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ʿAfṣ

(218 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
denotes, according to Arab authors, the fruit of the oak or a similar tree and the tree itself. It actually is the gall, an excrescence which forms on certain kinds of trees and shrubs as ¶ the result of the sting of various insects. The Arabic term, however, was probably applied to the oak-gall in particular. It was maintained that the ʿafṣ is produced either simultaneously or alternately with the acorn. In medieval Arab medicine the gall served chiefly as an intestinal astringent and a remedy for skin diseases. It was also said to strengthen the gums and preserve…

Ayyil

(450 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
The word, for which different pronunciations are transmitted (also uyyal and iyyal , the latter being considered as the best one), is commonly explained by Arab lexicographers as meaning the ¶ mountain-goat ( waʿil ). This identification, however, is not fully borne out by the descriptions of the ayyil which are given by Muslim zoologists. Here, the properties and ways of behaviour ascribed to the animal only partly apply to the mountain-goat, while, in the main, they rather point to the deer, which is also in keeping wi…

Ḏh̲iʾb

(661 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, the wolf. Most of the cognate forms in other Semitic languages have the same significance. Numerous synonyms and sobriquets are found in Arabic, such as sirḥān , uways , sīd , abū d̲j̲aʿda , etc. In local usage, d̲h̲iʾb may also denote the jackal (Jayakar, Malouf), yet Hommel’s assumption (303, n. 1) that this was the only meaning of the word in ancient Arabic (so also Jacob) is inconsistent with its use in the Sūra of Joseph (Ḳurʾān, XII, 13, 14, 17), where it stands for the biblical ‘evil beast’ (Gen. xxxvii 20, 33). Ample mention of the d̲h̲iʾb is made in ancient Arabic poems, proverbs, …

Ḍabb

(563 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, the thorn-tail lizard ( Uromastix spinipes). Cognate synonyms exist in other Semitic languages. The animal, found in abundance in the homeland of the Arabs, is often mentioned and described in ancient poetry and proverbs. Much of the information on the animal derives from just these sources which are freely quoted in later zoological works. The ḍabb was eaten by the ancient Arabs who relished it as tasty food; still it is reported that the tribe of Tamīm, who were especially fond of eating it, were ridiculed on that account by…

Ḏh̲ubāb

(529 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, the fly. Some authors state that word is used also for other insects, such as bees, hornets, butterflies or moths ( farās̲h̲ ), etc. According to Arab lexicographers, it is either a singular or else a collective noun, in which case d̲h̲ubāba is used for the singular. Cognate synonyms are found in other Semitic languages, e.g., Hebrew , Aramaic . The fly is often mentioned and described in ancient Arabic poems and proverbs. A ḥadīt̲h̲ has it that there are flies in hell to torture the condemned. Numerous kinds are mentioned by Arab zoologists, so…

Baḳḳam

(258 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
(a.) Sappan wood, an Indian dye-wood obtained from the Caesalpinia Sappan L . Al-Dīnawarī remarks that the word frequently occurs in ancient Arabic poetry, although the tree concerned (in Lewin’s ed. read k̲h̲as̲h̲ab s̲h̲ad̲j̲ar instead of s̲h̲ad̲j̲ar according to later quotations) is not found in Arabia. It is a native of India and the country of the Zand̲j̲. Its stem and branches are red being used, in decoction, as a dye. The word is said to derive from Sanskrit pattanga and probably entered Arabic through the Persian. Its foreign origin was recogn…

Dīk

(756 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, the cock. The word is perhaps of non-Semitic origin. No cognate synonyms seem to exist in the other Semitic languages, except in modern South Arabian (Leslau, Lexique soqoṭri , 1938, 126). The cock is mentioned quite often in ancient Arabic poems and proverbs and in the ḥadīt̲h̲ . In zoological writings it is described as the most sensual and conceited of birds. It is of feeble intelligence, as it cannot find its way to the hen-house when it falls from a wall. Yet it possesses a number of laudable properties: it is cou…

al-D̲j̲awharī

(1,593 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, Abū Naṣr Ismāʿīl ( b. Naṣr ?) b. Ḥammād , a celebrated Arabic lexicographer of Turkish origin, born in the town (or: in the province) of Fārāb [ q.v.] (whence his nisba al-Fārābī), situated east of the Sir-Daryā. In later times, Fārāb was called Otrār or Oṭrār. ¶ The date of his birth is unknown. For the year of his death most sources give either 393/1002-3 or 398/1007-8, while others mention 397/1006-7 or about 400/1009-10. The first date (or even earlier ones; see Rosenthal) is made doubtful by the statement of Yāḳūt that he had seen an autograph copy of al-D̲j̲awharī’s Ṣiḥāḥ dated 396. Al-D̲j̲…

