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African Names

  1. SalamaHeart
    • Origin:

      African, Swahili
    • Meaning:

      "peace, safety, security"
    • Description:

      The three soft a's make for a calm and rhythmic name, though some risk of salami jokes.
  2. AlimayuHeart
    • Origin:

      Ethiopian
    • Meaning:

      "in honor of God"
    • Description:

      Wesley Snipes chose this distinctive East African name for his son.
  3. LuandaHeart
    • Origin:

      African place-name
    • Description:

      This name of Angola's capital city has occasionally been used for baby girls.
  4. SenegalHeart
    • Origin:

      Country name
    • Description:

      Popular etymology derives this West African country's name from the Wolof words sunu gal, "our canoe". It's an appealing image, of a nation of people all in the same boat. Some country names have taken off as baby names, but this one, not yet.
  5. KadidaHeart
    • Origin:

      Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "premature child"
    • Description:

      Kadida is an Anglicized form of the Arabic name Khadija, wife of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
  6. YabaHeart
    • Origin:

      Twi
    • Meaning:

      "Born on a Thursday"
    • Description:

      The Akan people of Ghana and the Ivory Coast frequently name their children after the day of the week they were born and the order in which they were born. Most Ghanans have a name using this system (think Kofi Annan, whose name means born on a Friday).
  7. GenetHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "broom (shrub); or descended from John or Eugene"
    • Description:

      A relatively common French surname associated with sometimes scandalous French novelist/dramatist Jean Genet. The name may derive from genêt, the French name for the broom shrub. Alternatively, it can derive from the French forms of Eugene, John or Janet as an ancestral surname.
  8. PiliHeart
    • Origin:

      African, Swahili
    • Meaning:

      "second born"
    • Description:

      Will be frequently misunderstood as Pele or, worse, "pilly".
  9. KehindeHeart
    • Origin:

      Yoruba
    • Meaning:

      "second-born of twins or one who falls behind"
    • Description:

      Although the best-known Kehinde is the male painter Kehinde Wiley, this name is used for both genders in its native Nigeria and can be just as attractive for a girl.
  10. KenyaHeart
    • Origin:

      Place name, Kikuyu
    • Meaning:

      "mountain of white"
    • Description:

      A bold and evocative African place name. The country of Kenya gets its name from Mount Kenya, referred to it as "Kirinyaga" or "Kerenyaga" by the local Kikuyu people, meaning "mountain of whiteness" due to its snow-capped peak.
  11. AmadiHeart
    • Origin:

      African
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Though this is traditionally a male name, it can work for a girl in our culture. Might also be considered a short form of the Italian Amadea.
  12. SenegalHeart
    • Origin:

      African place-name
    • Description:

      Unlikely to take over Kenya's spot as the dominant African place-name.