Although Shub-Niggurath can manifest in a number of forms, the form described in Mythos tales to date is that of a large cloudy mass, which boils and changes, protruding limbs and other things at will. Her milk
is reputed to have mystical properties.
The name has undergone a great deal of corruption in its translation from Arabic into Greek, Latin and English, and is in reality a composite of various epithets from those languages. Part of the problem comes from the fact that the name of Shub-Niggurath, commonly taken to refer to the 'Mother' of the Dark Young, may be the title of the dark young themselves. Their Mother being known more accurately as 'The Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young.'
Latin: juvenis nigritiae
Arabic: ash-shubab al muthlimun
The name is best understood by breaking it down into composite phrases. 'Shub' is probably more correctly written in Arabic as shabb, meaning 'youth' or 'a young man'. This word could clearly have reference to the 'young' component of 'dark young'. 'Niggurath' is apparantly a corruption of of the Latin nigritiae, meaning 'blackness'. Thus, Shub-Niggurath would seem to be a word combining Arabic and Latin, meaning 'A Young One of Blackness'-one of the dark young. The Arabic term used by Abd al-Azrad for these entities is in the singular, ash-shabb al muthlim, or 'the dark young ones'; made plural it is ash-shabb al-muthlimun.
What would the Arabic name of the creature (probably mistakenly) known in the Cthulhu Mythos as Shub-Niggurath? In the Arabic Kitab al-Azif, the phrase 'Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young' occurs alternatively as as Al-Ma'iza as-Sauda al-Ghatabi ('The Black Goat of the Woods'), Umm al-Alf Al-Muthlimun ('The Mother of the Thousand Dark Things'), or Umm ash-Shabab al-Alf ('The Mother of the Thousand Young Ones').