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Top Swahili Names for Boys

Swahili names for boys are most familiar in the US via the Presidential name Barack, the sports-related Kobe, and Simba of The Lion King. But there are other Swahili boy names that may be appealing to the parent in search of an African name for their son. Swahili is the most well-known African language and culture in the US and other English-speaking countries, so the names here may feel more accessible than other African names for boys.

Here, our full list of Swahili names for boys. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
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KobeHeart

  • Origin:

    Swahili
  • Meaning:

    "tortoise"
  • Description:

    Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, whose name was inspired by a Japanese steak house, brought this energetic and appealing name into -- and out of -- the mix. Bryant's tragic death in a helicopter crash in 2020 may only increase the popularity of his name, as fans and admirers name their children Kobe in honor of the star.

OmariHeart

  • Origin:

    Swahili, Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "populous, flourishing"
  • Description:

    This name, like Omar and Amari, has been in the US Top 1000 for many years. After taking a downturn in 2008, it's now again on the upswing. Actor Omari Hardwick keeps it in the public eye.

JabariHeart

  • Origin:

    Swahili
  • Meaning:

    "comforter, bringer of consolation"
  • Description:

    Coolly attractive African name, with distinguished representatives in sports and literature. Jabari has been on the rise recently, returning to the US Top 1000 in 2015.
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