Types of Krobo names

A Krobo name will tell you much about a person, including the order of birth and the family in which they hail from. In special cases it will tell you whether the person is a twin or was born after one of their parents died. Below is information on the naming system of the Krobo people

1. Serial Names

The first type of Krobo Name tells you the order of birth. This applies to both boys and Girls

Order of Birth Male Female
First Tɛte Dede
Second Tɛtɛ Kɔkɔ
Third Tɛɛ Mamle(Yomle)
Fourth Na Maku (Makuyo)
Fifth Natɛ Lajɛ
Sixth Kene Namo
Seventh Kenete Dede-Enyɔ

In the days when the Krobo were polygamous, each wife would name their child according to their order of birth. In this case you may have more than one child in the family with the same name, additional names were added to the first name to distinguish them – for example:

  • Tsu – Reddish
  • Yumu – Dark
  • Ŋua – Tall
  • Wayo – Small

So if the first wife had a girl and the second wife had a girl, depending on the characterises of the child you would name them Dede – Tsu and Dede- yumu

2. Death of Husband

If a child is born soon after the husbands death the child does not take on the serial name and will be given a special name

  • Doku – Male
  • Dokuyo – Female

Doku means ‘Remnants, ruins’ and illustrates the fact that the child is considered to be the remnants of the deceased husband

3. Special situations

Depending on what happened during the birth, the child may be given a special name to express this. For example:

  • Mawudziŋua : God is Great
  • Manye- Blessing
  • Suɔmi – Love
  • Alua – The lovely one
  • Yo – Trɔwe – A woman is never surplus

Here is a PDF with some more examples of names in this category

4. Names given to children whose siblings die

When a mother has children and they keep dying, on the birth of the third child they will perform the following ritual. They will mark the childs face and give it a distasteful name such as the following:

  • Nibɔ – Stranger
  • Ohipeni – You are worse than anybody
  • Odɔkɔ – Slave

The purpose of the name and the scaring is to make the child unattractive to the spirits who had taken the previous children away, and therefore stop it from going back or to make the childs spirit too ashamed to go back.


5. Diety Names

These are names that originally correspond with the various deities. Examples are below:

Diety Male Female
Ayɛ Ayɛ Ayɛki
Kɔle Kɔle Kɔleki
Tsawe Tsawe Tsaweki

6. Family Names

In addition to the serial names, the Krobo people have names that let the person know the family house the child belongs to. The names usually refer to the common ancestors. Examples are below:

Basic Name (Often Common Ancestor Name) First Male/ Second Male First Female/ Second Female
Padi Padite/ Padinɔ Padiki/Padikwɔ
Aŋmɔ Aŋmɔte/Aŋmɔtɛ Aŋmɔki/Aŋmɔkwɔ
Kɔle Kɔlete/Kɔlenɔ Kɔleki/Kɔlekwɔ
Dzaba Dzabate/Dzabanɔ Dzabaki/Dzabakwɔ


By Naa Adjeley Tsofanye