Rao (surname)

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Family name
Rao surname.jpg
Pronunciation Mandarin: Ráo
Region of origin Shanxi hindu
Language(s) of origin Chinese,indian,Italian

Rao is a surname used across Brazil, China, Italy, India, Pakistan and Taiwan.


Main article: Rao (Chinese surname)

Rao (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Ráo) is a Chinese family name. It can also be spelled as "Jao," "Yow" or "Yaw". It is approximately 2200 years old, and originated in the area near present-day Linfen, Shanxi province.


The Sicilian-Calabrian Italian surname Rao is pronounced in the Italian language similarly to the Indian pronunciation, although in the United States many Raos of Italian descent pronounce the name "RAY-O." Examples are Raos in New York City, Boston, and Rao families in Rhode Island and North Carolina. It is also common among the descendants of Italian settlers in Brazil.


Rao (राव) is an Indian princely title cognate with Raja (King). Rao is also used as an addition to one's name or as a suffix to a male name in some places.

Rao is commonly added as a suffix to a person's name in southern, northern and western parts of India, in particular in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Konkan/Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra (also Rao Saheb), Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. Rao is the surname of Kshatriyas in Telangana and Karnataka. Rao is the surname of Rajputs from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, Rao is the surnames of some and Ahirs Yadav of Haryana.[1][2] Variants of the name include "Rai", "Raja", "Rayudu", "Rayar", "Rayulu", "Raut", "Raya", "Rana" and others. In the Gujarati diaspora, Rao is a common name among the Brahmbhatt or Barot community.

India's ex-prime minister Narasimha Rao (whose last name is often featured in the New York Times crossword puzzle) was a native of Telangana belongs to the Brahmin community of Telangana.


The majority of Raos in Pakistan are Muslim Punwar (Pawar) Rajputs and Chauhan Rajputs and. Raos can be found all across Pakistan and are found in large numbers in the Punjab province as well as in Sindh. Many Raos traditionally serve in the Pakistani Armed Forces, Police & Civil Services. After the India/Pakistan partition, the majority of Raos settled in the cities of Punjab: Pakpattan District, Okara District, Phullarwan of Sargodha District, Shujabad, Bahawalnagar, Maharwali, Khanewal, Lahore, Mandi Bahaud DinKot Radha Kishan Chichawatni, Burewala, Vehari, and Bahawalpur.

In Sindh they settled in District Karachi, Hyderabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar. As a group, the Raos maintain a distinct identity in Pakistan. In 2002 elections of Pakistan, Rajputs were in the largest number in assemblies.


  1. ^ "Rajkumar Yadav is now Rajkummar Rao". Hindustan Times. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  2. ^ "Rajkummar Rao Denies Falling Out with Anushka Sharma". Indiawest.com. 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2014-02-03.