Tag Archives: egyptian

Egyptian for Kids, Lesson 2: Determinatives

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About Hieroglyphs and Determinatives:

The pictures that Egyptians used for letter sounds are called hieroglyphs, and the type of writing is hieroglyphic. It means sacred writing in Greek. Scribes were people who wrote, painted or sculpted hieroglyphs for a living.

Something that uses pictures instead of letters to make words is called a pictogram or a rebus in English.

Hieroglyphic writing takes so much time that scribes and artists skipped vowels to speed things up and put in determinatives instead. If we did this in English, it might look like the pictures in the worksheet.

Right-click to save or print this worksheet:

Egyptian for Kids Lesson 2: Determinatives

Egyptian for Kids: “M” is for “Cat”

“M” is for “Cat”

The Ancient Egyptian word for cat is pronounced mioo with a short i like it, or if you can, a stop like a short hiccup between m and oo. Did you notice how much it sounds like “meow“?

The cat picture is called a determinative. It isn’t a letter, but it helped keep people from getting it confused with other groups of words that might be spelled “mioo“.

Cats were so common that eventually the cat symbol alone became short for mioo.

Follow the lessons here, at Pinterest, on Tumblr or on Flickr. Or get Orange Cat Blues and Art for Geeks updates delivered in your email weekly.

Right-click to save or print this coloring page:

Egyptian for Kids Coloring Page: M for Mioo