(1,146 words)

(a.), patronymic, an onomastic element composed of Abū (m.) “father” or Umm (f.) “mother” plus a name. We have here a metonymic designation corresponding to a general tendency among primitive peoples to consider an individual’s name as taboo and not to pronounce it unless exceptionally (see J. G. Frazer, The golden bough, ch. xxii). The kunya was therefore accordingly the name which should be used, but in historical times, the original intention here was forgotten, and al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ (see JA [1967], 70, 82), far from seeing here any connection with sympathetic magic, counts the kunya among…

Cite this page
Wensinck, A.J., “Kunya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 11 December 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_4526>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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