Г-н Фаршеклоакин (spamsink) wrote in linguaphiles,
Г-н Фаршеклоакин


I apologize in advance for a potentially very silly question: how realistic is the supposedly Arabic name transliterated as Gassan (or Hassan) Abdurra[c]hman ibn Chottab (or Hottab)?

What, if anything, can be said about its provenance based on the transliteration?
Tags: arabic
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August 14 2014, 06:21:05 UTC 2 years ago Edited:  August 14 2014, 06:21:33 UTC

NB I am NOT a native speaker but an intermediate-level Arabic learner who has lived in Sudan and Egypt, so I am by no means an unassailable authority!

G/Hassan Abdurra(c)hman sounds reasonably convincing to me - though note that Gassan (more accurately transliterated - into English, anyway - as Ghassaan, Arabic غسان) is a completely different name from Hassan (Arabic حسن). Abdurrahman is a fairly common name across the Arabic world (that would be my referred transliteration, 'h' rather than 'ch', though it depends what language you're transliterating into). Chottab or Hottab isn't a name that I've encountered in Egypt or Sudan - at a guess, I'd think it was perhaps of Maghrebi origin, but I'd be happy to be corrected on that.
Thank you! Maghrebi origin of the patronymic is consistent with what I had in mind; and could you tell which of the first names Ghassaan/Hassan looks more natural in combination with the patronymic?
Either seems fine to me - but I'd probably go with Hassan, as it's more common.
Unlike most similar questions here, usually posed by fanfic writers, mine is analytical: I'm trying to find out how plausible is the name of the genie from a book by Lazar Lagin.


August 15 2014, 02:11:52 UTC 2 years ago Edited:  August 15 2014, 02:16:00 UTC

It's almost an off-topic (and it doesn't contribute to your question, sorry), however, you might be interested to know that it's somewhat an open question whether Lagin indeed wrote this book. According to Vladimirov's memoirs, Alexander Kron had claimed that it was him who wrote it.
It's hardly a proof, but who knows...

http://kfinkelshteyn.narod.ru/Literat/LF_NEVA_1994.htm ; you can scroll to the "ИЗ ЖИЗНИ НОМЕР ОДИН" section.


August 15 2014, 02:34:27 UTC 2 years ago Edited:  August 15 2014, 02:36:47 UTC

That's hot air, unless stylometry can demonstrate anti-correlations with other Lagin's books and correlations with Kron's texts.

Vladimirov's bias is clear when you consider that Lagin's patronymic is not L'vovich (Так попал я в последний вечер в общество Лазаря Львовича Лагина), but Iosifovich.