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Marcia's Cosmopolitan Mix

posted 24 Mar 2011, 07:11 by John Turl   [ updated 29 Aug 2014, 04:07 ]
From Marcia Olivette: - a veritable cornucopia of data! Can anyone can provide more information where indicated?





Greater Accra

Nkran – fire ants

The word Accra is derived from the word ‘nkran’ meaning ‘ants’ in Akan, a reference to the numerous anthills seen in the countryside around Accra.



Gbaloi awe – traditional prophets house

The word Gbawe is derived from two words. ‘Gbaloi which means traditional prophets and awe which means house.



Sweet Water

The word Nungua etymologically is taken from the word ‘Nu’ which means water and ‘Ngua’ meaning sweet.  Hence the meaning ‘sweet water’

alt. etym.


Sandy Area

The word Shiashie etymologically is taken from the word ‘shia’ which means sand and ‘shie’ which means area or place. Hence the meaning ‘sandy area or place.



Salty Water

The word Ningo is taken from the word ‘Nu’ meaning water and ‘Ngoo’ meaning Salt. Hence the meaning ‘Salty Water’.

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Under the light (light under)

History has it that, it was a place full of river. People traveled to the place with their lighted wiki’s to come and sell there. So it popularly became a name for any trader traveling there to sell. But gradually the original name ‘ka ne – eshi became kaneshie.


Central Region




Cape Coast

Cabo Corsa – short cape/Market place

The Portuguese built first trade lodge in 1555 and called the local settlement ‘Cabo Corso’ meaning ‘short cape’, later corrupted to ‘cape coast’. The older traditional name was ‘Oguaa’ from the Fante Word ‘egua’ meaning ‘market’.



Akan people left behind

‘kwamankese’ etymologically means ‘kwaman’ which means Akan people, and ‘kese’ also means left behind. Hence the meaning, ‘Akan people left behind’.

etym. suspect - kese=big?

Twifo Praso

Twi people around the river pra.

‘Twifo Praso’ was derived from two words, ‘Twifo’ which means Twi People and ‘Praso’, which means on the pra river. Hence the meaning, ‘Twi people around the river Pra’.



Big City

It was the first town which was established in the central region. It is believed that they migrated from  ‘Takyiman’ and settle there after years of moving around. But following the visit of the Europeans, they called the place ‘fanti nation’ because many fantes came to settle there before migrating to form other towns in the central region. . Hence the meaning ‘man’ = big, ‘city’= kessim.


Salt pond

A pond of Salt

The town was named after a big pond in the town which generated salt. So when the first Europeans came they settled near the pond and gave it that name. This later became Salt pond.

alt. etym. added


A bird’s stone

Before people settled there, there was a big stone there, which presently has the fort built on it, and this stone had plenty of birds coming to dwell on it as their habitat.


Eastern Region





Kofi Ofori Dua

Oral tradition has it that Koforidua owes its name to a man, Kofi Ofori, who had built his hut under a huge mahogany tree. This tree provided shelter for weary farmers who were returning from their farms after a hard day’s work. Over time it became common for the farmers to say that they were going to rest under Kofi Ofori’s tree, hence the meaning, kofi ofori = personal name;  dua = tree.



Resting place

It was a resting place for farmers who were returning from farming after a hard day’s work. Hence the meaning, ‘resting place’.

more etym. needed


Hunter’s Market

Etymologically it means ‘Awuku’ a name of an ancient hunter and ‘dua’ meaning market. Hence the meaning Hunter’s Market.

perhaps Awukugua

Volta Region





Clan name

HO was founded by Asor, the third of 3 sons of Kakla. They originally lived in Komedzrale, but following expansion and conflict went their separate ways and founded the 3 towns of Asogli State; Akoefe, Kpenoe, and HO, which is the ‘fiadu’ of Asogli.

etym. not given


What a town

History has it that, when the in habitat got on the land, the land was fertile and they said to themselves, ‘what a town’, hence the meaning what a town.

cannot locate 


Stump or short stick



Upper East Region





Clay Rock /Rocky Area

In the middle of the market of the regional capital Bolgatanga, lies a large flat rock. Quiet close to this area is the site where the settlers dug clay for building and polishing their houses. Thus the place was named Bolgatanga.



Good environment/ good area


cannot locate  


Peace Town


cannot locate   

Northern Region





Shea butter trees

‘Tamale’ is a relatively new town which at the turn of the last century was just a cluster of villages known mainly for the numerous shea butter trees – the ‘tama’ – from which it got the name ‘Tamale’


Yendi ‘Naya’

Home of the King




Fight for the state of dagbon


probably Zabzugu

Upper West Region






The name of the town means ‘come’ in the Waali language. Perharps the name refers to the influx of Muslim migrants from the north.


Ashanti Region





Okum = tree name, ase= under/ literally meaning Under Okum tree

Getting to the end of the 17th century, Anokye Komfuo planted three ‘kum trees’ at different places. One at Kwaaman, a second one at Apemso – Bankofo and a third at a village near Fomena & Amoafo called Oboani. The kum tree at Kwaaman flourished and became a very big tree under which the king and his people often sat and so Kwaaman became Kumase meaning ‘under kum’.



It is soft for you

‘Agona’ was derived from the word – ‘agno amawu’ which means it is soft or it has become soft for you.

Abusua name? 

Brong Ahafo Region





Elephant Skinning

The city of Sunyani arose as an outpost camp for elephant hunters during the 19th century. Its pronounced; ‘esono’ = elephant; dwa = to skin; ni = person; which gives you the meaning elephant skinning.


Western Region





Junior House

Etymologically ‘efia’ means House and ‘kuma’ means Junior. Hence the meaning Junior House.

cannot locate