Recorded in over a dozen Romanish forms including Chaudhry, Choudhury and possibly Houdhury, this is a surname popular on the Indian subcontinent, although its origins are said to be Persian and Turkish. It is one of a group called "alqab" which distinguish either skilled workers such as Ekmekci meaning a bread maker, or Halici a rug maker, although in this case it describes the head man of a village. In a sense the name Malik which strictly describes the owner of the estate, can have the same connotation and meaning as Chaudhry, as can Arbab, which means chief or lord of an area and is more particular to parts of Iran and the North West Frontier.Although Chaudhry is more generally found as a Muslim name, it is one that over the centuries has also been used at least descriptively, in parts of the sub continent and Asia, not originally under Muslim influence. Surnames as used in the western sense are a relatively new feature in many pasrts of the world. Turkey for instance did not adopt "fixed" hereditary spellings until 1935, and other areas are even more recent. Furthermore such recordings as did exist were, and often remain, in Sanscript or the local language of an area.
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