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Egyptian Words That Are Actually Coptic

Ever come across an Egyptian word and you just couldn't figure out what its origins were? Well chances are the word is actually Coptic; the language that was once used universally among Egyptians, and whose remnants we still find to this very day.

Many of us don't know this, but we've all spoken in Coptic at some point, and continue to do so on a daily basis. The ancient language - directly descended from Demotic Egyptian - is now, for the most part, dead; used only among scholars of the language the cloistered monks of the Coptic Orthodox faith.

But a scattering of words continue to interweave themselves into our daily vernacular, the majority of which most do not realise have Coptic origins. Here are some of the most popular Coptic words that are still used by Egyptians regularly.

Ah - from the Coptic word "Aha", meaning yes

Shebsheb - from the Coptic "seb-sweb," which means the measurement of feet

Kokha - Coptic for dirt

Embu - originates from the Coptic word for water

Mumm - derived from the Coptic word "mout" and the Demotic word "ounum", meaning eat

Bo3bo3 - originates from a Coptic name for a ghost, used to scare children

Sett - Coptic for woman

Tanesh - derived from the Coptic for ignore

Ba7 - the Coptic word for finished

Fouta - Coptic for towel

Taboot - from the Coptic for coffin

7antoor - derived from "han" a word referring to plural objects, and "hatoor" meaning horses

7anafeya - the word for faucet

Khonn - from the Coptic word "khoun", which means inside

Rokh - the Coptic word for drop/fall

Sahd - the Coptic word for hot

Zarta - the Coptic word for… wind (yes, really)

Fatafeat - Coptic for crumbs or small pieces

Wawa - from the Coptic word used to express pain

Nunu - the Coptic word for small/little

'Outa - Coptic for tomato

If you know any other Coptic words that we've missed out on, let us know in the comments below!


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