Abba): father, title of a priest in the Ethiopian Coptic
Abagaz: governor, ruler of a district or region.
Abetahun: Prince. A title in use for descendants in
the male line of the Solomonic line. Abeto: diminutive of the princely title of
Abetahun, but used as a prefix for the untitled male
descendants of princes and nobles. Abuna: 'father', title of the supreme chief of the
Ethiopian Coptic Church, the Patriarch, and of other high
Afa-Negus: 'the breath of the King', the title
conferred on Imperial spokesmen, later Lord Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court.
Afa- Makonnen: 'breath of the dignitary', the title
of the spokesman or deputy of the Makonnen of Tigray.
Agafari: Chief of Protocol.
Alga: divan or couch-like throne, thus used as a
reference to a governor, ruler, prince or sovereign. AlgaWorrash: 'inheritor of the throne',
Heir Apparent or Crown Prince. Amir: prince, commander. Hereditary title of the
later Muslim rulers of Harrar.
Anbasa-bet: lion-house. Aqaba Sa'at: 'guardian of the hours', the title of
the Imperial Chaplain. Asalafi: cupbearer. Asiraleqa: 'commander of 10'. Ato: diminutive of the noble title of Abeto, but
used as a prefix for gentlemen, now the equivalent of Mr. Atse: 'Elect of God'. Azzaz: Judge. Azmatch: Commander, general. Ba'altehat: Queen (ancient). Bahr Negus: 'King of the Sea', the ancient title
of the ruler of the maritime northern provinces,
including present-day Eritrea. Bajirond: Treasurer.
Bala Alga: claimant to the throne, pretender. Balabbat: noble. Balambaras: 'Commander of the Citadel', i.e.
Minister of the Court. Originally a military rank
equivalent to Lieutenant-Colonel. A personal title of
nobility after 1930.
Basha: Warrant Officer.
Bejirond: Treasurer. Bet: house, mansion, palace. Bitwoded: 'the beloved', a title of nobility
conferred very rarely on the two principal councillors to
the Emperor, the Bitwodad of the Right and the Bitwodad
of the Left.
Blata: Page. Blattengeta: 'Master of the Pages', a senior
courtier responsible for the administration of the
Dabtara: a non celibate man learned in religion,
Danzo: the usual term of address used for the
Emperor, until the reign of Sarsa Dengal. Daq: progeny, lineage. Dejazmatch: 'Commander of the Gate'. Originally a
military rank, later replaced by Lieutenant-General. A
personal title of nobility after 1930. Dengel: the Holy Virgin. Enderasse: 'he who represents him' (the Emperor),
Eraz: 'the right hand of Christ', an office created
by Sultan Sagad in 1611 as a replacement for Bitwodad,
but abandoned shortly afterward. Etchege: Lord Abbot, traditionally of Dabra
Libanos. Fetha Neghast: the Law of Kings, the fundamental
law of Ethiopia Fitawrari: 'Horn of a Rhinoceros', i.e. commander
of the vanguard. Originally a military rank equivalent to
Major-General. A personal title of nobility after 1930. Gabre: servant, Gabriel. Gara Ba'altehat: 'Queen of the Left'
(ancient), the title of the aecond most senior wife
of the sovereign, and usually seated beside him on the
Gara Bitwoded: 'Beloved of the Left, the title of the
second most senior official in the land, later united in
a single title of Ras Bitwodad.
Garad: title of the governors of Muslim provinces,
including Bali and Gan, during the Solomonic period. Garazmatch: 'Commander of the left'. Originally a
military title later replaced by Brigadier-General. A
personal title of nobility after 1930. Ge: country. Geta: chief, master.
Getoch: restpectful plural of gueta. Girmawi: His Majesty. Girmawit: Her Majesty. Gwandari: private soldier. Haile: strength, holy, saint. Haymanot: faith. Hamsaleqa: 'Commander of 50', i.e. Lieutenant.
