Looking for the perfect name for your new arrival? We’ve got you covered. Check out our list of Swahili baby girl names.
From the sweetly poetic Jahori (“jewel”) to the adorable Chiku (“one who talks a lot”) to the calming Amani (“peace”), Swahili girl names are packed with meaning.
We’ll take you through our favorites — as well as give you some background to the fascinating language that birthed them.
Let’s dive in.
In this article: 📝
- The Swahili language
- Choosing a Swahili name
- Swahili girl names and meanings
The Swahili language
Swahili is a Bantu language primarily spoken in East Africa, with a vast number of speakers in Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.
There are also Swahili speakers in other African countries, including Somalia and Mozambique.
The language has a range of different influences.
One of the most significant is Arabic because of the history between the African east coast and northern traders.
In fact, the word Swahili itself is rooted in the Arabic word sawāḥilī, meaning “of the coast.”
Choosing a Swahili name
Because Swahili is spoken by a range of unique cultures, it comes with a host of different naming traditions.
In Kenya, for example, it’s common for children to be given three names, one selected by the parents and one selected by each set of grandparents.
The order, time, and circumstances of a baby’s birth can all act as inspiration for names.
And in more modern times, celebrity culture has also played a role in how parents select the perfect pick for their new arrival.
Whether you have Swahili roots or are simply inspired by the energy of this East Coast language, Swahili names for girls are a great place to start your search.
Ready to explore? Let’s go.
Swahili girl names and meanings
- Adhra: This name has Arabic roots and means “apology.”
- Adila: Also with Arabic origins, Adila means “fair,” “honest,” or “just.”
- Amani: From the Swahili word for “peace,” a little Amani is exactly what we need in our world right now.
- Amina: This lovely virtue name means “trustworthy.”
- Ambar: With its Arabic roots, Ambar means “sky” or refers to a very special perfume called ambergris, which comes from a type of sperm whale. Now that’s a rare find!
- Ashia: Not only does this name sound sweet, but it also has a vital meaning—“life” and “hope.”
- Aziza: This name has both Arabic and Hebrew roots and means “powerful and beloved.” We think that’s a winning combo.
- Bahati: You can thank your lucky stars for bringing you to this name: it means “luck” and “fortunate.”
- Barika: From its Arabic roots, Barika means “to bloom” or “be successful.” There’s a bright future ahead for a little Barika!
- Chausiku: If your little one was born when the moon was out, this might just be a great fit. It means “one who was born at night.”
- Chiku: Have a little chatterbox-to-be on your hands? This adorable name means “one who talks a lot.”
- Dalila: A version of the Arabic Dalil, this powerful name means “guide” or “leader.” (Curious to explore more names that mean leader? Head here.)
- Durra: From Arabic roots, Durra means “pearl.”
- Hasnaa: This attractive Arabic name means “beauty.”
- Imani: With its musical sound, Imani means “belief” or “faith.” It, too, has Arabic origins.
- Imara: This is the perfect name for a mighty little girl. It means “firm.” No messing with an Imara!
- Habiba: Totally endearing, this name has Arabic roots and means “sweetheart” or “beloved.”
- Jamala: This warmhearted name means “friendly” or “well-mannered.”
- Jani: This adorable name is the Swahili word for “leaf.”
- Jasiri: Here’s a name for a fearless little one. It means “bold” or “courageous.”
- Jioni: The perfect name to set the sun to, Jioni means “evening.”
- Johari: This precious name means “jewel” or “something of value.”
- Kamaria: A romantic name that means “moonlight.”
- Kamili: This perfect name means “flawless.”
- Kuamsha: If you’re looking for a name packed with energy, this might be it. Kuamsha means “wake up.”
- Lela: This poetic name of Persian roots means “dark-haired beauty” or “night.”
- Malaika: With its musical sounds, this heavenly name means “angel.” (For more celestial names, head here.)
- Marini: This delightful name means “charming” and “healthy.”
- Mosi: Meaning “firstborn child,” this is a perfect name for new mamas.
- Nadira: With its Arabic roots, this one-of-a-kind name means “unusual” or “unique.”
- Nahla: From its Arabic origins, this gorgeous names means “first drink of water.” But it also has other possible meanings, including “successful one” and “gift.” Of course, the variation Nala rose to popularity with Disney’s The Lion King. (Looking for more Disney names? We’ve got you covered.)
- Najuma: A name brimming with happiness, Najuma means “abounding in joy.”
- Nuru: If you’re looking for Swahili names that mean light, this is a great option.
- Penda: This charming name refers to the Swahili word for “love.”
- Pili: If this is Baby Number Two, Pili could be a great fit. It means “born second.”
- Rahma: With its Arabic roots, Rahma means “compassion” and “mercy.”
- Ramla: This interesting name of Arabic origin means “sand” and “prophet.”
- Randa: From Arabic roots, this musical name means “singing” or “music.”
- Zahara: Of Arabic and Hebrew origins, Zahara means “flowering” or “shining.”
- Zalika: From its Arabic roots, Zalika means “incredibly beautiful.” It can also mean “well-born.”
- Zawati: This name is a gift. In fact, “gift” is what it means!
- Zuri: With its Arabic roots, Zuri means “beautiful” and “light.”
All the best with your choice!
And if you want to exchange ideas with other mamas-to-be, join the Peanut community.
We’re here to support you through your choice.