From Simon Online
Jump to: navigation, search

Kanafos arabice scarabeus.


Kanfos C j {j shares its initial with previous entry} | Khanfos p | Kaufos B {‘n’ upside down > ‘u’} | Kanafos AD | Karifos e {‘n’ misread as ‘ri’} | Karfos f {‘ri’ miscopied as ‘r’}; the next entry: Kanich (f writes hanich) is seamlessly added on to this entry.


Kanafos is Arabic for Latin scarabeus {"scarab beetle"}.


Cf. Wehr (1976): ﺧﻨﻔﺲ /ḫunfus/ and ﺧﻨﻔﺴﺎﺀ /ḫunfasāʔ/, pl. : ﺧﻨﺎﻓﺲ /ḫanāfis/ "dung beetle, scarab". Siggel (1950: 33): ﺧﻨﻔﺴﺔ {/ḫunfasa/ not transcribed},ﺧﻨﻔﺴﺎﺀ /ḫunfasāʔ/ Scarabaeus {i.e. "scarab"}.

Karbstein (2002: 277), s.v. Scarabäus lists a form close to Simon’s vocalisation: ﺧﻨﻔﺴﺔ {/ḫanfasa/ that was still used in early 17th c. Spain by the Morisco community.

Zoological identification:

Scarabaeus is a genus consisting of a number of dung beetle species. These feed, as the name implies, on dung shaped into a ball, which they roll to some feeding spot, often underground. The best known species and perhaps the one Simon had in mind is Scarabaeus sacer L., the "sacred scarab beetle" [[1]], known from the important part it played in Old Egyptian mythology, where it was seen as a symbol of the sun god. S. sacer has a distribution ranging from North Africa, southern Europe and the Mediterranean Basin into parts of Asia.

WilfGunther 10:38, 30 July 2014 (BST)

See also: Abogeharan, Abofesas

Next entry