Over the centuries, Egypt has had many names in many different languages.
Today’s official name is Jumhuriyah Misr Al-Arabiya, which in English translation means the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Today, Egyptians refer to Egypt as Misr, though this can also be a name for Cairo.
Cairo mostly names Misr or Masr by Upper Egyptians. It’s common for Egyptians to refer to Egypt as Misr if they are residents in Cairo, but if outsiders Cairo, then they will see Cairo as Misr. In absolute respect, this is a custom that dates to the earliest times of ancient Egypt.

Necessarily, we can recognize three groups of names that have applied to Egypt: 

  • In the early period of Egypt, during the Old Kingdom, Egypt was referred to as Kemet, or simply Kmt, which means the Black land. 
  • Egyptians called themselves “remetch en Kermet,” which means the “People of the Black Land.”, the name indicates the fertile black soil found in the Nile Valley but sometimes referred to as Deshret, or dshrt, which means to the “Red Land,” or deserts of Egypt that cover most of the total area of Egypt. 
  • Afterward, Egyptians referred to their country as “Hwt-ka-Ptah,” which means “Temple for the Soul of God Ptah,” or more appropriately, “House of the soul of Ptah. 
  • As in the modern dynastyit was a name for the administrative center of Egypt, named today Memphis, and the name of the whole country. 
  • The Greeks changed the pronouncing Hwt-ka-Ptah to Aegyptus (Aigyptos), which used in their letters as the name of the Egyptian King; it was difficult for them to pronounce the letter “H” in the Egyptian way. We find this word used by Homer in his famous “Odyssey. 
  • The Egyptians used the word Misr/Masr, which probably derives from an ancient Egyptian word, md-r mdr, med ir midr, the ancient Egyptian language. 

Misr is also an Arabic name merely meaning “country,” and this term as a name for Egypt comes from the Islamic Quran.
Misr can also translate as “fortress” or “castellated,” which indicates the natural protective boundaries and borders of Egypt, which protected the country from invaders.
Even today, people who speak a language often change the spelling of words into another language due to their inability to pronounce some of that foreign language.
This name can extend to Misr El-Mahrosa. (Egypt the protected country).

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