From the Interesting but Mostly Useless Knowledge file, today we will learn how to say “cat” in ancient Egyptian and write it in hieroglyphs.
Say "cat" like an Egyptian
The word for cat in Egyptian hieroglyphic writing was miu or mii. The feminine form was miit. These words referred to both wild and domestic cats. They should be easy to remember because they sound a lot like the mews of an actual cat.
The words for male and female cats were written like this in hieroglyphs:
How to write “cat” in hieroglyphs. We think it's interesting
that birds and feathers were used to write "cat."
Top: miu (male cat)
Botton: miit (female cat)
Illustration by She of Little Talent.
Naming people after catsSometimes people were named after cats (flatteringly, I think). There are hieroglyphic records of Egyptian women named Miut and Miit. Women could also be named or nick-named Ta-miit (Female Cat) and men could be called Pa-miit (Tomcat).
By the way, Ta-miit and Pa-miit would make excellent and distinctive names for modern felines—so much more dignified than “Fluffy.”
SourceJaromir Malek, The Cat in Ancient Egypt, revised edition (London: British Museum Press, 2006), p. 25, 47.]
Egyptian cat illustration by viktorijareut via Adobe Stock.