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On the literal meaning of Ajam in modern standard Arabic[edit]

I found this page accidentally while looking for a Wikipedia entry on Fouad Ajami. As a native speaker, I dispute the first couple of lines in the page that suggest the word Ajam is used as a derogatory term in modern arabic. There is indeed a citation that I cannot dispute, but the citation is a working paper by the Cambridge Programme for Security in International Society (C-SIS) on "The Mindset of Iraq's Security Apparatus". Now I actually liked this working paper, but the views perpetuated, encouraged or even influenced by Iraq's brutal security apparatus is hardly an appropriate source to define the word! To my knowledge of the language, Ajam is indeed used to mean foreigners, strangers, "those who don't speak Arabic" and variations thereof in modern Arabic.

I have no doubt that some people, for instance the racist xenophobes in Iraq's ex-security apparatus used it in a derogatory fashion. The C-SIS working paper indicates that they referred to Iran as Al'adu Al'ajami (the Ajam Enemy) for instance. But perhaps a section on the misuse of the word for derogatory purposes is in order? As opposed as considering it part of the definition in Arabic, which is the current state of the article. Any comments and/or objections? --H.Perowne 20:55, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

So is this what they're being told? Even a little history gives perspective to this babble, but you can't edit this into sense. Wetman 23:37, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC) Ajam( Persian or Iranian) it drives from word JAM, Yima ,Yam,jam,zam alls means cold clean water.A Persian folk etymology derives the word from the name of an ancient Persian king, Jam Shid; The Persian name for Yima In Iranian mythology, the first man, who became sovereign of the abode of the blessed. Jamshid as a culture hero, he introduced the cult of vine and other arts to mankind, appears in the Shahnamah and avesta. In the Middle East, it commonly refers to Persians, while in al-Andalus it referred to speakers of Romance languages - becoming "Aljamiado" in Spanish in reference to Arabic-script writing of those languages - and in West Africa, Ajami similarly refers to the writing of local languages such as Hausa and Fulani in the Arabic alphabet. in East Africa Ajami and Ajamo refer to Afro- shirazi people whom had emigrated from Persian gulf and oman(homana) to East Africa and have a root of persian origion.Uajemi (Swahili variant): from the word 'Ajam which was used by Arabs for naming Persians. The Arabic word 'Ajam in East Africa means "the ones who comes from Iran especialy persian from Fars provence who emigrated to Oman then to east africa and to kilwa ,Tanga,zangebar, kismoo and mosambique

The Arabic family name "Ajami", well-known bearers of which include Fouad Ajami, normally indicates Persian descent.

Jam, Zam , yam) means water or drinking cold water. All have been used to refer to a legendary king and prophet of ancient Persian Ajam is Arabic pronunciation of Jam, Jam is the first name and Shid means glorious ,brilliant ,Full of light; shining. bright. a combination of high ,lightness and strong saturation. Glorious; magnificent, Shid is the family name together JamShid , means bright sun , who was a great legendary king or prophet of pre history of Iran( around 8000 years ago) he was so famous, so that for 4000 years Iran territory was called keshvar Jam, the first name of Iran ,he had invented bath room, building home, Making shoes, and … (invention of Shoes, bath rooms, iron swords, have been credited to him.) JamShid A legend had his famous magic crystal ball to watch the world specialy Iran , and central Asia . Arabs arabized and changed jam to Al-Jam(A-Jam) to refer to Iranians people but later on they used this word in different grammatical shape to deduce different meaning like ojma, moajam. And ajam as a derogatory word Arabs used it synonym of fire worshiper for Zoroastrian and some time mostly in current century they used the word Ajam as non Arabs and the people who do not understand Arabic or people who can’t speak well. But some times this word used in respectful manner like the word Akasera of Ajam means the honorable great king of Kings( Persia).

