Chowdhury (surname)

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Chowdhury is a surname and title originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is also alternatively spelled as Chaudhry, Chawdhury, Chowdary, Chaudhury, Choudhury, Choudhry, Chaudhuri, Chaudhary, Chaudry or Choudhary. A historic female variant is Chowdhurani.

Meaning and significance[edit]

According to one theory, the name is an ancient Sanskrit title denoting the head of a community or caste. It is the amalgamation of the terms "Chow" (four-way) and "Dhuriya" (burden of responsibility).[1] Chowdhurys were the heads of villages and landed estates. Indian kings and emperors conferred the title to local chiefs and officers of eminence, including zamindars and jagirdars. Women were conferred the title "Chowdhurani" (Lady Chowdhury).

Similar lordships existed in other parts of the Eastern world, including in the Ottoman Empire (Malik) and Persia (Arbab).[2]

At the time of the British Raj, Chowdhury families included Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians. They were concentrated in the Bengal Presidency, Punjab Province, the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Hyderabad State. The surname is found across the South Asian diaspora, including in Fiji and the United Kingdom.







United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]