Victory, Strength

victory, strengthvictorystrength

The image here is of the Egyptian war god, Monthu. The hieroglyphs around it are phonetic approximations of the English words “Victory” and “Strength”. The first hieroglyph on the left is a “Horned Viper”, but it was drawn without horns – perhaps the designer thought the horns weren’t “snaky” enough? I suggest looking at this photo collection of horned vipers.

Interestingly, in Ancient Egyptian, the words for “Victory” and “Strength” are one and the same:
nakhtnḫt.w “Strength”, “Victory”

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It’s Passover today, when jews everywhere celebrate being free from the evil ancient Egyptians.
This cute video shows the story of the Exodus in the style of today’s internet:

However, at 0:31 seconds, note how the “Google Translate to Egyptian” feature translates the sentence “Let my people go”:
let my people go

ḳ-l-i-w-p-3-d-r-3 – Cleopatra

p-t-w-l-m-y-s – Ptolemys

The creators of the video took the name “Cleopatra”, and the name “Ptolemys” – joined them together to get “Cleop-mys”, and thought no one would care. Well, they were wrong.

Incidentally, these very two names were the key to deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. You could say that these were the very first Egyptian words read by a modern scholar.

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Ingredients to a Happy Life

From RateMyInk:

im(m) r-i n š3 sḫm.t ir r-mr r-tim3 r-htp ??

or: im(m) (r) n-(i) š3 sḫm.t ir r-mrr.t im-3-r-htp ??

The writing is in beautiful Hieratic script. According to the owner, it says “Give me strength, hope, love, fortune and peace”. I can see it happening with some imagination: im n-i can be read “Give me” if we ignore the “mouth” sign, although “me” should have been a “sitting man” and not “sitting man with hand in mouth”. š3 is close to š3ˁ “fortune”, sḫm is “strength”, mr is “love”, htp should have been ḥtp “peace”, the rest I can’t understand.

For the ancient Egyptians themselves, the ingredients to a happy life were different. A typical “wish” from Ancient Egypt would go like this:
“Give me life, prosperity, health, a long lifetime, a good ripe old age, and favor before gods and men”

im n-i ˁnḫ wḏ3 snb ˁḥˁ k3
i3wt ˁ3.t nfr.t
ḥsi m-b3ḥ nṯr.w rmṯ.w

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A road to walk on

From Petechons’ Flickrstream, licensed by Creative Commons:

This is a beautiful job! Whoever did this is a pro.
The writing is in Cursive Hieroglyphs, and the text is a line from the Book of the Dead. The translation is: “May you give me a road so that I’d walk it in peace…”, the rest is hidden.
Here is the full passage from papyrus Ani:

di.k n.i w3.t sw3.i m ḥtp ink ˁq3 n Dd.i grg m rḫ.i n ir(.i) sp-sn
“O grant thou unto me a path whereover I may pass in peace, for I am just and true; I have not spoken falsehood wittingly, nor have I done aught with deceit.” (E.A. Wallis Budge)

See also the entire plate. Can you find the line with this text?

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The word “family“, transliterated into hieroglyphs using a website – the same one used in the “Almighty” tattoo.
Note the strange “Snail hieroglyph” on top; the sound “F” in Egyptian is represented by a “Horned Viper” or Cerastes cerastes, which is definitely a SNAKE, not a SNAIL. There is no “snail” hieroglyph in Egyptian.

Moreover, this tattoo is in English. The Egyptian word for “family” is 3b.t:

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From Sin City Tattoos:

This is the English word “Temperance”, transliterated to Hieroglyphs using a chart.
There is no Egyptian equivalent to “Temperance”, to the best of my knowledge. There are Egyptian words for “excess”, “to exceed” etc., which one could put in the negative, but these words usually appear in a mundane rather than spiritual context so it kind of misses the point.

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Life, health, prosperity

ˁnḫ snb wḏ3

This tattoo resembles the common Egyptian formula: “Life, Prosperity, Health”, however the order has been changed so that “Health” appears before “Prosperity”, which is very uncommon in real Egyptian texts. Still, this is valid (if unconventional) Egyptian. I contacted the owner of the tattoo, and she says that the reordering was done for aesthetic purposes, plus she agrees that “health” is more important than “prosperity”… I can’t argue with that.
Note the cow’s horns and sun-disk on top of the cartouche, which refer to the goddess Hathor. Also note the (unfinished) Eye of Horus at the bottom. Altogether, a very aesthetic work in my opinion, though I would suggest keeping to the conventional Egyptian formula -

l p h
ˁnḫ wḏ3 snb
“Life, Prosperity, Health”

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Got this by mail:

Yes, this is a transliteration of the English letters “ALMIGHTY”, which I’m almost certain was created with this website.
In case you had any doubts, the combination g+h in Egyptian is NOT silent. An English-speaking Egyptologist would probably pronounce that something like: “Aroom-eeg-het-wii”.
This is too bad. If there is one semantic field in which Egyptian is really good, it’s divine epithets. One example – sḫm pḥty “mighty of power”:
mighty of power

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I love my Schnoodle

I love my Schnoodle

(j)-mr p3y-j-(dog)

As hieroglyphic creativity goes, this one isn’t terrible. The “Dog” in the end isn’t a real hieroglyph of course, but I think it’s a nice touch. The verb mr does mean “love”, and p3y-j means “my” in Late Egyptian.
However, the sitting man on the left is the “1st-person suffix pronoun”, which means that it should have appeared after the sitting man with the hand in his mouth. Perhaps the designer thought that two sitting men in a row is visually unattractive, so they moved one of them to the beginning, thinking no one would care.
Well, they were wrong.

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Invisible Man

This tattoo is claimed to say: “Invisible Man”.
invisible man

invisible man
n(j)-t-pr ˁnḫ

It’s always fun to make up stuff in a dead language. nt pr ˁnḫ is one brave such attempt. I can only guess whoever did this meant the verb ptr “look” (should be with the [EYE] classifier), with the negative marker n, and finally ˁnḫ with the [HUMAN-MALE] classifier translates as “man”. Still, the result would be translated as “Man didn’t see”, a negated active statement. The best way in my opinion to express “invisible” is with a passive participle, along the lines of:

s tmw m33 “A man who isn’t seen”

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