Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Alphabet

There are 25 hieroglyphic characters at the core of the Egyptian hieroglyphic written language. These characters are know as the alphabet. The alphabet includes the simplest sounds from the language.

These single-sounding hieroglyphs are also called monoliterals, ‘mono' = single + 'literal' = letter. The alphabet characters were used to ‘spell out’ names or anything which couldn’t be represented with other characters.

Some hieroglyphic alphabet characters pass as vowels by modern standards. Although vowels were usually omitted, there were a few situations where vowel sounds were included, usually when a word began or ended with a vowel sound or where it was important to spell things out…as with names.

The following chart shows the 25 hieroglyphs of the Egyptian alphabet.

Alphabet Characters

Hieroglyph Represents Pronounced
vulture_100h vulture ah
father
 reed_100h reed i
filled
two-reeds_100h two reeds y
discovery
arm-w-hand_100h arm & hand broad a
car
chick_100h quail chick oo too
or
w wet
foot_100h foot b
boot
mat_100h mat p
pedestal
horned-viper_100h horned viper f
feel
owl_100h owl m
moon
water_100h water n
noon
mouth_100h mouth r
right
reed-shelter_100h reed shelter h
hat
twisted-flax_100h twisted flax h!
ha!
placenta_100h placenta kh
like Scotch 'loch'
belly-w-teats_100h animal's belly ch
like German 'ich'
folded-cloth_100h folded cloth s
saw
door-bolt_100h door bolt s
saw
pool_100h pool sh
show
sloped-hill_100h slope of hill k
key
basket-w-handle_100h basket
with handle
k
basket
jar-stand_100h jar stand g
go
 loaf_100h loaf t
tap
teather-rope_100h tethering rope tj
church
hand_100h hand d
dog
snake_100h snake dj
adjust
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