What are some traditional (pure) Malayalam names?

Like ആർച്ച, ആരോമൽ, ചിരുത, വെളുത്ത, അമ്പിളി. Good if one could provide origins for them like ചിരുത=ചിരുതേയി=ശ്രീദേവി

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

There are some from very long ago. I have heard from my family elders that back in the days, the Namboothiri Brahmins did not permit anyone not belonging to their caste to put Vedic names for their children. This was predominantly in the northern regions of present day Kerala, where the Namboothiris were landlords. They wielded great power politically, financially and socially. So most people meekly obeyed them and put all sorts of seemingly meaningless names for their children.

Names like Othenan, Imman, Irayimman, Marthandan, Ithutti, Ittichiri, Koman, etc. are some traditional names that have become obsolete now. The name Othenan is said to have originated from the name Udayanan. I’m not sure, though. Names like Thankamani, Kanaran (from Karunakaran), Parukutty (could be a shortened version of Parvathi Kutty), Kochunni, Kochappan, Kelappan, Aniyan, Kunjan, Kunjappan, etc. can still be seen today among the elders of the society. These are all names given to the upper rungs of society – Nairs, Kshatriyas, etc. People belonging to the lower rungs of society had names like Chakki, Neeli, Kaali, Chaathan, Kunjanbava, Maanda, Koran, Adima, etc. Then there are pet names that are still quite popular – Ammu, Unni, Appu and Kuttan.

Besides these, there are the Malayali versions of Biblical names that I have written on another answer here → Raakhee V. Menon’s answer to What are some lesser known facts about Kerala?

What are some traditional (pure) Malayalam names?


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