Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies

Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 05:40 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 05:45 PM
Bill D 07 Mar 06 - 05:52 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 05:52 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 05:55 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 05:59 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 06:07 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 06:14 PM
Azizi 07 Mar 06 - 06:26 PM
Sorcha 07 Mar 06 - 06:53 PM
MBSLynne 08 Mar 06 - 02:47 AM
Bert 08 Mar 06 - 03:02 AM
Azizi 08 Mar 06 - 07:25 AM
SINSULL 08 Mar 06 - 07:57 PM
Azizi 08 Mar 06 - 08:15 PM
Azizi 08 Mar 06 - 08:18 PM
SINSULL 08 Mar 06 - 09:12 PM
Kaleea 08 Mar 06 - 09:33 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Mar 06 - 04:17 AM
Kweku 09 Mar 06 - 04:43 AM
Kweku 09 Mar 06 - 05:09 AM
Azizi 09 Mar 06 - 09:46 AM
Sandra in Sydney 24 Mar 06 - 04:55 AM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:40 PM

A number of posts about naming practices have found their way into BS threads whose titles have nothing to do with names.

It seems to me that this subject deserves its own thread. And here it is.

This thread is about naming practices where you live. For instance, in your neck of the woods, is it common for the first son to be named after his father? Are children not permitted to have the names of someone who is still living? Are twins routinely given rhyming first names? In your culture, do siblings often have first names with the same initials? Is it common for children to be given names that reference God? Are there naming ceremonies associated with giving a baby a name?

I hope that we discuss these and other questions about naming practices.

I intend to repost some of the comments that I have written on Mudcat about naming practices. And with his permission, I am also going to repost excerpts from comments that Mudcat's newest member, Quarcoo, sent me about Ghanaian naming practices. I hope that Quarcoo will also post additional information about this subject on this thread.

I find this topic fascinating. If you do too, this thread is for you!

reeand the nammeaningsnaminThrough thead driftThere have


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:45 PM

Sorry about the goobly gook. No, there's no secret code, unless, well... I'm not tellin, but,those who know...know.

LOL!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:52 PM

first born sons, like me, are often given names to reflect the family line...I am Bill (Wm)Martin, my mother's maiden name. It was also common in my family to get names from the Bible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:52 PM

Excerpt [with correction of typo] from

Subject: RE: BS: Are rhetorical questions ruining the BS
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 07:19 PM

.."You may find this interesting:

Not only are there Ghanaian day names:

Ghanaian Day Names

but there are Ghanaian birth order names:

Akan Birth Order Names

Some examples:
Kofi Annan {male born on Friday, 4th born}
Kwame Nkruma- {male born on Saturday, 9th born}

Also, ...Kojo Nnamdi has an Akan {Ghana and The Ivory Coast first name: Kojo=male born on Monday and Nnamdi=father's name lives on {Ibo, Nigeria}. Given this combination, though I'm going to admit that I don't know who Kojo Nnamdi is, I bet he's African American.
Since we don't know our specific African roots, we often mix and match names and traditions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:55 PM

Excerpt from

Subject: RE: BS: Are rhetorical questions ruining the BS
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 01 Mar 06 - 02:37 AM

...I want to mention that the name "Cudjoe" is a modification of the name "Kojo". The name "Cudjoe" appears in a number of American {USA} listing of enslaved Africans. It also appears in a listing of names used by African slaves {presumably from Ghana and The Ivory Coast} in Jamaica, 1757, documented by Edward Long {"The History of Jamaica, 3 vols; published in 1774}.

