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To pick a SCAdian name for my 16th-century Turkish persona, I did the geekiest, most time-consuming thing possible: dug up shari’a court records from 16th-century Constantinople and extracted all the female names.

The names are solid. The etymologies are not.

Abide
Adile
Alemşah
Alime
Asiye
Atike
Ayni

Ayşe: Aisha, Muhammed’s favorite wife

Azize: Possibly Arabic Aziza, “dear”

Bağdad/Bağdat

Bedr: Ottoman Turkish, “the full moon”

Belkıs: The name of the Queen of Sheba in the Quran.

Canaziz

Canfeda: Possibly can, “soul, life” + feda “sacrifice” = “heart’s sacrifice”

Cemile: Arabic Jamila, “beautiful”

Cennet: Heaven

Cihanbaht: Possibly cihan “universe” + baht “luck, fortune”

Durpaşa: Possibly dur “pearl” + paşa “pasha”

Ehli: Possibly “domestic” (as an adjective)

Elif: Alif, the first letter of the alphabet

Emine: Amina, the name of Muhammad’s mother.

Eslime

Esma: Literally “names,” implying the names of God. Sometimes treated as interchangeable with Ismi.

Eyne

Fahri: Possibly Ottoman Turkish fakhri, “pertaining to a just feeling of pride and glory” [link]

Fahrunnisa

Faize: Possibly Arabic Fa’iza, “favorite”

Fati

Fatma/Fatıma: Fatima, Muhammad’s favorite daughter

Fetehna
Gaybi
Genc-asa
Güher

Gülbeste

Güllü: Rose

Gülpaşa/Gül Paşa: Pasha of the roses

Habibe
Hace/Hacce
Hakime
Halime

Hani: Possibly Ottoman Turkish khani, “pertaining to a khan”

Hanife: Possibly “orthodox; sincere and steadfast in faith; pious”

Hanim: Possibly Ottoman Turkish hanım, “lady”

Hanki
Hankurd
Hanzade

Hasna: Very good; very beautiful; chaste and respectable.

Hatice: Khadija, Muhammed’s first wife.

Hayrunnisa
Hesna
Hondi

Huban: Possibly Ottoman Turkish khuban, “beautiful women or youths”

Hüma: The mythical bird of paradise.

Huri: Possibly “houri,” a maiden of paradise.

İhsan: Ottoman Turkish, “being good/beautiful/kind,” “acting well,” “doing one’s duty toward God.”

İnci: Ottoman Turkish, “pearl.” Can also refer to the lily of the valley, Solomon’s seal, or snowberry, all plants with pearl-like white flowers or berries. Sometimes used as a pet name for a child.

İslam

İsmi: Literally “pertaining to a name,” implying the names of God. Sometimes treated as interchangeable with Esma.

İsmihan
İstemade
Kadın Paşa

Kadriye: Turkish, “value”

Kamer: Arabic Qamar, “moon.” This popular name is the title of a sura as well as a reference to the moon’s beauty.

Kerime: Possibly Arabic Karima, “sister”

Kıymet: Ottoman Turkish, “value”

Kızlarbeyi

Kumru: Dove

La‘li
Mahreme
Mahti
Marziye
Medine
Merve

Meryem: Miriam

Mihri: Arabic, “sun”

Mudam

Muhsine: From Ottoman Turkish muhsin, “securely stored” or “chaste”; or, alternately, “beneficent”

Muhterem

Mümine: Believer

Mürüvvet: Ottoman Turkish, “nobility, generosity, largeness of soul”

Müsli
Muslime
Naime

Narin: Possibly “delicate”

Narinşah

Nefise: Arabic Nafisa, “precious”

Nesli: Ottoman Turkish, “pertaining to issue and posterity”

Neslihan: From the family of the khans

Neslişah: From the family of the shah

Nisa: “The women,” the name of a sura.

Nuriye
Paşa

Paşali/Paşaali: Ottoman Turkish, “special to a pasha”

Paşabula

Rabia

Rahime: Ottoman Turkish rakhim, “soft, gentle, quiet,” or Arabic (?) rahim, “merciful, compassionate”

Raziye
Rıdvan

Rukiye: Ruqayyah, the name of one of Mohammed’s daughters.

Rüveyde: Arabic Ruaydah, “gentle, forbearing,” the feminine form ofruwaid, “soft breeze” or “lenient.”

Sabur

Safiye: Safiyyah, one of Muhammad’s wives

Şahcihan
Şahdevran

Şah Huban: Shah of the beautiful women; chief among beautiful women

Şahbula

Şahi: Ottoman Turkish shahi, “pertaining to the sultan or shah; royal, imperial.”

Şahidyedar

Şahnisa: Shah of the women; chief among women

Saime

Sakine: Possibly Ottoman Turkish sakin, “quiet, calm”

Saliha

Sare: Sarah

Sedef: Arabic sedab, “rue” or “mother-of-pearl”

Şehri
Şehzade
Selcük

Selime: The Turkish feminine of the Arabic selim, “to be safe”

Selimşah
Seltan
Şem‘i
Sem‘iyye

Sena

Şerife: Arabic sharif, “noble”

Sitti: Arabic sitt-, “lady” or “mistress” (in the sense of a female master)

Sultan: Noble

Sümeyye

Tenzile: Possibly from Ottoman Turkish tenzil, “a lowering,” metaphorically referring to God’s sending of the revelations of the Quran down from heaven.

Teslime: From teslim, “surrendered”

Ticar

Ulukadın: Ottoman Turkish, “eminent woman”

Ümmi: Possibly an Ottoman Turkish adjective derived from Arabic umm, “mother,” hence “maternal.” Also associated with illiteracy, and thus with Muhammad.

Ümmühan, Ümmühani, Ümmü Hani: Ummu Hani, a cousin of Muhammad and sister to Ali

Ümmügülsüm: Feminine of the Arabic name Kulthum, “one with a chubby face.” The name of one of Muhammad’s daughters.

Usul
Usul Paşa

Zahide: Pious, devout

Zeyneb/Zeynep: Arabic zaynab, the name of a fragrant flowering plant. The name of Muhammad’s eldest daughter, as well as two of his wives.

Zeyni: Possibly from Arabic zayn, “beauty”

Zohre
Zübeyde
Zuleyha


Slaves’ Names Occasionally Borne by Freeborne Women

These names were strongly associated with slave women, but were borne by the occasional freeborn woman as well. For their meanings, see the page on slaves’ names.

Gülahmer
Gülşah
Hürrem
Mihriban
Münevver
Nazenin
Peymane
Şakire
Şemsi