Despite the admirable French logic, Daesh comes with its own complications. As historian and blogger Pieter van Ostaeyen noted back in February, that word is a transliteration of an Arabic word (داعش), an acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham (which is itself a transliteration of the group’s Arabic name: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام). There are a variety of different schools of transliteration, and there are a number of different styles for writing the Arabic acronym in Latin characters: The Washington Post uses DAIISH, but DAASH, DAIISH and DAISH are also used.
However it’s spelled, there’s another big factor: The group is reported to hate the moniker.
The Associated Press recently reported that the group were threatening to cut cut out the tongues of anyone who used the phrase publicly, and AFP have noted that the term “Daeshi” has been used a derogatory term in some parts of the Middle East. Some analysts have suggested that the dislike of the term comes from its similarity to another Arabic word, دعس, or Das. That word means to trample down or crush.
we get the Arabic: داعش
د = Dawlat (Nation)
ا = (al-) Islāmiyya
ع= (fī’l-) ‘Irāq
ش = (wa’s-) Shām (Greater Syria or the Levant)
Dāhis wa’l-Ghabrā’ can be literary translated as ‘felon and dust’ (seehttp://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/داحس_والغبراء ). This referral seems to have a more theological background yet it seems unlikely all sources using this would have in depth knowledge of the Jāhiliyya.
Which ever theory suits best, it is quite clear that the acronym DAESH (داعش) is mostly, if not only, used by opponents of ISIS in Syria.