Akan names and their meanings

Akan names and their meanings

Akan names come from a traditional naming system for people from countries such as Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana. A child’s name is determined by factors surrounding his or her birth. For example, the day of their birth or the manner in which they were born may determine which name they get irrespective of their gender. These Akan names signify the day one is born. According to Akan tradition, each child is born with a name associated to their soul. The day the child is born is therefore determined by the soul. The well thought and organized naming system of the Akan’s was initiated by the ancestors and has attracted so many people’s attention as they desire to know more about these names. As a matter of fact, it is possible to tell what led to someone’s birth, the day they were born and their rank among the siblings just by their names. This is why you need to read this article to know more about Akan names and their meanings.

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Akan names are not just names given to children to give them identity. There is a specific traditional system that is followed when the naming is being done. The names also have different meanings and appellations. Read on for more interesting discoveries.

READ ALSO: Traditional Ghanaian Names for Babies: Know What They Mean

Ever wondered what the Akan names mean?

The following is an account of the different Akan names and appellations. First things first, it is automatic for a child to get a specific name depending on the day they we born according to the Akan tradition. To add to that, the name is accompanied by certain appellations. The list below highlights all the popular names for both males and females from each day of the week and the accompanying appellations.

1. Dampo-Bodua or Akosua-Kwasi

These names are given to children that are born on a Sunday. They are believed to be naturally agile and therefore their appellation is “Agility”. They are quick, fast and are highly skilled in performing tasks especially crafts.

2. Badwo or Akoto-Okoto or Asera/ Adwoa-Kwado

These are names for children born on Monday. They like peace and will avoid trouble at all cost. Their appellation means “Peaceful”.

3. Kosia or Nimo- Ogyama/ Abena-Kwabena

They were born on Tuesday. They are always friendly hence their appellation means “Friendliness”.

4. Kwaku- Atobi, Bonsam/Akua or Daaku- Odaakuo, Obirisuon or Obisi

They were born on Wednesday. Their appellations means “Evil”. They are mostly associated with stubbornness.

5. Yaw-Busuo-Operaba/ Yaa or Prek

They were born on Thursday. Their appellation is bravery. They never care about what will result from a certain situation.

6. Kofi-Ntiful or Babune/ Afua, Kyini- BaafioorNkoso

They were born on Friday. They are known to be wanderers and are unable to stay in one place for long. They can travel to far places, start their own families there and never bother to check on those family members they left behind.

7. Kwame- Nyamewa or Adoma- Oteanankannuro/Ama, Atoapoma

Born on Saturday. The males are believed to be always set for combat hence “Ready for combat” becomes his first appellation while “Snakebite herbalist” becomes his second appellation. Females are creators hence one of their appellation is “creation” while the other is “Grace”.

Meaning of Akan names in Ghana

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Like many cultures in the world, Ghanaians view naming of a child as a very important rite of passage. They normally pick a meaningful name since they believe the name accompanies the individual for the rest of their life. Their convention for naming is very unique compared to other cultures in the world.You could be searching for a beautiful name for your son or daughter; here is a comprehensive list of Akan names with their meaning.

  • Odeneho. It means one who is independent
  • Bekoe. This is a child who came to fight
  • Katakyie. This is a very strong man.
  • Bediako. One who came purposely to engage in war.
  • Agyeman. Came to save the nation
  • Osei. A very noble man
  • Piesie. The firstborn in a family
  • Manu. The second child to be born in a family.
  • Mensah/Mansah. Born third in a family.
  • Annah/Anane. The fourth born.
  • Anum. This is the fifth born
  • Nsiah. Is the sixth born
  • Nson . The seventh born
  • Awotwe. Born as the eight child.
  • Nkrumah. The ninth born
  • Badu. Is the tenth born
  • Duku. Meaning the eleventh born
  • Adunu. Is the twelve born
  • Adusa. Means the thirteenth child.
  • Adiyiah. Is on who encountered a lot of sorrow
  • Abayie. Is a child who came well
  • Antobre. One who never experienced hardship
  • Abeberese. One who experience hardships
  • Acheompong. Attributed to be bearers of chiefs and also kings
  • Addae. It means the morning sun
  • Addai. Means clouds
  • Adekorato. Means treasurer
  • Agyei. One who is a messenger of God
  • Agyenim. A God given child who is very great
  • Anasah. Meaning a person who is royal
  • Donkor. This is a slave
  • Serwaah. One who is noble
  • Bagyina. Is a stable child
  • Sumina. A garbage
  • Agyegyesem. Is a trouble maker

READ ALSO: Islamic Names in English with Meaning: What Does Each Name Mean?

Akan female names

Akan female names come out so well in the form just as Akan ancestors designed them. Here is a list of Akan female names for your daughter.

