Edited by Azizi Powell
Latest revision December 15, 2017
This pancocojams post presents lists of Mandinka given names ending in "ou". These names are compiled from seven websites of names from Gambia, West Africa. However, many if not all of these names are also probably found among Mandinka people in other West African nations.
A few Mandinka names that include "ou" or begin with "ou" are also found in this compilation. However, the inclusion of those examples, doesn't mean that every West African given name, surname, or other words that contain the "ou" 'cluster' or begins with the "ou" cluster comes from the Mandinka language.
General information about Mandinka people & Mandinka language are included in this post along with general statements about Mandinka given (personal) names.
The content of this post is presented for etymological and cultural purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/12/what-african-name-toure-means-etymology.html for the closely related pancocojams post "What The African Name Touré Means (Etymology, History, & Examples Of Famous People With That Name)".
Note that the name comes from Touré the Soninke branch of the Mande people of West Africa. Mandinka is one of the other branches of this large ethnic group.
INFORMATION ABOUT MANDINKA (PEOPLE)
"The Mandinka (also known as Mandenka, Mandinko, Mandingo, Manding or Malinke) are a African ethnic group with an estimated global population of 11 million (the other three largest ethnic groups in Africa being the unrelated Fula, Hausa and Songhai peoples). The Mandinka are the descendants of the Mali Empire, which rose to power in the 13th century under the rule of the Malinké/Maninka king Sundiata Keita.
The Mandinka are one ethnic group within the larger linguistic family of the Mandé peoples, who account for more than 90 million people. (Other Mande peoples include the Dyula, Bozo, Bissa and Bambara). Originally from Mali, the Mandinka gained their independence from previous empires in the 13th century and founded an empire which stretched across Africa. They migrated west from the Niger River in search of better agricultural lands and more opportunities for conquest. Through a series of Fula conflicts known as the Fula jihads, particularly the Fula-led Imamate of Futa Jallon, many Mandinka people converted from indigenous animist beliefs to Islam. In the 21st century, more than 99% of Mandinka in contemporary Africa are Muslim.
The Mandinka people live primarily in Africa, particularly in The Gambia and Guinea—in both of which they constitute the largest ethnic group. Major populations of the Mandinka people also live in Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and Mauritania. Although widespread, in most countries the Mandinka are not the largest ethnic group. Most Mandinka live in family-related compounds in traditional rural villages. Their traditional society has featured socially stratified castes. Mandinka communities have been fairly autonomous and self-ruled, being led by a chief and group of elders. Mandinka has been an oral society where mythologies, history and knowledge is verbally transmitted from one generation to next."
INFORMATION ABOUT MANDINKA (LANGUAGE)
"Mandinka (Mandi'nka kango / لغة مندنكا)
Mandinka is a Mande language with about 1.3 million speakers (in 2006) in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Chad. It is the main language of The Gambia, and is recognised as a minority language in Senegal. Mandinka is also known as Mandingo.
There are versions of the Latin and Arabic scripts for writing Mandinka. The Latin script is official, but the Arabic script is used by more people, and is older. The N'Ko script is also used in north east Guinea, and in neighbouring parts of Ivory Coast and Mali.”...
GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT MANDINKA GIVEN NAMES
Excerpt quoted in Google search but is no longer found on that website (as of December 14, 2017)
"Most Gambian names are either directly from the Koran or they are modified versions of them. For example Lamin is the local for for Al-Amin (a title given to the prophet Mohammed which means "the trustworthy"). In fact most first born males from the Mandinka tribe are named Lamin which can lead to a great deal of [confusion]...” [Pancocojams Editor: This quote ends with the word "of"]
[Here's the portion of that introduction that's found on that website as of December 14, 2017]
"Names of People in Gambia
Gambian names will be unfamiliar at first to European ears—though some Gambians are called John, many more are called by 'African' names such as Lamin (derived from the Arabic Al-Amin) which is the most common Gambian name or Muslim names such as Mohammed.
....Note that spelling variations are common."...
From my internet reading, I believe that "ou" in these Mandinka names have the same sound as the English "u", and may be the 'standard' way that the "u" sound is written in that language. Note, for example, that the male name "Abdoulie" is a Mandinka form of the Arabic male name "Abdul".
