Akan names

Akan names

The Akan people of Ghana frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. These names have spread through West Africa, from Benin/Dahomey (Fon) and Togo (Ewe) to the Côte d'Ivoire (Baoulé), and throughout the African diaspora. For example, in Jamaica the following day names have been recorded: Monday, "Cudjoe;" Tuesday, "Cubbenah;" Wednesday, "Quaco;" Thursday, "Quao;" Friday, "Cuffee;" Saturday, "Quamin;" Sunday, "Quashee." English translations of these names were used in the United States during the nineteenth century; Robinson Crusoe's Friday may be conceptually related.

Most Ghanaians have at least one name from this system. Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, was so named for being born on a Saturday "(Kwame)" and being the ninth born "(Nkrumah)." Also, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was so named for being born on a Friday "(Kofi)."

In the official orthography of the Twi language, the Ashanti versions of these names as spoken in Kumasi are as follows. The diacritics on á a̍ à represent high, mid, and low tone (tone does not need to be marked on every vowel), while the diacritic on a̩ is used for vowel harmony and can be ignored. (Diacritics are frequently dropped in any case.) Variants of the names are used in other languages, or may represent different transliteration schemes. The variants mostly consist of different affixes (in Ashanti, "kwa-" or "ko-" for men and "a-" plus "-a" or "-wa" for women). For example, among the Fante, the prefixes are "kwe-" and "e-", respectively. Akan "d̩wo" is pronounced something like English "Joe", but there do appear to be two sets of names for those born on Tuesday.

Day names

pecial delivery

Children are also given names when delivered under special circumstances.

* "One who loves" -Adofo
* "Ethnic"what -Hauhouot(owo)
* "Forceful" -Kumi


*J.E. Redden and N. Owusu (1963, 1995). "Twi Basic Course". Foreign Service Institute (Hippocrene reprint). ISBN 0-7818-0394-2
*Florence Abena Dolphyne (1996). "A comprehensive course in Twi (Asante) for the Non-Twi learner". Ghana Universities Press, Accra. ISBN 9964302452
* [http://www.akan.org/akan_cd/ALIAKAN/course/U-Akan.html Akan Teleteaching course]
* [http://www.sil.org/americas/suriname/Aukan/English/AukanEngLLIndex.html Aukan Library] (Ndyuka)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Akan (Wisconsin) — Akan Pueblo de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Akan Volcanic Complex — (阿寒岳, Akan dake) Volcanic Complex Mount Meakan, Akan …   Wikipedia

  • Akan goldweights — are referred to locally as mrammou and the weights are made of brass and not gold. Used to weigh gold and merchandise, at first glance the goldweights look like miniature models of everyday objects. Based on the Islamic ounce, each weight had a… …   Wikipedia

  • Names of God — This article is about names for the monotheist notion of a singular God. For theonyms generally, see List of deities. A diagram of the names of God in Athanasius Kircher s Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652–54). The style and form are typical of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Weekday names — Days of the week redirects here. For the song by Stone Temple Pilots, see Days of the Week (song). The names of the days of the week from the Roman period have been both named after the seven planets of classical astronomy and numbered, beginning …   Wikipedia

  • Metin Akan — Personal information Full name Metin Akan Date of birth 28 May 1983 (1983 05 28 …   Wikipedia

  • Meanings of minor planet names: 4501–5000 — As minor planet discoveries are confirmed, they are given a permanent number by the IAU s Minor Planet Center, and the discoverers can then submit names for them, following the IAU s naming conventions. The list below concerns those minor planets …   Wikipedia

  • Malaysian names — Personal names in Malaysia are extremely useful in tracing a person s cultural and ethnic background as Malaysia comprises many ethnicities and cultures in which, each has its own distinct system of names. Personal names are to a certain degree,… …   Wikipedia

  • Indonesian names — and naming customs reflect the multicultural and the polyglot nature of a nation which is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands. It is the world s fourth most populous nation comprising about 365 tribal ethnic groups, making it unrivaled in terms …   Wikipedia

  • Coromantee people — Coromantee people, also called Coromantins or Coromanti people was the designation for recent Caribbean and South American people who were enslaved and brought from the Gold Coast or modern day Ghana. Coromantins were from several Akan ethnic… …   Wikipedia