Monday, August 22, 2005


More Crappy Names

I recently discussed crappy names on this blog. Since then some other interesting examples have popped up.

Edward Cook, at Ralph the Sacred River, writes about "negative meanings in the names of supposedly bad folk":
One might mention, among several examples from the Hebrew Bible, the name Jezebel, Heb. iyzevel, probably originally containing a reference to zevul, "prince," a title of Baal. But the wicked queen's name was pronounced so as to recall the word zevel, "dung."
There's another example from the Near East in The Thousand and One Nights (Night 892, tr. Richard F. Burton):
And he called aloud to his youngest son, saying, "O Fasyan, surnamed Salh al-Subyan, go forth, O my son, to do battle with thy sister and take of her the blood-wreak for thy brothers and fall on her, come what may; and whether thou gain or thou lose the day; and if thou conquer her, slay her with foulest slaughter!"
Burton glosses Fasyan as "The Breaker of Wind (faswah - a fizzle, a silent crepitus)" and Salh al-Subyan as "son of Children's dung."

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