The Kalenjin praise names (Salanik)

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A typical Kalenjin hut. Photo/Courtesy

Praise names were common among the Kalenjin people. Locally referred to as salanik, praise names were given to individuals as a way of honoring or rather describing their behavior, looks, conduct and achievements. It is important to note that these names cut across both genders. For men, praise names existed alongside their official names. The following were the common praise names among the traditional Kalenjin people:

Kipsise

A wisely unhurried man, fond of listening and internalizing before acting.

Kipkones

One who always stammer and shutter while talking. It was used to justify the fact that everyone has a space in the society regardless of his shortcomings.

Kimasit

One who is known for not cleaning his tools. It simply means a man with no ability to plan. Always acting in the last minute.

Chebusit

He whose earlobe is pierced thus swinging merrily. It translates to a person of unmatched patience and courage.

Kibel-ei

He who burns an ox. It translates to someone with the physical courage of making tattoos on one’s forearms using burning organic matter.

Bar Kutwo

The one captured headgear in a battle. It simply describes someone with unrivalled courage and wit that might later result in taking over leadership position in a contest.

Kosich-Tany

He acquired a cow. It describes a successful navigator.

Kip-Ru-Kwen

The one who sleeps in the middle. It is used to describe someone who enjoys a lot of advantages symbolized by being the middle-born.

Kiyweikong’

Someone with scaring eyes. It was used to describe someone with a powerful personality laced with assertive resilience.

Tabai-Met

He whose head is balding. It is used to describe someone who says all.

Chelogoi

It is used to describe some who talks much.

Cheres

It is used when describing someone who appears dizzy, lazy and soft.

Cherinyit

This is a praise name that is given to someone with small ears.

Kiptangus

It is a name given to a man who is soft-spoken and slow to anger. He who always frown to a fault.

Tengecha

He, who never gets satisfied with alcohol. It is given to someone who always stays around even when the alcohol has been depleted.

Kipkeles

It is a name given to someone who is of short stature with an inflating tummy.

Chesengeny

He who has no or few teeth.

Kileges

It is a name given to a man who always go to the homesteads of his relatives.

Cherose

It is a name given to someone who is short tempered. It is used to describe an individual who always utter words without precision.

Chesitgei

He, who is always clean. It is used to describe someone who is always clean and presentable.

Chepchilat

It is a name given to an individual who always talk in a somehow pressed voice. He whose voice appears like that of a woman.

Kipkirinyet

He who wait to be asked. It is a name given to someone who doesn’t talk until you ask him something.

Kipngerechi

He who is always happy. It is a name given to someone fond of laughing even when disappointed.

Segerger

It is a name given to someone whose teeth are spaced.

Bariwoot

He who graze his cows in dewy grass. It is a name given to a man who gets his cattle from a raid and graze them in a dewy grass, precisely early in the morning.

Cheborgei

He who is short-tempered. It is a name given to someone who gets irritated easily.

Kenduiywo

He, who is black. It is a name given to someone whose skin colour is too dark.

Kiplikwob

He who face is smooth. It is a name given to someone whose ears are not pierced with unmatched smooth face.

Praise names for women included:

Tap-Bel Gaa

She who burns homestead. It is used as a description of a jovial woman with an admirable and fascinating personality.

Tap-Sa Bei

She, who worships water. It is a praise name for a lady of unmatched and infinite patience with ability of allowing others to excel.

Tap-Nyol Ei

The one who deserves an ox. It translates to a lady with blameless character.

Tap-Nyo Bi

She who comes into the cattle closure. It is a name given to a woman who always acts swiftly, flexibly and wisely.

Tap-Syar Goi

She who intrudes. It is used to describe a lady who always gets whatever she needs. It is a better description of a go-getter.

Chenwach

The one with short stature. It is a praise name for a woman who always minds her own business.

Tap-Tulmat

She of the thunderous fire. It is used to describe a lady whose actions has great impact in the society.

Tap-Lelei

She of the white ox. It a vivid description of a woman who always pays a man on his coin. She, who means well for everybody and always pays well with good and the converse.

Tabutany

She, who shares a cow. Used to describe a generous woman who always shares what she has acquired.

Chep-But Or

The one who breaks the entrance. It is used to describe a woman with the courage to lead the way as the others to follow.

Tap-Rany Tich

She who musters cattle. It translates to a woman whose actions can prevent a disaster from taking place.

Tap-Ngwan Ter

The one of a bitter pot. Translates to a woman with hopefulness even in spirit dampening situations.

Tap- Wo Go

The one who goes indoors. It describes a lady who goes a mile ahead to get something done correctly.

Tap-Til Tich

She who sequesters cattle. It is the name given to a lady who always takes the initiative when faced with tough situations.

Chep-Maluk

The one with ever-flowing breast milk. It is used to describe a creative lady with vast wisdom.

Tap-Rop Kok

She who skirts the men’s meeting place. It describes a lady who ignores certain prohibitions better known as taboo.

Che-Ru Kwen

The one who sleeps in the middle. This translates to a woman who never takes sides in a given argument.

Tap-Kutuny

She, who always kneel. It is used to describe a lady with a heart of retreating or bending low for something to be done especially for the good of others.

Tap-Korgen Ei

She of the complacent ox. It is a better description of a woman who always accepts heartbreaking situations without complaining.  

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