Al most 3000 years ago IRAN Became famous as Persia. Pers or pars were a group of Arian who were very famous for hors riding and rising, every Persian had at least some horses, this helped them to conquer all Middle east and part of Europe .Their job was cattle rising so, cows and hors was holly for them some of them were worshiping horses and cows statute of bulls and horses can be seen in all ancient Persian era .,king syrus used to put a crown of 2 bull horn shaped , this is why Koran had mentioned him as Zu al Gharnain . Bull head horn, Arabs called the Persian as Fares, the word Fares became later synonym of bravery hors fighter or brave hors riding. Hero of riding horses.

The city of Jam Kran in Iran and Jae or Jaem Arak and bear e ajam in kurdestan are named after him. YAM,Yim ,Jam, and family Sheed as "Jam Sheed", had been mentioned in various ancient books, like the Shahnameh , Avesta of Zoroastorianism. the most famous pakestani scholar named his most popular persian poem book as the zabour e Ajam or honor of the persian and The word Ajam is used many times in the Koran . Arabs have been calling Iran blaad-e-ajam "Ajam country" for many centuries, and calling the Persian Gulf "Bahre Ajam" or "sea of AJam." As synonym to the sea of Persian .in english usually uncorrectly write ajam as adjam and adding D after A in this word is not esencial. for more detail in persian refer to Muhammad Iqbal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and this article:

Iqbal Indian founder of Pakestan who had wrote many book in persian especialy book persian poem Zabur-e-Ajam meaning (Persian Psalms) and (1927); Javed Nama Book of Eternity)

Avar language - Wikipedia ... From the 17th century onwards it was written in a modified Arabic script known as Ajam, which is still known today. As part of Soviet supposed to have reigned for seven hundred years.


Translation by R. C. Zaehner, in his The Teachings of the Magi (London, 1956), pp. 133-8

('Vivavdat,' Fargard II)

(46) And Ahura Mazda spake unto Yima, saying,

'O fair Yima, son of Vivanghat! Upon the material world the evil winters are about to fall........ THE WORD AJAM AND THIS ARTICLE was brought to WIKIPEDIA BY M.AJAM ON 2004

What is this for an anti-Iranian bullshit?[edit]

What is this for an anti-Iranian bullshit?

No Kurd on this planet call Iranians ajam, because Kurds are theirself Iranians, only Turkish/Arabic facists like this joke, who is spamming on Wikipedia! Stop this bullshit! --ShapurAriani 13:46, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Kurds call Iranians as Ajam[edit]

Kurds reffer to Iranians as Ajam. As people of France are called European, Iranians are called as Ajam among Kurds as well as some other ethnicities. Do not remove text from wikipedia. Mesopotamia 16:00, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Kurdish people call persian as Ajam: وصیت نامه قاضی محمد

وصیت و راهنمایی هایی لازم قاضی محمد به ملت بزرگ کرد

1- به خدا و انچه از طرف او و پرستش خدا و پیغمبر ( ص ) و انجام احکام دینی, باور و عقیده راسخ داشته باشید.

2- اتحاد و همبستگی را در میان خودتان حفظ کنید, اعمال ناشایست در مقابل یکدیگر انجام ندهید خصوصاٌ در مسئولیت و خدمت کردن.

3- خواندن و نوشتن و سطح علمی خود را بالا ببرید تا کمتر فریب دشمن بخورید.

4- باور به دشمن نکنید خصوصاٌ دشمن عجم , زیرا به چند علت و راه عجم دشمن شماست, و دشمن میهن و دین شماست, تاریخ این را ثابت کرده که دائماٌ نسبت به ملت کرد بهانه گیر است و به کمترین گناه شما را می کشد و از هیچ گناهی نسبت به کرد بر نمی گردد.

5- برای زندگی بی ارزش این دنیا خودتان را نفروشید و به دشمن, زیرا دشمن جای هیچ باوری نیست.

6-به همدیگر خیانت نکنید, نه خیانت سیاسی نه جانی نا مالی نه ناموسی زیرا خیانتکار نزد خدا و مردم پوچ و بی ارزش و گناهکار است خیانت بر روی خیانتکار مرجوع می شود« روزی شناخته خواهد شد»

7- اگر شخصی از شما توانست کارهای شما را بدون خیانت انجام دهد او را همکاری کنید و منت بر او نگذارید و از وی منت و بخل در مقابلش نایستید,خدا نکند شما جاسوس بیگانه شوید بر او « رهبر و مسئولین »

8- جاهایی که در وصیت نامه نوشته ام برای مسجد و بیمارستان و مدرسه می باشند همه آنها را مطالبه کنید تا صورت می گیرند و نفع از آنها برده می شود.

