Veronica Onuman  on Jul 6th, 2011
10 Akan Idioms You Must Know

It is commonplace in the Akan society to see family elders discussing important issues in a language not easily comprehended by children or people they consider immature. Akans, especially the Asante people, make extensive use of idiomatic expressions and proverbs in their language.

An idiom is an expression, which has a figurative meaning other than its literal meaning. More often than not, when it is transliterated into another language, its meaning is changed or it’s rendered meaningless.

To blend into a typical Akan society, it is important to learn a few of the most commonly used idiomatic expressions. Idioms can be fun to communicate with when they are used in a community of like-minded people.


Merekɔbɔ m’ano so twεdeε I’m going to eat
Ɔatwa n’ani ahwε dan He/ she is dead
Ɔberempong etutu A chief is dead
N’ani atra n’anintɔn He/she is disrespectful
Ɔwɔ tire He/she is intelligent
N’ano ha no He/she is a gossip
Ne ho dwo He/she is peaceful and calm
N’anim da hɔ He/she has a handsome/beautiful face
Ne ho yε hare He/she is fast/swift
N’ani wɔ fɔm He/she is humble

I hope you found the article interesting. Let’s meet again in the next article.

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3 Comments for “Five Akan Colour Symbolisms You Should Know”
  • Louise says:

    I think that there are appropriate twi spellings for these names eg. Sap)n not sarpong. 3dweso and not Ejisu. Akyeampon and not Acheampong/Akyeampong.

    My suggestion is that you try and introduce a row or column where words are first spelt appropriately. Then you can have how the Europeans spelt it as it has come to stay and then etc. If I am learning Asanti twi, dw(o,e,i) not the same as j(o,e,i).

    Aside that there are alphabets that are not part of the twi alphabets and this distinction if not drawn will compromise on the true language you seek to teach and it’s quality. Thank you

  • Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

  • Indie says:

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