By Anand Kumar
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 a pet name at home, an official name for official records and then there is another name which is a surukified version of the official name. So surukified that one cannot find any semblance of the official name in it. Fortunately this generations of Tambrahms have escaped the Surukified names but in our ‘paattaas’ and Kollu paattas’ generation, this was at its peak!
So 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 will be a Sivan or a Krishnan,… 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 Pappa
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!
Vishwanathan is straight forward – Vishwam
And many times not so straight and becomes Vichu
Janardhanan – Neat and simple – Jana
Seshadri invariably is Seshu
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
Similar naming happens for the other gender as well.
Like the nice goddess name Lakshmi becoming Yechumi for example!! 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???