Nisba (onomastics)

In Arabic names, a nisba (Arabic: نسبة nisbah, "attribution"), also rendered as nesba or nesbat, is an adjective indicating the person's place of origin, tribal affiliation, or ancestry, used at the end of the name and occasionally ending in the suffix -iyy(ah). Nisba, originally an Arabic word, has been passed to many other languages such as Turkish, Persian, Bengali and Urdu.

In Persian, Turkish, and Urdu usage, it is always pronounced and written as nisbat. In Arabic usage, that pronunciation occurs when the word is uttered in its construct state only.

The practice has been adopted in Iranian names and South Asian Muslim names. The nisba can at times become a surname.


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