Abstract

Abstract:

Increasingly since around the year 2000, Kuwaiti youths of Badu (Bedouin) ancestry use three-digit numeric codes, coined and popularized by the language users themselves, to refer to their tribes in computer-mediated communication and public areas. These digital nicknames are more functional in Internet-based searches than the polymorphous names of tribes, although tribes and numeric codes do not always match one-to-one. These codes evidently represent an attempt by urbanized Badu youths to redefine their social identity. The fact that these codes apply to large groups, such as tribes, but not to smaller groups, such as families, shows the importance of demographic factors in coining ethnonymic nicknames. While we focus primarily on Kuwait, it seems that a whole youth subculture of three-digit codes referring to groups of people is developing in the Arabian Peninsula.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6527
Print ISSN
0003-5483
Pages
pp. 314-339
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-24
Open Access
No
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