Hasege: 'lord of the country', a term used for the
Emperor (16th century). Hedug: deputy. Immabet: 'mother of the house, the usual title of
a married noblewoman of the high rank, later bestowed on
the grand-daughters of a sovereign, in the female line. Immabet-Hoy: 'Great Lady', a title infrequently
conferred on ladies of Imperial descent and on the wives
of high ranking nobles.
Ite: 'sister', a title used for some high ranking
ladies descended from the Solomonic dynasty. Itege: 'sister of the country', the title of the
Empress consort, feminine of Hasege. Probably a
diminutive of Igzi-itege 'patroness of the country'. Jan: 'elephant', used in the sense of 'great', the
'great one' or 'master', an ancient reference to the
Emperor himself or people and places associated with him. Jan Daraba: master of the eunuchs, chamberlain. Jan Hasana: one of the twelve 'masters of the law'
or judges, third in rank amongst that number. Jan Hoy: a term of address used for the Emperor
since the reign of Sarsa Dengal, sometimes translated as
Jan Ma'esare: one of the twelve 'masters of the law'
or judges, first in rank amongst that number.
Jan Takala: master of the (King's) banner, later
master of the Takal, one of the towers at the imperial
palace at Gondar. Janbalaw: master of the Black Guard. Jantirar: the title borne by the head of the
family holding the mountain fortress of Ambassel. Kahin: clergy. Kagn Baltehat: 'Queen of the Right'
(ancient), the title of the senior consort in the
Ethiopian Royal hierarchy. Usually, but not always, held
by the mother or step-mother of the Emperor.
Kagn Bitwoded: 'Beloved of the Right', the title of
the most senior official in the land, later united in a
single title of Ras Bitwodad.
Kagnazmatch: 'Commander of the right'. Originally a
military rank later replaced by Brigadier-General. A
personal title of nobility after 1930.
Kantiba: Mayor (of a city).
Kebra Neghast: the Glory of the Kings, the official
history of Ethiopia. La'eka Negus: King's Messenger. Lebna: incense. Le'ul: Prince, sons and grandsons of a sovereign
in the male line, with the style of His Imperial
Highness. Le'ul Dajazmatch: Prince of the Blood, usually the
son or heir of a Le'ul Ras. Le'ulRas: Prince of the Blood with the
style of His Highness. Le'ult: Princess, daughters and grand-daughters of
a sovereign in the male line and wives of of Leul, with
the style of Her Imperial Highness. Also accorded
to certain granddaughters in the female line upon
marriage, and upon the wives of a Leul Ras.
Lij: 'child', the title for a male descendant of a
noble of high rank.
Liqa: chief, head. Liqaba: Chief Chamberlain and Commander of the
Palace Guards. Liqa Makas: court dignitaries, traditionally two
at any one time, who bear the imperial insignia and stand
about the Emperor during battle.
Magabi: steward. Malik (or Melek): Arabic term for King,
often used as part of the nom-de-guerre assumed by
Ethiopian Emperors at their coronation. Makonnen: dignitary. Makwannent: dignitaries. Mamher: abbot of a monastery. Mashasha: shelter.
Matoaleqa: 'commander of 100', i.e. Captain.
Meridazmatch: traditional title of the ruler of
Showa, later restored as a title for Crown Prince Asfa
Wossen (later H.I.M. Emperor Amha Selassie). Also a
military rank equivalent to a Colonel on the Staff.
Memhir: Abbot. Memire: priest. Mesfin: prince or ruler of a large province, also
used as a general description for provincial magnates of
the very highest rank. Rendered as the equivalent of
Duke, during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie. Mesfint: the term applied to more distant members
of the Imperial lineage.
Mogassa: 'she who is gracious', 'her grace'. A term
used as a suffix in the reign names of Empress consorts
during the Solomonic period.
