Nigerian Names

  1. Zariah
    • Origin:

      Arabic, Hebrew, Russian
    • Meaning:

      "flower, God has helped, dawn"
    • Description:

      Zariah has three possible origins: the Arabic Zahrah which means ‘flower’, the Hebrew name Azariah, meaning ‘God has helped’, or the Russian word Zaria which means ‘sunrise/dawn’. Either way, it's a strong and striking name with a range of lovely meanings.
  2. Sade
    • Origin:

      Finnish, Nigerian and Yoruba, diminutive of Folashade
    • Meaning:

      "rain; honor bestows a crown"
    • Description:

      The one-named singer clarified the confusing pronunciation on this one (in her case, it's shah-DAY), but a number of parents have looked for more phonetic spellings. The Finnish version means "rain."
  3. Iniko
    • Origin:

      Nigerian, Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "born in a time of trouble"
    • Description:

      This West African name has an upbeat, energetic sound, yet it is traditionally used for a son who was born during troubled times.
  4. Ajani
    • Origin:

      Nigerian, Yoruban
    • Meaning:

      "the victor"
    • Description:

      An easily assimilated African name, a novel twist on Johnny.
  5. Kehinde
    • Origin:

      Yoruba
    • Meaning:

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

      This African name, which derives from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, is used for both girls and boys -- but in the US, its most notable bearer is (male) artist Kehinde Wiley. Wiley, who paints brown- and black-skinned people in the style of European Old Masters, was born in Los Angeles of an African-American mother and a Yoruba father and was also a twin, thus his name. An attractive and creative choice for either gender.
  6. Oluchi
    • Origin:

      Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "work of God"
    • Description:

      Nigerian-born supermodel Oluchi Orlandi brought this little-known (to non-Nigerians), lovely choice into the lexicon.
  7. Dayo
    • Origin:

      Nigerian
    • Meaning:

      "joy arrives"
    • Description:

      Has an evocative African beat.
  8. Agu
    • Origin:

      Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "tiger"
    • Description:

      In its native Nigeria, Agu is a surname that signifies strength and being a force of nature. Agu as a first name has some pedigree, however: most notably via Agu Casmir, a famous Nigerian-Singaporean soccer player.
  9. Ajamu
    • Origin:

      Nigerian, Yoruban
    • Meaning:

      "he fights for his desires"
    • Description:

      Rhythmic name sometimes associated with calypso singer King Ajamu.
  10. Kehinde
    • 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.
  11. Diji
    • Origin:

      Nigerian
    • Meaning:

      "a farmer"
    • Description:

      Accessible multicultural name. Kot Diji is a site of ancient remains in modern-day Pakistan.
  12. Oba
    • Origin:

      Nigerian
    • Description:

      Intriguing name of the ancient goddess of rivers.
  13. Chimamanda
    • Origin:

      Igbo
    • Meaning:

      "my God will never fail"
    • Description:

      Made most familiar in English-speaking countries by prize-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chimamanda has a wonderful meaning and can be shortened to Chima or the spunky Chi. In 2022, it entered the UK Top 100 for the first time, when 38 baby girls were given the name.
  14. Amazu
    • Origin:

      Nigerian, Ibo
    • Meaning:

      "no one knows everything"
    • Description:

      Conveys a sense of amazement.