  • Ababio
  • Abina
  • Adjua
  • Adwoa
  • Adzo
  • Afafa
  • Afryea
  • Afuom
  • Ajoba
  • Akuba
  • Akwete
  • Antobam
  • Araba
  • Awusi
  • Boahinmaa
  • Deladem
  • Dhakira
  • Dofi
  • Dogbeda
  • Duku
  • Dzidzorli
  • Dzifa
  • Effia
  • Ejo
  • Ekuwa
  • Elinam
  • Enyonyam
  • Esi
  • Hania
  • Ikhlas
  • I’tmad
  • Kisi
  • Kuukuwa
  • Likem
  • Lumusi
  • Mama
  • Mawusi
  • Morowa
  • Nanyamka
  • Nyamkomago
  • Ozigbodi
  • Serwa
  • Tawiah
  • Tsoenamawu
  • Veliane
  • Wafaa
  • Woelinam
  • Xoese
  • Xorlali
  • Yaaba
  • Yaayaa
  • Yawa
  • Ye
  • Yehowada
  • Yomavu
  • Zuhrah

Looking for unique Akan names?

If you are searching for cute Akan names check out the following beautiful Akan names. Almost all Akan names are beautiful. Here is a list of the most beautiful ones:

  • Ktakyie
  • Piesie
  • Nsiah
  • Nkrumah
  • Adiyiah
  • Addae
  • Addai
  • Anasah
  • Serwaah

Akan local names and meaning

Most Akan names are local because they have a local origin and background. Here is a list of some them and their meanings.

  • Manu. The second child to be born in a family.
  • Mensah/Mansah. Born third in a family.
  • Annah/Anane. The forth born.
  • Anum. This is the fifth born
  • Dampo. Born on a Sunday
  • Badwo. Born on Monday.
  • Kosia. Born on Tuesday
  • Kwaku. Born on Wednesday.
  • Yaw. Born on Thursday
  • Kofi. Born on Friday
  • Kwame. Born on Saturday

Akan twin names

Akan twins do have special names. The names vary between the younger and the elder twin. The elder twin is normally the second one since it is believed that it is maturity that made him or her allow the other on come out first. Here is a list of Akan twin names

  • Ata and Ataa where Ata is the male child and Ataa the female one.
  • Ata Panin (male younger twin) and AtaaPanin (female younger twin)
  • Ata Kumaa (male elder twin) and AtaaKumaa (female elder twin)

Akan royal names

Royal Akan names are mainly for those children whose appellations show qualities of leadership and nobility. They include:

  • Bekoe - This is a child who came to fight
  • Ktakyie - This is a very strong man.
  • Agyeman - Came to save the nation
  • Ose - A very noble man
  • Acheompong - Attributed to be bearers of chiefs and also kings
  • Anasah - Meaning a person who is royal
  • Agyenim - A God given child who is very great
  • Bagyina - Is a stable child
  • Serwaah - One who is noble

Common Akan female names

The most common Akan female names are those drawn from the day in which the baby was born. They include:

  • Abina
  • Akosua
  • Abenaa
  • Akua
  • Yaa
  • Afua
  • Amma
  • Araba
  • Adzo
  • Adwoa
  • Adjua
  • Akuba
  • Awusi
  • Efua
  • Effia
  • Ejo
  • Kisi
  • Mama

Popular Akan names

The popularity of Akan names is determined by their appellation. The more desirable the appellation is, the popular the name is. Here is a list of popular Akan names:

  • Serwaah. One who is noble.
  • Agyenim . A God given child who is very great.
  • Anasa. Meaning a person who is royal.
  • Addae. It means the morning sun.
  • Bagyina. Is a stable child.
  • Bekoe. This is a child who came to fight.
  • Ktakyie. This is a very strong man.
  • Bediako. One who came purposely to engage in war.
  • Agyeman. Came to save the nation.
  • Piesie. The firstborn in a family.

Akan baby boy names

Akan baby boys are named using the same system as girls. That is, their names are mainly based on their day of birth, order in the siblings and circumstances surrounding their birth. This is a list of Akan baby boy names:

  • Kwasi
  • Kwado
  • Kwabena
  • Kwaku
  • Kwao
  • Kwafi
  • Kwame

Names of Akan tribes in Ghana

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names of akan tribes in ghana

There are several Akan tribes in Ghana. Below is a full list of the names of Akan tribes in Ghana.

  • Twi which comprises of the Asante, Akuapem, Akwamu, and Akyen.
  • Fante(also known as Fanti or Mfantse) which is made of the Anomabo, Abura, and Gomua.
  • Bono
  • Wassa
  • Agona
  • Kwahu

Knowing which Akan names to give your children will help you observe the traditions of your people. You may not have a lot of power concerning what name your child gets as the day they are born and the circumstances surrounding their birth could determine what name they get.

READ ALSO: Everyday words used in Ghanaian communication

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