Arabic names for software projects: Joomla and akismet

It seems that some Arabic words are being used subconsciously for open source software projects.

Here are some recent examples.


Joomla is a content management system written in PHP. It is a fork of the Mambo project. The word Joomla is a variant of the Swahili word Jumla, meaning "all together" or "as a whole".

As I wrote before, Swahili borrows heavily from Arabic.

The word Joomla is of course derived from the Arabic word by the same spelling and approximate meaning جملة in Classical Arabic. It is mentioned in the Quran (25:32) with the meaning "all at once".

Recently in colloquial dialects (e.g. modern Egyptian), it means many other things, like : "sentence" and "wholesale".


Akismet is derived from "Automattic Kismet". The first word is the company that Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress started.

Kismet is a Turkish word that meant "fate", "fortune" and "destiny". It is a direct derivative from Arabic قسمة (Qismah, or Qismat) which literally means "share". The same word is used in Urdu, Hindi, Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian.

In Islamic theology, everything is preordained. This concept was however taken to its fatalistic ends in recent centuries, making it an excuse for not acting on anything for some.

The word play here is that each comment get a kismet depending on its content.


Silverlight is a project by Microsoft. Miguel D'Icaza plans to bring it to Mono (.NET open source counterpart) and Linux by the end of 2007.

In a post on Slashdot, he mentioned Fad-da daw' (فضة ضوء) as a possible name, which he says is Arabic for Silverlight, and attributes that to one Hisham Bardam. My reply mentions that this is too literal and not proper Arabic. A more proper translation is Daw' Al Fadda ضوء الفضة (light of the silver).

I suggested just Fadda (فضة silver), or Noor Al Fadda (نور الفضة Light of the silver)



Silverlight in Arabic


A better word for Silver Light in Arabic than just Silver is the word Lujine (لجين), that means Shinny Silver. That is my daughter name too :)

Good bye,
Ahmed Esmat
Oracle Global Support


Kuuza jumla is also swahili for sell wholesale, so the usage would be familiar to what you've outlined from Egyptian Arabic.