What does the name “Hussein” mean?

You might know the name Hussein. In Arabic, it is written like this: حُسَيْن. It literally means small beauty.

Forms like this are called diminutive, so called: تَصْغِير. These forms are pretty com­mon in Arabic.

Here are some patterns and examples:

Derived from a اِسْم that consists in total of three letters (here, as always, we don’t mean 3 root letters)

فُعَيْلٌ

1

door

بابٌ

small door

بُوَيْبٌ

child

وَلَدٌ

small child

وُلَيْدٌ

river

نَهْرٌ

small river

نُهَيْرٌ

Notice: Also adverbs of place or time follow this pattern: قَبْلَ قُبَيْلَ (shortly before) and بَعْدَ بُعَيْدَ (shortly after)

 

When the original nouns consists in total of four letters (again, we don’t mean 4 root letters!)

فُعَيْلِلٌ

2

friend

صاحِبٌ

small friend

صُوَيْحِبٌ

 

 

Feminine nouns. They have a ة and follow the rules of nr. 2.

If the original noun is feminine but does not have aة, the dimin­utive will take a ة (e.g. market)

3

tree

شَجَرةٌ

bush

شُجَيْرةٌ

drop

نُقْطةٌ

droplet

نُقْيَطةٌ

market

سُوقٌ

small market

سُوَيْقةٌ

 

 

This pattern is used when the originalاِسْم is of this form: The second letter of the اِسْم is fol­lowed by a long vowel.

فُعَيِّلٌ

4

book

كِتابٌ

small book

كُتَيِّبٌ

small

صَغِيرٌ

tiny

صُغَيِّرٌ