Kazakh: Bibigul


Canada - English & Arabic
English sources tell me the Kazakh name Bibigul means "Nightingale" but Kazakh sources tell me it means "Lady of Flowers". I wasn't sure about the English source because I know gul means "Flower". Which one is the correct meaning?
Thanks so much :)
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Well, I recognize bibi as the Swahili for "lady", so that must have been borrowed from something up around Arabic/Turkish/Persian, where gul does indeed mean flower. The "lady of flowers" idea seems right. The Central Asian languages all seem to use some variant of bilbil or bulbul as the word for "nightingale". 'Lady of flowers' would be a perfectly good name for a nightingale, of course (look at all the poetic names for animals and plants in English), but Wiktionary doesn't list it as an alternative.


    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Perhaps you could share the Kazakh sources you found. Surely any foreign language source is unlikely to take precedence over an L1 source. For example, I found a French online source, not sure it adds much to the discussion however.

    If you use Cyrillic text Бибигуль instead of the Latin text you may have better results. For example, one online source give some useful examples of gul as a prefix and suffix of given names

    TAZA m & f Kazakh
    Essentially the Kazakh equivalent of Clara , meaning "Clear, bright"; More often used for boys, or as the diminutive of the Kazakh girl's name, Tazagul, literally "bright flower." Note : Combination of таза (taza) meaning "clean, neat, pure" and гүл (gül) meaning "flower".

    GULZHAN f Kazakh
    Combination of Kazakh гүл (gül), ultimately from Persian گل ‎(gol) meaning "flower" and жан (zhan) meaning "soul". Note: Diminutive of feminine given names containing the element gul meaning "flower, rose", such as Aygul and Gulnara.

    GULMIRA f Kazakh
    Derived from Turkic gül meaning "rose".

    BYRGANYM f Kazakh
    Combination of Kazakh бір (bir) meaning "one" and ханым (khanym) meaning "lady, queen".
    * My emboldening.

    If Бибигуль were also the Kazakh for the bird called a Nightingale then I'd expect Google images to return not just images of woman, but also images of that particular bird. I suspect your English sources have made a mistake somewhere in their translation.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    If you use Cyrillic text Бибигуль instead of the Latin text you may have better results.
    Except it's a Russified form. In Kazakh it should be Бибігүл (~biybigül). It's certainly not "nightingale" (бұлбұл, ~bulbul). It also should be considered that -gül ("flower") is a popular female name formant in Kazakh and some other Turkic languages.
    < Previous | Next >