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Pakistan's Nickname Culture: Real Names, Personalities, and Passions

Nickname culture is quite common in Pakistan, and several factors determine one’s nickname. It can be based on personality, personal interests, physicality, real name, and the distinct vibes of a person, among many other things. There are no hard and fast rules for nicknaming people in Pakistan. There are many different categories of nicknames in Pakistan, some of which shall be discussed here:

Some nicknames are based on people’s real names. Those are usually given by one’s immediate family members very early on. Those nicknames often sound endearing and are later picked up by other people around that person too. Such nicknames, though not always, are usually a shortened version of one’s real name. Some examples of those nicknames are:


  • Iftikhar (nick: Khaara, Khaaru)

  • Aurangzeb (nick: Ranga, Rangu)

  • Shazia (nick: Shazi, Shazu)

  • Rafaqat (nick: Faaku)

  • Afzal (nick: Apha, Aphu)

  • Waseem (nick: Seemu, Seema, Sheemi)

  • Ghafoor (nick: Ghafoora)

  • Sadia (nick: Saadi, Saadu)

  • Musarrat (nick: Sarti)

  • Razzaq (nick: Jaaka)

  • Irfan (nick: Faana, Faani, Faanu)

  • Irshad (nick: Shaadan, Shado, Shaadi, Shaad)


The second type we will discuss is nicknames based on one’s personality. They usually don’t follow logic, and anyone could be called anything. According to our understanding, such nicknames come from one’s gut and a deep understanding of the culture. Some people are nicknamed something totally random, but it somehow fits, and no one objects or raises concerns. Those nicknames often have a humorous side to them. It doesn’t matter whether someone is named Aslam, Javed, or Umar; if their personality fits a specific pattern and their vibes are such, they could all easily be nicknamed Ghauri, Jump, or Kheera. Some of those nicknames are:


  • Ustad

  • Nalkaa

  • Nich

  • Tooti

  • Ustraa

  • Bottle

  • Dhakan

  • Saabun

  • Bulb

  • Sauda

  • Thuk

  • Dingi Bandooq

  • Kainchi

  • Blade

  • Billaa

  • Halwa

  • Kharpainch

  • Bijli

  • Silencer

  • KKC (kutti kameeni cheez)

  • Bawa

  • Chimta

The third type is based on people’s passionate interests. Those could come from an obsession with film characters, sports figures, philosophers, or even thinkers. Those nicknames are usually enjoyed and preferred by people. Some examples of such names are:


  • Tanveer Karan Arjun

  • Feeka Hathyar

  • Jabbaar Malangi

  • Nadeem Nanha

  • Jeera Blade

  • Yasir Khalnayak

  • Vicky Dinga

  • Gujjar Badshah

  • Teeru Pistol

  • Barkat Pandat

Another smaller category of nicknames is those used for little girls, such as Guddi, Nanhi, Rano, Neelo, Parri, and Shehzadi.



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