List of Ethiopian titles

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List of historical and partly still common titles in Ethiopia :


  • Abba (also Aba ): literally father , title of priest in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church .
  • Abagaz : governor, ruler of a district or region.
  • Abetahun (also Abeto Hun ): Title for members of the imperial and dignitary families
  • Abeto : later short form of Abetahun
  • Abuna : 'our father', title of the head of the Ethiopian church , and of other high ecclesiastical dignitaries.
  • Afa-Negus : 'the mouth of the king', Chief Justice, later Minister of Justice.
  • Afa-Makonnen : 'Breath of the dignitary', the title of the speaker or representative of the Makonnen of Tigray.
  • Agafari : Imperial Master of Ceremonies, Chief of Protocol.
  • Alaqa : Commander.
  • Alge Worrash : title of the heir to the throne or an imperial prince
  • Amir : Prince, Commander. Hereditary title of the later Muslim rulers over Harrar, see also Emir .
  • Aqaba Sa'an : 'Overseer of the hours', high ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries
  • Asalafi : Cupbearer .
  • Asiraleqa : 'Commander of 10'.
  • Ato : late short form of Abetahun , today used as a salutation "Herr".
  • Atse : 'God's chosen one', old form of address for the emperor.
  • Azzaz : High title for dignitaries.
  • Azmatch : Commander (general).


  • Ba'altehat : Queen (historical).
  • Baher Negash : 'ruler of the sea' (that is, the border province closest to the sea), the old title of governor over the northern provinces (central part of today's Eritrea).
  • Bajirond : Treasurer.
  • Bala Alge : aspirant to the throne, hypocrite.
  • Balabbat : landed gentry.
  • Balambaras : Military title, later honorary title, 'Commander of the Citadel'. Originally a lieutenant colonel of equivalent military rank. A personal title of the high nobility after 1930.
  • Balderas : Military title, leader of the shield-bearers, grand stable master
  • Baltihat : Medieval title of the main imperial women
  • Basha : Military title
  • Bejirond : Treasurer.
  • Bitwoded : Secular Dignitary
  • Blatta : Short form of the title "Blattengeta"
  • Blattengeta : secular dignitary, chief of the page corps , later high honorary title.


  • Danzo : common form of address for the emperor until the reign of Sarsa Dengal.
  • Dejazmach : 'Commander of the gate'; originally a military rank later replaced by Lieutenant General. A personal title of the high nobility after 1930.


  • Enderasse : 'He who represents him' (the emperor), that is, viceroy.


  • Fitawrari : 'the attacker at the head', that is, the commander of the vanguard. Originally a military rank equivalent to major general. A personal title of the high nobility after 1930.


  • Gerad (also Garad ): Title of rulers and tribal leaders of Islamic areas
  • Gerazmach (also Garazmach ): Military title.
  • Girmawi : His Majesty.
  • Girmawit : Your Majesty.


  • Hamsaleqa : 'Commander of 50', that means lieutenant.
  • Hasege : 'Herr des Landes', a (16th century) term used for the emperor.
  • Hedug : MP.
  • Hegeno : administrator of Islamic areas


  • Immabet : 'mother of the house', the usual title of a married noblewoman of high rank, later title of the granddaughter of a ruler of the female line.
  • Ite : 'sister', a title used for some high ranking names that descended from the Solomonic dynasty. Ite is a short form of Itege .
  • Itege : 'sister of the country', the title of the empress, feminine von Hasege. Probably a diminutive of “Igzi-itege” 'patroness of the country'.


  • Kahin : Clergy .
  • Kagn Baltehat : 'Queen of Law' (historical), the title of the older consort in the Ethiopian royal hierarchy. Usually, but not always, the Emperor's mother or stepmother.
  • Kagnazmatch : 'Commander from the right side'. Originally a military rank later replaced by Brigadier General. A personal title of the high nobility after 1930.
  • Kantiba : administrator, later also mayor of certain cities
  • Kes : priest


  • La'eka Negus : The King's Messenger.
  • Leul : "His Highness", title for princes and the emperor's sons
  • Le'ul Dejazmach : "His Highness" in connection with the title of Dejazmach .
  • Le'ul Ras : "His Highness" in connection with the title of Ras .
  • Le'ult : Imperial Princesses and Princesses
  • Ligaba : Secular and military dignitary.
  • Lij : 'Child', the title for a male descendant of a nobleman of high rank.
  • Liqa : boss, head.
  • Liqa Makwas : title of the imperial doppelganger and other dignitaries.
  • Liqa Papasat : head of the bishops, name of Abuna


