Beauties of the Orient, Arabian horses deserve names worthy of their heritage. Choosing Arabian horse names becomes a daunting task for owners who wish to reconcile their horses’ cultural heritage with that of the horses’ birth place.
Thus, many proud owners and breeders of part-bred or pure-bred Arabian horses spend a significant amount of time researching Arabian horse names. Most will go for classic Arabian names for their foals. Others will try to capture the specific character traits of their notable equine friends in one ideally suitable name.
Arabian horses are typically named for their color, their temperament, their specific markings. Arabian horse breeders and owners feel responsible for maintaining the noble breed’s purity. In addition to this great responsibility, many also feel compelled to maintain the tradition of giving an Arabian name to their foals.
At TodaysEquine we thought about jotting down the essential guidelines to choosing Arabian horse names to help you in your searches. Here they are.
Choosing Names for Arabian Horses: Guidelines
These guidelines will be particularly handy when trying to choose the perfect Arabic name as an Arabian horse name. Arabic names are indeed fit for the equine beauties of the Orient and, as it is rumored, the oldest horse breed around.
However, carrying on the Arabic name tradition is no easy task despite the laudable intentions. Very few Arabian horse owners really speak Arabic. As such, confusion can easily sneak in, leading to some unpleasant situations. Here are our guidelines for choosing an Arabic name for your Arabian filly or Arabian colt.
- References to divinity or the prophet should be avoided. As inspiring as they may be, the 99 epithets used as reference to divinity in the Qur’an may be interpreted as offensive. A few of them could work wonderfully if the article is removed. For instance, instead of Al-Malik, use Malik. Malik stands for King and is a popular choice between male Arabian horse names. A thorough research on the Arab tradition of naming Arabian horses is highly recommended.
- First names that are given to children at birth are also a shady option. Animals in the Arab world, even if it’s the majestic Arabian horse, don’t bear exclusively human names such as Ali or Aisha. Nevertheless, naming your Arabian foal after another animal or a plant is approved. Fahad – meaning Panther, or Haytham – meaning lion are often met Arabian horse names. Names that make reference to historical figures or legendary heroes are also safe options. For instance – Rustam or Qahtan are used in the Arab world for naming horses as well.
- Don’t try to construct composed names (e.g. a noun and a determinant adjective). Arabic names are the trickiest Arabian horse names from this perspective. While in English your Arabian foal could well be named Magic Moonlight, in the Arab world such a name would cause nothing but confusion. That is because Arabian horse names are single words. At most, there will be a construction of this type: Rustam al-Zaeem. Rustam is the horse’s name, while al-Zaeem indicates the name of the stud where the Arabian foal was born. When these are kept, an entire lineage can be traced back. In a nutshell, it’s recommended to avoid adjectives.
- Provided you have decided that your equine beauty will bear an Arabic name, then keep in mind that nouns in the Arabic language are gendered. As such, any adjectives accompanying these nouns will also be declined in accordance with the gender. Nonetheless, the tricky part is that natural gender doesn’t always correspond with grammatical gender. Let’s take a look at the word Mahboub. Mahboub stands for beloved in the Arabic language. Normally, it would be used as an Arabian colt name. However, decline it to Mahbouba and it becomes a perfect Arabic horse name for an Arabian filly.
- Steer away from complicated names that also boast an impressively complicated transcription. Excessive diacritics will cause confusion and frustration. In addition, most associations, including the Arabian Horse Association, will not accept Arabian horse names with specific diacritics.
- This is our final recommendation when it comes to choosing Arabian horse names that upkeeps the Arab naming tradition. While providing a list of names was beyond the scope of our short informative article, we do recommend previous consultation with an Arab speaker before choosing Arabian names for horses.
Cherry-Picking non-Arabic Names for Horses
Naming an Arabian horse according to the Arabic tradition is admirable. However, you can also name your Arabian foal in your native tongue. This way, Arabian horse owners can make sure that their beautiful horses have a name that is highly representative of their individuality.
In the English language, there is no rule against naming your Arabian horse Cloudy Sky if you so wish. Choosing a proper name in the English language leaves plenty of room for creativity and cherry-picking.
Many Arabian horses are named after the most prominent personality or physical trait. Others bear names like Angelina or Angel or Jack. Many more bear lovely names spun out of a moment’s inspiration.
In the end, choosing the right Arabian horse name is a matter of inspiration and preferences. While more care is warranted when it comes to picking an Arabic name, the English language is far more flexible.
Choose anything that inspires you and seems to fit your colt or filly. Short names are ideal both in the Arabic naming tradition and in relation to English names. They’re ideal for registering the Arabian horse as well as for daily use. We can only wish you Happy Naming!