egyptian words

Ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.
—  Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas
When is the word "mythology" disrespectful?

A few months ago, some coworkers and I were talking about the days of the week and how they get their names from some of the Norse gods.

My coworkers asked my boss and I how we both knew so much about Norse gods. My boss said it was because he’s from Denmark, which is a Nordic country. I said it was because I’m a huge nerd who loves learning about mythology.

After the meeting ended, my boss said to me, “You know, those gods are a major part of my culture. My ancestors believed in them as much as you believe in your religion.”

Now you have to understand, my boss is a very even-tempered and nice guy. He doesn’t offend easily, and he didn’t say this with any anger in his voice. All the same, it was a very humbling and eye-opening moment for me.

I apologized for speaking insensitively, and he assured me that he was certain I meant no harm by it. I thanked him for the learning opportunity.

When is it disrespectful to use the word “mythology”? I’m not certain I know the answer to that. But I know that I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone calling my beliefs a “mythology,” so I’m trying to be more sensitive in how I use the word.


Percy is highly offended that the Ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for blue.


Mostly used in Egyptian Arabic:

Bil hana wish shifa’, بالهنا والشفا - Bon appetit (used before a meal, conveying ‘enjoy your meal’)

Other ways of saying this:

Bsahtek, بصحتك - Algerian dialect.
Sahtein, صحتين - Lebanese, Syrian dialect.

Please reblog and add any others you know :)!

  Egyptians associated ‘back’ and ‘spine’ with magical powers, and the Egyptian word “psd” for 'spine’ can also mean 'to give light’, 'to gleam’, or 'to shine’. A snake is mostly a living spinal column, something the Egyptians noticed. They understood the vivifying nature of the spine, endowed with :life-giving properties”. Texts from the Old Kingdom on, mention the back (spine) or the bones which comprise it, in contexts, suggest they were all believed to fulfill magic or physiological functions
  The Egyptian snake mythology goes beyond deities to encompass another understanding, also expressed in the Hindu concept of Kundalini and the Eastern concept of Chi. It is the life force as it expresses itself, and the cycles it makes. The spine is the central navigating path for the life force, which the Egyptians call Ka. This life force, understood in Hindu mythology as the chakra system, expresses itself through seven energy centers in the astral body which correspond to nerve ganglia branching out from the spinal column. The word “Kindalini in Sanskrit.. kund, “to burn”; kunda, “to coil or to spiral”. The Hindu belief is that within each person resides a sleeping “serpent” coiled up tightly at the base of the spine. When aroused, the serpent force at the base of the spine darts upward, bringing a concentrated field of intelligent, cosmic invisible energy that rises up the center channel of the spine to the brain, where it allegedly awakens spiritual illumination and inner perception.

anonymous asked:

you refer to Ishizu as Isis? Does that mean Ishizu is a translation error or...?

Fun facts about the Ishtar sibling names!

As I said before, this is a triple-threat language collision.

Kazuki Takahashi gave the Ishtar siblings legit Egyptian/Arabic names: Isis is an Ancient Egyptian goddess, Malik means king or lord in Arabic, and Rishid is a form of Rashid. 

But he was working in Japanese, so he transliterated the sounds into katakana. Japanese has a comparatively limited set of sounds, so when foreign words are adopted or translated into Japanese, they’re also adjusted so they can be spelled in katakana (one of the three alphabets Japanese uses, and the one used for foreign loanwords or translated words). Icecream in Japanese is a loanword spelled アイスクリーム; aisukuriimu, but “u” can be very soft in Japanese so pronounced ais’k’reem’.

(Note: this also happens in any language that doesn’t line up perfectly in alphabet and phonemes with another. For example, the Ancient Egyptian word for the sun god was actually probably pronounced something more like “rh-ee-ah-[gk]” and is pronounced that way in modern Egyptian Arabic, which shares phonemes with Ancient Egyptian that aren’t shared with English. So in English, we just say “rah”. English pronunciations aren’t infallible either.)


Isis, in English (aɪsɪs) eye-siss, was transliterated into Japanese as イシズ, ee-shee-z(u). Malik (mah-leek) was transliterated as マリク, mah-ree-k(u). Rishid, I believe, was transliterated as リシード, ree-shee-doh.


The team in charge of the dub, for some reason* decided, rather than transliterate the original Arabic directly to English, they would just transliterate from Japanese to English. It’s like a game of telephone. Isis -> イシズ -> Ishizu.  イ is transliterated into romaji as “i”,  シ as “shi”, and  ズ as “zu”, so the non-name  イシズ (ee-shee-z’) became the even-less-of-a-name Ishizu (ih-shee-zuu). Malik became Marik (via ma-ri-ku) because Japanese doesn’t distinguish between L and R in the same way as English does; they’re both an alveolar tap in Japanese whereas English has multiple distinct sounds for those letters.

*The reason may have been ignorance, but it’s likely to have been Islamophobia. They completely ditched “Rishid” and named him Odion, which is still an African name, but not an Arabic one. But the vagaries of the dub names are mysterious at the best of times.

(Priestess Isis gets a slightly closer katakana rendering of her name and consequently (?) a closer English equivalent. It’s not known if that’s because Kazuki Takahashi intended them to have different names or just wanted to improve on his previous version. She’s アイシス: Ai-shi-s’.)

