Here's A List of Popular Nigerian Male Names And Their Meanings

Here's A List of Popular Nigerian Male Names And Their Meanings

What's your favourite in our list?

Naming ceremonies are one of the most celebrated events in Nigeria. And deciding on Nigerian male or female names are an important aspect of Nigerian culture.  Family, friends and well-wishers gather to celebrate the latest member of the family. Also, the size of the party normally depends on the depth of the pockets of the new parents; with the party only reaching a climax when the new baby gets his or her name. In this article, we’ll go through some popular Nigerian male names to bless your little one with.

The importance of these popular Nigerian male names

popular Nigerian male names

Names are prophecies

The recent economic downturn has inspired parents to begin to project their hopes and dreams on their kids.  Names are prophetic, and parents in Nigeria call their children what they wish for the most. You will find that Victory, Wealth, Riches, and Favour, are some of the most popular names in Nigeria.

There are also other factors determine the choice of names in Nigeria. Some of these factors are circumstances/ events that occur before or after the birth; religious affiliations of the new parents; the favourite celebrities of the parents, and the child’s birth order in the family.

popular Nigerian male names

There are many beautiful Nigerian male names that also have unique and significant meanings.

Names proclaim religious affiliations

It is widely known that Nigerians are passionate people and these passions be it in their way of life, religion or interests. Popular Christian names include God’s-Glory, God-is-Good, etc. These names single out the bearers as die-hard Christians. Some parents even name their kids after their favourite men of God. For instance, in a church where the Senior pastor’s name is David; it’s not weird to have many little Davids whose parents are members of said church. David, by the way, is one of the very popular Nigerian boy names.

You shouldn’t be surprised to find names Open Heavens, Yelutide, Alleluyah, Godspower, MightyGod, Breakthrough, Hand of God. These names are supposed to revere God.

Sometimes, these popular Nigerian male names pay tribute to the Government of the day

In 2011, Former President Goodluck Jonathan won the elections and his name became a popular one in the homes of many Nigerians. The reason was not farfetched, as many new parents prayed ‘good luck’ into the lives of their children. His good luck turned him into a poster boy for the latest ‘grass to grace’ story. Goodluck Jonathan was born into a family so poor they couldn’t afford his school shoes. He walked barefooted to school every day. Somehow, everyone believed his name contributed to his good fortune.

The former president’s kinsmen in Bayelsa State have gained popularity for their unique names like General, Inspector, Colonel, Heineken, Jubilee, Difference, ThankGod, Worldwide, Government, Confidence, etc.

Names Honour Celebrities

Football as a sport is a great unifying force in Nigeria. People from different ethnicities and social classes love to unite to show their love for the beautiful game. Its popularity and super-high financial remunerations have inspired parents to hope that their kids will turn out like Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonardo Messi, Jay Jay Okocha, etc.  

Recently, it was reported that a man named his triplet sons after the three greatest players in Manchester United Football Club. His sons are named after football idols Ryan Giggs, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Eric Cantona. Thinking about it, It would have been pretty difficult for him to explain to his Yoruba neighbours that  ‘Ole’ was nowhere related to pilfering and stealing as it means ‘thief’ in Yoruba.

  Popular Nigerian Male Names and their Meanings

Nigeria has many ethnic groups. Each group has some popular names for baby boys. Some families make sure that some names are represented in each generation, meaning that someone has to bear the name in every generation.

Names given to newborn boys are a symbol of a family’s strength, material wealth, social position, achievements of the parents, and their influence in the community. Circumstances and events before or after the birth of the child can also influence the name of the child. The following are names in different ethnic groups in Nigeria, as well as their origins and meanings:


This name is usually associated with the crown or royalty. Ade means crown or kingdom. The full literal translation of the name is ‘I deserve to wear the crown’ or the ‘crown fits me.’


This name announces the prowess of the father as it means ‘a warrior gave birth  to this one.’


This name tells everyone that such a child was born during a festive period.


In the culture of the Yoruba people, premature children bear ‘Abiku’; the people believe that such children possess the power of reincarnation. Thus they bear special names for children born premature and stillbirth. Banjoko means ‘stay with me.’


This literally means ‘Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.’ This infers that the parents of the child envision a life of pleasant surprises for such a baby

nigerian boy

Have you found a name you like in our list of Nigerian boy names?

Nigerian Male Names: Male Igbo Names and their Meanings


In Igbo, this name means God has done something great. This is the name you give to a baby boy who was born into a family that’s been praying and hoping for a male child.


In the Igbo culture, the hope of reunion may inspire this name as it means ‘my father is alive.’ Parents give this name to a child if they think he is his grandfather reincarnated.


This means the boy was born on Afor, one of the days of the Igbo week.


Like Banjoko in the Yoruba culture, Fumnanya means ‘love me.’ And it is a name for a child that is born after losing a loved one who supposedly reincarnated.

Popular Hausa Names for Boys


This means a reliable and trustworthy person.


This means the distinguisher of truth from falsehood.


This is a name for a child born on Friday.

A person’s name is their identity. In Nigeria, names are praises, words of affirmation and sometimes, what the parents really hope for. As we have seen Nigerians understand this uniqueness perhaps more than any other country. You’ll find people giving unique names to their baby boys, but there are also people who remain traditional in their choice of names.

So when next you see a little Nigerian boy be prepared to hear more when you ask, ‘What is your name?’ The answer may just surprise you.

Guardian NG

Also Read: What your baby’s time of birth says about their personality

Written by

Julie Adeboye