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Muhammad VI. al-Habib, 1922–29, Bey of Tunis, in Paris

"Bey" (Ottoman Turkish: بك "Beik", Albanian: bej, Bosnian: beg, Arabic: بيه "Beyeh", Persian: بیگ "Beyg" or بگ "Beg") is a traditionally Turkish title for Chieftain ruler of a Beylik, for the leaders or rulers of various sized areas in the Ottoman Empire. The equivalent title for women was Begum.

In modern times, the word is still used formally as a social title for men. It is cited after the name and is used generally with first names and not with last names.

The word entered English from Turkish bey,[1] itself derived from Old Turkic beg,[2] which - in the form bäg - has been mentioned as early as in the Orkhon inscriptions (8th century AD) and is usually translated as "tribal leader".[3][4] The actual origin of the word is still disputed, though it is mostly agreed that it was a loan-word,[3] in Old Turkic.[5] This Turkic word is usually considered a borrowing from an Iranian language.[4][6] However, German Turkologist Gerhard Doerfer assessed the derivation from Iranian as superficially attractive but quite uncertain,[4] and pointed out the possibility that the word may be genuinely Turkic.[3]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Bey". Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  2. "Bey". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Beg". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Baga". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  5. "Bey" in Nişanyan Dictionary
  6. Alemko Gluhak (1993), Hrvatski etimološki rječnik, August Cesarec: Zagreb, pp.123-124