Egyptians (Egyptian Arabic: مَصريين ; Arabic: مِصريّون‎ miṣriyūn) are the inhabitants and citizens of Egypt sharing a common culture and a dialect of Arabic.

Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to the Mediterranean and enclosed by desert both to the east and to the west. This unique geography has been the basis of the development of Egyptian society since antiquity. If regarded as a single ethnic group, the Egyptian people constitute one of the world's largest.

The daily language of the Egyptians is the local variety of Arabic, known as Egyptian Arabic or Masri, Also a sizable minority of Egyptian speak Sa'idi Arabic in Upper Egypt. Egyptians are predominantly adherents of Sunni Islam with a Shia minority and a significant proportion who follow native Sufi orders. A sizable minority of Egyptians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, whose liturgical language, Coptic, is the last stage of the indigenous Egyptian language.

  • Egyptians, from Greek Αἰγύπτιοι, Aiguptioi, from Αἴγυπτος, Aiguptos "Egypt". The Greek name is derived from Late Egyptian Hikuptah "Memphis", a corruption of the earlier Egyptian name Hat-ka-Ptah (ḥwt-k3-ptḥ), meaning "home of the ka (soul) of Ptah", the name of a temple to the god Ptah at Memphis. Strabo provided a folk etymology according to which Αἴγυπτος had evolved as a compound from Aἰγαίου ὑπτίως Aegaeou huptiōs, meaning "below the Aegean". In English, the noun "Egyptians" appears in the 14th century, in Wycliff's Bible, as Egipcions.
  • Copts (qibṭ, qubṭ قبط) – Under Muslim rule, the Egyptians came to be known as Copts, a derivative of the Greek word Αἰγύπτιος, Aiguptios (Egyptian), from Αἴγυπτος, Aiguptos (Egypt). The Greek name in turn may be derived from the Egyptian ḥw.t-ka-ptḥ, literally "Estate (or 'House') of Ptah", the name of the temple complex of the god Ptah at Memphis. After the majority of Egyptians converted from Christianity to Islam, the term became exclusively associated with Egyptian Christianity and Egyptians who remained Christian, though references to native Muslims as Copts are attested until the Mamluk period.
  • Maṣreyyīn – The modern Egyptian name comes from the ancient Semitic name for Egypt and originally connoted "civilization" or "metropolis". Classical Arabic Miṣr (Egyptian Arabic Maṣr) is directly cognate with the Biblical Hebrew Mitzráyīm, meaning "the two straits", a reference to the predynastic separation of Upper and Lower Egypt. Edward William Lane writing in the 1820s, said that Egyptians commonly called themselves El-Maṣreyyīn 'the Egyptians', Ewlad Maṣr 'the Children of Egypt' and Ahl Maṣr 'the People of Egypt'. He added that the Turks "stigmatized" the Egyptians with the name Ahl-Far'ūn or the 'People of the Pharaoh'.
  • Rmṯ (n) km.t – This was the native Egyptian name of the people of the Nile Valley, literally 'People of Kemet' (i.e., Egypt). In antiquity, it was often shortened to simply Rmṯ or "the people". The name is vocalized as remenkīmi ⲣⲉⲙⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ in the Coptic stage of the language, meaning "Egyptian" (han.remenkīmi ϩⲁⲛⲣⲉⲙⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ, with the plural indefinite article, "Egyptians"; ni.remenkīmi ⲛⲓⲣⲉⲙⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ, with the plural definite article, "the Egyptians").

Read more about Egyptians:  Demographics, Languages, Culture, Surnames, Genetic History

Famous quotes containing the word egyptians:

    Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.” So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the LORD tossed the Egyptians into the sea.
    Bible: Hebrew, Exodus 14:26,27.

    I am the LORD, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians.
    Bible: Hebrew, Exodus 6:6,7.

    And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this observance?’ you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to the LORD, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.’
    Bible: Hebrew, Exodus 12:26-27.