Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Names

One of the things I really love about the Arabic language is that each Arabic name a person is called with has a beautiful meaning. There is no one who is called with a name without a meaning, something impressive. I mean it's really great to have a meaning for your name, something that is related to a special even your parents went through, or something precious to the one who called you. Having a meaning to your name adds a special touch and relates you to your being in a nice way. I find it a lot better than having a name without meaning.
Arabic names can mean name of flowers, like Warda, Yasmine, Zahra or Fulla; they could mean a good smell of flower, e.g. Areej or Abeer. There are names that mean the singing of birds, like Taghreed, or the voices of Pigeons like Hadeel. You find names that mean the name of a sword, e.g. Saif, Mohannad or Hosam; or ones that are the synonyms of one of the names a lion is called with (since in Arabic you can find more than one word to address one thing with the same meaning), for example: Laith, or Dorgham. An Arabic name can mean a diamond, e.g. Masa; or a pearl, e.g. Lolwa or Dana; or a planet, like Qamar, Shams or Kawkab,; or even a star like Najma. There are names that mean a high level like Sana'a or Ola. You can find names that express a certain feeling such as Sahar, Gharam or Hayam. There are ones that show appreciation like Shokran, Rida or Irfan, ambition like Monia, Amani, Ahlam and many other beautiful characteristics like Jamal, Lutfi, Karam, Joud or Baha'a. Some name express light like Nour or Diya'a.
Other than that there are people who are named after prophets' names such as Mohammad: means the praised, Mustafa: means the selected, Ahmad: means I thank. There are the names of countries like Falasteen (Palestine) or Sorya (Syria), and there are the names of continents like Asia.
Some names are actually the names of months, such as Ramadan, Sha'aban or Rajab. Or even names of days like Khamees or Joma'a. One other interesting thing about names in Arabic is the fact that there are 99 names for God. Each name has its own meaning that expresses a certain characteristic of God. Like Al Salam (peace), Al Rahman and Al Raheem (merciful), Al Mo'oti ( he who gives), Al Mohyi (he who gives life), Al Kareem (the generous), Al Mo'een (he who helps), Al Nour (the light).
By the way, there are names found like Kareem, Mo'een or Nour, that are without the "Al" which equals "the" in English, only few names can be used as names for people without using the "Al", for the "Al" is only used for addressing names of God.

Some names are considered old, some are somehow modern, but it's sad to see a lot of Arabs start to give up their great meaningful names and use ones that come from other cultures and other languages, believing it'd be cooler that way.
My name for example is Eman which means faith. It's used a lot, not a unique name, but I'm still proud of it :)

I find this topic a very interesting one, and I can't get enough of researching the meanings of names in Arabic. But I'll stop here I guess…