LISTS OF MANDINKA GIVEN NAMES ENDING IN "OU"
Pancocojams Editor's Note:
These lists are given in no particular order. Numbers are assigned to these lists for referencing purposes only.
Names from one list are often found on other lists.
Name meanings aren't given unless they are included in the quoted text.
"GAMBIA LOCAL NAMES AND THEIR MEANING
Abdou-M -man's name (Mandinka)
Abi-F-short form of Abibatu, Abisatou, Abiyatou
Abdoulie-M-short form of Abdoulie
Alabatou-F-to worship (Mandinka)
Alamouta-M-to rely on God (Mandinka)
Amadou-M-one of Muhammad's names; popular boy's name
Antouman-M -man's name (Mandinka)
Babou-M-Baabu and Buubakar stand for Abuubakar
Bintou-F-lady's name (Mandinka)
Isatou-F- long form of Ayisa (Isa)
Saikou-M-popular boy's name"
Here's an excerpt from that site publisher’s profile statement:
“My name is Dulci.People call Dulci Bonita. I was born in Suriham Amsterdam and love travelling that brings me to Banjul, The gambia (West Africa)I see a lot of talent in the children of The Gambia expecially in the Ebo-Village Where My Husband's Family lives and it is through them they inspired me to try to give them a chance to make their dreamd come true and create more love for the African People in General. This site is based on love,nature,dreams,understanding and real African culture expecially that of The Gambia and the Ebo-Village community. And mostly its a community web site For The Gambians And the Ebo-Village Community.My next Admine is Amadou G Jallow who is In the Gambia And is based in the Ebo-Village who is so couragious,and curious to tell every one about the real life of the African,Gambian people and its culture.”...
[Pancocojams Editor- These names were given in two sections: the first section highlighted common names for boys and common names for girls, and the second section presented a more comprehensive list of names for boys and a list for girls. I combined those lists of boys names and girls names into one list and added [m] for males (boys) and [f] for females (girls) after the names.]
Disclaimer:This list is still under development and is far from comprehsive. So if we missed your name, or another traditional Gambian name that you know about, please let us know so we can add it to the list.
Below are some fairly common names one may find in The Gambia:
Momodou (or just 'Modou')-M
Ousman - M
Fatoumatta (or just Fatou)-F
Here is a more comprehensive list of names. This list of names was derived from the Mandinka dictionary, but many of these names are common among the other major ethnic groups in The Gambia as well, such as the Fula, Wolof, and Jola.
Fatoumatta (or just Fatou) [f]
Momodou (or just 'Modou') [m]
Here's the link to the Mandinka dictionary that was the source for the names on this list:
Names of People in Gambia
..."Below are listed popular Gambian male and female first names as well as common surnames; nicknames are in parenthesis. Note that spelling variations are common."
[Pancocojams Editor- These names were given in two lists one for boys and one for girls. I combined the list and added [m] for males (boys) and [f] for females (girls) after the names.]
Baboucar (Bouba) [m]
Fatoumata (Fatou) [f]
Kaddyatou (Kady) [f]
Ramatoulaye (Ramou) [f]
Abdou-m- short form of Abdoulie
Abi -f- short form of Abibatu, Abisatou, Abiyatou
Alabatou – f- to worship [Mandinka]
Alamatou-m- to rely on God
Amadou- m-one of Mohammad’s names, popular boy’s name
Antouman-m- man’s name
Babou- m- Baabu and Buubakar stand for Abuubakar -man’s name (Mandinka)
Bintou-F- ladies name (Mandinka)
Dodou – M
Isatou-F- long form of Ayisa (Isa)
Saikou-M- popular boy’s names
"List of Gambian Names was compiled by Mr. Saikou Samateh with contributions from subscribers to Gambia-L discussion forum. Please note that some names are used by both male and female. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the list.
Last updated: 12/16/08.
[Pancocojams Editor’s Note: This full list includes a number of “standard English” given names]
From http://www.afropedea.org/common-mandinka-names Common Mandinka Names
"Mandinkas (Mandingo) were founders of the Great Mali Empire. Mandinka first names are typically
Africanized Arabic names.
LINK TO RELATED PANCOCOJAMS POST
"Senegalese Children's Song "Fatou Yo" by Touré Kunda (information, lyrics, & YouTube sound file)"
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