Seth the Egyptian god

🏷  Egyptian divine name hidden ruler pun · name   —   by Gerry · Apr 2020 · 759 words

The Egyptian god Seth or Set is a multi-pun of things that are written roughly like “Seth”. Since those include terms like “attacker”, “causing disorder”, “lead astray”, Seth was made into an evil god in his stories.

In Egyptian, the god Seth is written ztẖ / stẖ / stš. There are even more spellings. Note the 3rd letter, which is missing in the Latin transcription.

Seth is displayed as a strange unknown animal with a long, downward-curved snout like that of an ant-eater, and an erect tail with a tuft.


Such an animal doesn’t exist. I doubt it ever existed, but that doesn’t even matter. Only its depicted features are important, because as usual, Seth is a multi-pun.

To understand the meaning of Seth, we need to understand the Egyptian prefix s-, which is a causative verb prefix. In English, it would roughly mean “to cause X” or “to make X”.

To invent Seth’s puns, the ancient spook rulers could now attach arbitrary things to this s- prefix that are spelled like Seth without the S. Many of these things are bad, like dḥ for “lowness”, th for “transgression”, ṯȝw for “storm”, tḫtḫ for “disorder”. That’s why the punners made Seth an evil god: He is s-dḥ “causing lowness”, s-th “causing transgression”, s-ṯȝw “causing storm”, s-tḫtḫ “causing disorder”.

These are the Seth puns I spotted so far:

The most important official meaning is probably the “attacker”, because our rulers have always loved to make us afraid of something. Satan is a similar pun-enemy.

(The Biblical Seth seems unrelated, he’s probably a mere grammar particle in some genealogy phrase.)

Egyptian s- = causative prefix

𓋴 s- : prefix: used to form a causative verb from a non-causative verb — Egyptian (Wikt)

Egyptian stẖ, stš = Seth

𓃫 stẖ : Seth god — Egyptian (AED)

𓁣 stẖ : Seth god — Egyptian (AED)

𓊃𓏏𓄡𓀭 stẖ : Seth god — Egyptian (AED)

𓋴𓏏𓈙 stš : Seth (god’s name) — Egyptian (TLA)

Egyptian sdḥ, stḫ = conceal, hide, hidden

𓋴𓂧𓐍𓀃 stḫ : conceal from — Egyptian (AED)

𓋴𓂧𓐍𓀓 stḫ : conceal from — Egyptian (AED)

𓋴𓂧𓐍𓀢 stḫ : to hide — Egyptian (TLA)

𓋴𓂧𓐍𓋪 sdḫ : concealed hole — Egyptian (TLA)

Egyptian dḥ = low; s-dḥ = make low

𓊃𓂧𓎛𓂢𓅪 sdḥ : lower; sink; drown; to bring low — Egyptian (TLA)

𓊃𓂧𓎛𓂢𓅪 sdḥ : bring low the arm of the evil-doer — Egyptian (AED)

𓊃𓂧𓎛𓂢𓅪 sdḥ : punish — Egyptian (AED)

𓂧𓎛𓅪 dḥ : hang down; be low — Egyptian (TLA)

𓂧𓄑𓅪 dḥ : lowest part — Egyptian (TLA)

𓂧𓎛𓏏𓏏𓄹𓄹 dḥtt : testicles — Egyptian (Vygus)

Egyptian sṯz, sṯs = raise up

𓋴𓍿𓊃𓍞 sṯz : raise, lift up — Egyptian (TLA)

𓋴𓍿𓊃𓍞𓂡 sṯsỉ : raise up, lift up, remove lassitude, display beauty — Egyptian (AED)

Egyptian sd, sḏ = tail

𓋴𓂧𓄢 sd : tail — Egyptian (TLA)

𓋴𓆓𓄢 sd; sḏ : tail, handle, haft, tampon, drain — Egyptian (Vygus)

Egyptian th = transgress; s-th = make transgress, lead astray, pervert

sthỉ : to pervert; to cause obstruction; to seduce; to ban — Egyptian (TLA)

𓏏𓉔𓂾𓂻 thỉ : to go astray; to transgress; to damage; to deceive; to attack — Egyptian (TLA)

𓏏𓉔𓂾𓂻 thỉ : go astray, transgress, trespass, attack with, err — Egyptian (AED)

𓏏𓉔𓂾𓂻 thỉ : lead astray, mislead, overstep path, disobey — Egyptian (AED)

𓏏𓉔𓂾𓂻 thỉ : impugn one’s character, falsify account — Egyptian (AED)

𓏏𓉔𓅪 thỉ : falsify account — Egyptian (AED)

Egyptian ṯȝw = wind, air

𓊡 ṯȝw : wỉnd — Egyptian (AED)

𓅷𓅱𓊡 ṯȝw : air; wind; breath — Egyptian (TLA)

𓅷𓅱𓊡 ṯȝw : wind, air, breath, flatulence, set free, release — Egyptian (Vygus)

Egyptian sṯȝw = attack

𓍬𓅱𓏪 sṯȝ.w : attack; wound — Egyptian (TLA)

𓋴𓏏𓍔𓄿𓏲𓍬𓂻𓐎𓏥 sṯȝw : injury, attack, (attempted) murder — Egyptian (Vygus)

Egyptian tḫtḫ = disorder, confusion

𓏏𓐍𓏏𓐍𓏴𓂡 tḫtḫ : to confuse; to confound — Egyptian (TLA)

𓏏𓐍𓏏𓐍𓁸 tḫtḫ : disorder hair, crumple papers — Egyptian (AED)

𓏏𓐍𓏏𓐍𓀁 tḫtḫ : confusion — Egyptian (Vygus)

𓏏𓐍𓏏𓐍𓏴𓀜 tḫtḫ : disorder — Egyptian (Vygus)

🏷  Egyptian divine name hidden ruler pun · name