9- شماها از شورش و سعی و تلاش«برای رستگاری و آزادی ملت کرد» نایستید تا مانند همه ملتها دیگر رستگار و آزاد خواهید شد. مال دنیا چیزی نیست اگر مملکتی داشته باشید و مستقل و آزاد باشید و مال و خاک و وطن مال خودتان می باشد این وقت است همه چیز را دارید.

10- من گمان نمی کنم حق کسی غیر از خدا بر من باشد, اگر کسی گمان کرد حقی بر گردن من دارد کم یا زیاد آن را از ورثه ام مطالبه کند ثروت زیادی را جاگذاشته ام و آنرا بگیرید.

تا شما متحد نشوید هرگز پیروز نخواهید شد از همدیگر ظلم نکنید زیرا خداوند خیلی زود ظالم را از بین می برد و آنرا نابود می کند. این عهد و پیمان خداوند است,ظلم می رود و خداوند حق مظلوم را از او میگیرد امیدوارم اینها را گوش دهید و خداوند شماها را پیروز کند بر دشمنانتان , چنانچه سعدی می فرماید:

مراد ما نصیحت بود و گفتیم

حوالت با خدا کردیم و رفتیم

I myself have told ajam to persian since i was a little child and learned to speak.

Mesopotamia 19:23, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

A source in English language reffering Kurish people call Iranians Ajam.

Ajam in Kurdish alpahabet is spelled as "Ecem" and is pronounced the same as in Arrabic accent عجم.

Mesopotamia 20:13, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Sources for the meaning of Ajam(Ecem) in Kurdish Culture[edit]

From several Kurdish Magazines(Govara Mehname) and Kurdish Wiktionary.

Heja Helweda 08:25, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

None of those sources prove that ajam (which has a very specific derogatory meaning) and ecem are the same. One of those links states that ecem is a boys name in Kurdish, as you've stated, and that it is of originally Persian and Azeri origin. SouthernComfort 09:27, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

  1. In Kurdish alphabet j=c. So if we write ajam it is read عاژام but Ecem isعجم .
  2. Why it is a male name: The reason is that it has not a bad meaning Kurds use the name of ethnicities for given names. For example Kurds have a famous novelist whose name is Arab: Arab Shamilov.

Mesopotamia 10:41, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I am student of Iranian language studies and my professor says this is non-sense what you are saying! Btw. you are very racistic and anti-humanist! --ShapurAriani 16:12, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

You just know to claim! You just know to write bullshit. Your edists are political. Mesopotamia 16:27, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Links for Kurdish Latin Alphabet with Pronounciation[edit]

Here is some links for Kurdish Latin Alphabet with Pronounciation,Kurdish Latin Alphabet. So Ecem is read like Ajam. Moreover among Kurds, this word isnot derogatory or insulting. Heja Helweda 17:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Ajam in Arabic means "retarded" - Nonsense[edit]

HAHAHA. Im sorry, but I couldn't hold myself. I happen to be a native arabic speaker and Ajam doesn't mean "retarded", it just means someone who doesn't speak arabic, which doesn't necessary mean that he is retarded. It only means he has to take arabic lessons ;-) Jidan 08:14, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I read the article, reacted, and my father just stated the same point. He said it has the same conotaition as "foreigner". It was originaly stated as "mumbo-jumbo talkers", but lost the negative conotation quite quicly. --Striver 10:29, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Please someone Edit and correct the Article[edit]

Please dont trun this article into Anti-Arab propaganda (which is the aim of some Iranian ultra nationalistic members here),

if the Word Ajam meant Dumb, then please answer me why would Ferdowsi Say in his Shahnama:

بسی رنج بردم در این سال سی عجم زنده کردم بدین پارسی

"For thirty years I endured much pain and strife, with Persian I gave the Ajam verve and life".

