World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ghanaian name

Article Id: WHEBN0009536191
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ghanaian name  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kojo, Social conduct in Ghana, Somali name, Igbo name, Greek Cypriot name
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ghanaian name

Ghanaian names are based on ethnic groups including Ga, Akan and Ewe names. Most of them base the given name (first names) they give to their newly born children on the day of the week on which the child has been born with the family name (surname). The Akan and Ewe 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 throughout Ghana and Jamaica. For example, in Ghana the following day names have been recorded: Monday, Kojo; Tuesday, Kwabena; Wednesday, Kweku; Thursday, Yaw; Friday, Kofi; Saturday, Kwame; Sunday, Kwesi. English translations of these names were used in the United States during the nineteenth century; Robinson Crusoe's Man 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 Akan language, 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 Akan, kwa- or ko- for men and a- plus -a or -wa for women). For example, Akan dwo is pronounced something like English Joe, but there do appear to be two sets of names for those born on Tuesday.

Examples of Ghanaian soul names


  • Sunday: Kwasi, Akwasi, Kwesi
  • Monday: Kojo, Kodjo, Kwadwo, Jojo, Joojo, Cudjoe, Kudjoe, Kodzo,
  • Tuesday: Kwabena, Ebo, Komla, Kobena, Kobina, Kobby,
  • Wednesday: Kwaku, Kweku, Kwiku, Korku
  • Thursday: Yaw, Papa, Ekow, Yao, Yokow
  • Friday: Kofi, Fiifi, Yoofi
  • Saturday: Kwame, Ato, Atoapem, Kwamena, Komi,Kwami


  • Sunday: Akosua, Esi: Abena, Abla, Araba, Abina,
  • Monday: Adwoa,Adjoa
  • Tuesday: Abena
  • Wednesday:Ekua, Akua, Akuba, Ekuwa, Kukuwa, Aku
  • Thursday: Yaa, Aba, Ayewa, Yaaba, Yaayaa, Awo, Yawo, Baaba
  • Friday: Afua, Afi, Afia, Efie, Efua
  • Saturday: Ama, Amma, Foowa, Ami, Awurama

Characteristics of each day

  • Sunday's child is the general leader, sensitive to family situations and warm member of the family. He/she tends to be shy and likes to keep to himself/herself, but is very aware of his/her surroundings and usually is the secret keeper of the family.
  • Monday's child is the father or mother in the family; nurturing in nature, dependable and organized, and protective of his/her family.
  • Tuesday's child is the problem solver and planner of the family. They are structured in nature, neutral in all matters and never take sides.
  • Wednesday's child is fully in control of every situation, does not want to be told what to do, knows it all, is spontaneous, vibrant and cordial.
  • Thursday's child is quiet in nature and incredibly observant. They are generally listeners, not talkers, and analyzes situations very well.
  • Friday's child is a leader, not a follower. He/she is very temperamental but has a big heart. Generally the instigator of everything.
  • Saturday's child likes to take control of family situations. He/she runs the show and make the rules, but will go out of his/her way for others any time.


  • Johan Degen, Traditional Ghanaian Names at the Wayback Machine (archived September 30, 2007)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.