Baig, also commonly spelled Beg, or Begh (Persian: بیگ, Bay, Turkish: Bey) was a title of Turko-Mongol origin, which is today used as a surname or middle name to identify lineage. It means Chief or Commander and is common in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran, Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe (former Yugoslav) and among their respective diaspora.
Beg was also subsequently used as a military rank in the Ottoman Empire.
It was also used during the Qing dynasty in China. When the Qing dynasty ruled Xinjiang, it permitted the Turkic Begs in the Altishahr region to maintain their previous status, and they administered the area for the Qing as officials. High-ranking Begs were allowed to wear the Queue.
Use as a name
For the Persian use, it is common to see the name Beg added to the Persian suffix of 'zada' (male), 'zadi' (female), which means 'son of' or 'daughter of'. For Example: Mirza Begzada or Noor Begzadi. For the Turkish use, it is most common to see the spelling Beg or Bey utilized. (Sometimes, it is used along with the title "Mirza", similar to the Moghal usage).
For the Moghal use, the honorific title Mirza (Persian: مرزا) was added before the given name for all the males and 'Baig' (Persian: بیگ) for the males or Begum (Persian: بگوم) for the females, was added as a family name. For example: Mirza Abdullah Baig or Farzana Begum. This was the historical naming convention for the descendants of the Moghal dynasty. Today, however, it is not uncommon to see descendants of the Moghals use Baig as a middle name and Mirza as the surname or vice versa. For example: Abdullah Baig Mirza or Abdullah Mirza Baig.
For the Slavic or Bosniak use, it is common to see the name Beg added to the Slavic suffix of 'ovic', 'ovich', which roughly means 'descendant of'. While the title "Beg" is not in use in Bosnia anymore, track of families of "Beg" descent is kept. But a surname containing "-begović" suffix in itself is not a clear indicator of descent. For example, there is a number of "Begović" families, some are of noble descent, some not. "Idrizbegović" would be another example of non-noble family with the suffix. Some examples of "beg" families are: Šahbegović, Rizvanbegović, Šačirbegović. On the other hand, "Kukavica" is an example of a famous "beg" family, not containing the title in itself. The book by Enver Imamović "Porijeklo i pripadnost stanovništva Bosne i Hercegovine" details the origin of a big number of families in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There are various other alternative spellings used today as well, such as: Begh, Begg, Beigh, Beyg, Bayg, Bek, Bik.
- Sultan Abu Sa'id Beg
- Mohammad Murad Beg, Emir of Bokhara
- Mir Yar Beg and Mir Yar Beg Sahibzada, Emir of Bokhara
- Skanderbeg, Dominus Albaniae (lord of Albania)
- Jani Beg
- Mirza Adigozal bey, was an Azerbaijani historian of the 19th century.
- Mirza Miran Shah Beg, was a son of Mirza Timur Beg, and a Timurid governor during his father's lifetime.
- Elbey Mirza-Hasan oglu Rzaguliyev, was an Azerbaijani Soviet artist and stage director, and father of artist Ayten Rzaguliyeva.
- Isa-Beg Isaković
- Gazi Husrev-beg
- Ali-paša Rizvanbegović
- Safvet beg Bašagić
- Turahan Bey
- Turahanoğlu Ömer Bey
- Abbas Ali Baig, Indian Cricketer
- Mahmud Begada, Sultan of Gujarat
- Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan
- Mirza Babur Beg, the first Mughal emperor
- Mirza Muhammad Akbar Beg, He was the third and one of the greatest rulers of the Mughal Dynasty in India.
- Mirza Abul-Qasim Babur bin Baysonqor Beg, was a Timurid ruler in Khurasan (1449–1457).
- Mirza Mehboob Beg, is an Indian politician, belonging to Jammu & Kashmir National Conference.
- Mirza Farhatullah Baig, was an Indian Urdu writer of humor and prose.
- Mirza Muhammed Baig Chishti Qalandari Hyderabadi, He is renowned as a Sufi saint and great scholar of Hyderabad Deccan.
- Mirza Ibrahim Beg, was Subahdar of Bengal during the reign of emperor Jahangir Beg.
- Wali Beg Zul-Qadr, Soldier under Akbar Mirza Mughal Emperor.
- Tardi Beg, was a military commander in the 16th century in Mughal India.
- Mirza Aslam Baig
- Mirza Aziz Akbar Baig
- General Mohammad Abbas Baig
- Obaidullah Baig was an eminent scholar, Urdu writer/novelist, columnist, media expert, and most notably a documentary filmmaker from Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.
- Mirza Iqbal Baig is a Pakistani sports journalist and cricket commentator who currently works as a television show host.
- Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg was a Kashmiri politician and lieutenant of the late Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Naeem Baig is an eminent Pakistani Novelist and short story writer, who has conceived articles, short stories and Novels in Urdu and English languages.
- Mirza Nazeer Baig Mughal is a Pakistani actor. He has acted in several films, tele-films, and TV drama serials.
- Mirza Rafiuddin 'Raz' Baig is a Pakistani poet.
- Adina Beg, was the governor of the Punjab including Lahore, Jalandhar and Multan from 1755 to 1758.
- Mirza Kazem-Bey, Muhammad Ali Kazim-bey, was a famous orientalist, historian and philologist of Azeri and Iranian origin.
- Alexander Lvovich Kazembek (often spelled Kazem-Bek or Kasem-Beg), was a Russian émigré and political activist, and founder of the Mladorossi political group.
- Iskander Mirza Huzman Beg Sulkiewicz, was a Polish politician of Tatar ethnicity, activist in socialist and independence movements and one of the co-founders of Polish Socialist Party.
- Mohideen Baig, was a popular Sri Lankan musician.
- Sultan Osman-beg, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
- Mirza Tugay Bey, was a notable military leader and politician of the Crimean Tatars.
- Ed Baig, is an American technology columnist.
- For more info please refer article: (Bey)
- This article incorporates text from Life among the Chinese: with characteristic sketches and incidents of missionary operations and prospects in China, by Robert Samuel Maclay, a publication from 1861 now in the public domain in the United States.
- Rudelson, Justin Jon; Rudelson, Justin Ben-Adam (1997). Oasis Identities: Uyghur Nationalism Along China's Silk Road (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 31. ISBN 0231107862. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Clarke, Michael E. (2011). Xinjiang and China's Rise in Central Asia - A History. Taylor & Francis. p. 20. ISBN 1136827064. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Millward, James A. (2007). Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 101. ISBN 0231139241. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Crossley, Pamela Kyle; Siu, Helen F.; Sutton, Donald S., eds. (2006). Empire at the Margins: Culture, Ethnicity, and Frontier in Early Modern China. Volume 28 of Studies on China (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 121. ISBN 0520230159. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- James A. Millward (1998). Beyond the pass: economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864. Stanford University Press. p. 204. ISBN 0-8047-2933-6. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- Same surname beg, baig, bey / surname in part of Mirza and Ottoman Empire in Name Osman I