Begum, begam, baigum or beygum (Turkish: begüm, Persian: بیگم, Urdu: بیگم) is a female royal and aristocratic title from Central and South Asia. It is the feminine equivalent of the title baig or bey, which in Turkic languages means "higher official". It usually refers to the wife or daughter of a beg. The related form begzadi (daughter of a beg) also occurs.
Some examples of women with the title of begum are:
- Zaynab Begum
- Begum Hazrat Mahal
- Mughal Princesses Jahanara Begum and Roshanara Begum
- Begum Inaara Aga Khan
- Begum Nusrat Bhutto
- Begum Khaleda Zia
- Saira Banu
- Chamiyan Bai, also known as Shamshad Begum of Delhi and Ayesa Sultana Begum
- Sharmila Tagore
- Begum of Bhopal
Begum in modern society
The term had earlier become known in Great Britain during the impeachment and Parliamentary trial of Warren Hastings, former Governor-General of India, which lasted from 1787 until 1795. One of the major charges against Hastings was that he had unjustly confiscated land belonging to the "Begums of Oudh" (the mother and grandmother of Asaf-Ud-Dowlah, Nawab of Oudh).
Begumpet is one of the major commercial and residential suburbs of the city of Hyderabad, India. Begumpet stands on land given by the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad to his daughter as her wedding present when she married a Paigah noble.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, a suburb of Toronto, is referred as Begumpura ("Ladies' Town") by members of the Pakistani community of Toronto. Mississauga has a large Pakistani immigrant community and many husbands work in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia while their wives and children live in Mississauga.
- Moazzambaig, Begzadi or Begzada. Digg.com: Social News. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- Women in the Safavid era, Iran Chamber Society
- Muslim immigrants to Canada facing discrimination and social problems