This article is about the Indian use of the word "Munshi". For the West African tribe, sometimes known as the Munshi, see Tiv people.

Munshi (Urdu:مُنشی; Hindi: मुंशी) is a Persian word, originally used for a contractor, writer or secretary, and later used in the Mughal Empire and British India for native language teachers or secretaries employed by Europeans.[1]


Munshi (Persian منشی) is a Persian word, used as a respected title for persons who achieved mastery over languages, especially in British India. It became a surname to those people whose ancestors had received this title. In modern Persian, this word is also used to address clerks and secretaries and those persons use it as their surname.

Munshies in service of the British

Clerks, accountants and secretaries hired by the government in British India were known as Munshies. The family name Munshi was adopted by families with members in the profession of Munshi. Abdul Karim, known as "The Munshi," was a valued and respected Indian servant of Queen Victoria.[2]

See also


  1.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Munshi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. Visram, Rozina (2004). "Karim, Abdul (1862/3–1909)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/42022. (subscription required) for full access
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.