Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pakistani Nicknames

Nick names are very common in Pakistan. In almost every home in Pakistan people are called by their nick names.

Their are different reasons to nickname people in Pakistan. For example, older people are nicknamed for respect. Usually younger people don't call their older siblings and other relatives by their real names, so they call them by a nickname. Some very common nicknames for an older sister are 'Baji' and 'appa'. An older brother is usually called 'Bhai' or bhaijan'.

Younger people like children are nicked named, too. They have cute names which reflects their personalities. I call my youngest ' bul bul'. Bul bul is a bird with a sweet voice. I call him 'bul bul' because he tweets like a bird all the time.

In some parts of Pakistan, brides are given a nickname after they join their new family. I remember when I got married and joined my husband's family. All the youngsters of his family gathered round me and asked me what name would I like for them to call me. They suggested a few names, and I picked one. Now they call me by that, and I am so used to that name that it seems almost like my real name.


  1. I think that is so interesting. The only occasion I can think of in the U.S. where this kind of nickname is made up are when little children choose a name for their grandparents, like Grammy, Nana, Mema, and so on.

  2. On another note, Urdu language is very broad in terms of identifying specific relationships. For example, in English, 'Aunt' can be a father's sisiter or a mother's. Whereas in Urdu it is 'Phuppi' for fathers sister and 'Khala' for mother's sister. Similarly there are different names for paternal grandfather and maternal grandfather.