Surname Meaning and Family History: Gupta

A woman walks along a path with the Taj Mahal in the background
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As you might already know, the surname Gupta (sometimes spelled Guptta) originates in and is still most commonly found in the country of India. The name is derived from the Sanskrit goptri, meaning "military governor, ruler, or protector."

Unlike most other Indian surnames, the surname Gupta is present in various different communities across India, irrespective of caste. Among the most famous Guptas include a long line of Gupta kings, who ruled India for about 200 years—the Gupta Dynasty dates back to 240 – 280 AD.

Common Locations

Guptas are especially common in Delhi, where it is the fifth most common surname. However, this surname distribution website does not have data from all regions of India. Within India, Gupta ranks among the top 30 surnames in Uttar Pradesh (13th), Haryana (15th), Punjab (16th), Sikkim (20th), Uttarkhand and Jammu and Kashmir (23rd), Chandigarh (27th), Madhya Pradesh (28th), and Bihar, Maharashtra and Rajasthan (30th).

Despite being the 156th most common last name in the world, according to surname distribution data from Forebears, Gupta is not a very common name outside of India; however, Gupta is fairly common in Nepal (57th) and somewhat common in Bangladesh (280th). Guptas can also be found quite regularly in Poland, where the name ranks 419th, as well as England (549th) and Germany (871st).

Famous Guptas

  • Maharaja Sri-Gupta, founder of the Gupta empire
  • Jagadish Gupta, Bengali poet and novelist
  • Neena Gupta, Indian film and television actress and director
  • Shashi Bhusan Das Gupta, Bengali scholar
  • Manmath Nath Gupta, Indian revolutionary
  • Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Sources

  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.