The Origin of Djehuty's Name

    The oldest form of Djehuty's name appears in Old Kingdom sources as Djhwt and in Middle Kingdom sources as Djhwtj. His name could be written either phonetically or symbolically as an ibis on a perch (see above graphic). In the later periods the latter was the more commonly occuring form.
          In Sahidic Coptic His name appears as Thoowt and from this is ultimately derived the Greek form of His name, Thoth, by which He is more commonly known today. Out of respect for my Father however, I retain and use His original Kemetic name.
          Many scholars feel that Djhwtj is a nisbe form of Dhwt, meaning "He of Dhwt" or "Dweller in Dhwt". There is however no attested region, town or place name called Dhwt. So then, if one argues that Dhwt is perhaps not a place name one still runs into the fact that there is no known Kemetic substantive Dhwt from which a nisbe form may be derived. Be that as it may, many academics have tried their best to come up with a possible derivation of the name Djehuty.
          Naiville saw Djhwtj as an adjectival form derived from dhw or stork. Loret put forth a similar view claiming that the name means "le dieu en forme d'ibis" and postulates the existance of a word dhw (with ibis det.). Piehel assumed that Djhwtj meant "crane-headed" and was derived also from a word dhw, meaning crane or ibis. Maspero assumed the existence of a word djh (with heron det.), which he felt would prove to be the name of some sort of bird. He was never able to prove the existence of the word however and so his theory has little to offer. Goodwin felt His name derived from dhw and that the -tj ending was an intensifying dual and that the resulting form Djhwtj would therefore mean "Great Ibis". Earlier Goodwin had felt the name to possibly be derived from thw, artisan or craftsman, again with a 'dual of excellence' ending added.
          Leaving the avian world of possiblities we find Lieblein pursued Djehuty's lunar connections in search of his name derivation. The word tjhw is connected to
meaning either jasper or yellow topaz, and at any rate refering more to the pale yellow color of both stones. With -tj acting as an adjectival ending Djhwtj could mean, he felt, Yellow or Pale Yellow God. This would be in reference to the color of the moon. He also noted that Djehuty was often portrayed with a yellow head when His lunar aspects were being emphasized.
          The great problem with most of the above explanations is that the words being used cannot be attested to. Djehuty's name, therefore, remains something of a mystery. It may not be wrong to assume its ultimate derivation is lost. It may also show that Djehuty is among the oldest of the Kemetic Names worshiped.

(information largely taken from Boylan's "Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt")

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