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Surname Singh - Meaning and Origin

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Unraveling the Intricate Tapestry of My Singh Ancestry: A Revealing Journey with iGENEA DNA Analysis

Unlocking the secrets of my lineage with iGENEA has been an enriching experience, offering a glimpse into the origin and migration of my family name - Singh. The DNA analysis turned a new leaf in my understanding and relevance of my surname, connecting me to an expansive and detailed history of my ancestors.

J. Singh

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Singh: What does the surname Singh mean?

Singh is a popular surname derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Simha,’ which means lion. It is predominantly used in India, Nepal, and among the Indian diaspora globally. Historically, the surname was primarily used by the Kshatriyas (warrior class) in the Hindu Vedic society. However, it gained significant prominence with Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, introduced it in the late 17th century as a mandatory title for all baptized male Sikhs to represent bravery, courage, and equality. The adoption of Singh as a surname meant that all Sikh men, regardless of societal status or caste, shared a common last name eradicating any social hierarchy. Popular globally, individuals with the surname Singh come from various walks of life and varied professional fields. Today, the surname is also adopted by some women, although traditionally, Kaur is the designated surname for Sikh women. It’s essential to note that the use of Singh is not strictly confined to the Sikh community and can be used by people of other communities or religions as well.

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Singh: Where does the name Singh come from?

The last name Singh is most commonly found in South Asia. It is the most common name in India, where it is used by over 25 million people, and is the fifth most popular surname in Pakistan.

The name Singh also has a large presence in parts of Southeast Asia. In countries such as Nepal, where it is the most popular surname, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, the name is used by thousands of people.

Outside of South and Southeast Asia, the name Singh is found in countries where there have been significant Indian diasporas – the UK, the US, and Canada, for example. In these countries, an estimated 100,000 people have the name Singh, with the majority living in England.

In the US, the name Singh is also quite popular with Indian immigrants, numbering around 120,000. While this is a relatively small number compared to other countries, the population in the US is likely to grow over time, as more Indian immigrants come to the country.

In general, the family name Singh is most common in India and other parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is beginning to make its presence felt in countries with a large Indian diaspora. With the growth in South Asian immigrant populations, this trend is likely to continue in the future.

Variations of the surname Singh

There are multiple variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for Singh. These include but are not limited to Sing, Singha, Singhee, Singhania, Singhal, Singharia, and Singhaiah. There is also a French variant of the spelling known as Ching, commonly anglicized to Chang.

Singh is a common Indian surname derived from the Sanskrit word שׁिंघ (Śiṅgha) meaning "lion", and is used by Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike. It is also the name of the caste responsible for ruling India during the Sikh Empire and shares root with the modern-day word "police" (पुलिस).

Singh is also common in parts of Pakistan and is still used by Hindus and Sikhs living there. It may also be spelt "Singhvi" or "Singhania" in Rajasthan. This is because people of Rajasthan from royal families have a separate surname for men, which can change from place to place or village to village.

Singha is an alternative spelling of the surname used by some Hindu and Buddhist communities in Nepal, whilst Singhee is found in some Bangali-speaking regions in India and Bangladesh.

In South India, the surname is usually followed by a specific name or title such as Reddy. Similar to Singh, Reddy is another common surname in India being used by a caste and community of royal status.

Singh has also become a common given name in both North India and in Sikh communities worldwide, witnessing a revival since the 1980s. In the United States, it has become a frequent choice with parents of South Asian origin as a tribute to the religion and culture.

Famous people with the name Singh

  • Harbhajan Singh: former Indian International Cricketer
  • Kapil Dev:Former Indian International Cricketer, won 1983 World Cup for India
  • Randeep Hooda: Bollywood Actor and Model
  • Diljit Dosanjh: Indian Actor, Singer, Television Host and Social Media Personality
  • Sara Ali Khan: Bollywood Actress
  • Hardik Pandya: Indian International Cricketer
  • Yograj Singh: Former Indian International Cricketer
  • Sonam Kapoor: Bollywood Actress
  • Ali Fazal: Bollywood Actor
  • Dev Patel: British Actor, featured in films such as Slumdog Millionaire and Lion

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