Coptic Prefix Question

I read recently that the prefix of ti is feminine like tiparthenos or tiagia. If this is the case, why do we say thok te tigom, and refer to Christ.
Thank you!


  • the prefix here is really the article for the word. Ϯⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ refers to "the female virgin"...hence the Ϯ. Ϯϫⲟⲙ here means "the power" and the word power here is feminine.
  • So wouldn't be more fitting to say pigom, since it's strange to refer to Christ in the feminine?
  • I think you are still confused. The word gom is a feminine word. Itself is a feminine word and it doesn't refer to Christ, but the glory is for Christ here. It's hard to get that for English speaker since we don't have conjugation for feminine or masculine words.
  • it is like in arabic - the word for power (qowa قوة ) is feminine, so we say 'great (masculine adjective ending) are you, God and great (feminine ending) is your power.
    in coptic, the parts of the word that show that it is masculine or feminine go at the beginning, whereas in arabic, they go at the end.

    don't worry, i get my coptic pronouns all messed up and called my tasbeha friend a female recently!
    coptic is simply quite difficult.
    minatasgeel may have forgotten that as he probably came out the womb speaking coptic and that was probably a long time ago, as he has been a (great) moderator here for ages and ages
  • edited August 2022
    @paisios I will try to explain and simplify this. If I get anything wrong someone please correct me.

    In Coptic there is a gender assigned to the noun and a gender assigned to the subject to whom the noun is being attributed. In the example of ϫⲟⲙ, it is a feminine word. So, all the articles attached to it would be feminine articles and this is usually indicated in the beginning of the word as @mabsoota stated. If I wanted to say 'the power' I would attach the feminine article ϯ– to the word ϫⲟⲙ to get ϯϫⲟⲙ. 

    If 'the power' belongs to someone specifically, that would be identified in either a nominal or pronominal manner. If I am attributing power to the Lord then I can do this in two ways. I can either say 'the power of the Lord' or I can say 'His power.' The former in Coptic would be ϯϫⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ⲡ⳪︦ whereas the latter would be ⲧⲉϥϫⲟⲙ. In both cases, because ϫⲟⲙ is a feminine word, the article in front of the word is feminine. 

    But, in the first example, where the subject is explicitly stated, the subject receives its own article, in this case ⲡ̀– because Lord is masculine. In the second example where there is pronominal possession, the gender of the noun is still identified by the usage of ⲧⲉϥ, with the ⲧ in the beginning of ⲧⲉϥ identifying that the noun is feminine. The ϥ at the end of ⲧⲉϥ is the pronominal element identifying that the subject is masculine third person.

    In terms of ⲑⲱⲕ ⲧⲉ ϯϫⲟⲙ, the subject reference is identified in the usage of ⲑⲱⲕ in the ⲕ at the end. This would be the pronominal element identifying the subject to be second person masculine.

    The gender concept in Coptic is a little tough to grasp but it helps to keep in mind that there is a gender for the noun and a gender for the subject and that these are separate. This was an excellent question and I hope my answer helps.
  • It’s worth saying, ϫⲟⲙ by itself doesn’t necessarily mean power. If we were to say pigom, the sentence would be grammatically correct, assuming you do the Coptic equivalent of dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s. The sentence you get (ⲫⲱⲕ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲓϫⲟⲙ, “fook pe pigom”) is grammatically correct, the meaning changed. ⲡⲓϫⲟⲙ or more commonly ⲡ̀ϫⲟⲙ means “the book”, so rather than saying “yours is the power” you’d say “yours is the book”! The changes made (ϯ -> ⲡⲓ, ⲧ -> ⲡ, ⲑ -> ⲫ) are all caused by the grammatical gender mina mentioned, and part of the reason Coptic has so many things that need to all agree is to deal with ambiguous words like ϫⲟⲙ. Hope this helped!
  • @Daniel_Kyrillos,
    Nope - your reasoning is absolutely right but ϫⲟⲙ doesn't mean book.. Ϫⲱⲙ does
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • edited September 2022
    @ophadece my mistake- thats what I get for not double checking my work :)

    I’ll revise my original point: in a spoken context*, it’s very likely someone might mistake ϫⲟⲙ for ϫⲱⲙ without the context clues
  • glad ophadece added that, i only did a few coptic classes, but i thought that Ϫⲱⲙ was 'book' also
    but maybe some people in some corner of egypt used to spell it differently, there seems to be quite a lot of spelling differences in different places and at different times.

    that is why i don't try to understand everything, my head would explode!
    (it is quite small)
Sign In or Register to comment.