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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Aisha" And "Maisha" (Name Origins, Meanings, Variants, And Pronunciations)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about the origins and meanings of the females names "Aisha" and "Maisha" as well as some examples of variants of those two names.

The content of this post is presented for onomastics and cultural purposes.

These excerpts are given in no particular order and are numbered for referencing purposes only.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those are quoted in this post.

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PART A: INFORMATION ABOUT THE NAME "AISHA" AND SOME EXAMPLES OF VARIANTS OF THAT NAME
Excerpt #1:
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisha
"Ā’ishah bint Abī Bakr (613/614 – 678 CE;[1] Arabic: عائشة‎‎ transliteration: ‘Ā’ishah [ʕaːʔɪʃa], also transcribed as A'ishah, Aisyah, Ayesha, A'isha, Aishat, Aishah, or Aisha …. was one of Muhammad's wives.[3] In Islamic writings, her name is thus often prefixed by the title "Mother of the Believers" (Arabic: أمّ المؤمنين umm al-mu'minīn), per the description of Muhammad's wives in the Qur'an.[4][5][6]

Aisha had an important role in early Islamic history, both during Muhammad's life and after his death. In Sunni tradition, Aisha is thought to be scholarly and inquisitive. She contributed to the spread of Muhammad's message and served the Muslim community for 44 years after his death.[7] She is also known for narrating 2210 hadiths,[8] not just on matters related to the Prophet's private life, but also on topics such as inheritance, pilgrimage, and eschatology.[9] Her intellect and knowledge in various subjects, including poetry and medicine, were highly praised by early luminaries such as al-Zuhri and her student Urwa ibn al-Zubayr.[9]

Her father, Abu Bakr, became the first caliph to succeed Muhammad."...

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Excerpt #2:
From http://www.quranschool.com/baby-name.php?page=11&t=girl&searches=A#table2
"Aisha - Girl: Living, Prosperous, Lively, Woman, Life, She is Life, Alive, Wife of Prophet Muhammad, Joy, Happiness

Aishah: Girl - Lucky, Flourishing, Lively, Woman, Life, Perfect (Women), Aisha was the Name of the Favorite Wife of the Prophet Mohammed

Aisaih: Girl - Add Meaning

Aisha: - Girl: Living, Prosperous, Lively, Woman, Life, She is Life, Alive, Wife of Prophet Muhammad, Joy, Happiness

Aishah: Girl - Lucky, Flourishing, Lively, Woman, Life, Perfect (Women), Aisha was the Name of the Favorite Wife of the Prophet Mohammed

Aishatou: Girl - Add Meaning

Aishatu: Girl -Add Meaning

Aishia: Girl - Add Meaning

Aishiah: Girl - Add Meaning

Aisia: Girl - Woman, Life, Lively, Perfect (Women)

Aisiah: Girl - Woman, Life, Lively, Perfect (Women)

Aiysha: Girl - Add Meaning"
-snip-
Here's a YouTube sound file of the traditional pronunciation for the name "Aisha":

How to Pronounce Aisha



Emma Saying, Published on Dec 4, 2013
-snip-
The speaker in that video pronounced "Aisha": "I-sha" (with the letter "i" being pronounced like the English word "eye".)

African Americans usually pronounce the name "Aisha": "i-EE-shah" with the "i" pronounced like the English word "eye". That doesn't mean that this pronunciation is wrong. It just isn't the traditional pronunciation.

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Excerpt #3
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%27isha_(name)
"A'isha (Arabic: عائشة‎‎, Āʾisha; also spelled A'aisha , Aisha, Aishah, Aicha, Aishat, Aisya, Aisyah, Ayşe, Aiša, Ajša, Aïcha, or Aisyah) is an Arabic female given name which means "She who lives" or "womanly".

Ayesha is a common variant spelling in the Arab World and countries with a high population of Sunni Muslims such as the United States, where it was ranked 2,020 out of 4,275 for females of all ages in the 1990 US Census.[1] The name Ayesha was briefly popular among English-speakers after it appeared in the book She by Rider Haggard."
-snip-
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She:_A_History_of_Adventure
"She, subtitled A History of Adventure, is a novel by English writer H. Rider Haggard, first serialised in The Graphic magazine from October 1886 to January 1887. She was extraordinarily popular upon its release and has never been out of print."...

