Early African-American Names

Early American slave rolls are filled with classical and biblical names designed to show off the slave-owners' education and not normally used for whites; variations of African day names and place-names; along with other unusual names more closely identified over the years with black than white American culture. Some of the most notable early African-American names:

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  • Pascal

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    The French-accented Pascal was historically used for sons born at Easter, and can make an interesting choice for a boy with Gallic roots arriving around that holiday.

    Pascal has a... Read More 

  • Phillis

    Gender: F LoveDislike

  • Phoebe

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    A mythological, biblical, Shakepearean, and Salinger name, the warm and captivating Phoebe was given a boost in popularity by one of the Friends.

    In classical mythology, Phoebe is the... Read More 

  • Pompey

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Roman statesman and Caesar rival whose name, like other classical choices, was occasionally used for slaves. The Pompeo version could rise again. Read More 

  • Sabina

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Sabina is a sleek but neglected name (possibly due to The Rape of the Sabine Women) from an ancient Roman tribal name that's well worth consideration. The equally alluring Sabine is heard in... Read More 

  • Sable

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Sable is often associated with the Dynsaty soap opera, but it is actually a type of animal historically hunted for its fur. Sable is also used as a word for a warm, rich black color. Both... Read More 

  • Scipio

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    This surname of an ancient Roman invader of Africa is an intriguing, undiscovered option. Read More 

  • Spencer

    Gender: M LoveDislike

    Spencer is a name that has everything: it's both distinguished sounding and accessible, dignified but Spencer Tracy-like friendly. Picked by several celebrities (a couple of times even for a... Read More 

  • Sukey

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    Eighteenth-century nickname that still appears occasionally as an alternative to Suzy. Read More 

  • Tamar

    Gender: F LoveDislike

    Tamar is a rich, strong Old Testament name sometimes given to girls born on the holiday of Sukkoth, as palm branches were used to make the roof of the sukkah. In the Bible, there are several... Read More 

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