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:
A wisely unhurried man, fond of listening and internalizing before acting.
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.
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.
He whose earlobe is pierced thus swinging merrily. It translates to a person of unmatched patience and courage.
He who burns an ox. It translates to someone with the physical courage of making tattoos on one’s forearms using burning organic matter.
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.
He acquired a cow. It describes a successful navigator.
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.
Someone with scaring eyes. It was used to describe someone with a powerful personality laced with assertive resilience.
He whose head is balding. It is used to describe someone who says all.
It is used to describe some who talks much.
It is used when describing someone who appears dizzy, lazy and soft.
This is a praise name that is given to someone with small ears.
It is a name given to a man who is soft-spoken and slow to anger. He who always frown to a fault.
He, who never gets satisfied with alcohol. It is given to someone who always stays around even when the alcohol has been depleted.
It is a name given to someone who is of short stature with an inflating tummy.
He who has no or few teeth.
It is a name given to a man who always go to the homesteads of his relatives.
It is a name given to someone who is short tempered. It is used to describe an individual who always utter words without precision.
He, who is always clean. It is used to describe someone who is always clean and presentable.
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.
He who wait to be asked. It is a name given to someone who doesn’t talk until you ask him something.
He who is always happy. It is a name given to someone fond of laughing even when disappointed.
It is a name given to someone whose teeth are spaced.
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.
He who is short-tempered. It is a name given to someone who gets irritated easily.
He, who is black. It is a name given to someone whose skin colour is too dark.
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:
She who burns homestead. It is used as a description of a jovial woman with an admirable and fascinating personality.
She, who worships water. It is a praise name for a lady of unmatched and infinite patience with ability of allowing others to excel.
The one who deserves an ox. It translates to a lady with blameless character.
She who comes into the cattle closure. It is a name given to a woman who always acts swiftly, flexibly and wisely.
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.
The one with short stature. It is a praise name for a woman who always minds her own business.
She of the thunderous fire. It is used to describe a lady whose actions has great impact in the society.
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.
She, who shares a cow. Used to describe a generous woman who always shares what she has acquired.
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.
She who musters cattle. It translates to a woman whose actions can prevent a disaster from taking place.
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.
She who sequesters cattle. It is the name given to a lady who always takes the initiative when faced with tough situations.
The one with ever-flowing breast milk. It is used to describe a creative lady with vast wisdom.
She who skirts the men’s meeting place. It describes a lady who ignores certain prohibitions better known as taboo.
The one who sleeps in the middle. This translates to a woman who never takes sides in a given argument.
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.
She of the complacent ox. It is a better description of a woman who always accepts heartbreaking situations without complaining.