Time and again I have my non Keralite friends telling me how difficult it is to pronounce the surnames of Malayaleei colleagues and friends. I understand their dilemma. A Thomas Mathew is easy to pronounce, but if he chooses to take his veetu peru (house name or family name) as is the tradition and call himself Thomas Mathew Vandanakkare, then I simply cannot blame my non Malayalee friends for their consternation and call them Xenophobic which would be easier anyways.
I mean the last person who tried to pronounce a Keralite house name had to be rushed to the Emergency Room to untangle his tongue from the 24 neat knots it had twisted itself into.
Now I like to think that I am a fair and equable person who can understand the phonetic difficulties of our non south Indian brethren. So here I have compiled some Malayalee “house/family names” to illustrate to you that our ‘house and family names” are nothing to be feared of. After reading this post I promise, you will be able to remember the family names of all your Malayalee colleagues/friends without difficulty.
1. Renji Pallivadikkal - Renji Church Door
2. Sunu Vaddakekara - Sunu Northern Side
3. Sunil Kunnath - Sunil on the hill
4. Mary Neerampuzha - Mary Redant river
5. Chacko Katticaren - Chacko Soldier
6. Joby Thekkeparambil - Joby Southern Fields
7. Paul Kinnatukara- Paul Well wall
8. Blessy Vattaparambil - Blessy round estate
9. Lily Madapally - Lily Covent Chapel
10. Jacob Alapattu - Jacob Blacksmith Song
11. Blesson Alilakuzhi - Blesson Peepal Leaf hole
12. Noble Padinjarekootu - Noble Western Group
13. Jiji Panjikaran - Jiji Cotton man
14. Jomon Puthanpurayil - Jomon In the new house
15. Shijo Thudianplakkal - Shijo Jackfruit Tree
16. Varkey Vettukuttil - Varkey Cut Forest
17. Girly Vadakumpadam- Girly Northern Paddy field
18. Baby Kallarakkal – Baby In the stone tomb
19. Susan Medhipara - Susan Threshing the rock
20. Jeejo Nedunkallel - Jeejo In the long stone
See zo zimble no?!
Please note this was just the tip of the iceberg. But fear not, all of them are as zimble as the ones I have shown above.
Additions to the above welcome in the comments section with or without translations.