Choosing a Nigerian baby name means diving into the rich world of the country’s diversity.
Nigeria boasts over 500 languages and 250 ethnic groups—so when we speak about Nigerian baby names, we’re covering a lot of ground.
The Nigerian diaspora is so vast that unofficial estimates reach up to 15 million people.
From athletes to writers to intellectuals, doctors, and comedians, Nigerians have made their mark in a variety of industries.
Whether you have Nigerian heritage, or are just inspired by the beating heart of this West African nation, Nigerian names offer an inspiring mix of deep meaning and beautiful sounds.
The major ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa-Falani, the Igbo, and the Yoruba.
Each one has its own naming traditions.
Children are named for, amongst other things, the conditions of their birth, their protectors in the world, and the state of their families.
Because of colonial influence, many Nigerians also have additional European names or translations of their names.
With all that beautiful complexity in mind, let’s explore the most popular Nigerian names.
111 Nigerian names
Let’s start by looking at what name is at the top of the charts.
What is the most popular name in Nigeria?
According to Forebears.io, the most popular name in Nigeria is drum roll, please:
- Musa: This name means prophet and is the Arabic version of the name Moses—a name that comes from the phrase “drawn out of the water.”
But, because there are so many different cultures and languages, there are many other names that vie for top position.
Here are some of the most common Nigerian names:
What are some Nigerian girl names?
*Before we get going, it’s important to note that while we’ve separated this list, many Nigerian names are gender-neutral.
Here are some of the top Nigerian baby girl names and their meanings:
- Abebi: We asked for a girl.
- Abeni: We asked for her and she arrived.
- Abosede: A girl who is born on a Sunday
- Adaeze: The daughter of the king
- Adaego: The daughter of wealth
- Adaku: A girl who brings wealth to the family she is born into
- Adamma: Beautiful girl
- Adanna: The father’s daughter
- Akachi: The hand of god
- Alaba: Second child after twins
- Alheri: Grace
- Alika: Most beautiful
- Amara: Grace
- Ayo: Joy. Many names start with “Ayo” to show joy as part of a larger naming story.
- Ayodele: Joy has arrived.
- Ayotunde: Joy has returned.
- Chi: Chi means God and is often used as the first part of a name.
- Chiagozie: God has blessed me.
- Chiamaka: God is beautiful.
- Chidi: God is real.
- Chidinma: God is good.
- Chika: God is the greatest
- Chimamanda: God will not fail me. And yes, like the renowned writer.
- Chinara: God receives.
- Chioma: God is good.
- Dada: Curly-haired child
- Ebele: Kindness
- Efe: Wealth
- Ekundayo: Sadness has become joy.
- Funanya: Love
- Hadiza: The Hausa version of the name “Khadija,” Hadiza means the one who comes first.
- Ife: Love
- Ifeoma: Good thing
- Ifiok: Wisdom
- Ige: Born feet first
- Ime: Patience
- Kayin: Celebrated one
- Kehinde: Arrived last. This name is often given to the second of a set of twins.
- Lolade: God is with you.
- Maryamu: The Hausa form of Maryam. This name has a range of connotations, from being connected to the biblical Miriam (the sister of Moses) to meaning “a sea of bitterness.”
- Mojisola: Wake up to wealth.
- Monifa: I am lucky.
- Ndidi: Patience
- Ngozi: Blessing
- Nkiruka: The future is greater with you.
- Nneka: My mother is supreme. (Yep, that sounds about right.)
- Nnenna: This name is sometimes given to a child who is believed to be the reincarnation of their father’s mother.
- Nnenne: Similar to Nnenna, Nnenne is given to a child believed to be the reincarnation of their mother’s mother.
- Nwanneka: My siblings are powerful.
- Oghenekevwe: God has provided.
- Olubunmi: Gift from God
- Omolara: A child is family.
- Oni: Born in a sacred home
- Sade: Honor grants a crown.
- Sarauniya: Queen 👑
- Taiwo: Often given to the first of a set of twins, Taiwo means the first twin to taste the world.
- Titilayo: Everlasting joy
- Ufuoma: Peace of mind
- Yejide: She looks like her mother.
- Yetunde: Mother has returned.
What are some Nigerian baby boy names?
And here’s what’s in store for the boys:
- Achebe: You are protected.
- Ade: Crown (You will see this as the prefix to many other names that hold the crown.)
- Adebayo: The joyful crown
- Adebola: The crown + wealth
- Adebowale: The crown has returned home.
- Adetokunbo: The crown that came from overseas.
- Adisa: Someone who has clarity
- Abidemi: Born while father was away
- Abimbola: Born wealthy
- Afolabi: Born into wealth and high status
- Akpan: Firstborn son
- Akpofure: Life is peaceful.
- Alhaji: Pilgrim
- Amadi: Freeman
- Ayokunle: Joy has filled our home.
- Azubuike: Your past is your strength.
- Babatunde: Baba = father. Tunde = returned. So, Babatunde = Father has returned.
- Bamidele: Follow me home.
- Bitrus: The Hausa version of Peter.
- Chiemeka: God has performed great deeds.
- Chinua: God’s blessings—and the name of the famous writer, Chinua Achebe.
- Chizoba: God protect us.
- Dayo: Joy has arrived.
- Ekene: Thanks and praise
- Ekwueme: He does what he says he is going to do.
- Emem: Peace
- Enitan: A person with a story
- Enyinnaya: Father’s friend
- Folami: Respect and honor
- Ibrahim: My father is exalted.
- Idowu: Born after twins
- Ifeanyichukwu: Nothing is impossible with God.
- Ikechukwu: The power of God
- Itoro: Praise god.
- Mahammadu: This is the Hausa version of the prophet Muhammad.
- Kayode: He who brings joy
- Kyauta: Gift
- Obi: Heart ❤️
- Okoro: Man
- Ola: Meaning wealth, Ola often finds itself at the beginning of longer names.
- Olamide: Wealth has arrived.
- Olamilekan: Wealth is increased.
- Olu: Meaning God, Olu is often seen at the beginning of a greater name.
- Olufela: God increases wealth. And, in its shortened form, it’s the name of the famous musician, Fela Kuti.
- Olufemi: God loves me.
- Olufunmilayo: God has given me joy.
- Olumide: God has come.
- Oluwa: This is the Yoruba word for God.
- Sadiq: A Hausa name, Sadiq means loyal.
- Uduak: Desire
All the best with your choice.
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