Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > ABU

Origin and popularity of the name ABU


Abu : 1: Muslim: abstracted as a surname from Arabic abū ‘father’ a common component of traditional Muslim names. It is used to form the kunya (a type of name meaning ‘father of’ such as Abū-Bakr literally ‘father of the Young Camel’; see Abubakr) in combination with the name of a man's child usually his firstborn son (or hoped-for firstborn). In traditional Muslim society a man is generally known and addressed by his kunya rather than by his ism (his personal name) the use of which can seem unduly familiar. A kunya may also be used to form a nickname as in the case of Abū-Turāb ʿAlī ‘ʿAlī father of dust’ the kunya of caliph Ali conferred on him by the prophet Muhammad. — Note: It is possible that in some cases this is counted as an independent surname only in the population figure published by the US Census Bureau.2: Muslim and Jewish (Sephardic from the Maghreb): from the Arabic male personal name ʿAbbū a pet form of any of the many names beginning with ʿAbd ‘servant’.3: West African (Sierra Leone Ghana and Nigeria): probably of Arabic origin (see 1 and 2 above).


Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 3,247 individuals with the name ABU on Geneanet.


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