Human Body Parts in Twi (Honam Akwaa)

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In our last lesson, we learnt about the months of the year in Twi.

The present lesson promises to be an interesting one. We are going to learn the Twi names of the various human body parts.  As comprehensive as the list below may appear, it is by no means exhaustive of all the human body parts there are. Hence, if you know of the Twi name of any body part that is not included in the list, please contribute by posting it in the comments section below the post.

You may continue reading beneath the embedded video below.

Video Lesson

Human Body Parts in Twi

Akan (Twi)English
nipaduathe human body
honam akwaabody parts
honam/wedeɛskin
namflesh
nwihair
etire nwi/tiri nwihair (on head)
etirehead
tikwankoraskull
amene/adwenebrain
animface
momaforehead
atikɔocciput
anieye
ani ntɔn nwieyebrow
anisoatɛtɛeyelashes
ɛhwenenose
afonocheek
asontɔremtemple
asoear
anomouth
ɛsetooth
ɛse akyi namgum
tɛkyerɛmatongue
menemuthroat
abɔdweɛchin
abɔdwesɛbeard
ano nwimustache
ɛkɔnneck
ɛkɔn akyi namscruff
abatireshoulder
kokoɔ/bochest
akomaheart
brɛboɔliver
ahrawalung
saa/sawakidney
tannpancreas
bɔnwonogall bladder
mfe mpadeɛribs
abasaarm
amɔtoam(u)armpit
abatwɛelbow
nsahand
ntinivein
nsayampalm
nsateaafinger
bɔwerɛfingernail
yafunubelly
yam (yafunum’)stomach
nsonointestine
dwonsɔtwaabladder
sisiewaist
afunumanavel
ayaaseɛpelvic region/lower abdomen
awodeɛwomb
pahip
ɛserɛthigh
kotodweknee
nanhinishin
ɛnanleg
anantuocalf
nantabonofoot
nantiniheel
nanpɔsoankle
nansoaatoe
nan mmuromu/nan musole
mogyablood
dompebone
akyimbone marrow
akyire/akyiback
berɛmobackbone
ɛtoɔbuttock
apɔ sojoint
kɔkɔborectum
anofafalip
abakɔnwrist
nan kokompopliteal fossa/knee pit
badwoa (plural: mmadwoa)lump

Tabooed Human Body Parts in Twi

You may have noticed that certain body parts have been excluded from the list above. This is intentional. The Akan people place strict prohibitions on the open utterance of certain names. Amongst such names include those that refer to the various sexual organs. When talking about such tabooed parts, Akans normally resort to euphemisms to connote them. The actual Twi names for these body parts are considered too vulgar by Akans and, for that matter, hardly used. Below, I give the Twi names of these body parts, along with their respective euphemisms. If you have to talk about any of them, please respect tradition and use the euphemisms.

Akan (Twi)EuphemismEnglish
kɔteɛbarimapenis
hwoaatɛtesticle
nufoɔpokua

 

(plural: mpokua)

breast
ɛtwɛAkosua kumaavagina
ɛtwɛba clitoris
turumuagyanan kwananus

I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson. If you don’t want to miss a lesson, please subscribe to our website by entering your name and email address in the form further below and hitting the subscribe button. And if you need help with your pronunciation, do head over to our YouTube channel: LearnAkan.Com and subscribe. You may also join our Facebook page: LearnAkan.Com. Thank you for reading.

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Tikya Yaw
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8 Responses
  1. Agnes Asiedu-Minta

    This work is great. This is my first time here and I am enjoying your site.

    PLEASE NOTE THIS word “abatwɛ” – I was taught by an elder that the Elbow is called “abatwere” due to the fact that we use it to lean against a wall (Yɛ de twere ɛban) but over time the word was degraded to “abatwɛ”. (People actually abuse this as the end sounds like ”ɛtwɛ”

    Thank you.

    1. Yaw

      Really? That explanation does sounds legitimate. This is how we are all going to learn from each other. Thank you for the note; I hope others learn from it. Glad to have you here.

  2. Daniel Rexford

    Hi Yaw,

    This is my first time on your site. It is very interesting. Great work! congratulations!

    However, I have the ff. comment:

    1. I think the euphemism for breast pokuaa (plural: mpokuaa)] should rather be ‘pokua’
    (plural: mpokua) as pokuaa is a name for female poku.

    2. That of vagina should also be Akosua and clitoris Akosua kumaa

    1. Yaw

      Thank you, Daniel. You’re 100% right on the first one, so I’ve made the correction. I’m not too sure about the second one though so I’ll look further into it.

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