Medieval Naming Guides: Arabic and Islamic

Islamic Names, including Arabic, Turkish, and Persian

Arabic Names

Arabic Names from al-Andalus, by Juliana de Luna
This is a revised and greatly expanded version of Juliana's article Andalusian Names: Arabs in Spain containing lists of masculine and feminine given names and bynames from 8th to 12th century Andalusia records. This article includes an explanation of the general structure of medieval Arabic names.

Arabic Personal Names from the Futuwwah, by Mustapha al-Muhaddith ibn al-Saqaat
A list of men's given names and surnames from an early 11th century source. Originally published in the proceedings of the SCA's 1989 Known World Heraldic Symposium Proceedings.

Period Arabic Names and Naming Practices, by Da'ud ibn Auda.
A discussion of Arabic naming customs in our period, with lists of masculine and feminine given names and bynames taken from period sources. Also includes a table of Arabic translations of standard SCA titles and a bibliography. This article is an updated and extended version of the author's earlier Arabic Naming Practices and Period Names List. There are a few names in that article which are not in the new one; Da'ud was unable to re-document them for the new version and took the safe route of omitting them.

"Son of the Hot-Tempered Woman": Women's Names in Arabic Bynames, by Juliana de Luna
Examples of Arabic bynames which describe people as children of their mothers or parents of their daughters.

We have a couple of Academy reports that give good guidance on the construction of Mamluk names:
  • Report 2901 discusses the general form of Mamluk names.
  • Report 2932 includes a lengthy list of Mamluk given names.

Personal Names in Monumental Inscriptions From Persia and Transoxiana, by Ursula Georges
Names from inscriptions written in Arabic and found in greater Persia, dating from the ninth to the early twelfth century.

The One Hundred Most Beautiful Names of God, by Mustapha al-Muhaddith ibn al-Saqaat
A list of the attributes of Allah, which were used in the construction of laqabs, devotional epithets used by Muslim men in addition to or in place of their given names. Originally published in the proceedings of the SCA's 1989 Known World Heraldic Symposium Proceedings.

Spanish Names from the Late 15th Century, by Juliana de Luna
This article contains some examples of Islamic names.

Jewish Names in Ottoman Court Records (16th C Jerusalem), by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan
Names of Jewish women from records written in Arabic (and a few in Turkish).

Moorish Place-names in Portugal, by Dom Pedro de Alcazar
Arabic names of administrative districts in Portugal.

West African Names

Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 3178
Lists masculine (and a few feminine) names from West Africa found in Arabic contexts.

Turkish Names

The term Turkish refers to several groups that used different dialects of Turkish and different sorts of names. This brief discussion explains some of the details.

Ottoman Turkish Names

Sixteenth-Century Turkish Names, by Ursula Georges
Lists of masculine and feminine names from court records from Istanbul.

Ottoman Cauldron-Makers, 1643-1644, by Ursula Georges
Analyzes the names of eighteen men in an Istanbul cauldron-makers' guild.

Personal Names in Warres Betweene the Turkes and the Persians, by Ursula Georges
A short list of names taken from a 16th century English translation of an Italian history.

This report from the Academy of S Gabriel discusses the names of harem slaves:
  • Report 3023
  • Report 3059 lists flower names used by Ottoman women, many of whom were harem members.
  • Report 2936 lists a few more names of harem women (concubines and daughters of the Sultan).

This report from the Academy of Saint Gabriel discusses janissary names:

A little more information is included in these reports:

Jewish Names in Ottoman Court Records (16th C Jerusalem), by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan
Names of Jewish women from records written in Arabic (and a few in Turkish).

Other Turkish and Turkic

We have some Academy reports that deal with the construction of Mamluk names:
  • Report 2901 discusses the general form of Mamluk names.
  • Report 2932 includes a lengthy list of Mamluk given names.

Report 2204 includes a short list of feminine names from 15th century Turkish literature.

Persian Names
The introduction to the third article gives some useful general information on languages of Persia and Persian naming.

Personal Names in Monumental Inscriptions From Persia and Transoxiana, by Ursula Georges
Names of men and two women found in Arabic-language inscriptions from the ninth to early twelfth century.

Some Persian Feminine Names and Etymologies From the Timurid Dynasty, by Ursula Georges
Women's names and their etymological meanings, from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Persian Masculine Names in the Nafah.ât al-uns, by Ursula Georges
An analysis of a couple of dozen names from a 15th century biographical dictionary.

Persian Feminine Names from the Safavid Period, by Ursula Georges, edited by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
A short list of names, mostly from the 15th-17th centuries.

Personal Names in Warres Betweene the Turkes and the Persians, by Ursula Georges
A short list of names taken from a 16th century English translation of an Italian history.

Jewish Names in the Islamic World

Jewish Women's Names in an Arab Context: Names from the Geniza of Cairo, by Juliana de Luna
A study of women's names in a collection of 11th to 13th century documents. Some of the documents are available, in Hebrew, in the Princeton Geniza Project.


The Medieval Names Archive is published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel and Sara L. Uckelman. It was historically published by Joshua Mittleman.
© 1997-2013. Copyright on individual articles belongs to their authors.
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