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Somalia: A publisher reissues a book on Somali names and nicknames

Issue 323
Front Page

A Lion Kills Woman In Hargeysa After Breaking Loose From Aviation Minister’s Private Zoo

Somaliland Police Arrests 5 Men Suspected Of Involvement In Piracy Attacks Off The Coast Of Puntland

Somaliland Gov’t Expresses Resentment On UN Special Envoy’s Report To The Security Council

At least 10 killed as Somali troops shell a market

So There Is Somalia And Somaliland: The African Union As Well As The United Nations Must Recognize‏

Riyale's Last Cabinet Reshuffle And What It Portends For His Political Career

Second tallest man has biggest hands

Somalia government in trouble

Somalia: Going Beyond The Terrorist Designation

Rayale’s Republic Of Clanistan

Kosovo, Tibet: Same Or Different?

Regional Affairs

10,000 Health Workers Stop Polio In One Of Most Dangerous Places On Earth Somalia Passes Polio-Free Landmark

High Level Summit To Focus On Somalia’s Economy

Puntland Leader Sacks Interior Minister: Report

Special Report

International News

Obama has chosen his running mate

Man Accused Of Killing Four Children OK To Stand Trial


Djibouti: St Tropez In The Horn?

Better Deal For Somalis Who Send Money Home

Guards For African Leaders Battle; Dozen Injured

Dad Pleads For Son's Killer To Turn Himself In

Ghanaian Fashion Accessory Is Plastic Fantastic

Obama Campaign Sparks Local Somalis' Interest In Election

Father Sells Daughter For Qat Money

Food for thought


Somaliland: UNHRC Praises Continued Progress

Democracy Threatened: The Legitimacy Of Elections In Africa

Somalia: A publisher reissues a book on Somali names and nicknames

Announcement: Expert Discussion On The Future Of Somaliland

Africa: Kosovo Vote Could Impact Continent

Global Hip-Hop Artist K'naan Releases First US Album

Death Likely If Convict Deported: Friend

Book Review

A book on the Somali names and nicknames has been reissued thirteen years after it was first published in Canada. Written by the Somali linguist and lexicographer Abdirahman Farah Barwaaqo, Magac bilaash uma baxo (No name is given without a purpose), attracted the attention of Somali readers and linguists researching Somali language. “It is the book I have been waiting for twenty four years,” wrote Georgi Kapchits, a Somali speaking Russian linguist, in a review. The book is the first of its kind written about Somali names and nicknames. The linguistics sub-field the book belongs to is known as onamastics, “the study of the origins and forms of proper names.”

The author of the book did extensive research independently. “When a script was chosen for Somali language, compilers and collectors of Somali folklore and oral tradition had placed emphasis on the poetry. To offset this imbalance, I set out to write this book,” Abdirahman Barwaaqo told Somali Press Review.

Many Somali names have their origin in Arabic language. The cultural link between Somalis and Arabs made it possible for many parents to give their children Arabic names. “Names like Fahad (cheetah) and Fu’aad (heart) are two proper Arabic male names” that Somali parents would have avoided had they known their meanings. There are Somali female names of Arabic origin too. Names such as Bint (girl) and Bilaad(land) are Arabic female proper names commonly used in Somalia.

The names and nicknames in the book are imbued with cultural meanings, and this makes book a most sought after Somali reference book in Europe and North America where large Somali diaspora has settled almost two decades ago.

© 2008 Somali Press Review


Publisher details: Hal Aqoon

Email: hal_aqoon@yahoo.com

Tel: (403) 698-0423 ama (403) 689-5951

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