Here's that list of day names as quoted in the 1973 book "Slaves, Free Men, Citizens: West Indian Perspective" {edited by Lambros Comitas & David Lowenthal, Anchor Books, p. 37}:

Monday    -Cudjoe {male}; Juba {female}
Tuesday   -Cubbenah {male}; Beneba {female}
Wednesday -Quaco {male}; Cuba {female}
Thursday -Quao {male}; Abba {female}
Friday    -Cuffee {male};Phibba {female}
Saturday -Quamin {male}; Mimba {female}
Sunday    -Quashee {male}; Quasheba {female}


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:59 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Are rhetorical questions ruining the BS
From: Azizi - PM
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 05:20 PM

"About the name Kwadwo/Kojo and Kudjo. The first one is an Akan male born on Monday. Now when the child is being named,most of the time this name is not mentioned because it obvious that he was born on Monday so the name is his. He is rather given the name of either his father,grandfather,uncle or even aunties depending on the tribe. So let's say that you have four boys born on monday,the first one can be called either Kwadwo or the name given to him during the naming ceremony,and this can apply to the rest of the boys,so it depends on you the mother who was there at the naming ceremony to distinguish between the boys. Eg. my dad is Kweku,my uncle Kweku,my grandfather Kweku and myself Kweku(Kuuku). Now when we meet,my mother will call me Kweku Nyarko, my grandfather Kweku Ntefo.So there is no confusion.

The name Kojo and Kudjo is a name for males born on Monday belonging to the Ewe tribe(another tribe found in Ghana,Togo,Benin and Nigeria). The Ewe are our brothers and we have a lot of things in common. They also have names like adwoa/adwoavi etc."
-Quarcoo, from email to Azizi 3/7/06


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 06:07 PM

Quarcoo's name is from the Ga ethnic group in Ghana. I found this online article about the traditional Ga naming ceremony:

A Ghanaian Naming Ceremony

It will be interesting to hear from Quarcoo if this article is accurate or dated or what.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 06:14 PM

Here is an excerpt from a longish post I wrote on 1/22/2005 about African American naming practices:

Sound Preferences For African American Female Names
"It's traditional for Black folks in the United States to use prefixes {beginning sound} and suffixes {ending sound} to create an infinite number of "unique" personal names for females. But I wonder if anyone else has noticed that we {African Americans} seem to like some sounds more than others. IMHO, if there was a contest for the best loved prefix for Black females, there's be a BIG battle between "La {pronounced "Lah" and "Sha" {pronounced "shah". It'd be close, but I think in the end, "La" would win.

Think of all the "La" names you've heard over time: When I was growing up in the 1950s there was "Laverne", "Latitia", " Larissa", "Latrice", " Larice", "Laveda", and more. You may still hear these names, but more often you'll hear "La Toya", , "Lashawn", "Lashonda", "Lavona", "Lavonda" etc. Special mention should also be given to the Arabic female name "Latifah", sometimes written as "Latifa". All of the names of that second list were probably given to African American girls as personal names prior to the emergence of hip-hop in the 1970s. But it sure seems as if those second list examples of "La" names are more widely given now than the those on the first list.

In fairness, I should also share examples of female names that begin with "sha" and its sister "cha". From the 1950s or before there "Sharleen", "Charlene", and "Charlyn". Names such as "Sharon" , "Shannon" and "Shari" shouldn't be included in this list because they don't have the "shah" sound. After the 1950s, these "sha" prefix names appear to have grown in popularity. Examples of contemporary {post 1960s 'African American female names are "Chante", "Shaday", "Shadaya", "Shawnda", "Shakira", "Shalamar", "Shamara", "Shamika," "Shameeqa", and Shanika".

If you examine these names, you'll notice that a lot of them end with the "ah" sound. Older African American female names ending in in the 'ah' sound are "Ola", "Lena", "Sandra", and "Christina". "The name "Ola" was usually given as a double name, most often "Ola Mae". "Lah" also shows up as a suffix with an "ah" ending sound in the females names "Ella", "Edella", "'Priscella", "Samuella", and "Leila".

