Pamphlet Arab Geographic Terms in the Desert

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Jedburgh22, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Desert pamphlet explaining geographic Arabic names
     

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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Fancy transcribing that for us ?
    It would be a good Googleable resource .
     
  3. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Give me a few days
     
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Do you want me to? Don't mind, great list.
     
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Would really be a help Diane thank you

    Steven
     
  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Any mistakes/omissions, let me know and I'll edit.

    GLOSSARY OF GEOGRAPHICAL TERMS

    Arabic unless otherwise stated.

    L - Used chiefly in Libya.
    Tu - Tuareg.
    Tb - Tebbu.


    ABBREVIATIONS
    B - Bir
    Cht - Chetib, Scetib
    Geb - Gebel
    Gr - Gabr
    Gt - Graret
    Hsi - Hasi, Hisi
    Mn - Maaten
    Si - Sidi
    Sni - Sania
    U - Uad?
    W - Wadi
    Zt - Zawia


    GLOSSARY OF COLOURS IN ARABIC GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES

    Red
    m. AHMAR, fem. HAMRA
    e.g. EL HAMMADIA EL HAMRA (The red Hammada)

    White
    ABIA, fem. BAIDA
    e.g. EL BARQA EL BAIDA (The white plain)

    Black
    ASWAD, fem. SODA
    e.g. EL HARUG EL ASWAD. GEBEL SODA

    Green
    AKHDAR, fem. KHADRA
    e.g. GEBEL AKHDAR

    Blue
    AZRAQ, fem. ZERQA
    Though literally “blue”, AZRAQ, and more often ZERQA, is used for “dark-coloured”
    e.g. EL GARA EL ZERQA (The dark hill)

    Brown
    m. ASMAR, fem. SAMRA
    Used for dark brown or even black

    Yellow
    ASFAR, fem. SAFRA



    A
    Adrar (Tu) - Mountains, mountain ranges
    Aghira, Aghiret (L) - Cultivated depression
    Aghla, dim. Agheila (L) - Cultivated depression
    Ain, pl. Uyun, dim. Uwein, p. Uweinat - Spring
    Alama, pl. Alamat - Direction cairn, isolated hillock
    Alent, pl. Ailam, dim. Aleim - Direction cairn
    Angud - Low knoll
    Aqaba, Agaba - Pass, ascent
    Argub - Ridge, spur
    Atmur - Open Plain


    B
    Bab, pl. Beiban, dim. Bueib - Pass, lit. “door”
    Bahar - See Bahr
    Bahr, pl. Buhur - Sea, river
    Balta, Baltet, pl. Balat - Mudpan
    Barchan - Crescent dune
    Barqa, Barga - Plain
    Batn - Depression, basin in hills, lit. “stomach”
    Bir, pl. Abiar, Abar - (1) Dug well, (2) cistern
    Birqa, Birket - Pool, pond
    Borg - See Burj
    Buj, Burg, pl. Buruj - Tower, or hill resembling same


    C
    Caf - See Kaf
    Cheluiet - Piece of arable land
    Chetib - See Scetib
    Chuer - See Khor
    Com - See Kom


    D
    Dahr, Dahar - Tableland, plateau, high ground, lit. “back”
    Dahret - See Dahr
    Darb - Road, track
    Debba - Sandy hill
    *Deir - Depression, monastery, ruins
    Dor, dim. Dueir, Duer - Group of hills

    *In Egypt “Deir” more commonly means depression; in Cyrenaica, monastery or ruins


    E
    Edeyen (Tu) - Dune field, sand sea
    Ehi (Tb) - Small peak
    Ein - See Ain
    Eluet - Rising ground
    Emi (Tb) - High peak
    Enneri (Tb) - Valley
    Erg, Ergh - Dunes, dune-field
    Erget - Land with wild vegetation
    Ezba - Village, hamlet


    F
    Feg - Open ground
    Fesh-Fesh - Soft powdery chalk or clay
    Foggara - Well-system connected by underground channels
    Fumm - Gorge, defile, lit. “mouth”


    G
    Ghor - Depression, deep valley
    Giama - Mosque
    Gilf - Cliff, escarpment
    Giof - Long depression
    Gisr - Embankment of bridge
    Got - Circular depression
    Goz - See Qoz
    Grain - See Qarein
    Grara, Graret - Depression, basin
    Greh (Tb) - Isolated rocks
    Gubba - Dome, tomb
    Gabr, Gbar, pl. Gbur, dim. Gburet - Tomb
    Gara, Garet, Garat, pl. Gur, Gour, dim. Gueret, Guweira, pl. Guerat - Hill, usually low
    Gasr - See Qasr
    Gataet - Piece (of land)
    Gebbana, dim. Gebbanet - Cemetery
    Gebel, pl. Gubal - Hill, mountain
    Gezira, pl. Geza’ir, dim. Geziret - Island
    Ghadir, Ghedir - Depression
    Ghard, Gherd, Gurd, pl. Gherud, Gurud, Gherued, dim. Gredat - Dunes
    Ghelb, pl. Ghlub, dim. Guelib - Rocky hill


