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Bhat (Hindustani: भट (Devanagari), بھٹ(Nastaliq)), also spelled as Butt (Pahari: बट (Devanagari), بٹ(Nastaliq))[1][2][3] both of which are a shortened rendition of Bhatta, also spelled Bhatt, (Hindustani: भट्ट (Devanagari), بھٹّ(Nastaliq)),[2][4] is a common surname in Nepal, India and Pakistan.


Historians state the surname is a distorted form of Bhatta, which originates from Sanskrit (भट्ट), meaning "scholar" according to the Brāhmaṇa.[5] While the original shortened rendition of "Bhatta" was "Bhat" or "Bhatt,"[4] many of the migrants to the Punjab region started spelling their surname as "But" or "Butt" which is the spelling of the clan used in the Pahari language.[3][6][7]

Geographic distribution[edit]


The Bhatt of South India were said to be invited there King Pratapa Rudra of the Kshatriya dynasty of Warangal (1295 to 1323) After the fall of this dynasty, the Bhatraju became court bards for a number of Vellama and Reddi chiefs who had carved out small principalities for themselves in the Telegu country. The Bhatraju are now a Telugu speaking community.[8] "Bhata" in Sanskrit means a servant or soldier and this word is different from the sanskrit word "Bhatta".


The surname is in use among some Konkani Christians who trace their ancestry to the Goud Saraswat Brahmins of Goa.[9]


This is a common surname among Goud Saraswat Brahmins and Havyaka Brahmins of Karnataka.


Bhat, also spelled as Butt, is a Kashmiri surname, found among individuals native to the Kashmir Valley of Indian-administered Kashmir, as well as Kashmiri émigrés who have migrated to the Punjab,[1][10] a region divided between India and Pakistan.[6] A large number of Muslim Kashmiris migrated from the Kashmir Valley[11] to the Punjab due to conditions in the princely state[11] such as famine, extreme poverty[12] and harsh treatment, by the Dogra Hindu regime, which Kashmiri Muslims faced because of their religion.[13] Kashmiris bearing the surname Bhat/Butt belong to the larger Bhat caste of Brahmins found in the rest of the India;[2][3][4] the surname is shared by both Hindus and Muslims.[14][15]


Some Muslim Bhats/Butts found in the Punjab migrated from Kashmir and Jammu during the 1878 famine,[6][7] and are Brahmin Hindu converts to Islam.[1][2] In areas such as the Punjab region most of the Northern Hindu Saraswat Brahmins and some various other northern Hindu castes, such as Rajputs converted to the Sikh Bhat/Bhatra sangat during the missionary efforts of prince Changa Bhat Rai who earned the title "Bhat Rai", who was the grandson of Raja Shivnabh, a Hindu king who had met Guru Nanak and converted to Sikhism during the 16th century.[16]

Notable individuals[edit]


Actors, models and musicians[edit]


  • Muhammad Zaki Butt, former Air Commodore in the Pakistan Air Force and bodyguard of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah
  • Ziauddin Butt, former Chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence



  • Noor Muhammad Butt, a Pakistani nuclear physicist, research scientist and chairman of Pakistan Science Foundation
  • Parvez Butt, is a Pakistani nuclear engineer and former chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India. The Survey. 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2015. The But/Butt of Punjab were originally Brahmin migrants from Kashmir during 1878 famine. 
  2. ^ a b c d The quarterly journal of the Mythic society (Bangalore)., Volume 96. The Society. Retrieved 2010-12-02. Even today most common family name in Kashmir is Butt, a distortion of Bhatt, a Hindu surname common amongst the Brahmins in India. 
  3. ^ a b c "Madras journal of literature and science, Volume 4". Athenæum Press. Retrieved 2010-12-02. Bhatt (vulgarly Butt) is the distinctive name of a class of Bramins in the north; and in the south the same class bear the distinctive title of Pattar. 
  4. ^ a b c Saligram Bhatt. Kashmiri Scholars Contribution to Knowledge and World Peace. Retrieved 2010-12-02. Bhat {Bhatt} surnames are found in Uttaranchal, Northern Belt, Central and Western parts of the country and is a surname of sizeable Brahmins in Konkan, Maharashtra and Gujarat; where they had migrated in sizeable strength. Bhatta's who migrated to Gauda {Bengal} were called Acharaya's {Scholars} and thus Bhattacharaya's. In Nepal they became priests, ardent worshippers of Bhadrakali and spread Kali worship; mostly around Pashupatinath Temple. In Uttaranchal they became Purohit {Priestly} class, adopted surname Purohit, many changed profession but retained Bhatt surname. In northern plains, few became Bhatta's, many Bhatt's; in both cases Purohit {Priestly} class. In Central and Western parts, strict requirements of a Bhatta {Purohit} could not be sustained and to indicate their Brahmin roots they opted for surname only. Thus Bhatta and Purohit are surnames of the same category. Bhatta has a shortened version, Bhat {Bhatt}; referring to the same class of people. Surname Bhat {Bhatt} in Kas'mira can also be traced to short form of Bhatta. In Kas'mira, Bhatta honorific has been associated with many personalities, scholars of 9th and 10th centuries, scriptures and specific in many cases in 14th century and later. 
  5. ^ For definition of ब्राह्मण brāhmaṇa, with last syllable showing a Vedic accent, used as a noun as "m. (having to do with Brahman or divine knowledge), one learned in the Veda, theologian, priest, Brāhman, man of the first four castes"; and definition of ब्राह्मण brāhmaṇa, with only first syllable showing a Vedic accent, used as an adjective as "a. (i) belonging to a Brāhman, Brāhmanic", see: Macdonell 1924, p. 199.
  6. ^ a b c The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, Volume 52. The Survey. Retrieved 2010-12-02. The But/Butt of Punjab were originally Brahmin migrants from Kashmir during 1878 famine. 
  7. ^ a b P.K. Kaul. Pahāṛi and other tribal dialects of Jammu, Volume 1. Eastern Book Linkers. Retrieved 2010-12-02. The But/Butt of Punjab were originally Brahmin migrants from Kashmir during 1878 famine. 
  8. ^ Bhatt pages 141 to 142 in The last wanderers : nomads and gypsies of India by Tejinder Singh Randhawa ISBN 0-944142-35-4
  9. ^ Sarasvati's Children: A History of the Mangalorean Christians, Alan Machado Prabhu, I.J.A. Publications, 1999, p. 137
  10. ^ Explore Kashmiri Pandits. Dharma Publications. Retrieved 2010-12-02. 
  11. ^ a b Bose, Sumantra (2013). Transforming India. Harvard University Press. p. 211. ISBN 9780674728202. 
  12. ^ Jalal, Ayesha (2002). Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam Since 1850. Routledge. p. 352. ISBN 9781134599387. 
  13. ^ Chowdhary, Rekha (2015). Jammu and Kashmir: Politics of Identity and Separatism. Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 9781317414056. 
  14. ^ Parvéz Dewân. Parvéz Dewân's Jammû, Kashmîr, and Ladâkh: Kashmîr. Manas Publications. Retrieved 2010-12-02. This is a surname shared by Hindus and Muslims. 
  15. ^ Sharma, Usha (1 January 2001). Political development in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Radha Publications. ISBN 9788174870629. Retrieved 11 January 2015. Surnames like 'Bhatt' and 'Pandit' are common to both Hindus and Muslims. 
  16. ^ Haqiqat Rah Muqam shivnabh raje ki page 624 [p.1248]khari