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Excerpt #4
http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Ayesha
"Ayesha...as a girls' name is of Persian origin, and the meaning of Ayesha is "small one". Also variant of Aisha.

ASSOCIATED WITH small (little)

Variations

ALTERNATIVE FORMS VIA AISHA: Aayshah, Aeesha, Aeeshah, Aeisha, Aesha, Aeshah, Aiesha, Aieshah, Aishah, Aishia, Aisia, Asha, Ashah, Ashia, Asia, Ayeesa, Ayeesah, Ayeesha, Ayeeshah, Ayeisa, Ayeisah, Ayeisha, Ayeishah, Ayisa, Ayisah, Ayisat, Ayisha, Ayishah, Aysha, Ayshe, Ieasha, Ieesha, Ieeshah, Ieeshia, Iesha, Ieshah, Ihisha, Isha, Maisha, Miesha, Myesha, Niesha, Taisha, Teisha, Tiesha, Tyesha, Tyisha, Tynisha, Yiesha, Yieshah

[...]

How popular is Ayesha?

Ayesha is a very prominent first name for women (#2020 out of 4276, Top 47%) but an uncommon last name for both adults and children. (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Ayesha entered the list in 1970-1979 and reached its top rank of #1182 in the U.S. in the 1980s, and is currently at #1497. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2015)
-snip-
Pancocojams Editor's Notes:
Notice that thinkbabynames.com indicates that the Persian name "Ayesha" is a variant form of the Arabic name "Aisha".

Instead of variants of "Ayesha", some of the names on this thinkbabynames.com list appear to me to an example of the separate name "Maisha" and variants of that name and not the name "Aisha"- i.e. "Maisha, Miesha, Myesha, Niesha". As cited in Part B below, the word "maisha" and the name "Maisha" have different meanings in KiSwahili than the Arabic name "Aisha" or the Persian name "Ayesha".

Also, the names "Taisha, Teisha, Tiesha, Tyesha, Tyisha, and Tynisha" on that thinkbabyname.com list may have been coined to rhyme with the name "Aisha" or "Maisha" or they may have been inspired by the name "Tasha" (from "Natasha") or other already "established" female names or variants of those already established female names.

Furthermore, the names "Yiesha" and "Yieshah" appear to be examples of Cuban and other Caribbean nations' generation y names that began to appear in the 1970s.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/09/some-cuban-other-caribbean-first-names_30.html for a pancocojams post "Some Cuban & Other Caribbean First Names That Begin With "Y" (Article Excerpts & Some Name Meanings)"

It occurs to me that my African American niece who is in her mid 20s has the "Y" beginning name "Yameesha" (pronounced yah-MEE-shah". However, I don't think that that name is a variant form of "Aisha" or "Maisha". Instead, I think it's a creative way of combining name elements that include the popular (among some African Americans) suffix "isha" (which is pronounced "e shah")

My guess is that many of the variant names on that thinkbaby.com list were probably created in the United States or elsewhere in the late 1960s and afterwards.

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Excerpt #5
From African Names by Julia Stewart (New York, Carol Publishing Group, 1993, page 9)
Ashia (ASH-ee-uh) - Somali female name referring to the Prophet Muhammed's favorite wife
-snip-
I have heard African Americans pronounce the name "Ashia" and its variants "Ashya" and "Ashiyah" etc. pronounced "ah-SHE-ah". That doesn't mean that these pronunciations are wrong. Instead, it means that that isn't the traditional pronunciation of that name.

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Excerpt #6
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iesha
" "Iesha" is the debut single by Another Bad Creation, from the album Coolin' at the Playground Ya Know! Released on October 19, 1990, the song reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #6 on the R&B chart.[3][4]

[...]

Genre R&B, hip hop, new jack swing

Songwriter(s) Dallas Austin, Michael Bivins"...
-snip-
Here's the video of that song: Another Bad Creation - Iesha



AnotherBCreationVEVO, Published on Oct 8, 2009

Music video by Another Bad Creation performing Iesha. (C) 1990 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
-snip-
The name "Iesha" in this song is pronounced "i-EE-shah".

