La Donna Nera

Look at how goddamn literary I am. I mean, fuck.

Egyptian vocabulary list

And now, just for fun, here are a few of my favorite middle Egyptian words and phrases of interest. None of these were constructed by me, so you can feel safe about them being legitimate. :) All are written in phonetic language, because my keyboard doesn’t have an aleph option.

Heka — Holy magic. Typically wielded by the pharaoh.

Hekka khasut — “Rulers of foreign lands.” From which we derive the term “Hyksos.”

Hem-netjer — “God’s servant.” Term for a priest, typically the priests of Amun.

Hu — The word of the gods. Usually translated as “divine utterance.”

Imy-khent — Chamberlain.

Isfet — Chaos. 

Kap — Royal nursery. 

Kenbet — Court of law.

Maat — Order, control, justice. Sometimes written ma’at. The pharaoh was considered an avatar of maat on Earth, and it was his job to preserve the kingdom against the forces of isfet.

Netjer — God

Netjer aa —Great god. A legit god, like Osiris or Isis.

Netjer nefer — Good god. Also can be interpreted as ‘lesser god.’ Normally used to refer to the pharaoh.

Sebayet — “Teachings.” Also called wisdom texts. Basically the encyclopedias of the day.

Sem — Having to do with funerals. A funerary priest was a sem priest. A funerary priest was not, however, “sem hem-netjer.”

Sia — Divine knowledge.

Sobekneferu — “The beauty of Sobek.” Used as a name, not a phrase, though you could probably get away with it at a pinch. Sobek was the crocodile god—alluded to in another famous creation, Ammet, who was both a lady and had the head of a crocodile.

Tawy — “The two lands,” IE Upper and Lower Egypt. Typically appears in descriptive constructions, as in itj-tawy (“seizes possession of the two lands,” the rather boastful name of the city of Amenemhat I) and ankh-tawy (“life of the two lands,” self-explanatory). 

  • 28 December 2012
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