Best Nigerian baby names for girls

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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.

nigerian girl names

Nigerian girl names: A guide

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

Adaeze- princess

Amaka- beautiful

Adaku- daughter of wealth

Amarachi-  God’s grace

Chioma- good God

Chinyere- God’s grace

Ifeoma- good

Nneka- sweet mother

Ngozi- blessing

Nkechi-   God’s own

Nkiruka- There is hope

Oluebube- miracle

Obianuju- abundant

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

Bakuma- guest

Fara- fair in complexion

Gimbiya- princess

Hakuri- patience

Kuluwa- most loved

Kyauta- gift of God

Kyawo- beautiful lady

Sarauniya- queen

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

Habibah- beloved

Halimah- gentle, clement

Kubra- great, senior

Latifah- gentle, kind, refined

Lubabah- the innermost essence

Maimuna- fortunate, blessed

Rabi’ah- Fourth

Halimah- safe, sound, health

Zahrah- flower, blossom,splendour

Zaytun- olive

Zubaydah- cream of the crop, radiant

 

nigerian girl names

Use our list of Nigerian girl names to choose a strong, beautiful name for your daughter.

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.

The Tiv

Iverem- blessings

Yahimba- nothing like home

Morihinze- child of any gender is good

Hembadoon- winner

Limber- joyfulness

The Ijaw

Abinla- princess

Abiye- my desire

Agake- ere- a woman’s character makes her wife

Alaere- queen

Alayingi- royal mother

The Ibibios

Ekaete- Father’s mother

Uyai- beauty

Obongoawan-queen

Ediye- beautiful

Affiong- moon

The Idomas

Akum- mine

Anyaole- women make a home

Ebo- peace

Ogodo- mother of all mother’s

Onyabahi- luxurious woman

The Urhobo

Isio- stars

Omote- girl

Erhuvwun- beauty

Enajemete- there are also girls

The Igala

Iye-mother

Ejura- time of plenty

Futumi- amazed

Alami- girl born on Thursday

The Itsekiri

Alero- female first born

Besida- as destiny dictates

Dolor- money

Ebeji- twins

Orighomisa- my head is good

The Bini/Edo

Adesewa- prosperity, in the midst of wealth

Akugbe- togetherness

Eseosa- God’s gift

Esohe- free gift

Ifueko- gentle

Itohan- mercy

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.

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

Written by

Julie Adeboye