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ADDED October 10/14/2017 7:21 PM
Excerpt #7
From February 2016 "Daily Trust" newspaper column: "Nigerian and African Muslim Personal Names Among the Gullah of Georgia and South Carolina"
[reprinted in http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/10/reprinted-nigerian-newspaper-column.html
..."[Lowenzo Dow] Turner recorded names like Aburika, which is probably a corruption of Abubakar; Adamu, incidentally my father's first name, which is the West African Muslim rendering of Adam; Aduwa, an Africanization du'a, the Arabic word for prayer; Ayisa and Ayisata, Mandingo and Bambara Muslim approximations of Aisha, the name of one of the wives of the Prophet of Islam"...
-end of added quote-

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PART B: INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORD "MAISHA", THE NAME "MAISHA", AND EXAMPLES OF VARIANTS OF THAT NAME
Excerpt #1:
From African Names by Julia Stewart (New York, Carol Publishing Group, 1993, page 81)
"Maisha" (mah-ee-sha) Kiswahili word meaning "life"
-snip-
Here's another source for the Kiswahili word "maisha":
From http://en.bab.la/dictionary/swahili-english/maisha
"maisha = Swahili word meaning “life”

[example]
Na hizi zilikuwa nchi zinazoendelea: walikuwa na familia kubwa na walikuwa na maisha mafupi. [KiSwahili]

And these were developing countries: they had a large family and had a short life." [English translation]

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Excerpt #2
From http://www.quranschool.com/baby-name.php?page=6&t=girl&searches=M#table2 [Arabic origin/meanings]
"Mais: Girl - Proud

Maisa: Girl - Walking with Proud Swinging Gait

Maisaa: Girl - To Walk with a Proud, Swinging Gait

Maisah: Girl - Walking with a Proud Swinging Gait, Swinging Gait"

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Excerpt #4
Pronunciation for the word [and name] "Maisha"
From https://www.howtopronounce.com/maisha/

[Transcription of the results for the first two sound files on that page ]

Pronunciation #1: My-shah

Pronunciation #2: may-shah
-snip-
The usual African American pronunciation for "Maisha" (and its variants) is "my=EE-shah". Note that the second syllable EE is emphasized and elongated. This pronunciation isn't wrong, but it's not the way that word and name is traditionally pronounced in Arabic and in Kiswahili (Swahili).

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Excerpt #5
From http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Maisha
"Maisha as a girls' name is an Arabic name, and the meaning of Maisha is "alive and well". Maisha is a variant form of Aisha (Arabic): also possibly means "life" in Swahili.

ASSOCIATED WITH Ma-, arabic, alive (life)

Variations

VARIANTS Myesha, Miesha

RELATED FORMS VIA AISHA Aayshah, Aeesha, Aeisha, Aesha, Aiesha, Aishah, Aishia, Aisia, Asha, Ayeisha, Ayesha, Ayisa, Ayisha, Ayishah, Aysha, Ieasha, Ieesha, Iesha, Ihisha, Isha, Niesha, Taisha, Takisha, Teisha, Tiesha, Tinisha, Tyesha, Tyisha, Tynisha, Yiesha

How popular is Maisha?

Maisha is a somewhat popular first name for women (#3624 out of 4276, Top 85%) but a unique surname for both adults and children. (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Maisha entered the list in 1970-1979 and reached its apex rank of #1450 in the U.S. in the 1970s, but is not found in the list currently. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2015)"
-snip-
This thinkbabyname.com list for the variant forms of Maisha is basically the same list that thinkbabynames.com gave for variants forms of the name "Ayesha". My comments about those variations also apply to this entry.

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4 comments:

  1. Here's my guess for why the name "Aisha" and-to a much lesser extent- the name "Maisha" have been given so often to African Americans:

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s African Americans who wanted to replace their birth names with non-European and non-Hebrew names, usually chose or where given Arabic names. Arabic names were the "go to" chose mostly because lists of those names or information about those names were much more readily available than lists of or information about traditional African names.

    Furthermore, most Arabic names that we knew were similar to "conventional American" names in that they usually had two or three syllables and they had no unfamiliar consonant clusters. Also, most of the Arabic female names ended with the letter "a". (In 1968 when I was given the name "Azizi", I was told that it was the Swahili form of the female Arabic name "Aziza".)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The "Maisha Magic" television channels are examples of the use of the Kiswahili word "maisha" (meaning "life") in East Africa.

    Here's some (perhaps outdated) information about "Maisha Magic" television channels:
    From https://maishamagiceast.dstv.com/news/maisha-magic-family-introduces-maisha-magic-bongo
    ..."In an exciting development announced today, leading African television company M-Net has confirmed that it will soon be launching a brand new general entertainment channel designed specifically for Tanzanian audiences. Tanzania GET READY!

