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Sikh naming convention

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A Sikh man always bears the surname of Singh, which means 'lion', and a Sikh woman can be identified with a second name of Kaur, which means 'princess' ('Kaur' being an exclusively Sikh name). Additionally, except only a very few cases, the same first names as used for men are used for women. In other words, though one may not be able to tell the sex of a Sikh person from his/her first name, the second name of Singh or Kaur makes the distinction completely clear.

NOTE: Sikhi recognizes all cultures and languages; there is no “official” language of sikhi. Because of this, you may have a surname in any language that reflects the meaning of “Lion” or “princess” There are an endless amount of names that can be made in your own language that reflect the meaning of Lion or Princess!

Unisex first names are a salient example of the complete equality between men and women. Moreover, the said first names usually end with common suffixes such as: inder, jeet, jot, preet, pal, meet, deep, mail, bir, vant etc. Even the prefixes of the first names aren't too varied. The most common prefixes are: Gur, Har, Man, Bal, Dal, Kul, Jas etc. The various combinations of these prefixes and suffixes make up Sikh first names. Also of note, Sikh names always represent some exalted ideal state or perfect concept. For example, Harjot means "divine spirit of the lord." (Har - God, Jot - spirit). Savraj means "Independence" (sav - self, raj - rule).

Keeping above in mind, a few examples of Sikh names might be:

Male names

  • Amandeep Singh
  • Amardeep Singh
  • Amarjit Singh
  • Akal-Ustat Singh
  • Attinder Singh
  • Balbir Singh
  • Balvir Singh
  • Bahadar Singh
  • Beant Singh
  • Charanjot Singh
  • Damandeep Singh
  • Davinder Singh
  • Dlaer Singh
  • Gurcharan Singh
  • Gurmaher Singh
  • Gurtej Singh
  • Harman Singh
  • Harjot Singh
  • Harpreet Singh
  • Inderpal Singh
  • Jasbir Singh
  • Kamaljit Singh
  • Kulwant Singh
  • Manmohan Singh
  • Mandeep Singh
  • Amarjit singh
  • Manpreet Singh
  • Meharbaan Singh
  • Navjot Singh
  • Ranjit Singh
  • Rupinder Singh
  • Roop Inder Singh
  • Sandeep Singh
  • Sarbrinder Singh
  • Sartaj Singh
  • Shivinder Singh
  • Sundeep Singh
  • Jeevandeep Singh
  • Harzadan Singh

Female names

  • Anjleen Kaur
  • Davinder Kaur
  • Harleen Kaur
  • Inderjeet Kaur
  • Jasleen Kaur
  • Jasvir Kaur
  • Jaswant Kaur
  • Jeety Jeet Kaur
  • Kamalvir Kaur
  • Manjit Kaur
  • Manraj Kaur
  • Mohan Kaur
  • Satinder Kaur
  • Simardeep Kaur
  • Simran Kaur
  • Sharonjeet Kaur
  • Rajvir Kaur
  • Rakendeer Kaur
  • Rumandeep Kaur
  • Jeet Kaur
  • Har Kaur

Despite the above unwritten conventions that are usually followed while naming Sikh children, till a generation earlier, shorter, one syllable names such as: Banta Singh, Bhag Singh, Jant Singh, Jeet Kaur, Har Kaur etc. could be easily encountered especially in rural areas of Punjab. Other than that, modern Sikh families living in bigger, cosmopolitan cities, have adopted names from other communities as well. For instance, in New Delhi you might find a Sikh girl named simply Amita. In this case, the second name Kaur has been done away with and more significantly, the name Amita is unlike any conventional Sikh first name and is, in fact, a name more commonly associated with a Hindu girl. Some Sikh girls simply take on last name of Singh, a practice more common in larger cities. As an expression of integrity with KHALSA, Sikhs maintain that the practice of naming without using the word Singh or Kaur (institutionalized by 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh ), amounts to going against the social spirit of the holy protocol of Sikh Society. Reht Maryada (The way of living of Sikhs) formalizes this socio-cultural fiber of the Society.

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