Talk:Abd (Arabic)

Active discussions
WikiProject Anthroponymy / Arabic names   
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anthroponymy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the study of people's names on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Arabic names task force.

UntitledEdit an arabic speaking american and im sure that Abd means servant.--The Fear 23:50, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Abd DOES mean slaveEdit

This Arabic word means slave, a person who is owned by another. When it is used in a name, it is usually a prefix to one of Allah's 99 holy names in Islam or sometimes other terms referring to God or respected figures (such as Abd El Rasool, which literally means slave of the Prophet.)In this context, it may mean servant or follower, but the literal meaning is "slave".

The literal meaning (using "literal" in its formally correct sense) is "one who works". Whether it's used exclusively to connote slaves or whether it's used as well to refer to free servants, I don't know. Largoplazo (talk) 10:11, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Regarding Historical NoteEdit

The usage cited regarding mainly African slaves strikes me as incorrect - or rather correct for certain time periods, not others. It should be qualified or perhaps omitted since the ethnic information doesn't add much information. One might also note that other terms were used in various regions of the Arab world, such as Khadim, etc. collounsbury 14:19, 19 February 2007 (UTC).

Follow on to Historical Note African American Soldiers deployed in Iraq were often referred to as "Abd" and the interpreter would say they didn't understand, as to not hurt the Soldiers feelings. It may not be accurate for all time periods, but have we forgotten how important the Arabs were to the global slave trade in the African Diaspora? (talk) 16:25, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

In his book "Race and Slavery in the Middle East", Bernard Lewis writes page 56: “White slaves were normally called ‘mamluk’, an Arabic word meaning ‘owned’, while black slaves were called ‘abd. In time, the word ‘abd ceased to be used of any slave but black ones and eventually of a black man, irrespective of whether he was a slave or not.” Read online at So stating that "The usage of 'abd regarding mainly African slaves" is likely to be correct, at least for certain time periods if not others. I suggest re-introducing it in the article a sentence like "The word 'abd was mainly used for African slaves at certain periods of time". --Jacques de Selliers (talk) 15:33, 2 April 2013 (UTC)


This part needs re-writing. "Zurka" does not mean "dirty black", the source is wrong (typical of "experts" of the Arab world who can't speak Arabic). Zurka comes from Azraq (ازرق) which means blue, but is used by relatively light black to refer to relatively dark black. Also please don't use Hirsi Ali as a reference as this is not at all an authority on the region.--Aa2-2004 (talk) 12:18, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree, the "Slur" section is poorly written and incoherent. And really, that information should be moved to a new page about the term's usage in the specific context of slavery. As it is it's tacked on to the bottom of a disambiguation page, which it shouldn't be. CharlesMartel (talk) 00:44, 8 April 2011 (UTC)CharlesMartel

I have removed the section. Parts of it, may be incorporated elsewhere.--Aa2-2004 (talk) 10:51, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Article for deletionEdit

This falls under the heading of Wikipedia-is-not-a-dictionary. PiCo (talk) 13:14, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Return to "Abd (Arabic)" page.