Menu

African Names for Girls

AbenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Twi, Ghanaian
  • Meaning:

    "born on Tuesday"
  • Description:

    This name from the Akan language of Ghana in West Africa is traditionally given to baby girls born on a Tuesday. The male version is Kwabena or Kobena.

NyaHeart

  • Origin:

    African
  • Meaning:

    "tenacity"
  • Description:

    A relatively new name on the scene, increasing in popularity since 1999.

ShantiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi
  • Meaning:

    "peace"
  • Description:

    This Hindi word which is used in prayer is one of the prime names that mean peace, always a nice message to impart to a child. Nick Nolte used it for his daughter.

AmmaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hindi or African, Akan
  • Meaning:

    "mother, or born on a Saturday"
  • Description:

    An anagram of Mama, in tune with its Hindi meaning.

LissaHeart

  • Origin:

    African and Arabic mythology name; diminutive of Melissa
  • Description:

    Lissa might be an abbreviation of Melissa, but it's more substantial in its own right: Lissa is the name of a supreme mother goddess in African mythology and an Arabic symbol of rebirth.

NyalaHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Ethiopian
  • Meaning:

    "mountain goat"
  • Description:

    Nyala is a secret nature name with a fashionable animal meaning. Nyala might be an appropriate name for a baby girl born under the sign of Capricorn, which is symbolized by the goat, or in the Chinese Year of the Goat -- though the last one was 2015 and we won't have another until 2027. Although the nee beginning is most frequently cited as the correct pronunciation, the name can -- and often will -- be pronounced with the first syllable rhyming with my and sigh.

MakenaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of McKenna or Eastern African
  • Meaning:

    "happy one"
  • Description:

    The African version of McKenna with a sweet meaning.

DiarraHeart

  • Origin:

    West African
  • Meaning:

    "gift"
  • Description:

    Diarra has a nice meaning, but we could see it leading to possible teasing re association with a certain digestive problem.

IfeHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Yoruba
  • Meaning:

    "love"
  • Description:

    Simple African name all-but-unknown in the U.S. and Europe, which is exactly why it might make a perfect choice. Similarity to such popular names as Ava and Eva (and the Irish Aoife) makes it more familiar, but potentially more confusing.

BayoHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Nigerian, Yoruba
  • Meaning:

    "the crown meets joy"
  • Description:

    Short form of Adebayo

KenyaHeart

  • Origin:

    Place name, Kikuyu
  • Meaning:

    "mountain of white"
  • Description:

    Kenya, a name borrowed from the East African nation and theoretically unisex, is now used mostly for girls. While it's had its ups and downs since entering the US Top 1000 in 1968, it currently ranks lower than spelling variant Kenia.

AkosuaHeart

  • Origin:

    Twi
  • Meaning:

    "Born on a Sunday"
  • Description:

    Akosua means "born on a Sunday," which relates the name to the sun and thus to fire. 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). Akosua is the name for girls born on a Sunday. The name for boys born on a Sunday is Kwasi.

ZalaHeart

  • Origin:

    Ethiopian or Slovene variation of Rozalija
  • Meaning:

    "a people from southwest Ethiopia; rose"
  • Description:

    Simple but sultry.

NgoziHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Nigerian-Igbo
  • Meaning:

    "blessing"
  • Description:

    Dynamic and creative; common in Africa, challenging here. Pronunciation isn't as difficult as you'd guess, but everyone will have to ask. Many favor n-GO-zee, but a native speaker tells us that it is closer to n-GAW-zee, and we've found at least one n-GAH-zee, too.

FayolaHeart

  • Origin:

    African-Yoruba, Nigeria
  • Meaning:

    "lucky, good fortune, blessed"
  • Description:

    Too close to "payola."

NemyHeart

  • Origin:

    Mende
  • Meaning:

    "sweet"
  • Description:

    Friendly and energetic name from the Mende language of West Africa.

ZinaHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Nsenga, refers to a child's secret spirit name; Russian, related to Zeus
  • Description:

    Old-style arty.

KamaliHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Mashona
  • Meaning:

    "spirit guide, protector"
  • Description:

    Spirit that protects babies from illness...and surname of designer Naomi.

EbeleHeart

  • Origin:

    African
  • Meaning:

    "mercy, kindness"
  • Description:

    Igbo name made more familiar by its relationship to the popular Belle and Bella.

ZiziHeart

  • Origin:

    African, Kiswahili
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Despite its varied cultural ties, Zizi still sounds like a cancan dancer or a fluffy lapdog.