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Teknonymy (from Greek: τέκνον, "child" and ὄνομα, "name") is the practice of referring to parents by the names of their children. This practice can be found in many different cultures around the world.
An example of teknonymy can be found among the 'Malays' of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, where parents are known by the name of their first-born child. For instance, a man named Hashim and his wife, Anisa, have a daughter named Sheila. Hashim is now known as "Pak Sheila" (literally, "Sheila's Father") and Anisa is now known as "Mak Sheila" (literally, "Sheila's Mother").
Teknonymy can also be found in:
- the Korean language; for example, if a Korean woman has a son named Su Min, she might be called "Su Min Omma", or "mother of Su Min"
- the language of the Madurese people of Indonesia
- Balinese people
- the Arab world; for example, if a Saudi man named Hasan has a child named Malik, Hasan will now be informally known as "Abu Malik" (literally, "Malik's father"). "Mother of Malik" is Umm Malik
- The Betsileo people of Madagascar
- West Africa
- the Zuni language
- Tao people of Taiwan (Yami people)
- In some extent, Habesha people in the Horn of Africa
- Geertz, Clifford (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures,[page needed]. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-09719-7.
- Kottack, Conrad (2003?). Betsileo of Madagascar: Culture Summary.[full citation needed]
- Making Kin out of Others in Amazonia. JSTOR 3134479.[full citation needed]
- The dictionary definition of teknonym at Wiktionary
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