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Re: Abdul Alhazred: Let's retroconlang the Mad Arab!

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Monday, May 22, 2006, 14:45
Citerar Yahya Abdal-Aziz <yahya@...>:

> Hi Andreas, et al, > > Another possible etymology for "Abdul Alhazred"! > > Last night, I was wondering ... The Had.ramaut, like The Yemen, The Sinai, > The Rub-ul-Qali (The Empty Quarter) ... isn't that a geographic region? > Might that be Had.ara Maut - meaning, eg, the Fear of Death? or is it quadri- > or quinqui-literal borrowing? ... > > I googled 'hadramaut' and found the answers at: > which includes the following info: >
> So, here is a collection of muhjrin (emigrés) that Lovecraft's protagonists > may have come agcross in the Yemen, or in Hyderabad. In India, wealthy > descendants may have acquired an English education (if this was necessary to > the plot - I forget, not having read Lovecraft for several decades). > > I also forgot to point out earlier that, while etymologically incorrect, many > Muslims do indeed go by the incomplete cognomen "Abdul". Relatives of mine > have two sons, both Abdul X, of whom the first is generally called either > Abdul or Abi. Thus it is conceivable that a person be known by a personal > name as well as several attributes. Frequently these attributes include a > place of origin, eg al-farsi, the Persian, or ar-rumi, the Roman. So why not > al-had.rami or al-had.rim? From which it is but a short step to imagine > sound changes arriving at a person named "Abdul Alhazred".
Quite interesting - thanks. Abdul Alhazred is supposed to have been a native of Sanaa, Yemen, and to have spent a decade in the Empty Quarter, so Hadramawt is in the right general region. As for your previous question whether he was a bad guy, well, he was a devote of Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth (another unpleasant Lovecraftian deity) and a researcher of "forbidden" lore, but as far as recorded does not seem to have actively wrought evil. I assume your relatives do not speak Arabic as their daily language? I suppose the shortening would be less likely to those whom the meaning is immediately obvious. However, it seems to me that "Abdullah" could easily enough become "Abdul" in European mouths, especially if occuring before a surname begining in 'A-'. "Abdullah Al-Had.rami" > "Abdul Alhazred" doesn't sound any wilder than "Ibn Rushd" > "Averroës" or "Ibn Sina" > "Avicenna". I quite like this "etymology", so now I'm hoping there's no convention that somehow makes Abdullah Al-Had.rami illegal ... Andreas