Professional Practice

A Word That Carries A Heavy Load: ‘Name’

By Okuba Byron

December 8, 2016

Having come across much about names, I began to wonder what exactly a name is.  I thought I knew, but the more I pondered the more confused I became.  Phrases like “in the name of the law” and “name your price” and “name of the book” seemed to spread the meaning beyond the simple notion of labeling. I decided to look up “name” in a desk dictionary and found something like “A word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others.”Next I checked the big Oxford English Dictionary. I found the definition of “name” spanned five pages of small type beginning with:

“1. The particular combination of sounds employed as the individual designation of a single person, animal, place or thing.”

Then a rambling of dozens of other definitions followed. It was like reading the rules for cricket. Obviously this is a word that carries a heavy load.  As a noun, its meaning is so broad that other words and phrases have been coined over the years to tote some of the baggage.


Let take a look at this name:ARCHITECT

An architect is someone who plans, designs, and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design and construction of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder. Throughout ancient and medieval history, most architectural design and construction was carried out by artisanssuch as stone masons and carpenters, rising to the role of master builder. Until modern times there was no clear distinction between architect and engineer. In Europe, the titlesarchitect and engineer were primarily geographical variations that referred to the same person, often used interchangeably.

It is suggested that various developments in technology and mathematics allowed the development of the professional ‘gentleman’ architect, separate from the hands-on craftsman. Paper was not used in Europe for drawing until the 15th century, but became increasingly available after 1500. Pencils were used more often for drawing by 1600. The availability of both allowed pre-construction drawings to be made by professionals. Concurrently, the introduction of linear perspective and innovations such as the use of different projections to describe a three-dimensional building in two dimensions, together with an increased understanding of dimensional accuracy, helped building designers communicate their ideas. However, the development was gradual. Until the 18th century buildings continued to be designed and set-out by craftsmen, with the exception of high status projects.

A name Airchitect has come from way back as we know he/she by then due to various developments in technology and mathematics allowed the development of the professional ‘gentleman’ architect. This has over the years given rise to creation of names in different regions to mean architect, something that’s easilly understood by the lay man other than him referringto everyone as engineer. Consider this:


Afrikaans words for architect



Japanese words for architect








Swahili words for architect





Hindi words for architect






Luganda words for architect


Luo words for architect


Lusoga words for architect


There is need for a name that can be used in Uganda, one that can make the profession known. One that can remain on peoples lips, easilyunderstood, easily pronounced.


What could that name be?

You hear people being refered to as an architecture, yinginiya,omukubi wapulani… oh my!Some are sentences. That makes me puzzled but what alternative do the people have? You will be called yinginiya, so will the porter, mason, craftsman etc.

A young Ugandan architect tried coming up with an alternative which was presented and is still being reviewed. He came up with a Luganda word; AKITENKIKYA.Creative it is; but do you kno that it would be ponounsed differently just within Buganda itself where different groups of Baganda have different pronunciations? And alas how would people from other regions pronounce it? That still has a lot to bring out the light.

An Architect is the master builder, Ssabazimbi! (Luganda word for chief builder). I am curious as to how this unfolds in the different regions.

Think about it: What would you like to be called?What can we be called? What’s the name? What’s the identity?Who are we to the common man?



  3. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary(8th), Oxford University Press