Are the surnames – Dwivedi, Trivedi & Chaturvedi – related?

Names and nomenclatures are important, interesting and fun. It’s why we make it a point to put a lot of thought into the ideas for the products that showcase them. Happily, all this hard work has helped us become India’s most accomplished maker of name plates and, in the process, introduced us to hundreds of names, nicknames, family names, and stories connected to tens of thousands of names. Many of these stories are rather intriguing and we think worth sharing with you; something we are going to do in a series of blog posts centred around answers to quirky questions like ‘Are Dwivedis, Trivedis, and Chaturvedis related?’ or ‘Why do most Sindhi surnames ends with –ani?’ or ‘Why do some surnames have two capital letters?’, and more. And on that note, let’s get right into the history of name-calling.

TL;DR

No. Dwivedi, Trivedi & Chaturvedi are surnames with similar meanings but they aren't related or interchangeable.

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Popular Etymology Theory

  • Samvedi = a person who has the knowledge of one Veda. Sam meaning one or singular.
  • Dwivedi = a person who has the knowledge of two Vedas. Dwi meaning "two" and vedi referring to the Hindu scripture Vedas.
  • Trivedi = a person who has the knowledge of three Vedas. Tri meaning three.
  • Chaturvedi = a personal who has the knowledge of all four Vedas. Chatur meaning four.

According to Hinduism, a Brahmin must read all the four Vedas. So while the etymology seems correct for Chaturvedi, it does not seem to be true for Dwivedi and Trivedi.

Alternative Interpretation

  • Dwivedi: DAIV + VEDI; Daiv: Spiritual, related to the GOD; Vedi: One who knows about. Thus DWIVEDI means a person who knows about GOD.
  • Similarly: Trivedi never means one who has learnt three Vedas. According to Hinduism, a Brahmin must read all the four Vedas. Tri: All the three; Vedi: Who knows; Thus Trivedi means one who knows about all the three (Past, Present & Future). In that time a "Jyotishi" (astrologer) was called Trivedi.

Interchangeability

  • Dwivedi / Dubay / Dubey / Dube / Dobé - They have the same meaning and some families may choose to change between these surnames.
  • Chaturvedi / Chaube / Chaubey / Choube / Choubey - They have the same meaning and some families may choose to change between these surnames.

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