  • Magabi : Steward.
  • Malik (or Melek ): Arabic expression for king, short form al-Mek (for Sudanese petty rulers, partly in the sphere of influence of the Ethiopian Neguse Negest).
  • Makonnen : dignitaries; Prince, not of the imperial family.
  • Makwannent : dignitary; Princes not of the imperial family (majority of Makonnen).
  • Mamher : Abbot of a monastery.
  • Matoaleqa : 'Commander of 100', that means captain .
  • Mar : title of secular and spiritual dignitaries
  • Melake Baher : Title of administrator of the northern seaside areas prior to the introduction of the title of Baher Negash
  • Memhir : Dept.
  • Memire : priest.
  • Meridazmatch : traditional title of ruler over Shewa later restored as a title for Crown Prince Asfa Wossen (later HIM Emperor Amha Selassie). Also a military rank equivalent to a colonel on the staff.
  • Mesfin : Prince of the imperial family or the highest dignitaries outside the imperial family.
  • Mesfint : the term applied to more distant members of imperial ancestry.
  • Mogassa : 'She who is kind', 'her grace'. An expression used as a suffix in the empress's rulership names matches during the Solomonic period.


  • Nagadras : 'Chief of Merchants', that is, Minister of Commerce.
  • Negash : ruler, dignitary
  • Negest : Queen
  • Negest Negastate : Queen of Queens, title of Empress.
  • Negus : King, honorary title for the governors of the most important provinces: Gojam, Wollega, the seaward provinces and the later Showa.
  • Neguse Negest : King of Kings, the title of Emperor .
  • Negusawi Betasab : Imperial Family.
  • Nibure Id : one of the oldest and highest secular dignitaries for a secular church administrator


  • Qala Hase : 'Voice of the King', royal speaker.
  • Qas : Title for provincial governors in the 16th - 17th centuries.
  • Qidus : saint


  • Ras : originally a field marshal of equivalent military rank. A title from nobilitay after 1930.
  • Ras Bitwodad : 'the dear prince', the crude supreme court gentleman who combined the earlier separate titles of Gara Bitwodad and Qagn Bitwodad. Later also merged, but separated from Enderasse's office.
  • Ra'asa ra'usan : 'Prince of Princes', the title of the main rac', usually also Bitwodad at any particular time.
  • Raq Mama'asare : Master of Ceremonies.


  • Sagad : 'He, to whom one bends (below)', adored, praised. A term used as a suffix in the rulership names of emperors during the Solomonic period.
  • Sasarge : one of the twelve 'masters of the rule' or judges who attended the coronation and anointed the new emperor.
  • Sehafe or S'ahafi : scribe, scribe in general
  • Sehafe Lam or S'ahafalam : Title for imperial tax collectors in the individual provinces
  • Sehafe Teezaz or S'ahafi Te'azzaz : Imperial historian and court chronicler, later Minister
  • Seraq Masere : master of ceremonies and judge at the imperial court
  • Shalaqa : 'Commander of 1,000', which means battalion commander or colonel .
  • Shambal : 'Commander of 250', that means company commander or captain.
  • Sheikh : The title used by the hereditary Muslim rulers of Bela Shangul and by certain Muslim celebrities from Wollo, Tigray, and Eritrea.
  • Shum (also written Seyum in ancient Ethiopian): Appointed , title for administrators of certain areas of the empire appointed by the emperor.
  • Sultan (or Selt'an ): ruler, prince. Hereditary titles of certain Muslim rulers including those of Ausa (the Afars) and Jimma. Also often used as part of the name De guerre adopted by Ethiopian emperors at their coronation.



  • Wagshum : 'Appointed by Wag', title for the administrator of Wag
  • Walatta : 'daughter', a common prefix associated with woman's baptismal names, especially those of saints.
  • Woyzerit : a courtesy form of address used by unmarried women of high rank.
  • Woyzerit-Hoy : courtesy form of address used by high-ranking widowed ladies.
  • Woyzero : originally applied to ladies of high rank, princesses and members of the aristocracy, now used as the equivalent of "woman" (for married women) as a courtesy salutation.



  • Zadik : Saint.
  • Zawd Econa : 'Fiance to the Crown', the original title of the particular heir, obviously (old).