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nswt +‎ bjtj, literally ‘the belonging one of the sedge, the one of the bee’, or, more simply, ‘he of the sedge and the bee’, the sedge and the bee being emblems of Upper and Lower Egypt, respectively, according to the traditional etymology. Sometimes it is instead read as n(j) +‎ swt +‎ bjt, literally ‘the belonging one of the sedge and of the bee’, thus ultimately expressing the same meaning. In recent times the derivation and reading of nswt has been questioned; if it is not in fact derived from swt (sedge), then nswt-bjtj may just be a compound of two words meaning ‘king’. The term is also attested in cuneiform script as 𒅔𒋛𒅁𒅀 (in-si-ib-ia) from a Ramesside-era Hittite letter.[1]


  • (reconstructed) IPA(key): /nijˈsiːwat biˈjatVj//niˈsiːwaʔ biˈjatVj//ʔənˈsiːʔ βəˈjat(ə)/




  1. dual king of Upper and Lower Egypt; pharaoh
  2. Conventionally written before the cartouche containing a king’s praenomen.


  • Schenkel, Wolfgang (1986) “Das Wort für König (von Oberägypten)” in Göttinger Miszellen, 94, pp. 57-73
  • Sethe, Kurt (1911) “Das Wort für König von Oberägypten” in Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, vol. 42, issue 1-2
  • James P[eter] Allen (2010) Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, 463 page 67, 463.