Dad̲j̲ād̲j̲a

(512 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
the domestic fowl. The word is a noun of unity which, according to Arab lexicographers, may be applied to both the male and the female. Alternative pronunciations are did̲j̲ād̲j̲a and dud̲j̲ād̲j̲a . In more recent local usage (cf. Jayakar, Malouf), did̲j̲ād̲j̲at al-baḥr and did̲j̲ād̲j̲at al-ḳubba denote certain kinds of fish, just as the corresponding Hebrew The animal, which is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, was known to the Arabs from pre-Islamic times. D̲j̲āḥiẓ reports (ii, 277 f.) that it was given to poets as a reward for their literary ach…

Afsantīn

(232 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, afsintīn or, more rarely, ifsintīn (from Greek ἀψίνθιον) mostly denotes the common wormwood ( Artemisia Absinthium L .) but also other similar kinds of plants. In medical writings it is often called kas̲h̲ūt̲h̲ rūmī . The cognate form isfinṭ (absinth-wine) already occurs in ancient Arabic poetry (Nöldeke, in Löw, 389). A good deal of the information which Arab authors offer on the afsantīn goes back to classical sources. Its different kinds were generally classified according to their origin: Persian, Nabataean, Syrian, Egyptian, Ḵh̲…

Afʿā

(386 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
means not only the viper, as it is commonly assumed, but also other similar kinds of snakes (Nöldeke, in Wiedemann, 271). The descriptions, however, which are given in Arabic zoological works (spotted or speckled, broad head, slender neck, short tail, sometimes furnished with two horns, etc.) fit well with specific kinds of vipers ( echis carinatus, echis coloratus, aspis cerastes cerastes). Most sources state that afʿā denotes the female, whereas the male is called ufʿuwān . The first term, however, is always employed in a generic sense. Correspo…

Bān

(289 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
(A. and P.), the ben-nut tree ( Moringa aptera Gaertn .). Dioscorides knew of its existence in Arabia and other neighbouring countries. Galen, speaking of a remedy obtained from the tree, says that it was imported from the Arabs. Abū Ḥanīfa reports that the fruit, called s̲h̲ūʿ , was a commodity greatly in demand which was bought and paid for in advance even before being ripe. The wood, because of its lightness, was used for tent-poles. On account of the high and slender growth of the bān and the softness of its wood, Arab poets used the word as a simile for a tender woman of tall stature. The fruit, …

ʿAfṣ

(244 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
signifie, selon les auteurs arabes, le fruit du chêne ou d’un arbre de la même famille et l’arbre lui-même. En réalité, c’est la noix de galle, une excroissance qui se forme sur certaines essences d’arbres et d’arbustes à la suite de la piqûre de divers insectes. Le terme arabe, ceper lant, s’appliquait probablement d’une façon précise à la noix de galle du chêne. On prétendait que le ʿ afṣ poussait soit en même temps que le gland soit en alternance avec lui. Dans la médecine arabe du Moyen Âge, la noix de galle était employée surtout comme astringent intestinal et comme remè…

al-Ḏj̲awharī

(1,528 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, Abū Naṣr Ismāʿīl (b. Naṣr?) b. Ḥammād, célèbre lexicographe arabe d’origine turque, né dans la ville (ou la province) de Fārāb [ q.v.] (d’où sa nisba de Fārābī), à l’Est du Si̊r-Daryā. La date de sa naissance est inconnue. Pour sa mort, la plupart des sources donnent soit 392/1001-2, soit 398/1007-8, alors que d’autres mentionnent l’année 397/1006-7 ou environ 400/1009-10. Comme Yāḳūt affirme avoir vu une copie autographe du Ṣiḥāḥ d’al-Ḏj̲awharī datée de 396, la première date (et même les dernières; voir Rosenthal) est douteuse. Al-Ḏj̲awharī commença ses études chez lui sous la…

