According to a newly released Oxford Dictionary, Patel is one of the most common Indian surnames in the United Kingdom.
In one of the largest studies of its kind, the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland put together the origins of nearly 50000 surnames.
About the Study
• The study was conducted by research team including linguists, historians, lexicographers and expert advisers.
• It included detailed analysis of published and unpublished British and Irish records dating right from 11th Century to the 19th Century. Previously, untapped medieval and modern sources were also referred like tax records, church registers and census returns.
• The final result revealed that around 100000 Indians in the UK bear the surname Patel, as recorded in 2011 census.
• There were some other Indian surnames that found a place in the new Dictionary like ‘Chakrabarti’.
• Each entry specifies the frequency of the name for present day and 1881, its main location, its origin or language and an explanation supported by historical evidence.
On a whole, the study found that around 40000 family names were native to Britain and Ireland and remaining belonged to diverse immigrants who settled in the region way back in the 16 century including Indians, French, Dutch, Jews, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and African.
5 most common Indian surnames in UK
• Patel (101463 bearers): Status name for Hindu and Parsi name for a village headman.
• Singh (56446 bearers): Originally a name used by Hindu Kshatriya; it is now adopted by several different communities.
• Kaur (35595 bearers): Derived from Sanskrit word ‘kumari’, which means daughter or girl, the name is commonly used by Hindu and Sikh women.
• Shah (31312 bearers): It stands for both, Persian royal king or a Gujarati merchant.
• Miah (19327 bearers): It is derived from a Muslim title of respect, from Urdu ‘mian’ for sir, used to address an older man.