Best Nigerian baby names for girls
Choose a beautiful, strong name for your little princess with our guide.
Naming a Nigerian child requires a lot of research and patience. This is largely because Nigerians have an elaborate naming tradition. Although the child naming customs vary by tribe, there is one constant feature. All Nigerians prefer descriptive names, especially names with clear, profound meanings. Nigerian girl names are the most in demand.
Child naming customs changed with the advent of Christianity and Islam. Some families began to opt for Christian or Islamic names, and others stuck to traditional names. Parents often chose—and still choose—names that reflect the circumstances surrounding the child’s birth, and others call babies by names that foretell the child’s destiny.
The art of naming a child in Nigeria
In Nigeria, child naming is prophesy. It is poetry and storytelling. It is complicated.
No parent wants be burden their child with a name that is capable of bringing its bearer to ruin. So names are chosen with a lot of deliberation. Often, grandparents will volunteer their preferred choice of names. It is common to see children bearing up to five names. Sometimes, the first letters of all the names are made to form an acronym, other times, the bearer uses only one or two of the names in legal documents.
The child’s name is not only determined by his or her gender. It is also determined by the child’s position in the family. For instance, in Igbo culture, only first daughters are named Ada.
In Yoruba tradition, twins are named based the order of their arrival. The first twin is named Taiwo, (this loosely translates to ‘pre-tasted the world’). Kehinde is often the second twin’s name. Kehinde loosely translates to ‘the one who lagged behind’.
Another criterion for choosing a name is the date of birth. So a child born on Friday is named Friday. April, May and June are popular names for girls born during those months.
Children are sometimes named after extended family members or close family friends. Child naming in this context, is used to strengthen the bond between families.
In this article, we shall provide you with a comprehensive list of the best baby names for girls in Nigeria. Finding an appropriate name for your little bundle of joy shouldn’t be difficult. Our list will be categorized according to the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
But before we publish our list, let’s briefly summarize the three major ethnic groups
In Nigeria, there are three major ethnic groups: Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Each of these has its distinctive cultural background and heritage. These ethnic groups have languages that are unique to them.
Nigerian girl names:
Igbo names and their meanings
Adaora- first daughter
Adaku- daughter of wealth
Amarachi- God’s grace
Chioma- good God
Chinyere- God’s grace
Nneka- sweet mother
Nkechi- God’s own
Nkiruka- There is hope
Ozioma- the message
Yoruba names and their meanings
Abebi- we asked for a girl child
Adekemi- the crown cares for me
Adesewa- the crown is beautiful
Atinuke- one who has been taken care of right from conception
Ayoola- the joy of wealth
Ayotola- joy is enough wealth
Ayotoluwafunmi- the joy the Lord has given me
Bisi- first born daughter in the family
Bimpe- gorgeous and beautiful
Bosede- a daughter that came to the world on a Sunday
Foluwakemi- God becomes my care
Feyikemi- smiles shall radiate all over me
Morenikeji- I have found another like me
Mololuwa- I have God
Oyinkansola- honey drops in wealth
Omotola- children is worth wealth
Olayiwunmi- I love this weather
Hausa names and their meanings
Fara- fair in complexion
Kuluwa- most loved
Kyauta- gift of God
Kyawo- beautiful lady
Tanoma- born during farming season
Some Hausas also love to go by some Arabic names, a few of them include:
Aisha- living, prosperous
Aminah- safe, secure, protected
Halimah- gentle, clement
Kubra- great, senior
Latifah- gentle, kind, refined
Lubabah- the innermost essence
Maimuna- fortunate, blessed
Halimah- safe, sound, health
Zahrah- flower, blossom,splendour
Zubaydah- cream of the crop, radiant
There are arguably almost four hundred (400) ethnic groups in Nigeria. The minority ethnic groups have slightly different languages and child naming customs. Members of minority ethnic groups are often bilingual or polyglots. Members of different ethnic groups communicate effectively.
Below is a list of Nigerian girl names from some minority ethnic groups.
Yahimba- nothing like home
Morihinze- child of any gender is good
Abiye- my desire
Agake- ere- a woman’s character makes her wife
Alayingi- royal mother
Ekaete- Father’s mother
Anyaole- women make a home
Ogodo- mother of all mother’s
Onyabahi- luxurious woman
Enajemete- there are also girls
Ejura- time of plenty
Alami- girl born on Thursday
Alero- female first born
Besida- as destiny dictates
Orighomisa- my head is good
Adesewa- prosperity, in the midst of wealth
Eseosa- God’s gift
Esohe- free gift
Osasere- God is supreme
In the end, it’s the parents’ decision. They can decide either to follow the tradition or to jettison it all together. These days, some parents name their children after popular entertainment stars like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian or Rihanna. Some others turn to the sports industry for inspiration. Football fans name their children after favorite players.
It is important to note that some names are gender-neutral. Such names are considered traditional male or female names.
One thing hasn’t changed though. Nigerian families and tribes firmly believe in the power of a name. It is important to choose wisely. A child’s name can be a prayer, a fervent wish, or an aspiration. You decide what matters most to you.
As much as possible, give your daughter a unique and beautiful name that celebrates your custom and tradition. Your child’s name can be a conversation starter.