Nouns

Nouns (or naming words) are the names of things, book, house, bird etc. These are known as tangible nouns – names of physical things.

We also use intangible nouns, intangible nouns are the names of things which aren’t physical, like love, hate, fear or joy.

 

Genders

Like most languages, nouns in Egyptian have genders. We don’t have a gender structure in English, so the concept can seem a little strange, especially if you’ve never learned a foreign language. Thankfully, in middle Egyptian the system is very simple. Feminine nouns (almost) always end in a t ( 󴨿 )   Masculine nouns do not end in t.

The egyptian word for Son was Sa – it was written in hieroglyphs as

We know the word Sa is masculine, because it does not end in a T.

The egyptian word for Daughter was Sat – it was written in hieroglyphs as

We know the word Sat if feminine, because it does end in a T.

 

There are a handful of masculine nouns which do end in a t, but they are few and far between.

 

 

Plurals

Nouns can be either singular, or plural. Singular nouns refer to one thing, and plurals refer to a number of things – Temple, and Temples.

Forming plurals in middle Egyptian is also quite easy!

The Egyptian word for man was z – it could be written phonetically as    but was usually represented ideographically, using the man hieroglyph. 󳀀

 

The word for Woman was Zet – it was written phonetically as   but could also be represented by the woman hieroglyph. 󳍔

These are both examples of singular nouns.

 

The Egyptian word for people was retchu – this is a plural noun.  It was written with the man and woman hieroglyph, followed by three strokes – it’s the strokes which indicate the noun is plural.  󳀀󳍔󴪑