Sanskrit: denoting the flax plant or turmeric; the name of a goddess who mediates between Brahma and the other gods, identified with the goddess Vac, the personification of speech; also a byname of Parvati, wife of Shiva.
Indian (southern states): Hindu name from Sanskrit šankara ‘one who brings about happiness or prosperity’ (from Sanskrit šam ‘happiness’, ‘prosperity’ + -kara ‘causing’). This is an epithet of the god Shiva. It is a variant of Sankaran among people who have migrated from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In India it is found only as a male personal name, but has come to be used as a family name in the U.S. among South Indians.