Nagadras: 'Chief of the Merchants', i.e. Minister of
Nebura Id: 'one who is placed in office by the laying
on of hands'. The title of the civil governor of the city
and see of Axum, and keeper of the Book of Laws.
Negest: Queen regnant. Negest Negastate: Queen of Kings, i.e. Empress
Negus: King, but in the singular form merely an
honorific titles bestowed on governors of the most
important provinces: Gojjam, Wollega, the seaward
provinces and later Showa.
Negus Negast: King of Kings, the title of the Emperor
Negusawi Betasab: Imperial family. Nibure Id: 'the laying on of hands', the title of
the High Priest of Axum (originally Axum Zion). Qala Hase: 'voice of the king', royal spokesman. Qas: title of the provincial governors of Gurage,
Hadiya, Iffat, Manz and Wag, during the 16th-17th
centuries. Ras: originally a military rank equivalent to
Field Marshal. A title of nobilitay after 1930. Ras Bitwodad: 'the beloved Prince', the highest
court noble rank which combined the former separate
titles of Gara Bitwodad and Qagn Bitwodad. Later also
combined with, but separate from, the office of
Ra'asa ra'usan: 'prince of princes', the title of the
principal Ras, usually also the ruling Bitwodad at any
particular time. Raq Ma'asare: Master of Ceremonies. Sagad: 'he to whom one bows (down)', revered,
exalted. A term used as a suffix in the reign names of
Emperors during the Solomonic period. Sahafalam: 'recorder of cattle'. The title of the
governors of important provinces during the Solomonic
period, and known as the 'great lords': Amhara, Damot,
and Showa. Sahafi: scribe, recorder. Sahafi Te'azzaz: 'Scribe, by Imperial Command,
later translated as Minister of the Pen and Keeper of the
Sahle: clemency. Sasarge: one of the twelve 'masters of the law' or
judges, who officiated at the coronation and anointed the
Emperor. Saifu: sword. Selassie: Holy Trinity. Shalaqa: 'commander of 1,000', i.e. battalion
commander or Colonel. Shambal: 'commander of 250', i.e. company
commander or Major. Sheikh: leader. The title used by the hereditary
Muslim rulers of Bela Shangul, and by certain Muslim
notables of Wollo, Tigray and Eritrea. Shum (also written 'seyum'): Lord, a title used
for the governors of Agame, Enariya, Sagada, Shum, Sire,
Sultan (or Seltan): ruler, prince. Hereditary
title of certain Muslim rulers, including those of Ausa
(the Afars) and Jimma. Also often used as part of the
nom-de-guerre assumed by Ethiopian Emperors at their
coronation. Tafari: 'he who is feared'. Takla: plant. Tallalaq Blattengeta: 'High Master of the Pages'.
T'eqaqen Blattengeta: 'Junior Master of the Pages'. Tigray Makonnen: Viceroy of Tigray. Wagshum: 'Lord of Wag', the hereditary title of
the head of the former Zagwe dynasty, who ruled between
1117 and 1268 AD, entitled to a seat of honour next to
the Emperor, but held no political power or influence
beyond the traditional Wag fiefdom.
Walatta: 'daughter of', a common prefix attached to
female baptismal names, especially those of saints. Woizerit: courtesy title used by unmarried ladies
of high rank. Woizerit-Hoy: courtesy title used by widowed
ladies of high rank. Woizero: courtesy title used by married women,
originally applied to ladies of high rank, princesses and
members of the upper nobility, now used as the equivalent
of Mrs. Worq: 'golden' Yashalaqa: 'commander of 1,000'. Yawest Azzaz: 'judge of the West', the title of
the superintendent of the
household. Yawest Blattengeta: 'Master of the Pages of the
West', superintendent of the
household pages. Zadik: saint. Zawd Econa: 'Betrothed to the Crown', the original
title of the designated Heir Apparent (ancient). Zauditu: Judith. Zefan-bet: throne-room.
would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have
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