georgetslc (georgetslc) wrote in little_details,

Addressing a Djinni

I need to have two people in the same 19th-c. fantasy I've posted about before address a Djinni. Repeatedly.

First text, two paragraphs narrated by the infidel Croatian-speaking Baron Rastov:

“I am the Djinni Abdul-Aziz al-Sssslassi al-Talib.” I must have seemed taken aback because he explained, “Sssslass is my home city in the Elemental Plane of Air. And I call myself al-Talib, the Student, because I have bound myself to the lamp as a way of studying Humans. ...

“I wish you all success and joy in your endeavor, Djinni Abdul, if so I may call you.” Expressionlessly, he inclined his head. ...

So, first question: Is the Djinni's name with title appropriately constructed and grammatical, given the English-language context? (For any other non-Arabists who care, Abdul-Aziz is shown at as meaning Servant of the Light. Seemed an appropriate God-image for a lamp genie, no?)

Yes, I am painfully aware that "Abdul" (= "servant or devotee of the") was never used as an independent name until approximately the Black Muslim movement in the U.S. (See I'm allowing the Baron to be ignorant of this, and the Djinni to stoically indulge his Master's ignorance, in order not to have to pay Author's Changes on about 20 more places in text already submitted and formatted! The Baron therefore refers to him in the narrative and addresses him throughout as (the) Djinni Abdul or just Abdul.

Later, the two encounter an Armenian whose Zarathustrian priesthood* gives him the authority to command Djinn, so his attitude is familiar but with underlying respect. After greeting the Djinni with the full name given above (he's heard of him), he mostly uses "Djinni" or "O Djinni."

Second question: For variety and characterization, can he call the Djinni just "al-Talib", or is that impossible even for him?

I have been greatly aided by but (perhaps by my fault) not enough.
* The Zarathustra evoked is the Greek myth version, not the historical figure. See, e.g., or, more briefly,, which cites both the former and another source not on-line.
Tags: ~folklore (misc)

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