste in Bengal.

Ghotra
Ghotra (or Kotdaa) is a prominent Labana clan of the state of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir. This is a caste/clan/surname in Labana’s. It is one of the highest ranking, most prestigious tribes in Labana ethnic group. Ghotra should not be confused with Ghotra surname in Ramgarhia, which is pronounced similarly


Godbole
Godbole is an Indian surname. It means sweet tongued in Marathi

Gokhale
Gokhale is an Indian surname typically found in the western state of Maharashtra among Chitpavan Konkanastha Brahmins, the warrior-priest clan.

Gounder
Gounder is a title used by various communities originating in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. There are number of derivations for the title. One theory derives the name Gounder from Tamil word Kaamindan, meaning noble protector of the country.

Gowda
Gowda (also known as Gauda or Gouda) is a surname used predominantly by Vokkalinga caste in Karnataka, India. Gowda was originally a honorific used by the administrative head of a village. Typically, such a head owns land and holds political and social power in the village. According to a popular theory, the word Gowda derives from go, the Sanskrit word for cow. However, German Indologist Gustav Oppert derived it from a Dravidian word meaning “mountain”.is an Indian surname typically found in the western state of Maharashtra among Chitpavan Konkanastha Brahmins, the warrior-priest clan.

Grover
Grover is a surname found with people in India as well as with people of English ancestry. The two names, however, are distinct in formation and share no common origins.
In India, Grover is a name in common use by the predominantly by Hindu Khatri and some sikh communities in Punjab. The name itself is derived from the original surname Guruvara/Gorovare, which in turn derives from a Sanskrit word of (“guru/a” /गुरु”) “teacher/mentor” hence meaning “the great teacher”.

Guha
Guha is an Indian family name and surname found predominantly amongst Bengali Hindus. It is also another name for the Hindu deity Kartikeya, one of the sons of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.


Gupta
Gupta is a common surname of Indian origin. According to some academics, the name Gupta is derived from Sanskrit Goptri, meaning ‘protector’ or ‘governor’.

Gururani
Gururani is a surname written by a small number of people from the Brahmin community of Kumaon region of the state of Uttarakhand, a northern state of India. Gururanis used to write “Kaushik” as their surname before the name Gururani came into existence, and there is a small tale on the origins of this surname. According to this tale, the name “Gururani” originated when the rulers of Kumaon hired highly educated Brahmins (GURU) to provide education to the illiterate queens (RANI) of Kumaon.
Pooja Jaju

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