Ghanaian Names and Meaning

Each day in a week is seen as important day in Ghana. The day a child is born tells more about who the child is, and this can be identified in their names.

names and meanings in Ghana

Ghanaian names are unique because of the special value they attach to the days of the week on which a child is born. Though, as popular as the pattern of naming a child after the day he’s born in Ghana,  it is not done across all the tribes in Ghana.

Importance of names

Name is an important means of individual identity.  You might definitely find yourself sharing a name or two with some other persons much closer to you or farther away from you. It’s mass thinking that a name is more than a word. Truly, a name tells more about the birth of individuals. As a matter of fact, some believe that what you are called can determine your fulfilment or achievement in life.

“Names give you life,” Laura Wattenberg

Our names are an incredibly important part of our identity. They carry deep personal, cultural, familial, and historical connections. They also give us a sense of who we are, the communities to which we belong, and our place in the world.

In Africa, for instance, names are carefully given as it is considered to have an influence on the life of an individual. In Nigeria, especially in the western part, “The Yorubas”, to give a child names like “stone”, “ice” or “Frediano” (an Italian name which means cold), will be totally strange to the culture and beliefs of the people. Meanwhile, all these names, as strange as they may be, have their great meanings.

names in Ghana
Credit: GhanaSlayers

In Africa, names and meanings are well prioritized. A name could tell if you are from a royal family, and a name could tell if you resemble a dead elderly man or woman. Names have a lot of meanings in Africa a lot. compared to other parts of the world, and that is why you can see an average African man with more than 3 names.

Names arise from different incentives. There are 1001 factors that are seriously considered before giving names. These factors include; gender, circumstances surrounding one’s birth (Jabez! Your guess is as right as mine), mood (rare but facts), place of birth, tribe and the most interesting of it all, day of birth.

In Ghana, newborns are given special names depending on the day on which they were born. Different ethnic groups have variants and meanings as a symbol of cultural integrity and ancestral affiliation. Despite the fact that day names are a common denominator for most Ghanaians, they are easy conversation starters and icebreakers.

Ghanaian Names and Meanings

I will discuss the names and meanings in Ghana based on the ethnic groups we have in Ghana. There are 6 major ethnic groups and they include; The Akan, Ewe, Ga-Adangbe, Mole-Dagbani, Guan, and Gurma. A typical structured Ghanaian name consists of the first name, surname and day name. Peculiar to most ethnic groups.

The names below are arranged by ethnic groups and are names given to their children based on the day of birth.

The Ashantis Names and Meanings in Ghana. 

Sunday –  Kwasi or Kwesi (Male),  Akosua (Female). The meaning is associated with the universe.

Monday– Kwadwo or Kojo (Male), Adjoa or Adwoa (Female) The meaning is associated with peace.

Tuesday – Kwabena or Kobi (Male), Abena (Female). The meaning is associated with the ocean.

Wednesday – Kwaku or Kweku (Male), Akua (Female). The meaning is associated with Hades/Spider.

Thursday – Yaw (Male), Yaa (Female). The meaning is associated with the earth.

Friday –  Kofi (Male), Afia or Afua (Female). The meaning is related to roaming.

Saturday – Kwame (Male), Ama (Female). The meaning is associated with God.

Image showing how a name is given in Ghana

The Ewes Names and meanings in Ghana.

The Ewes and the Ga-Adangbe (Gas) do have similarities in the spelling of their day names, but I will be using the Ewes.

Sunday – Korsi (Male), Esi, Akos (Female).

Monday – Kodzo (Male), Adzo (Female)

Tuesday – Korbla (Male), Abla (Female)

Wednesday – Korku (Male), Aku (Female)

Thursday – Yao (Male), Yawa (Female)

Friday – Kofi (Male) Afi (Female)

Saturday – Kormi (Male),  Ami (Female)

Note: The tribes located in the northern part of Ghana; The Dagomba, Frafra, Dagaati, and Dagbani do not take part in the day naming system.

With the name of a Ghanaian, you can tell which of the 7 days he was born, except for those in the Northern part of Ghana.

Tell me if you’re Kodzo or Kofi, and I can tell you were born on Monday and Friday respectively.

Read Also:

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