    MAISHA MAGIC BONGO launches on DStv channel 160 on Thursday October 1, and will offer content specifically acquired and packaged for a Tanzanian target market. The news comes as M-Net continues to tailor and polish its East African content portfolio in line with viewer demand.

    With the existing MAISHA MAGIC EAST (channel 158) now consolidating its focus on the Kenyan market (with a consistent block of Luganda content once a week, aimed at the Ugandan market), MAISHA MAGIC BONGO will focus exclusively on the Tanzanian market, showcasing Tanzanian Swahili content. This is the next step in the broadcaster’s ‘hyper-local’ content strategy which is focussed on creating customized content that is relevant to a specific group or market.

    “Over the years, M-Net has showcased programming in multiple languages for diverse communities across the continent. Now we are pushing a new frontier – to create country specific channels where the market potential for it motivates for this type of innovation,” says M-Net Channel Director for East Africa and SADC, Theo Erasmus.”....

    ReplyDelete
  3. African American name variants of African or Arabic names follow some unwritten rules. For example, although the prefix "La" is very popular among African Americans, I don't know of any newly coined names that were created by combining the prefix "La" with "Aisha" or "Maisha" or any of those names' variants.

    However, since the late 1960s, a number of African American names have been were/are created by combining "La" with "t" and the suffix "isha" or "asha" or "osha", resulting in "Latisha", "Latasha", and "Latosha". (pronounciations: "lah-TISH-ah", "lah-TAH-sha", "lah-TAU-shah".)

    That said, I believe that those above mentioned names aren't variant forms of "Maisha" or "Aisha". Instead, I believe that they are alternative ways of spelling the name "Leticia" (pronounced leh-TISH-ah"). Therefore, people with those names could use the same meanings as the meaning that is given for "Leticia" (Latin; "Happiness").

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here are some other random comments about the names "Aisha", "Maisha", and some of their variants:

    Based on the way that she was introduced during her interview with George Stephanopoulous, host of the ABC tv. program "Good Morning America", Myeshia Johnson, the widow of United States Sgt LaDavid Johnson, pronounces her name "my-EE-shah". (Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jyFCtPIP1M&t=24s for that October 23, 2017 interview).

    RIP La David Johnson and the other three Green Berets who lost their lives in Niger, West Africa on October 4, 2017.

    **
    I have a niece (in her mid 40s) whose name is "Ashiya". Her name is pronounced "ah-SHE-ah".

    **
    The female name "Alisha" could be a form of the name "Alicia" (which is a variant of the name "Alice"). In the United States, "Alicia" is usually pronounced "ah-LEE-shah".

    **
    The name "Aishatou" and "Aishatu" that are included in the www.quranschool.com/baby-name list which is given as "Aisha Excerpt #2" above is probably a Fulani (Fula) version of the name "Aisha". Many Fula female names end with "tou". I'd love to know what that ending means.

    **
    Here's information about a woman named "Isha" from Sierra Leone, West Africa:
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isha_Sesay
    "Isha Isatu Sesay; born 6 January 1976) is a British journalist of Sierra Leonean descent. Since 2005 she has worked as an anchor and correspondent for CNN International. Originally based at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and now based in Los Angeles, in the United States, she hosts the news programs CNN Newsroom Live from Los Angeles. In addition, she was the presenter of the 360 Bulletin on Anderson Cooper 360°. In 2012 Sesay also joined HLN as a co-anchor for Evening Express.

    Background
    Born in France in 1976 to Temne parents from Sierra Leone, Sesay returned with them at the age of seven to their homeland. Reared in their Muslim faith, she lived in Sierra Leone for most of her childhood."
    -snip-
    I wonder how common the name "Isha" is in Sierra Leone.

    **
    Ayesha Curry is another celebrity whose first name is a variant of the name "Aisha".

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayesha_Curry
    " Born Ayesha Alexander
    March 23, 1989 (age 28)
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    [...]
    Occupation
    Actress Television personality Author
    Years active 2008–present
    Television: Cooking with the Currys
    Ayesha's Homemade
    The Great American Baking Show
    Spouse(s) Stephen Curry (m. 2011)"

    ReplyDelete