World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kunya (Arabic)

Article Id: WHEBN0003353497
Reproduction Date:

Title: Kunya (Arabic)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of kings of Persia, Abdelkader Mokhtari, Abu Abd-Allah, Kunya, Zayd ibn Ali
Collection: Honorifics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Kunya (Arabic)

A kunya (Arabic: كنية‎, kunyah)[1] is a teknonym in Arabic names, the name of an adult derived from his or her eldest child.

A kunya is expressed by the use of abū or umm in a genitive construction, i.e. "father of" or "mother of" as an honorific in place of or alongside given names in the Arab world and the Islamic world more generally.[2]

A kunya is a component of an Arabic name, a type of epithet, in theory referring to the bearer's first-born son or daughter. By extension, it may also have hypothetical or metaphorical references, e.g. in a nom de guerre or a nickname, without literally referring to a son or a daughter.[3] Use of a kunya implies a familiar but respectful setting.

General use

Abū (father) or Umm (mother) precedes the son's or daughter's name, in a genitive construction (ʼiḍāfa). For example, the English equivalent would be to call a man whose eldest son is named John, "Father of John". Use of the kunya normally signifies some closeness between the speaker and the person so addressed, but is more polite than use of the first name. The kunya is also frequently used with reference to politicians and other celebrities to indicate respect.

A kunya may also be a nickname expressing the attachment of an individual to a certain thing, as in Abu Bakr, "father of the camel foal", given because of this person's love for camels.

When also using a person's own birth name, the kunya will precede the proper name. Thus: abū Māzin Maħmūd, for "Mahmud, the father of Mazen" (as, for example, for Mahmoud Abbas). In Classical Arabic, but not in any of the spoken dialects, abū can change into the forms abā and abī (accusative and genitive, respectively), depending on the position of the kunya in the sentence.

In westernizations of Arabic names the words abū and abū l- are sometimes perceived as an independent part of the full name, similar to a given name.

Men who do not yet have a child are often addressed by a made-up kunya. Most often the name chosen comes from a popular name in history, the man choosing his own kunya, although sometimes it would be the name of his father.

The following are some examples of widely used Kunya in Arab world:

  • Khalid, Kunya is Abu Waleed
  • Waleed, Kunya is Abu Khalid
  • Ali, Kunya is Abu Husayn
  • Husayn, Kunya is Abu Ali
  • Muhammad, Kunya is Abu Jassim/Qassim (depends on the dialect)
  • Yusif, Kunya is Abu Ya'qoob
  • Ya'qoob, Kunya is Abu Yusif
  • Khalil, Kunya is Abu Ibrahim
  • Ibrahim, Kunya is Abu Khalil

Kunya as a nom de guerre

A special practice evolved among Palestinian leaders, originally in the Fatah faction, is to use real or fictional kunyas as noms de guerre.

For example, Yasser Arafat was known by the name Abu Ammar (abū `ammār), even though he never had a son named Ammar. His kunya was based on Ammar ibn Yasir, a companion of Muhammad and a prominent figure in Arab history.

But Mahmoud Abbas is known by the name (abū mazin / abū mazen), and his son was named Mazen.

This usage of the kunya as a nom de guerre has gained currency outside of the Palestinian movement, and is now often used by Arab guerrillas and clandestine operators. Examples of this include the Lebanese leaders Abu Anis (used by Lebanese Civil War), Abu Arz (Etienne Saqr), and Abu Nidal ("father of struggle").

Usamah bin Ladin's Kunya was "Abu Abdullah".[4]

See also

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.