So yes, Ishizu is not so much a translation error as an artifact of translation. I think Kazuki Takahashi intended to name her “Isis” and I think Isis is a gorgeous name with a long and beautiful history. So I use it.


From the underworld, she came

On the shoulders of Osiris.

Through the layers of hell and flame,

Her fate scrawled on the charred papyrus.

She was clothed in gems and golden skin,

her lined eyes were black and starry

Destined to win through seduction and sin,

she became Queen Nefertari. 


What’s in a Name? The True Meaning of Maat.

There is a tradition among ancient mythologies that if you were to learn the true name of a god, you would acquire power over that god. However, given the way the Egyptian and Dogon languages work, one is led to suspect that this tradition has more to do with secret meanings than with actual secret names. The Egyptian phrase bu maa, which is translated as “truth,” actually implies something that is a “longstanding perception” or something that has been “thoroughly examined.” The Egyptian word maa means “to perceive or examine” - therefore, the word maat, defined by Budge as meaning “truth” or “justice” would literally mean “that which has been perceived or examined.”

Laird Scranton - The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition.

Image Credit - Tefnut, Shu, Bastet, Khonsu, Maat, Hathor by birkenlaub


Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau (mau being the Egyptian word for cat) is notable for being the only naturally spotted domesticated cat. In other words, the spotting pattern was not created by human manipulation of feline genes. The spots of the Mau occur on only the tips of the hairs of its coat. Egyptian Maus typically are slender and muscular and they are thought to be one of the progenitor breeds of the modern domestic cat.

Keep reading


A song swept through the Duat. The temple of the Gods sounded as Ra was awoke once more. The foul serpent would rise once more, and he walked through the the glistening walls of sandstone lightened by his mere presence. His visage and body were adorned with the horns and wings of a beetle. He was Khepri. He ran off saluting his lineage with blades swooshing through this underworld. The demons and spirits were in awe as the darkness was absconded by gleams of hope. He saw the serpent draw near, as it flew in the sky, breathing a foul miasma. With the chatter of wings, he flew to dissipate the darkness. The serpent, Apep, was dealt a blow, chipping a fang. Mighty tail slashes, bolts of dark and light, fire of holy and unholy origins raged through the sky. Khepri became Ra, and shone a light so bright that it protected the Duat in its entirety. The souls clamored for Ra. The noise became a force, and the force became mighty javelins. Ra struck the foul Apep with those shining poles, piercing the endless body of the serpent. Apep was stalled, but not for long. Ra was growing weary with the hours, and from his once mighty visage, he became Atum, dwindling as his body grew older, and his solar crown  dimmed. Apep struck, trying to engulf the god and devour him. But Atum knew his foe too well. A slick smile appeared from the senile man, and destroyed the snake in an instant with a plasma ball that destroyed the beast with from within. Atum was tired, and he returned to his kin. He asked Horus and Osiris about their respective kingdoms. Isis shared divinations, and Nephtys lamented her husband’s damnation. Hathor and Sekhmet danced elegantly: one with a motherly grace and the other with a bloodthirsty lust. He gave thanks for his family, for their hard work, and recognized that they all did their work. Justice, Ma’at, was preserved by them. They were the examples of good in the world, so that humans could look in bewilderment, and search their feelings and unleash the wellsprings of Ma’at held within. Atum returned to his chamber and slept, as Ra. But tomorrow, the foul serpent would be back. But it did not matter. He would be Khepri at dawn, Ra in the day, and Atum during the evening. 

Favourite Amonkhetu Flavour Texts

Lay Bare The Heart
“True intentions lie not in the head but in the heart.” – Bontu, god of ambition

For the reference to the Egyptian belief that the heart is the seat of all thought.

“Some hid from the storm. I embraced it and learned its name.”

In Egyptian belief, words were what created the land, and names gave it countenance. A name is, in essence, a magic uttering. To know a (true) name, be it that of a demon or a deity, is to be able to exert a certain power over it.

Throne Of The God-Pharaoh
“When the Second Sun rests between the horns on the horizon, so begins the Hour of Revelation. Then the Hour of Glory, the Hour of Promise, and finally the Hour of Eternity.” – The Accounting of Hours

A clear reference to the Amduat, and specifically those of the 21st Dynasty onward, which accounted for only the final four hours of the night (though I admit that may be a coincidence).


Faience Cat
Ancient Egypt - 26th Dynasty

Vivid blue faience cat seated on a base and wearing a collar

Sacred animal to the sun god Ra and Bastet. The earliest Egyptian depiction of the cat took the form of three hieroglyph symbols, each representing seated cats. These formed part of the phrase ‘Lord of the City of Cats’ inscribed on a stone block from El-Lisht that may date as early as the reign of Pepy II, 2278-2184 BC. The Egyptian word for cat was the onomatopoeic term miw. 

Those who were modest, died. اللي اختشوا ماتوا
—  Egyptian expression; it comes from an actual event when there was a fire at a public hammam (bath), a lot of women wouldn’t run out naked and they unfortunately died in the fire.
Whenever someone is being outrageous, they get a sarcastic “those who were modest, died,” indicating that there are no modest people left.