I'm trying to write a female-only, quasi-Islamic society. By society, I mean something between a Masonic lodge and an order of chivalry. The closest thing, in fiction, to what I'm aiming for is probably the Bene Gesserit order from the Dune universe.

What I've come up with so far...


The order is to have three grades, the titles for which are, from most senior to least senior:

  1. Hatun
  2. Ikbal
  3. Cariye

I derived these from the three categories into which the Ottoman sultans seemed to place their various consorts and concubines: kadın, ikbal and cariye. I swapped hatun for kadın because, according to Wiktionary, the two words are close cousins, and doing so allows me to doge that funky undotted i.


For the the most senior grade, hatun, I wanted an aristocratic honorific which forms part of a person's name, e.g. "Lady Diana Spencer". I went with ma'ali, which is a title which various Arab monarchies seem to bestow on both men and women. A woman holding the grade of hatun would be styled "Ma'ali Jane Smith", and would be addressed verbally as "Ma'ali Jane".

For the other two grades, I wanted Arabic equivalents to "Madam" and "Miss". These are solely honorifics, and don't form a part of the woman's actual name. A woman holding the grade of ikbal would be styled plain "Jane Smith", and would be addressed verbally as "Alsayidat Jane". A woman holding the grade of cariye would also be styled plain "Jane Smith", but would be addressed verbally as "Anisa Jane".

What I'd like to know...

  • How did I do? Did I totally butchered the Turkish and Arabic languages? Does my use of Arabic honorifics tie in at all with how the Arabs themselves use - or have used - those terms?
  • Any ideas for what I could better?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Questions based on names for creatures or titles typically get shut down as being opinion based. After all, to quote the Bard, that which we call a rose would smell just as sweet as by any other name. Worldbuilding that detail of names is great, but it gets into an opinion slog. $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Mar 26 at 19:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you want, you could try Constructed Languages or maybe Linguistics for a more likely fit. (Usual caveat about reading their on-topic rules in the help centre before you post). FWIW. I enjoy it the way you've done it structurally, and they sound right when I say them in my head in terms of authority of rank. $\endgroup$ – A new normal. Mar 26 at 20:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So, basically, you've got something approaching a worldbuilding query. Asking us for opinions about names, as you've noticed, got your query closed pretty quick! I'd like you to edit this query so it fits the forum better (see the tour and help center). Since you're looking, ultimately, for a reality check: delete the last paragraph, give us a little cultural context and ask whether such a society sounds plausible or possible within the broader cultural context. That way, we get a query we can answer and, in a round-about way, you get your question answered! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Mar 26 at 21:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As per @BLT-Bub's suggestion, I've asked this question on Linguistics. $\endgroup$ – Tom Hosker Mar 27 at 9:12