Over the last few decades, the word hotep has been making an appearance amongst the “super woke,” but do you know what it means or where it came from? Not to worry; The Word Counter is here to help!
In this article, we’re exploring the word hotep to uncover its definition, origin, proper usage, and more. So, if you’ve ever wondered what our word of the day means, keep reading.
What Is the Definition of Hotep?
The short answer on the meaning behind hotep is that it is a greeting used amongst many African Americans who just happen to be a bit more Afrocentric.
These Afrocentric individuals are also often referred to as “hoteps.”
This commonly-used greeting translates roughly to “I come in peace,” “at peace,” or simply “peace.” In layman’s terms, it’s the Egyptian form of “What’s good?”
While this should be the end-all, be-all of the definition, unfortunately, over the past few decades, with the help of social media, or more specifically Facebook and Twitter, hotep is portrayed in a negative fashion.
The reason is that somewhere along the lines, the definition of hotep has transformed into this all-encompassing term that describes a person who is obnoxiously, conspicuously, and loudly pro-black but clearly anti-progress.
In addition, hotep can also refer to a person that resembles Lester Barrie’s character in the Wayans brothers’ film, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. In other words, a hotep may also be someone who portrays a clueless parody of Afrocentricity.
What Is the Word Origin of Hotep?
Hotep is an Ancient Egyptian word that has been rendered through the study of hieroglyphs that have been found and deciphered throughout all of Egypt. Hotep’s rough translation is” at peace” or “contentment.” In hieroglyphs, hotep is rendered as an offering table or altar.
In addition, the names of various key figures in Egyptian history contain the word hotep, such as:
- Mentuhotep IV, Mentuhotep V, Mentuhotep VI, Mentuhotep I, Mentuhotep II and Mentuhotep III — all of whom were pharaohs that ruled between the 11th and 16th dynasties
- Imhotep — Official of the 3rd dynasty
- Neithhotep — Queen of the 1st dynasty
- Amenhotep IV (though he later became known as Akhenaten), as well as Amenhotep I, Amenhotep II, and Amenhotep III — all four of them were pharaohs of the 18th dynasty.
- Ptahhotep — Official of the 5th dynasty
- Hathorhotep — Princess of the 12th dynasty
- Sobekhotep II, Sobekhotep III, Sobekhotep IV, Merhotepre Sobekhotep V, Sobekhotep VIII, Khahotepre Sobekhotep VI, Sobekhotep VII and Sobekhotep I — all of whom were pharaohs that ruled between the 13th and 16th dynasties
- Neferhetepes and Hetepheres — both of which were 4th dynasty princesses
- Neferhotep I, Neferhotep II, and Neferhotep III — all of three were pharaohs that ruled between the 13th and 16th dynasties.
How Can You Use Hotep in a Sentence?
As mentioned previously, our word of the day can be viewed negatively, so be sure to only use it when you know for certain that it won’t offend anyone. Here are a few sentence examples for you to review below:
“You do realize that hotep is not just a term for black men or black people, right? White people fluent with black history or anyone really that delves into words from Ancient Egypt use the term to greet others.”
“My beautiful and proud African-American girlfriend commonly refers to herself as a hotep.”
“Do you still have the book written by Amen, Anpu Unnefer, The Meaning of Hotep? I really want to give it another read, and my little sister stole my copy!”
“Some critics used to refer to Martin Luther King Jr. as a hotep, but he wasn’t Afrocentric, so I don’t think this critique is fitting.”
“I love seeing all these memes about hotep and them referencing black women as mothers of civilization as well as Nubian queens!”
“I didn’t know that Donald was a hotep! Once he added me on Twitter, I noticed he kept retweeting hotep memes, and I couldn’t be happier — I just knew we would get along swimmingly!”
“Man, oh man, did you see what Damon Young tweeted this morning? He seems to always put hoteps on blast!”
“Dr. Umar Johnson is a man I strive to be like; honestly, he really knows how to embrace hotep culture.”
*”Did you have the HBO channel? I really want to watch the latest episode of Insecure — they reference hoteps; I’m so hyped!”
What Are Translations of Hotep?
Now that you understand the meaning behind hotep, let’s take a look at a few translations, shall we?
Translations of hotep, which have been provided by Nice Translator, include:
- Afrikaans — hotep
- Arabic — hotep
- Bulgarian — hotep
- Chinese (simplified) — hotep
- Croatian — hotep
- Czech — hotep
- British English — hotep
- Danish — hotep
- Dutch — hotep
- Finnish — hotep
- French — hotep
- German — hotep
- American English — hotep
- Greek — χοτεπ
- Italian — hotep
- Japanese — ホテップ
- Korean — 핫텝
- Norwegian — hotep
- Polish — hotep
- Portuguese — hotep
- Russian — хотеп
- Spanish — hotep
- Swedish — hotep
- Thai — ฮอต
- Turkish — hotep
- Ukrainian — hotep
- Vietnamese — hotep
In short, hotep is an ancient Egyptian word for “be at peace” or “to be satisfied,” though as we discussed previously, the definition has slightly shifted over time. If you would like to make this word a part of your everyday vocabulary, be sure to use it properly to avoid making anyone upset.
We hope this article has provided you with sufficient information to fully understand the meaning behind hotep.
If you would like to enhance your vocabulary by learning more interesting terms, we invite you to check out our website, where you’ll discover a vast library of informative blogs, grammar tips, and more.
Key Figures of Ancient Egypt | National Geographic
hotep Meaning & Origin | Slang by Dictionary.com