There are more than 200 names in Jamaican culture.
It is believed that a name has an origin story passed down from generation to generation, and it often reflects the individual’s personality traits.
Many of our ancestors chose these unique names for their children because they wanted them to be different, like themselves. Some people believe that there are certain colors associated with specific names – e.g., Ian (blue) may represent intelligence while Jada (yellow) may signify happiness; some even say brown represents wealth or success!
A few superstitions surround naming: most notably, if you don’t have a child within two years after marriage then someone will die before the couple can fulfill this. Influence the type of name an individual may receive through a naming ceremony. The child’s first name is usually chosen by their parent or guardian, and then that person can choose to give the baby another given name, middle name, surname or nickname as well.
01) Jamaican culture has no specific rules governing names and what they represent; it is influenced largely by superstition rather than cultural norms.
02) Many people in Jamaica believe that your heritage influences which common words are used to form your first and last names – e.g., if you’re light skinned with green eyes (signifying British/European descent), chances are someone will want to call you “Ian” (which is from the French word, “Jean”).
03) Others believe that your name should be a hybrid of both parents’ names. If you’re dark skinned and have an East Indian parent, for example, it’s likely someone will want to call you something like”Karan.”
04) Many people in Jamaica also use their surnames as middle names – e.g., if one person has a last name of Scott Brown (which signifies more British/European descent), they may go by “Ian Scott Brown” or “Scott Ian Brown,” because he wants his Jamaican lineage to show through too. *This practice actually became even more popular when many black persons changed their outwardly European-sounding first and
Number 13: The name of your last born child will be the same as your mother’s firstborn son. Number 12: When a Jamaican dies, their final words are about who they want to take care of them when they die or what rituals must happen before burial.
Number 11: In Jamaica, people always refer to other women in relation to where she is from and how old she might be (ex. “young miss,” “older woman”) Number ten: If someone is wealthy enough, the person may have more than one wife – either because he can afford it or because his religion allows him that privilege; yet if he has more than one wife then each wife gets an equal share of his possessions Number nine: The most common and prominent Jamaican names are surnames, not first names. Most of the time a person will be known by their surname
as in “Smith’s house” rather than “Franklin’s home.”
Number eight: When speaking to someone with whom they share blood or spiritual connections (even if that connection is just being from the same village), people often use nicknames such as “kin” or “brother/sister” instead of using formal titles like Mr., Mrs., Professor, etc. This isn’t always done out of disrespect; it can be used when addressing an elder relative who you want to show respect but not formal formality.
Number seven: Jamaicans are very superstitious, and many will avoid naming their children after people who have died because they may fear that the child could somehow “take on” some of the deceased’s characteristics. In addition to names like Patrick (meaning “nobleman”), Chauncey (“fortunate”) or Christina (“believer”), there is also a tradition in Jamaica of using Biblical verses as given names – such as Isaiah, Josiah or Lydia for girls and Jacob, Joshua or Samuel for boys.
Number six: Historically speaking, it was believed in Jamaica that one would not be able to access Heaven without having been baptized with Christian name. This means those born before Christianity had arrived were often named according to what In Jamaica, we have a rich history of naming traditions. With some families favoring biblical names such as Isaiah and Adam; other leaning towards traditional Jamaican names like Gayle or Cassius; there are also those who give their children more obscure monikers like Winnie ( after the author)
Faulkner’s classic “A Rose for Emily”.
But just because you don’t know someone’s name doesn’t mean that it isn’t significant in terms of what they’re called. Sometimes certain names represent one’s family ancestry, religion, culture, occupation – all things considered when being named by your parents. And so here is an exploration into 14 brutal truths about Jamaican nickname and how they connect to our roots: There are no shortage of names with religious connotations for those who want to name their child after biblical figures. For example, Isaiah is a popular alternative that can also be shortened to Iza or Isha
Jamaicans have typically named children after occupations they hope they will aspire towards such as doctors (Kofi), lawyers (Ricardo ), teachers and professors(Nadia) or poets/writers like Shakespeare’s Juliette Certain Jamaican nicknames connect us back to our culture – think Cedric (from the character from “As You Like It”) or Melanie, which in other cultures might seem more unusual because it was not frequently used by British parents but has been employed quite often on this
There’s a reason why the Jamaican names we have today are so difficult to pronounce, and it is because of our ancestry.
Many African slaves were given European names at their time of enslavement, but they retained parts of their original language when naming children born in Jamaica. Some parents would also give them an African name as well.
A large number of Africans, both male and female, took on Irish surnames due to Ireland being one place where many enslaved individuals could be freed from slavery by purchase or manumission laws. This practice was prevalent enough that there are now thousands who carry these family names living across the Caribbean region today.
White slave owners often used Biblical first names for their slaves because they thought it was a good way to convert them.
Some slaves, upon hearing their master use the name Jesus in vain or curse under his breath would then take on that name as well. This is one of the reasons why there are so many people with those names today across Jamaica and other parts of the world, such as Brazil.
The last group of African names we want to mention are those taken from indigenous Africans languages, called “Akan names” named after Akan tribes in Ghana like Eweka for example which means “born during day time.” These were often used by enslaved individuals who came originally from Western Africa (like Angola), but also by descendants born in Jamaica due to the proximity to this region. In Jamaica, these names are typically used by all groups of people regardless of ethnic background because they sound pleasant and are not associated with any specific culture or religion (Christianity for example). The last group of African names we want to mention are those taken from indigenous Africans languages, called “Akan names” named after Akan tribes in Ghana like Eweka for example which means “born during day time.” These were often used by enslaved individuals who came originally from Western Africa (like Angola), but also by descendants born in Jamaica due to the proximity to this region. It is perhaps no surprise that such a word would have been chosen as it sounds very pleasant – there is nothing