Most Sindhi family names are a modified form of a "patronymic and typically end with the suffix -ani, which is used to denote descent from a common male ancestor. One explanation states that the -ani suffix is a "Sindhi variant of 'anshi', derived from the "Sanskrit word 'ansh', which means 'descended from'. The first part of a Sindhi surname is usually derived from the name or location of an ancestor. In northern Sindh, surnames ending in 'ja' (meaning 'of') are also common. A person's surname would consist of the name of his or her native village, followed by 'ja'. Sindhis generally add the suffix ‘ani’ to the name of a great grandfather and adopt the name as a family name.
Sindhi surnames are commonly associated with tribes.