The 'ah" ending sound can be also be made by using the suffix 'ia" . This interesting suffix can be pronounced either as 'eeah' , 'sha', 'jah'. or 'yah'. This suffix is pronounced as 'eeah' in the names "Maria'; "Lydia", "Lavinia", "Melvinia"; and "Lugenia". The female name "Georgia" {pronounced George-jah} is an example of 'ia' pronounced like 'jah'. However 'ia' is sometimes pronounced 'jah' or 'eeah' in female names such as 'Mahalia" {usually pronounced 'mah- HEEL-yah' but also pronounced mah-HEEL-lee-ah'}; "Rozalia" {pronounced 'roh-ZEEL-yah' or 'roh-ZEEl-lee-yah'}, and "Odelia" pronounced {pronounced 'oh-DEAL-yah' or 'oh-DEAL-lee-ah'}. The suffix 'ia' is pronounced 'yah' in the increasingly popular Arabic female name "Alia." {'ah-LEE-yah'}. "Aliya", "Aliyah", and "Aleeyah" are variant of the name "Alia" that are spelled to more closely conform with the pronunciation of that name.

African Americans have also persistently used 'isha' suffixes for female names. Contemporary examples of these names are "Tanisha" and "Shalisha". To add to a contemporary name's uniqueness, the suffix 'ia" can be further added onto female names ending in 'isha' ending to produce a name like "Shalishia". This name is either pronounced 'shah-LEE-shah' or 'shah-LEE-she-ah'"...

-snip-

Click http://www.cocojams.com/names.htm for that entire post and for additional comments about naming practices.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 06:26 PM

BTW, thanks Bill D.

Somewhat similar to the custom of giving the mother's maiden name as a middle name is this account:

One of my brother uses the last name of our maternal grandfather in place of the middle name he was given at birth. He has said that he has taken this name as a sign of the respect and honor that he hold for our grandfather {the only grandfather we knew}.

My brother was 7 years old when our grandfather died. But our grandfather's memory lives on in the stories we tell of him, and in the history of our church {where he was the head Deacon} and in the history of other organizations that my grandfather led. So my brother adding our grandfather's last name to his name also signifies my brother's drive to also be a leader, and to otherwise pattern himself after our grandfather.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 06:53 PM

No strong traditons here.....but I tend NOT to name children after rels unless it is a neat neat name. Both of our have their very own name, not named after anybody.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: MBSLynne
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 02:47 AM

As a long standing family-tree researcher, I find the subject interesting too. The mothers I see up at the school where my daughter goes seem to have lost any cultural customs as far as naming their kids goes. They either call them after celebrities (although that's nothing new of course) or whatever is trendy at the time. While a few years ago Tracys and Darrens abounded, now there are loads of little Callums and Connors. Girls' names seem to have fallen back on traditional though, so there are lots of Emilys and so on.

My husband's family for several generations lived in a village in Warwickshire, named Ansley. His great grandfather left there but gave all his children the middle name of Ansley (male and female). This still continues today, so there are four generations with the middle name of Ansley.

I've come across a number of naming customs in the course of my family history research. In some families it was custom to give a child it's mother's maiden name as a middle name. You also find that often, illegitimate children were given their father's surname as a middle name, which is very useful, since otherwise there's no way of telling who the father was! Often, eldest sons are named after their father's father while second sons were named after their mother's.

Love Lynne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Bert
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:02 AM

I our family a child is sometimes named for another family member but there are no rules.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:25 AM

Speaking of being named after a family member, former two time
Heavyweight boxing champion and rather successful businessman Goerge Foreman named his 5 boys after him and included the name "George" in at least two of his 5 daughter's names.

All five boys are named "George Edward". The sons are George Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI.

His daughters? names are Michi, Freeda George, Georgetta, Natalie, and Leola.

-various sources

-snip-

Lots of people laugh at Foreman for this tradition. However, a 1995 interview in Ebony magazine suggests that Foreman started this tradition because he didn't know his father, and he wanted to make sure that his children [but particularly his sons]had a reference point [him] that they could be proud of.

See this excerpt from that article by Hans J. Massaquoi *

"Asked what gave him the idea to name all his boys after himself, Foreman offers an elaborate explanation that seems as novel as the idea itself. "I wanted my boys to have something that nobody could ever take from them," he says, "and I figured, give them a name that they could run into whenever they had problems or if they ever got lost, their children's children's children could always run back to that name and have something to fall back on so that they wouldn't get lost.

