July 24, 2013

Names of the Hyena

Al-Ḍabu‘ is the female; the male is called al-ḍib‘ān and al-dhaykh. Among its other names are:

Haḍājir   "Whose Gut Is Huge"
Jay’al      "The Female Hulk"
Ja‘āri       "Craps-a-Lot"
Qasāmi   "Divider-up [of Carcasses]"
Naqāthi  "Bone-Sucker," from its [habit of] extracting marrow from
     bones, as in the anonymous rajaz verse:

      Jā’at Naqāthi taḥmilu 'l-birdhawnā
     "Along came Bone-sucker, carrying [part of?] an old horse."

al-‘Arfā’, for the length of its ‘urf [which is its mane], 
al-‘Athwā’  "The Bearded Lady," for the denseness of its hair,
al-‘Arjā’  "Whose Gait is Limping"  
al-Khāmi‘a  "Whose Gait is Loping"
Umm Hinbir  "Exemplar [lit. Mother] of the Flesh-Tearer"
Umm Khannūr  "Exemplar [lit. Mother] of the Anus,"
     also Umm Khunnūr

The baby hyena is called al-fur‘ul. The hyena's den is a wijār.

The offspring of hyena and the wolf is called al-Sim‘ [“The Sharp-Eared”]. and Abū Sabara ["Father to the Wound-Prober"]. Dissenting opinion holds that al-Sim‘ is a cross between wolf and dog, and that the offspring of wolf and hyena is called al-‘Usbūr.

From The Rudiments of Language by Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Khatị̄b al-Iskāfī