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Ghanaian names are based on ethnic groups including Akan, Ga and Ewe names. The Akan and Ewe people of Ghana frequently give their children a "day name" which corresponds to the day of the week they were born. These day names have further meanings concerning the soul and character of the person. Middle names have considerably more variety and can refer to their birth order, twin status, or an ancestor's middle name. These names have spread throughout Ghana and Jamaica. During the 18th-19th Century, slaves from modern day Ghana in the the Caribbean were referred to as Coromantees. Many of the leaders of slave rebellions had "day names" including Cuffy or Kofi, Cudjoe or Kojo, and Quamina or Kwabena.
Most Ghanaians have at least one name from this system, even if they also have an English or Christian name. Notable figures with day names include Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Examples of Ghanaian day 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:
- Monday: Adwoa,Adjoa
- Tuesday: Abena, Abla, Araba, Abina,
- Wednesday:Ekua, Akua, Akuba, Ekuwa, Kukuwa, Aku
- Thursday: Yaa, Aba, Ayewa, Yaaba, Yaayaa, Awo, Yawa, 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)
- Oppong, Joseph R.; Oppong, Esther D. (2003). Ghana. New York City: Infobase Publishing. pp. 53–57. ISBN 1438105053. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- Levy, Patricia; Wong, Winnie (2010). Ghana (2nd ed.). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. p. 99. ISBN 0761448470. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- Utley, Ian (2010). Ghana - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Rev. [ed.], 3rd printing. ed.). London: Kuperard. ISBN 1857336046.