Ioj 06:40, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Long time ago you wrote this, but I just came cross. Your reference to Shahnameh is correct, but your understanding of it seems to me completely wrong. Ferdowsi knew very well the negative meaning of ajam. He used it on purpose. To understand the phrase I give one every-day example: "مگر من نبودم که تو بی‌ سرو سامان را خانه‌دار کردم ". So something like this: ferdowsi is complaining not confessing (so by reminding the reader of the negative word "ajam" he wants to say, why didn't you appreciate (well enough) what I did? Simple. Rawanash shaad.--Xashaiar (talk) 17:35, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
The article needs a ittle tweaking of course.--Zereshk 03:39, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

what happened? the article was edited and was Good a week ago and now its back to the racist iranian biased old article talking about the term meaning dumb!!!, and when it was a good neutral articl, whoever (the igorant)who is full of hate who changed it back to this racist article need to answer the question i asked above, if it meant Dumb why would your Ferdowsi call persian Ajam?!! in the SHAHNAMA???. you nationalist Iranian need to understand that what you doing spreading nationalistic false statments is nothing but a clear evidence of your Ignorance. for members who are neutral and rational enough please restore the older article. Ioj 12:46, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

The word itself is sort of racism. Ferdowsi used it to mock Arabs and to show that Iranians are not Ajams or mumbo jumbos.

Where the word came from[edit]

What on earth is this? How about using some Arabic sources to define an Arabic word for change, I don't see anyone using a Chinese dictionary or encyclopedia to define a Spanish word!

If in Persian the word has evolved to become biased and derogatory, that is not the Arabs’ fault. Moreover, what is this bullshit about the source of the word Ajam عجم and Faris فارس? How about checking out the sources in Arab books before making up Persian sources.

The word ajam عجم means ambiguous, incomprehensible, not clear and/or not understandable. The word Mu’jam معجم (dictionary) in Arabic is called so because you list ambiguous words and explain their meaning; the verb Ta’jeem تعجيم (to dot the letters) was called so because it makes the letters clearer (it made it possible for non-Arabs especially to distinguish between similar letters). The verb U’jim أعجم as in U’jim fi kalamihi أعجم في كلامه means that he does not speak good Arabic.

On the other hand, the word Arab عرب comes means “to understand, to express, to make oneself clear”. You would say “a’rab amma fi nafsihi” أعرب عما في نفسه => he expressed what is inside him; I’raab إعراب, to make distinct and clear – to speak perfect Arabic.

The basic idea is that the Arabs are called Arabs because they speak perfect Arabic and hence understand eachother, the Ajam on the other hand are called Ajam because the Arabs do not understand what they say since their Arabic is not perfect.

This stupid idea about replacing the letter alif ا with ain ع is not valid because in other cases you use both alif and ain. Besides, ain is NOT one of the prefixes or suffixes added to a word, there are certain letters that can be added to a word (meem, noon, alif, seen) not ain. The folk etymology is an ethnocentric idea.

As for faris فارس (horseman – not night) it is derived from faras فرس, horse. A horseman is called faris because he rides a horse and even a criminal can be a horseman if he is riding a horse. It has noting to do with the word Fars from “bilad fars” بلاد فارس, which letraly means “the land of the Parsis”, the p was turned in an f because in Arabic there is no letter p – if there was then it would not have been changed.

I see this article very biased.

--Maha Odeh 06:59, 29 July 2007 (UTC)


I think this is a very educative article, and it is a shame that it has attracted so much abuse from people who haven't bothered to read its contents.

I think it could usefully be supplemented by a section on the Arabic word isti'jam, 'persianisation', the process by which control of the 'Abbasid caliphate gradually moved from the original Arab conquerors, who had no administrative tradition of their own, to suave, well-educated, bookish Persians, who used their knowledge of the administrative system of the Sassanian empire to run the Moslem world for the Arabs.

Djwilms (talk) 03:27, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

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ajami cat???[edit]

The more likely term for that cat is shirazi cat, not ajami...small edit needed there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 8 December 2012 (UTC)