Pashto Names for Children

پښتو :: پښتانه :: پښتونخواه :: پښتونوالی

Pashto Names for Children,
Published in Khyber.ORG on Thursday, May 19 2005 (

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Pashto Names for Children

Compilation by Khyber.ORG, Idea by Azmaray Khan

Publishing Date: Thursday, May 19 2005

The Pashtun name, either boy or girl, will consist of two words; First name, and Last name.

The first name is a typical Pashtun name and the last name is the main tribe name, e.g. Muhammadzai, Isupzai, Marwat, Mohmand etc. So a complete name may be, for example, Turyalai Muhammadzai for boy, and Shapera Isupzai for girl.

The word Khan is also used in many names. It's appearance usually occurs as last name, e.g., Adam Khan, but rarely it can also appear as first name, e.g., Khan Ali or Khan Afsar. Many people, however, are under the notion that if you are Pakhtoon, then you must be "Khan". That is not so. The history of the name "Khan" is quite vague but interesting. Some historians claim it is derived from Turkish "Kan" which means Lord of Warriors. Others claim it is derived from Jewish "Kahn", a title given to those who had the duty of giving animal sacrifices (religious nobility). Whatever its origins, Pakhtuns give this title to somebody who is either a chief, leader, or a respectable person. The  "Khan" usage can be compared with the use of the "Turban". Pashtoons do not wear turbans unless they achieve a certain level of wisdom. The convention of Khan is similar. Hence inclusion of "Khan" with a name is not compulsory.

Arabic and Persian names are also very common amongst Pakhtuns. Some people mistakenly assume that arabic names are more Islamic and hence preference should be given to arabic ones. While it is true that Allah's favourite names are ones in Arabic, but it does not mean that every person should have the same name. In fact, a name should be used for identification of an individual, and thus should ideally be pleasant, as well as have some association with ethnicity or family.

Many pakhtun names, especially for boys appear with slight variations. The variations are due to prefixes or suffixes attached with original name. Examples of prefixes are "Said" or "Nur", which when attached with a regular name "Wali" may become Said Wali or Nur Wali. Similarly, examples of suffixes are "Muhammad" or "Gul". When used with the same name "Wali" may become Wali Muhammad or Wali Gul. A few common prefixes are Said, Lal, Mir, Nur, Sher, Muhammad, Ali, Gul, Khan, Hazrat, Din, Bakht, Malang, and Saib. A few common suffixes are Bacha, Rehman, Said, Gul, Sher, Mir, Ali, Muhammad, Hazrat, Zada, Din, and Saib.

A chart of common names are given in the following lists. We have tried our best to compile only names that have pakhtun origins. But of course, you can use the forms in the links to send in corrections or new names.

A Full List of Names for both Boys and Girls are given Below:

For Boys

For Girls


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Pashto Names for Children,
Published in Khyber.ORG on Thursday, May 19 2005 (