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Names and Naming Practices - Introduction - Middle Ages

(2,054 words)

Author(s): Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman
Jewish names and naming patterns can be used as tools for describing Jewish demographic, economic, social, and cultural history. The formation of Jewish names in the medieval Islamic world followed many Islamic naming patterns. Individuals had both personal names and family names. The personal name (Ar. ism) was often supplemented or replaced in common parlance with a by-name (Ar. kunya). The ism was also often followed by a patronymic, which generally was constructed of ben/bar/ibn (“son of”) for a male or bat/bint (“daughter of”) for a female, followed by the father’s name. At times a n…