This tradition is shared throughout West Africa due to Akan Influence, from Benin/Dahomey (Fon) and Togo (Ewe), to the Ga, to other West Africans 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 Atta Annan, was so named for being born on a Friday (Kofi) as part of a twin (Atta).
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.
|Male name||Female name||Ndyuka|
|Kwadwó||Adwoa||Kodjó, Kojo, Jojo;
Adjua, Ajwoba, Adjoa
|Kwabená||Abenaa, Abénaa||Komlá, Komlã, Komlan, Kobby, Ebo, Kobi Kobina;
Ablá, Ablã, Abena, Abrema
|Kwakú||Akua, Akúá, Akuba||Koku, Kokou, Kweku, kaku, Kuuku;
|Yaw||Yaa||Yao, Yaba, Yawo, Ekow, Kow, Kwaw;
Araba, Ayawa, Baaba, Yaaba, Aba
|Kofí||Afua||Koffi, Fiifi, Yoofi;
Afí, Afua, Efia, Efua
|Kwámè, Kwǎmè,||Ám̀ma, Ámmá||Ato, Kwami, Kuwame, Komi;
Ame, Ama, Amba, Ameyo
|Akwasí||Akosua||Kwesi, Siisi, Akwasi, Kosi;
Akosi, Akosiwa, Así, Esi, Kwasiba.
There are also special names for elder and younger twins. The second twin to be born is considered the elder as they were mature enough to help their sibling out first.
|Twin||Male name||Female name||Variants|
|First born ("younger" twin)||Atá Pánin||Ataá Pánin||Panyin|
|Second born ("elder" twin)||Atá Kúmaa||Ataá Kúmaa||Akwetee (m), Atsú, Kaakra, Kakraba, Kakira|
|Born after twins||Táwia|
|Born after Tawia||Gaddo||Nyankómàgó|
There are also names based on the order born, the order born after twins, and the order born after remarriage.
|Order||Male name||Female name||Variants|
|First born||Píèsíe||Berko (m), Arko (m), Dede (f), Dedei (f), Abaka, Kande (f)?|
|Third born||Meńsã́||Mánsã||Mensah, Mansah|
|Fourth born||Anan, Anané||Annan|
|Fifth born||Núm, Anúm|
|Seventh born||Asón||Nsṍwaa||Esson, Ansong|
|Eighth born||Bótwe||Awotwe, Awotwie|
|Ninth born||Ákron, Nkróma||Nkróma||Akun, Ackon, Nkrumah|
|First with a
Children are also given names when delivered under special circumstances.
|on the field||Afúom||"on the farm"|
|on the road||Ɔkwán||"the road"|
|in war||Bekṍe, Bedíàkṍ||"war time"|
|happy circumstances||Afiríyie||"good year"|
|after death of father||Antó||"it didn't meet him"|
|after long childlessness||Nyamékyε||"gift from God"|
|premature or sickly||Nyaméama||"what God has given (no man can take away)"|
|Yεmpέw||"we don't want you"|
- One who loves -Adofo
- Ethnic[clarification needed] -Hauhouot(owo)
- Forceful -Kumi
- Bartle, Philip F.W. (January 1978). "Forty Days; The AkanCalendar". Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (Edinburgh University Press) 48 (1): 80–84. doi:10.2307/1158712. JSTOR 1158712.
- For the Akan, the first-born twin is considered the younger, as the elder stays behind to help the younger out.
- 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
- Akan Teleteaching course
- Aukan Library (Ndyuka)