    H
    Hagar, pl. Hugar - Rock, stone
    Hagfet, Hagfa, pl. Ahgaf - Unroofed cistern
    Hagiag - Summit of escarpment
    Halgh, Halegh - Gorge, valley, pass, defile
    Hallabet - Low rise
    Hammada, Hamadet, dim. Hameidet - Stony plain
    Harf - Low scarp
    Harret - Lava hill
    Hasi, Hisi - Waterhole
    Hattia, Hatiet - Area of vegetation
    Haua - Cave
    Hod, pl. Heidan - Depression
    Hosc, Hosh - Compound, enclosure


    I
    Id, pl. Udeid - Shallow well
    Igidi (Tu) - Dunefield, sand sea
    Ilwet - See Eluet


    J
    Jarf - Cliff
    Jebel - See Gebel


    K
    Kaf - Granary
    Karkur - Gorge
    Karmusa, Karmuset, Carmuset - Fig garden
    Kasba - Castle, fort
    Khersha, pl. Kharashiff - Wind eroded rock surface. Usually very bad going.
    Khor, pl. Kheiran, dim. Khueir, Chuer - Water course
    Kom, pl. Akwam - Mound (or pile of stones)
    Kubri - Bridge


    M
    Maaten - Shallow wells near the sea
    Magen (L) - Cistern
    Marsa - Port, anchorage
    Masrab - Camel track
    Mchazen, Makhzan - Storehouse
    Merg - Meadow, fertile plain
    Mergheb - Observation point, height
    Meshra - Ford, watering place
    Mgataet, Magta - Barrier, Mosque
    Mgtaa - Obstacle
    Mingar, Minquar, pl. Managir - Cliff, bluff
    Miqreh, Migreh - Watershed
    Mitla - Pass, ascent
    Mughara, Mugharet - Cave
    Musran - Small valley
    Mzaret - Cultivated land


    N
    Nab - Pinnacle (rock, etc.)
    Nagb, Naqb - Pass
    Nahr, pl. Nuhur - River
    Nakhl, dim. Nakheil - Date palm
    Neggaza - Cliff, ascent ?
    Nezua, Nezuet - Spoil from excavated cistern
    Nusb, dim. Nuseib - Knoll, bluff


    Q
    Qa’a - Bottom, mud pan
    Qarn, dim. Qarein - Sharp rock or hill, lit. “horn”
    Qala’a - Lit. “fort” or “citadel”, hill resembling such
    Qasr, pl. Qusur, dim. Quseir - lit. “castle” “fort”, hill resembling same
    Qelti, pl. Qulut - Rock pool
    Qoz, pl Qeizan - Dune


    R
    Raml, Ramla, Ramlet, pl. Rimal - Sand
    Raqaba, Ragbet - Watercourse
    Ras, pl. Russ, dim. Rues, Rueis - Peak, cape, lit. “head”
    Reg - Flat desert, serir
    Regem, pl. Rujum - Cairns or similar natural features. Pile of stones on the bottom of a cistern to facilitate descent
    Resciadet - Rocks
    Rgheibet - Neck or defile at top of valley
    Rif, pl. Aryaf - Cultivated land


    S
    Sabakha, Sebchet, Scebchet - Salt marsh, bog
    Sahan - Depression, lit. “plate”
    Sahl - Plain, sea shore
    Sahra - Desert
    Salb - Hard ground
    Samah - Plain, good going
    Sania, Sanyet, pl. Suani - Well
    Sauwana - Flinty plain
    Scegiar - Trees
    Sceigghet - Broken groun
    Sciuech - Sheikh’s tomb
    Sef - Long crested dune, lit. “sword”
    Seil - Torrent, flood bed
    Serir - Gravel desert
    Sghifet - Parallel sided depression
    Shalla - Stream bed
    Shedua - Hillock
    Shetib, Scetib, pl. Scetban - Small wadi
    Shi’b, dim. Shiab - Floor bed
    Shi’ib - Branch wadi
    Shorma - Saddle between hills
    Sidi - Saint, holy man
    Sikka - Road
    Silch, pl. Soluch - Small wadi
    Sira, Siret, dim. Sueret - Ruins ?


    T
    Talan - Acacia trees
    Tamr - Date palm
    Tanezrouft (Tu) - Hard sand and gravel
    Tarbul, pl. Terrabil - Mound with vegetation on top
    Tarig, Trigh - Road, track
    Tarso (Tb) - Plateau, tableland
    Tassili (Tu) - Rough horizontal crevassed country
    Tell - Mound, usually artificial
    Tenere (Tu) - Flat arid desert
    Themila - Waterhole
    Tumud, Themed, dim. Tumeid - Waterhole


    U
    Ueseca - See Weschet


    W
    Waarat - Small vegetation patch
    Wadi, pl. Widian, dim. Wadei, Udei, pl. Udeiat - Watercourse
    Wah, pl. Wahat - Oasis
    Weschet, Weshka - Stunted palm


    Z
    Zawia - Monastery, religious centre
    Zemlet - Low knoll
    Zolat - Stone, rocky ridge
     
    Vollketten, Jedburgh22, Owen and 2 others like this.
  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Diane,

    Very well done.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  8. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Very very nice work!

    All the best

    Andreas
     
  9. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Superb!
     

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