From funny to outright bizarre is the way one can describe Oxford dictionary’s year end declarations. Last year Oxford had declared ‘Funny face with tears of joy’ emoji as the word of the year. Today they have declared the surname Patel to be the most common Indian surnames in the UK. An Oxford dictionary is definitely the last source you would relate such an information with.
The 'Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland' has compiled the origins of around 50,000 surnames in one of the UK's largest studies. The description says, "One of the most common Indian surnames, Patel, was a status name from a Hindu and Parsi name for a village herdsman. It is one of the most common Indian surnames in Britain, with over 100,000 bearers recorded in the 2011 census."
The other Indian surnames that have found the place in the new dictionary include ‘Chakrabarti’, derived from Sanskrit ‘Cakravarti’ (meaning wheels rolling). The word is used for a ruler whose Chariot wheels roll everywhere.
The study that was conducted by linguists and historians involved analysing British and Irish records dating back to the 11th century took almost four long years.
While talking at the University of Western England (UWE) in Bristol, Richard Coates, professor of linguistics, said, "Our research uses the most up-to-date evidence and techniques in order to create a more detailed and accurate resource than those currently available."
The study concludes with a data that states 40,000 family names are native to Britain and Ireland. But it also reflects the diverse languages and cultures of immigrants who have settled in the country since 16th century including Indian, French, Huguenot, Dutch, Jewish, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and African.