Tuareg and Other Berber Dog Names for an Azawakh

Updated on July 1, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

The Azawakh deserves an authentic name.
The Azawakh deserves an authentic name. | Source

The Azawakh dog breed is a type of tall sighthound mainly kept by people of the Tuareg, a semi-nomadic tribe of North African Berbers. (The Tuareg live mostly in the West African country of Mali, but before national borders limited their movements, were able to range over much of the Saharan desert.) Most of the Tuareg speak Tamacheq, a Berber language used around Timbuktu and other regions where the Azawakh is found.

Many of the Tuareg still involved in Saharan trade also learn Amazigh, Tashelhait, and also learn to read and write in dialectical Arabic. They bring the words home of course, and the Tamacheq language is rich with foreign words.

Have you decided to give your new puppy a Tamacheq name?

Since there are not many dog name choices available in Tamacheq, I have also included several great choices in Amazigh, another Berber tongue.

Azawakh dog names need to be short, one or two syllables, and words that end with a vowel or high note are best for training and recall. Out of about 300 pure Tamacheq words, there were only a few that would work to call a dog. Here are a few good Tuareg words to choose from.

Tuareg Names

Name
Meaning
Ahel
Today
Akal
Later!
Anzad
A one stringed guitar
Dassin
A famous poet
Kella
Famous Tuareg queen
Khalla
No!
Lemta
The mother of all the Tuaregs
Mali
One coutry Tuareg can be found
Sahel
The desert region the Tuareg live in
Tende
A small drum

There are some good choices there but not much to choose from. Here are some other choices from Amazigh, a Berber language from the north, for both male and female dogs.

Amazigh or Berber Names for a Male Dog

Name
Meaning
Name
Meaning
Afaw
Bright
Baddis
A famous Berber king
Afra
Peace
Bukkus
A famous African king
Amess
A wise person
Iddir
To live
Amsun
A companion
Ides
The strong
Anez
A defiant dog
Itri
A star in the sky
Anir
An angel
Tariq
A Berber king who invaded Spain
Angad
From the north
Udad
A ram (male sheep)
Antal
A Berber chief
Ussem
Lightning
Aslal
Honey
Winsen
His
Atbir
A dove
Yuba
A Berber king
Atrar
Modern
Yufen
The best
Ayrad
A lion
Ziri
The moonlight
Ayur
The moon
 
 
Awsim
A young gazelle
 
 
Azrur
Handsome
 
 
The Azawakh was built to run and survive on meager rations.
The Azawakh was built to run and survive on meager rations. | Source

Among Tashelhait speakers (another Berber dialect), any male name can be made female by adding a “T” at the beginning and end of the word. Thus Ay-rad, the lion, can be changed to Tay-radt, and it now means “a lioness” (although there are several forms of this word).

If you like any of the male names and want to call your female dog by that name, just add a “T” to the beginning and end of the word.

Amazigh or Berber Names for a Female Dog

Name
Meaning
Name
Meaning
Illi
My daughter
Teewa
Nice
Lunja
Famous heroine of a fairy tale
Tecwa
The most beautiful
Tafukt
The sun
Thiya
A beauty
Tadla
A bouquet of flowers
Tidar
A lively dog
Tafsirt
Born in the spring
Tinsin
Our child
Tala
A fountain
Titrirt
A start in the heavens
Tammint
Honey, or sweetie
Tizemt
A lioness
Tannirt
Angel
Tlatig
Brave
Tasa
Liver (emotional)
Tuda
Enough!
Tatbirt
Dove
Tudet
A ewe
Taylalt
Like a bird
Tufent
Very beautiful
Tayri
My love
Tumert
Happiness
Tazrurt
Beautiful
 
 
Tadus
Strong
 
 

Alternative Languages for Your Azawakh

Some of the Tuareg also speak French, so you might choose one of those French dog names for your new Azawakh. Many of the names are a lot more familiar to Europeans and Americans and are easier to pronounce.

Tuareg that travel the Sahara also learn to read and speak some dialectical Arabic. If you would like to give your dog one of those great names, check out this Moroccan Arabic list.

Picking the Right Name for Your African Sighthound

If you do pick one of the Berber names, will you be pronouncing it correctly? Probably not. Do not worry about it—you could call him Max or Charlie and be sure it was correct, but it would not be special for an Azawakh.

Enjoy your new sighthound, whatever name he goes by.

There are more Azawakh videos out there, and if you have not seen them all, take a few hours and take a look at them all.

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Questions & Answers

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      • Bob Bamberg profile image

        Bob Bamberg 

        4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

        Good one, Doc. LOL

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Years ago, I was deworming sheep up in the High Atlas and met a Berber woman called Tlegomas. Her name was unusual so I asked her what it meant "Thanks God but enough of the girls already; we want a boy". With a name like that, she probably wanted to move to Timbuktu and change her name to Smitty! (Or Tsmitty.)

      • Bob Bamberg profile image

        Bob Bamberg 

        4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

        Say what? I learned a ton of new words...and learned that Timbuktu is a place, not just a rhetorical destination akin to infinity! Had never heard of the breed and found this an interesting read. Nice selection of names, but I'll stick with Smitty, thanks. Or Tsmitty, depending :) Voted up, useful and interesting.

      • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Mark 

        4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

        Hi Suhail, this breed even has a long canine tooth, similar to that found in the wolf. Dog canines are usually much shorter. DNA results show that they are also related to some primitive ancestor too.

        Thanks, Bk42author. The Azawakh is not even recognized by the AKC yet, and there still are not a lot of them around since the Tuareg will not sell them. (The dogs found in Europe and the US are descended from a few dogs given as gifts.) They may end up as famous as the Greyhound, but that is going to be a long time from now.

      • Bk42author profile image

        Brenda Thornlow 

        4 years ago from New York

        I'd never heard of this breed before reading your hub. Thanks so much for sharing. Voted up!

      • Suhail and my dog profile image

        Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

        4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

        These are the endurance dogs who have taken their skill of long distance running and exhausting their prey from wolves or the ancestors of both of them.

        Thanks for writing a piece on these dogs.

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