"I didn't find out who my real father was and didn't even know it until 1976," he continues. "After I lost the title to muhammad, I found out I had another father other than the one that I thought was my father. I looked him up and was friends with him until he died in 1978. So I made sure that my boys were going to have something to know one another."
"Home on the range with George Foreman "- Ebony magazine
July, 1995 by Hans J. Massaquoi

* Incidently, both George Foreman and Hans J. Massaquoi are African American.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 07:57 PM

There was a minor drama in my family when my eldest brother's wife announced that, in keeping with her family tradition, her first-born son's name had to start with the first initial of her dead father's name - "I". Isidore, Ike, Ignatius,etc. all were voted down. I would have gone for Ian. Anyway, they named him Brendan.

In the Deptford Trilogy, Robertson Davies goes into great detail about the significance of name changes in one's life. I will have to look it up. It rang true with me given that at the age of five I refused to answer to Mary Lou. I was Mary or nothing. Sinclair was actually supposed to be my middle name but at the last minute it was changed to Louise. I lost "Lou" and eventually became SINS. Fitting.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 08:15 PM

Another tradition that I've noticed alot among African Americans is for give siblings names that start with the same initial.

For instance, my grandchildren [in the same nuclear family] are four boys: Montel, Marcus, Maurice, and Micah, and one girl: Maya.

And actor, comedian, businessman Bill Cosby gave his five children a name that begins with an "E":


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 08:18 PM

Sorry I pressed the submit button too soon.

Bill & Camille Cosby gave their only son the name "Ennis William". Their daughters are Erika, Erinn, Ensa & Evin. According to Cosby, the "E" stands for "Excellence."

Source: http://authors.aalbc.com/bill.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:12 PM

Lyndon Baines Johnson took a wife Lady Bird with his initials and named his two daughters Linda Bird and Lucy Baines - all LBJs leading to the joke about an abandoned son with mental health problems, Looney Bird.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Kaleea
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 09:33 PM

On my father's side, children were usually named after an older relative, but--when Granny went into labor, the German lady who delivered the twin boys suggested Heini & Fritz. Granny used those names for their middle names & Grandad's name for both their first names. I was named after the wife of Grandad's brother for my "American" name, & also was given an "Indian" name. (we are Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw & whatnot from across the pond)
   On my Mother's side (Irish, Scot, Welsh, Cherokee), going back the 200 or so years we know about, the children were typically named after ancestors. Granny & Grandad named their kids after ancestors & siblings. They had 10 children who lived beyond childhood. The 1st, a girl, was named Maurice after a male relative. When the last one came along, Granny had not named anyone for her brother, Louis, so my Aunt Evelyn was given that 1st name. When she went to the post office to get her social security card, she told the postmistress it was a typo & became legally Evelyn Louise. I have a cousin Louise named after her middle name. Years later, my aunt told only me. My cousin--he son of that same aunt--had twin girls named Anna & Kathleen.
    My generation used some names of ancestors/relatives, &
added new names. When my older brother's youngest boy came along, he named the child for our deceased younger brother, Stephen. Coincidentally, my older brother's wife has a brother, Stephen.
As did our younger brother, my nephew has changed the spelling of his name to "Steven."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 04:17 AM

I'm another long term genealogist and have so far clocked up a grand total of 8 Johns, 10 Williams, 4 Richards, 8 Thomas's, 12 Marys and 5 Sarahs. And that's just one line!

The tradition used to be to name the first born after the father, but it's considered unlucky to do so for 3 generations. Thus I have William, who named his sons John, William, Thomas. John named his sons John, William, Richard, Thomas. The second John named his sons William, John, Richard, Thomas. Richard named his sons John, Richard. The second Richard had a bit more imagination (and fashions were changing rapidly) and only kept his own name as a second name for his son Harold. Throughout the various lines, from the 1700's down to the late 1800's, there are only 8 different male names for something like 30 boys in this family.

