We may think of Ancient Egypt as an important but very specific era in history, but it spanned nearly 30 centuries! This means that the variations of names used by the civilization is huge, and luckily they left plenty of documentation for us to get inspired by – with more being discovered even in the 21st century.
Good Ancient Egyptian Names
Thanks to the extensive records they kept, it’s easy to choose an authentic name for an Ancient Egyptian character. To lend your creation some gravitas, why not take inspiration from the many pharaohs and people with important societal roles? Many had both a personal and official name too, so you can have double the fun making your choice.
The first female pharaoh, and the first to honor Sobek in her name. An excellent option for women who will rise to great power, perhaps due to military prowess granted by the crocodile god himself.
A name well-suited to an architect or visionary, in honor of Djoser, Pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty and commissioner of Egypt’s first pyramid.
Female Ancient Egyptian Names
Women in Ancient Egypt may not have had all of the same rights as men, but many held positions of great importance, as queens, Royal Wives, and even pharaohs. Goddesses of their pantheon were also honored through names, so your character could proudly display their devotion to all they meet.
Tetisheri rose from a non-royal birth to the majestic position of Great Royal Wife, so this pretty name may foreshadow a character’s rise through social ranks.
Many Ancient Egyptian women were named to honor the great goddess Isis, “she who sits on the throne”. This most simple form is how they referred to her in their own language.
Male Ancient Egyptian Names
The great men of the Ancient Egyptian period had many achievements that can offer inspiration for your character’s name, so you may want to start by deciding what they’re renowned for and naming them after a relevant historical personality. They also used a wide variety of spellings for common names, so you can change some letters up to keep it unique.
The pharaoh Neferkare possibly had the longest reign of any ruler to date, at 94 years. This makes it an excellent name choice for old characters with plenty of wisdom to share.
The perfect name for a character who has their fingers in lots of pies. The famed Yuya of Ancient Egypt held many courtly titles, from Father-of-the-god to Superintendent of Cattle!
Ancient Egyptian Last Names
The Ancient Egyptians didn’t use last names, or surnames as we also call them today. They did have nicknames, and may also be identified by their job, reputation, courtly position, or even the names of their mother and father.
So if you really want to add some extra names for your character to create a grandiose title, you can begin by bringing in these details.
For pharaoh characters set in the Middle Kingdom onwards, there was also a convention known as royal titulary which included five names!
We’re so lucky that the Ancient Egyptians kept so many records of their life and times, not only for the fascinating insights into human history of so long ago. It’s also very helpful for authentic storytelling – which you’re likely a fan of if you find yourself on this page! Let me know in the comments if you’ve found any names here that you’d like to use, and share this article with your friends too.