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Borrowing from Egyptian 𓅱𓈙𓃀𓏏𓏭𓀾 (wšbtj, answerer, ushabti), replacing 𓆷𓍯𓃀𓏏𓏭𓀾 (šwbtj), perhaps from 𓈙𓍯𓃀𓆭 (šwꜣb, persea (tree)), perhaps the original material.



ushabti (plural ushabtiu or ushabtis)

  1. In ancient Egypt, a figurine of a dead person, placed in their tomb to do their work for them in the afterlife.
    • 1886, The Times, 1 Sep 1886, p.13 col. A:
      These little images were called in Egyptian “Ushabti,” or “Respondents,” and were in fact supposed to act as servants of the deceased, it being their duty to answer for him and serve as his substitutes when called upon to do labourer's work [...].
    • 1957, Lawrence Durrell, Justine:
      The air was all at once full of Egyptian and Greek tear-bottles, Ushabti, and Sèvres.
    • 1993, Rikki Ducornet, The Jade Cabinet, Dalkey Archive Press, p. 121:
      Spectacular objects began to surface throughout the world; […] elaborate ivory powder boxes engraved with peacocks or pictures of lions and unicorns playing draughts, precious ushabtiu figures, the combs of an unknown princess, her red ivory jars of frankincense and eye paint, copper coffers, poison rings, diadems.