Munshi (Urdu:مُنشی; Hindi: मुंशी; Bengali: মুন্সী) 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.
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.
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.