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Astronomy III

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Hello again folks!
Here we go with thr 3rd part of astronomical names. This list in particular had some classical words but I didn't like to mark them all, as I guess it is good to have some idea about them after all. Hope you enjoy "reading" them. Still using Harakat to read? :)

Aquarius - الدّلْوْ (ad-dalw)

This sign also had another name in some old books, which is الدّالي (ad-dálí). The difference here is that الدلو (ad-dalw) means "the bucket", while الدالي (ad-dálí) means the "water bearer" or "the bucket carrier".
The cluster of (lw) in the name is like that I've posted previously about the name of الجدي (al-jady). The proper Arabic would have "L" followed by a rounded lip formation "W" (say "L" and while keeping your tongue in that position bring your lips to say "O", while ejecting the air or the voice of "L" of course). However, in modern times, people changed this cluster and the "W" sound into a long vowel (-ú) and the name is commonly known as (ad-dalú).

  • Albali: البالع (al-báli3: the swallower).
  • Sadalsuud: سعد السعود (sa3d-us-su3úd: the luck of lucks, i.e. the luckiest one).
  • Sadalmelik: سعد الملك (sa3d-ul-malik: luck of the king).
  • Sadachbia: سعد الأخبية (sa3d-ul-axbiyah: luck of the tents/homes).
  • Skat: الساق (as-sáq: the shin/ankle).

Pisces - الحوت (al-ħút)

Notice here that the name الحوت was used in Classical Arabic (and still nowadays in Morocco) to note a big fish. However, in the Eastern Arab world and maybe this is the dominant meaning right now, as well as in the Academic literature, the word حوت is used for "whale" instead.

  • Alpherg: الفَرْغ (al-farğ: the water outlet). quite classical word that I had to check its meaning in a thesaurus online
  • Dzaneb al Samkat: ذَنّب السمكة (ðanab-us-samakah: tail of the fish).
  • Alrescha: الرِّشاء (ar-rišá': the cord). *The name of this star has variations, look below).
  • Fumalsamakah: فُم السمكة (fum-al-samakah: mouth of the fish). The word "fum" is another variation for "fam" as well, and some dialects of Arabic do use "fum" instead of "fam" for "mouth"

The star "Alrescha" as other variations in Latin, as well as in Arabic. In Latin, this can be found as "Al Rescha," "Alrischa," and "Alrisha." In Arabic, this star can be also found to be called الخيطان (al-xayŧán: the two ropes) or عُقْدة (3uqdah: knot); However, it seems this last name is used now for another star in another constellation, by convention.

Aries - الحَمَل (al-ħamal)

  • Hamal: حَمَل (ħamal: lamb). Another name is Ras Hammel (رَأْس الحمل: ra's-ul-ħamal), meaning head of the lamb.
  • Sheratan: الشّرطان (aš-šarŧán: the two signs). It is said the name is derived from the fact that this star is one mark for the vernal equinox
  • Botein: البُطَيْن (al-buŧayn: the little belly). The Arabic word here is a diminutive form of بطن (baŧn), meaning "belly"

Well, this is it for now, in hope that I'll have the time to type the 4th part as well. There had been some names that seemed Arabic to me but I couldn't find any resources to emphasize my doubts, so I just excluded those. Strangely, Pisces was one of the hardest for me to find out about its stars! By now, probably you've noticed that some words in some names in Arabic are the same, yet they were transferred into Latin differently, specifically the word ذنب meaning "tail" which came in different spellings in Latin, probably as the scribes noting these names were from different parts of Europe, I guess.

August 22, 2019



Very interesting and excellent post! Looking forward to the next one! شكرا


Thanks for this. Hopefully on weekend I will have time and try to add the vowels in a proper way. :-)) But you are right. It really works to read this words without the Harakat.


هههه،يا الهي،هذا صعب علي حتى أنا...

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