Shenoy is a surname from coastal Karnataka and Goa in India. It is found among Hindus of the Goud Saraswat Brahmin community following Smartha Sampradaya of Kavale Matha or Madhva Sampradaya of either Gokarna Matha or Kashi Matha.
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There are two theories about the origin of Shenoy or Shenvi.
- The Sanskrit word Shrenipati, meaning the leader of the guild, which got converted as Shennivayi in Apabhraṃśa, and later as Shenai or Shenvi in old Konkani.
- It is from the Sanskrit word for 96, ṣaṇṇavati (षण्णवति). The significance of the word 96 among Konkanis is that 96 villages formed the core region of Goa. It is said that 96 clans / families of Saraswat Brahmins arrived in Gomantak and settled in one village each. 66 villages were in Sashti region (66 in Sanskrit is ṣaṭ ṣaṣṭi - षट् षष्टि. Sashti became Salcette during the Portuguese rule) and 30 villages were in Tiswadi region.
Background and origins
The Shenoys were generally involved in administration of the city. The word 'Shenoy' itself means a writer. GSBs were administrators of the temples. The word 'Shenoy' is also interchangeable with its counterpart 'Shanbhag'
The Saraswats migrated from Goa during the Muslim and Christian conquests during 1600, and carried their surname with them. Thus the word 'शणै' is transliterated in Latin script as Shenoy in Karnataka and as Xennai, Shenoi, Shenai, Shenvi or even Sinai in Goa. Xennoi is less commonly used in the erstwhile Portuguese Goa and Damaon, but nowadays it has given way to Xennai today.
The following is a list of notable people with the surname 'Shenoy', 'Shanbhag'.
- Aishwarya Nag: Originally Aishwarya Nagendra Shenoy, South Indian actress
- Arun Shenoy: composer and music producer who has received a Grammy Award nomination
- Basti Vaman Shenoy: Konkani activist and founder of World Konkani Centre in Mangalore
- Naresh Shanbhag: Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 
- Preeti Shenoy: artist and writer
- Samskruthy Shenoy: actress who has appeared in South Indian films
- Shenoi Goembab (1877–1946): Konkani Pandit
- Suresh V. Shenoy: executive and philanthropist
- Vasudev V Shenoy (1940 – 2015): Educationist, Educational Counsellor, Journalist and a Social Activist
- Vijay Balakrishna Shenoy: Professor of physics and recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest science award in India
- Krishna V. Shenoy Hong Seh and Vivian W.M. Lim Professor in the School of Engineering, Stanford University.
- Gautam N. Shenoy Cancer research scientist at State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
- "Shenoy Name Meaning", Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, 2013
Pandtit Alahar Vijay, Pronology – The Dynamic Name Science, Chennai: Sura Books, ISBN 8174787356 Cite uses deprecated parameter
Angelus Francis Xavier Maffei (2003), A Konkani Grammar, Mangalore: Asian Educational Services, ISBN 9788120600874, OCLC 14242653 Cite uses deprecated parameter
- ManoharRai SarDessai (2000), A History of Konkani Literature (From 1500 to 1992), Pune: Sahitya Akademi, p. 24, ISBN 8172016646
- Pius Fidelis Pinto (1999), History of Christians in coastal Karnataka, 1500–1763 A.D., Mangalore: Samanvaya Prakashan