The Similarities of Ancient Civilization Etymologies and Pacific Islanders Etymologies.
he Origin of the Word, "Egypt"
by Nermin Sami and Jimmy Dunn
Over the millenniums, Egypt has had many names in many
different languages. Today, its official name is Junhuriyah Misr al-Arabiyah, which in English means the Arab
Republic of Egypt. Egyptians themselves refer to Egypt as Misr,
though this can also be a name for Cairo.
Interestingly, it is common for Egyptians to refer to
Egypt as Misr, if they are resident in Cairo, but if
outside of Cairo, then they will refer to Cairo as
Misr. In a certain respect, this is a custom that
dates to the earliest times of ancient Egypt.
Basically, we can examine three groups of names which have
applied to Egypt. In the early period of Egypt, during
the Old Kingdom, Egypt was referred to as Kemet (Kermit), or
simply Kmt ,
which means the Black land. They called themselves
"remetch en Kermet", which means the "People of the
Black Land". The term refers to the rich soil found in
the Nile Valley and Delta. But it was also sometimes
referred to as Deshret, or dshrt , which refers to the "Red Land", or deserts of which Egypt is mostly comprised.
Later, Egyptians referred to their country as "Hwt-ka-Ptah" (Ht-ka-Ptah, or Hout-ak Ptah) ,
which means "Temple for Ka of Ptah", or more
properly, "House of the Ka of Ptah" Ptah was
one of Egypt's earliest Gods. As in modern Egypt, this was
both a name for the administrative center of Egypt, what we
call Memphis today, as well as the name of the country as a
Egypt, as many people of the world refer to the country
today, is a derivative of this ancient name. Even today,
people who speak one language often change the spelling of
words in another language because of the difficulty they
may have in pronouncing some of the sounds of that
foreign language. Hence, in pronouncing Hwt-ka-Ptah,
the Greeks changed this world to Aegyptus (Aigyptos),
which they used in their literature as the name of an
Egyptian King (perhaps Ramesses, though in a fictional
manner), the Nile River and for the country itself.
We find the word used by Homer in his famous "Odyssey.
We believe the Greeks had difficulties with the
Egyptian pronunciation of the letter "H" at the
beginning and end of Hwt-ka-Ptah.
Today, the word Egyptians often use for their country is
Misr. This is probably derived from an ancient term,
Mizraim which may have itself been derived from an ancient
Egyptian word, md-r mdr ,
which people in the region called Egypt. Misr is an
Arabic name simply meaning "country", and part of the
tradition of this term in as a name for Egypt comes
from the Islamic Quran. The term can also mean
"fortress", or "castellated" ,
which refers to the natural protective boarders of
Egypt which protected the country from invaders. This
name can be extended as Misr El Mahrosa.
As a final note, it is interesting that the origin of
"Coptic", a word which we today use to refer to the
Christians of Egypt (and actually, the principle Christian
church of Ethiopia, as well others throughout the world
related to this form of Christianity), actually is derived
from the word Copti. The Arabs who invaded Egypt in,
like the Greeks, had problems pronouncing the term, Aegypti,
which means "Egyptian citizen". Essentially,
they changed the word to Copti. Of course, at that time,
Egypt was a Christian nation, so the term became limited to
actual Egyptian Christians as the country became more
and more Muslim.
OPINIONReMetch en Kermet..that sounds like a Micronesian Language lol. ReMetch En means People of the Black Land..Kermet.