How Tipu Sultan Got His Name?

Tipu Sultan was Hyder Ali's eldest son by his second wife Fatima Fakhr un-Nissa, daughter of Mir Muin-ud-din. His birth name was Fateh Ali Khan (Fath Ali Khan) Saheb.  

[Hyder Ali's first wife gave birth to a daughter but while in child-birth she was attacked with dropsy which made her paralytic for the rest of her life.]

There is an interesting story behind the name Tipu Sultan:

Kirmani's Account:

For three or four years after his marriage with Fatima Fakhr un-Nissa Hyder Ali had no children. In order to obtain a son, Hyder Ali visited the tomb of the sufi saint Tipu Mastan Aulia in Arcot. 

Tipu Sultan was born in 1750. "As his [Tipu's] advent was owing to the secret aspirations and intercession of the saint Tipu Mastan, he was named Tipu Sultan", writes Kirmani.

'Tiger: The Life of Tipu Sultan' mentions that Fatima Fakhr un-Nissa Begum and Hyder Ali named their son Tipu Sultan Fath Ali Khan; Tipu after the saint Tipu Mastan Aulia and Fath Ali in recognition of his grandfather Fateh Muhammad.

A Folklore

The story goes that in 1761 when Hyder Ali became the Nawab, he wanted to replace the mud walls of the Kalasipalyam fort at Bangalore with stone. Three men - Hazrath Tipu Mastan, Hazarath Manik Mastan and Hazrath Tawakkal Mastan Shah Saharwardi - migrated to Bangalore and joined the work force as masons. They used to just touch the stones and the stones would automatically arrange themselves. It is also said that the three were brothers. They did not accept wages and after work went to a mosque in Kumbarpet and slept there. 

When Hyder Ali was reported this, he sent an official to investigate the matter. When the official went to the mosque to look for them, he saw no one there, but only three parts of a human body. Hyder realised that the three were no ordinary men, but saints.

Tawakkal Mastan settled in Cottonpet. The saint wanted Hyder to build a mosque there. This heritage mosque now stands tall beside the dargah.

Hyder Ali built the Dargah of Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan at Upparpet in 1777, which was completed in 1783 by Tipu Sultan. Manik Mastan's dargah is on Avenue Road while Tipu Mastan's dargah is in Arcot. 

Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad's Account: 

Sri Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad's ancestors were senior officials at the Mysore court. According to him Tipu Sultan was named after a Shaivite saint Thippe Rudra Swamy of Nayakanahatti village near Chitradurga. 

Hyder Ali's family were devotees of Nayakanahatti Thippe Rudra Swamy. When Sultan Sayyid, a child of Hyder Ali's family was seriously ill, he was cured by Thippe Rudra Swamy. 

The saint blessed Hyder and Fakhr un-Nissa Begum that they would have a son who would be renowned for bravery.

Thippe means a 'mound of cowdung'. When the child was born he was lovingly called 'Thippe Sultan'. The name Thippe afterwards modified to 'Tipu'.

Another Account:

The website of Dalit Saints states that when Hyder Ali's son Sultan Sayyid was severely ill and could not be cured for a long time, Hyder Ali prayed for his recovery at Thippe Rudra Swamy's Samadhi at Chitradurga. When Sultan Sayyid eventually recovered, a grateful Hyder Ali built a structure around the Guru's Samadhi. Hyder Ali added the word 'Thippu' to Sultan Sayyid's name in honor of Thippe Rudra Swamy; and the boy was called 'Thippu Sultan' who would eventually became Tipu Sultan.

Of these three accounts, the second seems to be reliable. 

The name Tipu does not have any meaning. Tipu Sultan is a full personal name.