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Updated October 20, 2022

Bangladesh is full of people that come from many cultures. Below we put together a list of the most common surnames found there. These family names have a couple of different origins and are sometimes used as baby names. You will also learn a little bit more about the naming history of Bangladesh and the ethnic groups that reside there.

History of Bangladeshi Surnames 

The official language of Bangladesh is Bengali. It is also the 2nd most spoken language in India. The two most common peoples in Bangladesh are the Bengali Muslims and the Bengali Hindus.

They differ in how they approach choosing last names. The Bengali Muslims typically choose names of Arabic origin. The Bengali Hindus choose Sanskrit most often. There are also several other types of people in Bangladesh such as Sikh, Marathi, and Kshatriya.

A common practice in Bangladesh is to use the name “Mohammed” as a prefix. This includes spelling variations such as “Mohammad” or “Muhammad.” Often, they appear before the given name and are legally used as the first name. Sometimes you will see it shortened when written, usually as “MD” or “Md.” This was done to honor the Prophet, Mohammed.

  1. Ali - Arabic for “high” or “exalted.”
  2. Ahmad/Ahmed - Arabic for “thank God” or “praiseworthy.” These are two popular spelling variations.
  3. Akter - Persian for “star.”
  4. Amin - Arabic for “devoted” or “truthful.”
  5. Banik - Bengali for “trader” or “merchant.”
  6. Biswas - Bengali and Hindu for “faith” or “trust.”
  7. Chakraborty - A Hindu and Indian surname common in the Bengali Brahmins community. It means “ruler” or “emperor.”
  8. Chandra - Hindu, and Sanskrit for “moon.”
  9. Chatterjee - Bengali and Hindi for “teacher from the village of Chatta.”
  10. Chowdhury - A Hindu and Muslim name used as a status name for the head of the community.
  11. Dhar - A Bangladeshi surname used as a village head or strongman.
  12. Das - Bengali and Hindu for “servant.”
  13. Datta - Hindu, and Sanskrit for “gift.”
  14. Dutta - Bengali and Sanskrit for “gift.”
  15. Gupta - Sanskrit for “protector” or “governor.”
  16. Habiba - Arabic for “beloved.”
  17. Hasan - Arabic, and Muslim for “handsome.”
  18. Hossain - Arabic, and Muslim for “small handsome one.”
  19. Islam - Muslim for “peace.”
  20. Khan - Turkic for “king” or “ruler.”
  21. Khatun - Muslim for “noblewoman.”
  22. Kumar - Sanskrit for “son” or “youth.”
  23. Mohammad/Mohammed - Arabic for “praiseworthy.”
  24. Nath - Bengali for “protector” or “owner.”
  25. Rahman - Arabic for “gracious” or “merciful.”
  26. Rai - A Hindi title of royalty that means “king” in Sanskrit.
  27. Saha - Bengali for “business person” or “merchant.”
  28. Sarkar - Bengali and Hindi for “government.”
  29. Sheikh - Arabic for “chief” or “leader.”
  30. Tahsin - Arabic for “improvement” or “beautification.”

Stefanie Miller

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