The Igbo ethnic group is one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Known for its deep cultural roots, advanced linguistics and animism, the ethnic group is well respected for its versatility and resilience especially in commerce.
As in other places in Africa, Igbos don’t just give a child any name they fancy, but give their children names that carries deep meaning, either as a prayer, a supplication or a description that shows the relationship of the child within the family or ties to his or her ancestors.
Here are the top 20 most popular Igbo names for boys and their meanings
- Chinedu, often shortened to Edu or Nedu, means ‘God is leading me.’
- Chinonso, often shortened to Nonso, means ‘God is near.’
- Chukwudi, often shortened to Chidi or Chuks. Chukwu means God while Di means to be present, thus Chukwudi means ‘God is present’.
- Chukwuka, often shortened to Chika means ‘God is bigger (than anything)’. This meaning is more evoked in variants like Chukwukadibia which means ‘God is bigger than the medicine man’.
- Chukwuma, often shortened to Chima, means ‘God Knows’.
- Chukwuebuka, often shortened to Ebuka, means ‘God is so big.’
- Chukwuemeka, often shortened to Emeka, means ‘God has done so much’.
- Ekenedirichukwu, often shortened to Ekene. Ekene is a variant of Kele with means thanks. Thus Ekenedirichukwu (or Ekenedilichukwu in some dialect) means ‘Thanks be unto God’.
- IfeanyiChukwu, often shortened to Ifeanyi. Ife means thing while nyi means heavy. Thus, Ifeanyichukwu means ‘Nothing is too big for God.’
- Ikechukwu, often shortened to IK means ‘God’s power’
- Kelechi, often shortened to KC literally means ‘Thank God’ as kele means thanks.
- Nnamdi, sometimes shortened to Nna means ‘Father is hear with us’ typically given to the male child born in a family after the passing of a patriarch.
- Obinna, often shortened to Obi. Obi means heart, nna means father. Therefore, Obinna means ‘The Father’s heart’ or ‘The Father’s heart’s desire’.
- Obiora, often shortened to Obi, means ‘The community’s heart’. This is because Obi means heart ora means people or community. Thus Obiora can be interpreted as “what my community desire for me” or “my goodwill”
- Okechukwu, often shortened to Okey. Oke means share, thus Okechukwu means “God’s share” i.e. God’s given me my own share.
- Onyekachi, often shortened to Onyeka, meaning ‘Who is bigger than God.’
- SomtoChukwu, often shortened to Somto, meaning ‘Follow me to Praise God.’
- Uchenna, often shortened to Uche. Uche means thoughts or plans, thus Uchenna means ‘Thoughts/plans of the Father’. This figuratively means ‘God’s plan coming to pass in my life.’
- Ugochukwu, often shortened to Ugo. Ugo means Eagle, thus Ugochukwu literally means ‘The eagle of God’, though it figuratively means ‘Honour of God.’
What are the best Igbo names?
All Igbo names are beautiful because of the deep meanings and thought attached to the name. Some of the best Igbo names are Uzodinma, Onyekachi, Somtochukwu, Ikechukwu, and Tobenna.
What is the rarest name for a boy?
Due to the rise of Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria, many indigenous names are constantly being replaced with ones which venerate God. As such, a lot of names in Igboland, which were common before are now rare. Examples of male Igbo names that are now rare include, Maduka(‘People are better’), Utondu(‘Sweetness of life’), Ikemba(‘Strength of all’), Zimife(‘show me the light’), Obiefuna(‘Let the Family line not be lost’) and Azubuike(‘Your history makes you strong’).
What is first son called in Igbo?
Opara (or Okpala or Diokpa depending on the dialect) means first son or first male child born into a family in Igboland. In the Igbo culture, this name is typically borne by the first surviving son of a man, who had done the necessary burial rites of the father. The first son has a lot of power in decision-making prowess of the family.
What does Zikora mean?
Zikora is a rare Igbo name that means ‘Show the people’ or ‘Show the world’. It is usually joined with other words to for a full name with deep meaning, while Zikora is used as a short form. Common names with Zikora root are Zikoranachigidimma (‘show the people that your God is good’), Zikoranaudodimma (‘Show the world peace is good’), and Zikoranachidi (‘Show the people God is able’).
Is Amanda an Igbo name?
Despite it being a common name in Igboland, Amanda is not a name of Igbo origin. Now coined to form names like Chimamanda (‘My God will not fail’), Amanda is a Latin name that means ‘worthy of love’. It is used as a name for girls with the masculine version, Amandus used for boys
Is Dumebi an Igbo name?
Dumebi is an Igbo name given to boys (Also check out Yoruba names for boys). It is the short form of Chukwudumebi, which means ‘God leads my life’ or ‘God lives with me’.
What does Amara mean in Igbo?
Amara means Grace, Mercy, or Kindness . In Igbo culture, with the appropriate suffix, This name can be given to both male and female though it is very rarely used as a name for boys. Common variants of the name include Amarachi and Amarachukwu, which means ‘Grace of God’.
What does Omo mean Nigerian?
Omo is a word originating Yoruba ethnic group, meaning ‘child’. It however has acquired a colloquial pop culture meaning and is used to express shock, surprise or awe at an event or person. For example, “She was so angry she actually slapped him! Omo, we were all surprised!”
- Writer, photographer and physicist, 'Yemi loves reading, football and searching for the interconnectedness of things.