Naming the Fishes

A Blog For Name Lovers Everywhere

Neith

220px-Neith.svgNeith, the name of the Egyptian goddess of war and hunting. An interesting namesake and a revered one too.

As you can expect Neith has never charted, maybe because she is basically unheard of or that she is pronounced Nit (You know, the head louse)Getting past that her namesake is pretty awesome, Egyptian goddess of war and hunting-like Artemis and Diana only different culture.

Neith was the patron deity of Sais, where her cult was centered in the Western Nile Delta of Egypt. Her symbol, two arrows crossed over a shield identified the city of Sais.  In her form as a goddess of war, she was said to make the weapons of warriors and to guard their bodies when they died.

But what does her name mean? Neith actually is the Greek form of Nit possibly meaning “water.” In time, this led to her being considered as the personification of the early waters of creation. She is identified as a great mother goddess in this role as a creator. However there is another meaning, Neith’s symbol and part of her hieroglyph also bore a resemblance to a loom. So Neith can also mean “weaver.” As a goddess of weaving and the domestic arts she was a protector of women and a guardian of marriage, so royal women often named themselves after Neith, in her honor.

Another fun fact (well for a girl who came from Darwin right next to Kakadu) Neith was also titled the “Nurse of Crocodiles” as she was sometimes pictured holding a baby crocodile.

Variants: 

Nit | Net | Neit

Namesakes:

Neithotep-first recorded Egyptian Queen, wife of Narmer
Merneith-consort and regent of Ancient Egypt during the First Dynasty

Possible Middle Names:

Neith Calandra | Neith Eirene | Neith Evangeline | Neith Josephine | Neith Myrrine | Neith Xanthe

Possible Sibling Names:

Behar | Biro | Delphi | Jovan | Osiris | Raj | Rameses | Sage | Skender | Thales | Toma | Zev
Aveta | Dia | Eshara | Hathor | Isis | Ishtar | Liluri | Penka | Phaio |  Satis | Shala | Udane

Neith is quirky, perhaps a little mysterious and underused plus she is a goddess. A nice blend if I might say.

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3 comments on “Neith

  1. waltzingmorethanmatilda
    January 31, 2013

    “Getting past that” … hmm, you see, I’m not sure I CAN just “get past” the pronunciation of this name! I’m really struggling to imagine a contemporary child named Nit.

    Awesome namesake … could it be said some other way? Those “how to pronounce” sites seem to say either NEETH, or NAYTH. How do we know how the Ancient Egyptians pronounced things?

    Also this book suggests that her name may mean “the terrifying one”, which I think some parents could definitely get on board with. It might seem refreshing after all the girls names meaning “grace”, “beauty”, “loved” etc.

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=Mb3F7roWPvsC&pg=PA47&lpg=PA47&dq=neith+pronunciation+-neither&source=bl&ots=06SID4ld3v&sig=jv9YzqrampB8bBrRXUUNRT-2vLA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6PgKUfCGLJCXmQW05YCgCQ&ved=0CF8Q6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=neith%20pronunciation%20-neither&f=false

  2. namingthefishes
    February 1, 2013

    “How do we know how the Ancient Egyptians pronounced things?”…. That’s a good question, we don’t and I did not think about it. I just thought considering the original spelling “Nit” it would sound like that. However since the Ancient Egyptian language is lost and there isn’t a general consensus on the pronunciation I suppose you could pronounce it either way. Nit. Neeth. Nayth. Thanks for pointing that out.

    this book suggests that her name may mean “the terrifying one”… That’s a valid meaning but in the end who knows? Until we get more information of course, but I suppose people could use whichever meaning they prefer because we’re not exactly sure what it means. I could see parents using Neith for the meaning “the terrifying one” it is rather cool, isn’t it?

    Again thanks for your help, sometimes I’m not as savvy a researcher as I hope to be. Hopefully time in uni will help that.

    • waltzingmorethanmatilda
      February 1, 2013

      I think it’s too long ago for us to know for sure, but I thought it was an interesting theory, and a meaning that some parents might like. Like you say, it’s pretty cool! :)

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2013 by in Ladies, Names and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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