It was a pleasant change when I looked up other lines and found a greater variety - including George, Reuben, Eli, James, Arthur, Henry and Absalome. This line included the use of a female maiden name as a given middle name. In later generations this became a double barrelled surname, much like the joining of surnames that couples who have chosen not to marry use for their offspring.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Kweku
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 04:43 AM

WELL I BELIEVE ENVIROMENTS DETERMINES THE KIND OF NAMES GIVEN TO THE YOUNG ONES.WE AFRICANS WOULD LIKE TO THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY,I WAS TOLD THAT THE ESSENCE OF NAMING IS TO DISTNGUISH ONE SOUL FROM THE OTHER.

AFRICAN NAMES USUALLY REFLECT THE PARENTS FEELINGS AT THE TIME OF BIRTH.SO YOU COULD COME ACROSS NAMES LIKE "ABEBRESE" WHICH MEANS SUFFERING.ALSO NOT ALL THE CHILDREN BEAR THE NAME OF THEIR FATHER.SOME CHILDREN ARE NAMED TO HONOUR RELATIVES WHO NEVER HAD CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Kweku
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 05:09 AM

I think from a close observation of western names,I am tempted to believe that the names are modification of other names.Example what is the meaning of names like "Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Azizi
Date: 09 Mar 06 - 09:46 AM

Hello, Quarcoo!

With regard to your comment that "{Western} names are modification of other names, yes that is true for many names. Of course, it depends on what you mean by "western names" since many names used in the USA and European countries are from Hebrew and other languages that technically aren't from "Western" nations.

Some modifications of names are made to denote gender {female names from male names}. For instance, the female names "Georgia" and "Georgette" from "George".

African Americans seem to take pleasure in modifying names. The most common strategy for modifying names is by making minor {or major} changes in the spelling of the name.

Some personal names are also modified by adding prefixes {beginning elements such as "La" and "De" and/or suffixes such as ia" or "te" or "isha". Some of these elements are usually reserved for females {such as "La", and "ia" and "isha". The rule for male names appears to be not as firm, "De" and "te" {tay} can be used for either male or female names.

Since the 1980s, an increasing number of African American personal names have been modified by using capitol letters, and/or by using an accent mark, or a hyphen.

Example of some contemporary "African American" * modifications of female names:

Keisha

Kesha

Keisha

Keysha

LaKeisha

La-Keisha

MyKeisha

BTW, the base of this name may come from a Hebrew female name that Imeaning "cinammon [or other "fragrant smell" or an African female name meaning "favorite daughter".

* Of course, these names can be used by non-African Americans. But I believe that the source of the modifications is African American.

****

Quarcoo, with regard to your question about the meaning of "Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw", these are group names for American Indians {Native Americans; Indigenous Americans}. I don't know their specific meanings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Naming Practices & Ceremonies
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 04:55 AM

My father had his mother's maiden name as his middle name - Reginald Bowie, my brother is John Reginald, his son is Jack Bowie.

Dad's dad was Isaac Francis but altered his name at an unknown date & signed Frank Isaac on his wedding certificate, & was also buried under this name. Dad's sister had Frances for her first name & I'm not climbing up to the top of the wardrobe to get the family history, which is under lots of boxes, to find her second name!

My mother Joy Alice was given her paternal aunt's first name as her middle name, & her younger sister Ruby Thelma received her maternal aunt's first name as her first name, & her middle name might be a relative's name, too. I can't remember their brother, Brian's middle name as he died when he was 7.

My sisters & brother & I all received names of the period (1950s - Sandra, Pamela, John & Diane), but my Pam also received mum's name as her middle name & Di received her cousin's first name as her middle name as this older cousin was one of her godmothers.

My middle name was of the period, too but as I always hated it, I had it removed from my birth certificate last year & I ain't saying what it was! Even my closest friends don't know.

sandra (ex family researcher)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 31 January 11:57 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.