Igbo child-naming conventions

Some Igbo names for girls talk about the circumstances surrounding the child’s birth

The Igbo language is spoken by people in the Southeastern and parts of South-southern Nigeria. It is a vibrant and rich language. Igbo names are no different. Most Igbo names for girls have very deep meanings. Some even tell very short stories.

Names like ‘Ekwutosi’ or ‘Onukwube’ often signify that the child’s parents had been the talk of the town. Another name like ‘Nkeiruka’ signifies that the child was born in tough times and that the parents are hopeful for a better future.

How religion affects Igbo names for girls

The child naming traditions haven’t changed so much with the coming of Christianity. Although many Christian parents choose Igbo names for girls that include the name of God (Chukwu or Chi), they still tend to hint at the circumstances surrounding the newborn’s conception and birth.

On rare occasions, some creative parents also give praise names to their children. Names such as ‘Ifenkili’, ‘Omalicha’. ‘Mma’ and ‘Ola’ are some of the most common praise Igbo names for girls. The names signify that the child is precious and priceless. Communities can go to war for such a child.

Igbo names for girls are sometimes praise names

Some names are instructional in Igboland

The Igbos often give instructional Igbo names for girls. Such names seem to be instructing the child on the right path to take in life. For instance, a parent might name the child ‘Sopuruchukwu’, ‘Fechi’ or ‘Tochi’ because they want the child to respect God or Chukwu (which is the name the Igbos call God by).

A child who is named ‘Lotanna’ or ‘Jidenna’ must never forget his or her father.

Twins do not have special names, as is the case with the Yorubas. Parents use their discretion or give names that start with the same alphabet.

A girl’s name says a lot about her personality, history and destiny. So before you choose from the list of names available to you, see our comprehensive list of chic, pious, and beautiful Igbo names for girls. Have a fantastic time while choosing a suitable name for your newborn.

Igbo names for girls and the meaning of the names, from A-Z

A

Adaeze – the king’s first daughter

Akachukwu – in God’s hand

Adamma – Beautiful first daughter

Adaego – the first daughter who brings wealth or riches

Adaoma – good or beautiful first daughter

Ahunna – one with her father’s body or father’s look alike

Akunna – father’s wealth or father’s riches

B

Bianonyerem – come and stay with me

Binyerem or Binyelum – stay with me

C –

Chizitaram – God sent me

Chideziri – God wrote

Chibuzo – God comes first or God is the ultimate

Chinedu – God is leading or guiding me

Chiagoziem – God has blessed me

Chioma – good luck or Good God

Chibundu – God is life

Chimdi – My God Is alive

Chiamaka – God is good

Chinenye – It is God who gives

Chimamanda – my God will not fail

Chika – God is greater

Chizoba – God will keep saving me

Chinyere – God gave

E

Eberechi – God’s mercy

Ekemma – born on a fine Eke market day

Ekpereamaka – prayers are potent or it is good to pray

Ekene – praise

Esimnachi – I came from God

Ekwutosi – don’t slander me or stop spoiling my name

Ezinne – the good mother

Ezimma – the good mother

Ezichi – good God

F

Fechi – serve God or worship God

G

Ginikachukwu – who is mightier than God?

Ginikanwa – what is more precious than a child?

Religious moms and dads sometimes choose names that honour God

I

Ifeanyi – nothing is too difficult for God

Ihechukwu – the light of God

Ihunna – father’s face or father’s lookalike

Ifechukwu – the light of God

Ifedimma – a good thing

Ifenkili – beautiful to behold

Ifunanya – love

Ifeoma – the beautiful or good one

Ifeyinwa – nothing can be compared to a child

Ihuoma – the favored or blessed one

Ijeawele – Have a smooth journey

Ijemma – have a beautiful journey

J

Jachimma – praise God

K

Kairaluchukwu – let’s leave it to God

Kosisochukwu – as it pleases God

Kambili – Let me live

Kamsiyonna – God granted my request

Kamsoluchukwu – let me follow God

Kasarachi – tell God or confide in God

Kasiemobi – comfort me

Kelechi – thank God

L

Lebechi – look unto God

Lotachukwu – remember God

M

Mma – beautiful

Mmadiya – the one whose beauty makes her husband proud

Mkpulumma – the good seed

Mmasichukwu – the will of God

N

Nne – mother

Nnedimma – good mother

Nnenna – father’s mother

Nneka – mother is great

Nchekwube – Trust in God

Nkechi – owned by God

Ndidiamaka – patience is good

Nkeiruka – the future is brighter

O

Ogadimma – it will be well

Oluchi – God’s handiwork or God’s creation

Oma – good or beautiful

Ogechi – God’s time

Omasirichi – the one who pleases God

Obiageli – the one who has come to enjoy wealth

Ola – pearl

Olaedo – gold

Olaocha – silver

Olachi – God’s precious one

Olamma – beautiful pearl

S

Somtochukwu – praise God with me

Sopuruchukwu – respect God

Sochi – only God

U

Ugoeze – pride of the king

Uloaku – bank or a place where wealth is reserved

Ugommaeze – beautiful one who brings pride to the king

Z

Zara – God answered

Zikeoranachimdimma – show the world that God is good

Zinachimdimma – show that God is good

Resource: BBC News World Africa

Also Read: Igbo names for boys

This article was first published on AfricaParent.com