I discovered hotep (or Hotep) serendipitously: I was looking for Afro-Cuban responses to the death of Fidel Castro, and a Twitter trail led me to @audaciouskay. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did learn a new word.
And that's where some of the black vote for Trump came on. Hotepped right on to the polls. https://t.co/z25Zdk0IFr— King K (@audaciouskay) November 26, 2016
The word reminded me of the names of ancient Egyptian deities and pharaohs, and a bit of research confirmed my hunch. Hotep is an Egyptian word that’s translated as “to be at peace.” The word is also found in some ancient Egyptian names, such as Hotepsekhemwy (“the two powers are at peace”), the first ruler of Egypt’s Second Dynasty (c. 2890 – c. 2606 BCE); and the four pharaohs named Amenhotep (“Amun is pleased”). Hotep was a character (voiced by Steve Martin) in the 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt.
The Twitter usage, though, looked more like contemporary slang than classicism – and pejorative slang at that. So I checked out Urban Dictionary, where the oldest definition of hotep, by “Brother Enki,” is from January 2011 and reads:
“Peace” or “I come in Peace” it is a common greeting with people well versed in true world history.
That still didn’t fit “Hotepped right on to the polls.” Something had changed in the last five years.