[DWJ] In which I satisfy the curious (I hope!)

Colin Fine colin at kindness.demon.co.uk
Tue Sep 26 18:37:26 EDT 2006


Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) wrote:
> [Attila]
>
>   
>> I thought it was from Turkic 'Atta' meaning 'father'!  (cf the former
>> name of the Kazakh capital Almaty: 'Alma-ata', apparently meaning
>> 'Apple-father', though I confess I don't know what that means.
>>     
>
> Oh, why didn't I spot that?  I share a birthday with Mustapha Kemal, who
> founded modern Turkey.  Being their Pater Patriae, he has ever since
> been known as Attaturk = father of the Turks.
>
> Philip.
>   

> Atatürk to be precise. 
>   

And Mustafa is another (see your subsequent post)

Actually, there's a point there: we regard -ah as an orthographic 
variant of -a, but in Arabic they're quite different. Abdullah ends with 
-ah because it contains the name Allah, but most names in -ah, in both 
Arabic and Hebrew, are feminine. But I rather think that Arabic names in 
-a are mostly masculine.

Colin


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