Names went in and out of fashion in Ancient Egypt, even as they do in modern times. (For example, Florence was not used as a woman's name until Mr. and Mrs. Nightingale decided to call their little girl after the city in Italy. Kim was a very rare name in the English-speaking world before 1950.) As a particular god became more prominent, names were compounded with his or hers.

Some of the earliest names we know were formed with the name of the goddess Neith:

Neith-hotep (Which could be translated as Neith is content)
Meret-Neith (Beloved of the goddess Neith)

The kings of the Fifth Dynasty almost all have "Re" in their names. For example:

Sahu-re (which could be translated He who approaches Re)
Shepses-ka-re (The Ka of Re is Noble)
Djed-ka-re (The Ka of Re Endures)

Re also appears frequently as an element in non-royal names, such as

Ra-wer (Re is great) Ankh-m-re (Living with Re) Ra-shepses (Noble one of Re)

Ptah was the god of Memphis, which was the residence of the king throughout most of the Age of the Pyramids. He and Khnum of Elephantine were creator gods and skilled craftsmen. Statesmen, scribes, and artisans often bore names that honoured Ptah and Khnum.

Ptah-hotep (Ptah is content) Ptah-shepses (Nobleman of Ptah) Khnum-khufu -(Khnum protects him) Khnum-hotep (Khnum is content)

The use of a nome god's name can sometimes suggest the geographical origin of a particular family. For example, Anty-em-saf was the birth name of the Sixth Dynasty king, Merenre. It means, Anty is his protection. Anty was a god worshipped in the XIIth nome of Upper Egypt, where Merenre's mother, Ankhenesmeryre I, and his Uncle Djau, the Vizier had powerful connections. Djau's son, Ibi, became Governor of this Nome. [This god's name can also be read Nemty.]



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