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An analysis of personal naming approaches by younger and older generations among the Bapedi Nation: An onomastic comparison

F.M. Kanyane
T.J. Rakgogo


The article aims to explore the naming approaches that have been used and still used among the Bapedi (Sepedi speakers) by both the older and the  younger generation. The article employed the qualitative approach where Sepedi personal names were collected randomly and were also analysed  qualitatively. As alluded to, two categories of names, those given by the older generation and those by the younger generation are investigated and  analysed. The article argues that naming is a linguistic act that is used to express and communicate different messages to the members of the society.  However, it is found that the name-giving process among the Bapedi has become problematic in the sense that a practice that used to be a prerogative of  and an assignment for elders, that is, grandparents and other senior members of the family in the past is now a project of both the older and younger  generation. Unfortunately, in the process of naming the young generation lacks transparency and neither consult the elders nor inform them.  However, the article explored if the naming system is used by both groups to effectively communicate and record some of the historical events and  happenings in the family prior and during the birth of the child. The research established similarities and differences in the naming process and the  names given to the newly born babies. 

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eISSN: 1596-9231