A-Z Yoruba Names For Your Kids (With Meanings!)

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Many parents attach a lot of significance to the names they give their children. A name isn’t just a word you call another person by; a name is a story, an ode, a wish, a blessing or a conversation starter. It is the first piece of information available to another. Therefore, choosing Yoruba names requires a lot of thought and consideration.

Interesting things about naming children in Yorubaland:

Yoruba names

The Yoruba’s have one the most interesting and the most complicated naming traditions in the world. A child naming ceremony is often organized seven days after the birth of the child. There the child’s unique identity is unveiled. In pre-colonial West Africa, parents from the Yoruba ethnic group relied on traditional priests to divine the child’s destiny and to choose a name that reflects the child’s destiny.

However, things have changed in the twenty-first century especially with the advent of Christianity and Islam. Parents grandparents and, in rare cases, family friends suggest beautiful Yoruba names for the baby. Often these names describe the circumstance surrounding the baby’s conception and birth.

Some of the most beautiful names available in this majority South Western and North-central Nigeria ethnic group are praise names, popularly called Oriki names. Such names are often bestowed upon children who have brought exceptional joy and pride to the family.

It is also important to consider that the Yorubas have interesting naming traditions for twins. In such cases, names are predetermined by the order of the baby’s arrival. Taiwo-- (a name that loosely translates to ‘pre-tasted the world’) — is the name given to the first twin. The second twin is named Kehinde; the name means ‘the one who lagged behind’.

There are lots of Yoruba names. To simplify your name search, we have compiled a comprehensive litany of trendy, religious, quaint or modern baby names. Enjoy choosing a creative name for your baby.

Yoruba names: names and meanings A-Z

A

Abimbola – born into riches
Abiodun – born on the day of a festival
Abebi - we requested for a female child
Aanuoluwakiishi – the mercy of God never ceases
Adelola- crowns bring honor
Ayoola- the delight of prosperity
Ayotola- joy is sufficient wealth
Ajayi – the one who was born with his or her face down
Apara – unique or unrivalled
Adesewa- the crown is gorgeous
Atinuke- the child who has been protected from the moment of conception
Ayotoluwafunmi- the joyfulness God has bequeathed me

B

Babatunji – our father has returned (or reincarnated)
Bisi- the family’s firstborn daughter
Bankole – build an abode for me
Bolade – honor will arrive
Bimpe - elegant and beautiful
Boluwatife – As it pleases God
Bosede- the daughter who was born on a Sunday

Yoruba names

D

Damilola – blessed with remarkable riches
Durojaiye – the one who awaits life’s joys and blessings
Digiola – a reflection of wealth and riches
Dideolu - the rising of God
Durodola – be patient and wait for prosperity

E

Ebunoluwa – God’s gift
Enilo – the one who left
Eniola – wealthy person
Enitan – the one whose birth inspired a story
Eniolorunopa – the one whose life God will spare
Ekundayo – my sorrows have turned into joy
Ereola - wealth is important
Erioluwa - testimony of God’s goodness
Ewaoluwa – God’s beauty

F

Fadesewafunmi – give me beauty from the crown
Fehintiola - lean on wealth
Feyifoluwa – bequeath this child to God
Fijinoluwa - sanctified to God
Fiyinfoluwa - respect God
Folashade – make wealth a crown

G

Gbadebo – the child who delivers the crown
Gbekelolu – rely on God
Gbolagunte - mount the throne with wealth
Gbolahan - flaunt wealth
Gbowoade – collect the crown

Yoruba names

I

Ifedayo – love becomes joy
Idunnuola – Happiness (or Joy)
Ibironke – the family has found a child to pamper
Ibiolagbajosi - where wealth converges
Ibiyemi – childbirth has brought me honor

K

Kikelomo – the one who is destined to be pampered
Kikiopefoluwa – It’s all glory to God
Kokumo – this child won’t die again
Koledowo - erect house in the hope of wealth
Kasewo – to ridicule someone
Kosoko – there is no hoe
Koyinsola – pour honey into wealth

M

Modupe; I give thanks
Mayowa – The one who invites happiness into the home
Mofeoluwa; I love God
Mobo – Freedom
Mofeoluwa – I love God

N

Naade – the male child born into royalty
Ninioluwalere – it pays to belong to God

O

Odunayo – joyful year
Obafemi - the king (or ruler) loves me
Olabisi – my joy has been multiplied
Ododo - flower

P

Pamilekunayo – the one who causes me to shed tears of joy
Pipeloluwa – perfect (or awesome) God

R

Remilekun – put an end to my grief
Ropo – come to save

T

Titilayo – eternal happiness
Titilope – eternal thanks
Tiwa – the one who has ownership of the throne
Tifeoluwa – it is the will of God

W

Wura – gold
Wuraola – gold of wealth

Y

Yewande – mother sought me
Yejide – mother has awoken
Yele – one who suits the family
Yetunde – mother has returned again (or reincarnated)

Workplace suitability used to be a determining factor when choosing Yoruba names for their children. Parents often agonized about the possibility of children losing job opportunities because a boss couldn’t pronounce their names. Those fears became baseless especially since successful artists began making waves, even with their native Yoruba names. A few examples include Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, David Oyelewo, Jide Kosoko and so on.

If you’re going to pick a Yoruba name for your child, don’t forget to choose a name that resonates well with you. Don’t worry about how other people might react to it. The significance and meaning of the name are arguably the most important considerations. And if anyone poses that timeless Shakespearean question, “What’s in a name?” shrug your shoulders and say, “Everything.”

Resource: BBC
Also Read : Best Nigerian baby names for girls

Written by

Julie Adeboye