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ANIMAL NAMES

 
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ISETTHEFAIR
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:45 pm    Post subject: ANIMAL NAMES Reply with quote

Am I right in assuming that the Ancient Egyptians kept companion animals of some sort? If so, what kind of names would they have given?

My reason for asking is that I am soon to adopt a maine coon kitten - a pure white boy - and I would like to give him a name with some authenticity to it but one that isn't too outrageous or difficult for a kitten to learn. [Currently he's called Taffi which I'm not at all keen on!]

Present favourites under consideration are Nefer, Aten and possibly Karnak although this one is at the bottom of the list.

I'd be interested in any thoughts on companion animals in Ancient Egypt and on any names I might be able to use for my new baby.
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten's older brother Prince Thutmose appears to have had a pet cat named "Ta Miu" (basically, "Lady Cat"); a miniature sarcophagus in which he buried her survives in a museum collection (probably in Cairo, but I'm not certain.)
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten's older brother Prince Thutmose appears to have had a pet cat named "Ta Miu" (basically, "Lady Cat"); a miniature sarcophagus in which he buried her survives in a museum collection (probably in Cairo, but I'm not certain.) "Miu" might work... or (someone might be able to correct me on the grammar) "Pa Miu" might work for a boy cat...
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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whups; sorry for the double post.
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Sobek101
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have thought many would have named them after homo-animal deities (e.g. Horus, Bestet etc)
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ISETTHEFAIR
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did consider Horus but my understanding that Bastet was a female and that didn't seem appropriate.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: ANIMAL NAMES Reply with quote

ISETTHEFAIR wrote:
Am I right in assuming that the Ancient Egyptians kept companion animals of some sort? If so, what kind of names would they have given?

My reason for asking is that I am soon to adopt a maine coon kitten - a pure white boy - and I would like to give him a name with some authenticity to it but one that isn't too outrageous or difficult for a kitten to learn. [Currently he's called Taffi which I'm not at all keen on!]

Present favourites under consideration are Nefer, Aten and possibly Karnak although this one is at the bottom of the list.

I'd be interested in any thoughts on companion animals in Ancient Egypt and on any names I might be able to use for my new baby.


I once owned a Maine Coon, and at another time, a Norwegian Forest Cat (both are similar with differences in their back leg length). Both were male, and both ended up with Egyptian names, based upon (in my opinion) the deity they seemed to "take after".

Both were tabby striped cats: I named the first "Thoth" because he had such a wise and serious look, based upon his tabby markings. The other was called "Nefertum" because he had a white "heart/lung" sign between his eyes, which represents in glyphs the word "nefer," meaning 'beautiful/perfect' in Egyptian. Hence, his name was the same as the deity Nefertum, which means "Perfect One."

As to names for pets by ancient Egyptians, Houlihan says that many Egyptian names for pets were based upon their appearance, or a feature of the animal, but few were named after deities. Usually pet names refer to colours of the animal, or a trait (such as being covert, fast speed, tracking, etc.)

The "Ta-Miaut" name for Crown Prince Thutmose's cat is a simple description; the name means simply "The She Cat." You can see the glyphs used in her name for her "sarcophagus" here.

Yet, even the names of feline deities have meaning, such as "Mafdet" ("she who runs") and "Pakhet" ("she who tears"). "Bast/et" means "she of the vase," while "Sekhmet" (the lioness-goddess) means "she who prevails," (or "she who has power"), which fits in well with the Destruction of Mankind myth when Hathor refuses Ra's command to cease the slaughter of men, telling him that she "...has prevailed over mankind, and it has done my heart good: I shall prevail over them, in my name of 'she who prevails'..." In this way, the goddess Sekhmet emerges as an avatar of Hathor.

My suggestion would be to observe your pet cat for awhile and see what traits make him what he is to you (is he a fast runner, does he play ferociously, or does he "dance" about, etc.).

Once you know this about him, a name could be found that says this "something" about him. Then I could assist you in finding the "right name" in Egyptian, based upon his characteristics.

Reference:

Houlihan, P. 1996. The Animal World of the Pharaohs. London: Thames and Hudson.

Janssen, R. and J. Janssen 1989. Egyptian Household Animals. Shire Egyptology. Aylesbury: Shire Publications.

Malek, J. 1990. Adoration of the Great Cat. EES Newsletter 6: 6-9.

______. 1997. The Cat in Ancient Egypt. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

HTH.
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Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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Oriental Studies
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Oxford University
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