Indian (chiefly Panjab): term used by Hindu and Sikh women either as the final element of a compound personal name or as a last name. It cannot be regarded as a true surname or family name. It goes back to Sanskrit kumārī ‘girl’, ‘daughter’, which was reduced to kuar and then changed into kaur by metathesis. Among Sikhs, female names are often derived from male names by the addition of Kaur to the male name: e.g. Mahinder Kaur, from the male name Mahinder.