al-Damīrī

(1,127 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. ʿĪsā, Kamāl al-dīn, né au Caire vers le début de l’année 742/1341 (d’après une note écrite de sa main et citée par al-Sak̲h̲āwī, 59), mort dans la même ville en 808/1405. Des dates plus tardives données pour sa naissance dans quelques sources (745/1344 ou 750/ 1349) ne s’accordent guère avec certains détails de sa biographie. Sa nisba est tirée de la plus septen- trionale des deux petites villes du nom de Damīra, près de Samannūd, dans le Delta. Après avoir d’abord gagné sa vie en exerçant le métier de tailleur dans sa ville natale, il décida de devenir t…

Baḳḳam

(276 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
(a.), bois de sappan, bois de teinture indien provenant du Caesalpinia Sappan L. Al-Dīnawarī remarque que le mot apparaît fréquemment dans l’ancienne poésie arabe, bien que l’arbre en question (dans l’éd. de Lewin, lire khashab shajar au lieu de shajar, conformément à des citations postérieures) ne se trouve pas en Arabie. C’est un arbre de l’Inde et du pays des Zand̲j̲. Son tronc et ses branches sont rouges, et sont utilisés, en décoction, comme teinture. Le mot proviendrait du sanscrit pattanga et il a probablement été introduit en arabe par l’intermédiaire du persan. Son…

Ḏh̲iʾb

(698 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, le loup. La plupart des formes apparentées dans d’autres langues sémitiques ont la même signification. On trouve en arabe de nombreux synonymes et sobriquets, tels que: sirḥān, uways, sīd, abū d̲j̲aʿda, etc. Dans l’usage local, d̲h̲iʾb peut aussi désigner le chacal (Jayakar, Malouf), mais l’affirmation de Hommel (303, n. 1) pour qui c’était là le seul sens du mot en arabe ancien (Jacob pense de même), ne cadre pas avec son emploi dans la sourate de Joseph (Ḳurʾān, XII, 13, 14, 17), où il représente «la Bete» de la Bible ( Gen., XXXVII, 20, 33). Il est amplement fait mention du d̲h̲iʾb dans des…

Bān

(283 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
(ar. et pers.), le noisetier à benjoin ( Moringa aptera Gaertn). Dioscoride était au courant de son existence en Arabie et dans d’autres pays voisins. Galien, parlant d’un remède provenant de l’arbre, dit qu’il était importé de chez les Arabes. Abū Ḥanīfa rapporte que le fruit, appelé s̲h̲ūʿ, était une marchandise très recherchée qui était achetée et payée à l’avance avant même d’être mûre. Le bois, en raison de sa légèreté, était employé pour les montants de tentes. Le bān étant haut et élancé et son bois tendre, les poètes arabes employèrent le mot métaphoriquement pour …

Afsantīn

(234 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
, Afsintīn ou, plus rarement, Ifsintīn (du grec αψίνθιον), désigne surtout l’armoise commune ( Artemisia Absinthium L.), mais aussi d’autres plantes de la même famille. Dans les ouvrages de médecine, on l’appelle souvent kas̲h̲ūt̲h̲ rūmī. La forme apparentée isfinṭ (liqueur d’absinthe) se trouve déjà dans l’ancienne poésie arabe (Nöldeke, apud Löw, 389). Une grande partie des renseignements que les auteurs arabes donnent sur l’ afsantīn remonte aux sources classiques. Ses différentes variétés étaient généralement classées d’après leur origine: persane, nabat…

Baḳar

(427 words)

Author(s): Kopf, L.
(a.). Dans la littérature arabe du moyen âge, le mot n’est pas restreint à son sens principal de bestiaux ( bos), comme il l’est dans l’usage moderne et dans les formes correspondantes des autres langues sémitiques. Les auteurs arabes font la distinction entre l’espèce domestique, baḳar ahlī (= bestiaux), et l’espèce sauvage, baḳar waḥs̲h̲ī, cette dernière identifiée de façon variée, tantôt au mahā (oryx beatrix; al-Nuwayrī, IX, 322) tantôt à layyil ([ q.v.], d’après la description d’al-Ḳazwīnī), ou à un groupe d’animaux (appelés par Lane, 234, bovine antelopes) qui comprend auss…
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