Swahili is the official language of many African nations like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Swahili language has evolved over the years, even borrowing from other languages such as Arabic. This is due to their rich history of contact with many Arabic nations. Swahili is a language that also borrows from other languages like English, Persian, Portuguese, German, and French.
When it comes to names, traditional Swahili names are quite unique and uncommon, especially if you’re not from an African or African-influenced nation. That’s why many parents look to Swahili names for their little ones.
A common pattern among Swahili names is that many of the names are derived from pleasant characteristics. For boys’ names, you’ll notice that many names are related to strength, intelligence, and helpfulness. For girls’ names, you’ll notice that they are related to beauty, kindness, and other gentle traits.
Another pattern you might notice in Swahili names is that there are many names related to the circumstances a child was born into. You’ll see names that describe one’s birth on a certain day of the week or a time of day. You might even see names related to their birth order.
Below are some Swahili names that you might want to consider for your little one. Pick out a name that sounds good to you, and see if its meaning resonates with the traits you would like your future baby to have.
Abedi male means “worshipper”
Adia female means “a gift, or a gift from God”
Akida male means “chief, officer, or one who is determined and diplomatic”
Akina female means “solidarity, bond, family bond”
Amaziah male means “the one who has the strength of God, is unusual and extraordinary”
Amne female means “safe; secure”
Asani male means “rebellious”
Asha female means “life”
Auni male means “help; assist”
Chausiku female means “born at night”
Chiku female means “the one who is talking a lot”
Djimon male means “one who has a strong blood” or “powerful person”
Elewisa male means “an intelligent and mindful person”
Faraji male means “consolation”
Furaha female means “joy, happiness”
Hami male means “defender, patron, protector, supporter, show favor”
Hassian male means “handsome”
Hediye female means “gift”
Imamu male means “spiritual leader.” Its origin is ultimately from the Arabic word Imam
Jabali male means “a man who is strong as a rock”
Jabori male means “one who brings comfort to people”
Jelani male means “mighty”
Jengo male means “building”
Johari female means “something of value, jewel, or something precious which is adored”
Jumaane male means “born on Tuesday”
Kamaria female a traditional Swahili name, likely related to the name Gamar
Kamili male means “he is perfect” or “he has no flaws”
Khamisi male means “born on Thursday”
Kibwe male means “blessed”
Kichaka female means “the one who blushes”
Lakicia female means “she who is a favorite among people”
Marjani female means “coral.” This name is a borrowed name from Arabic.
Mchumba female means “sweetheart”
Mosi male means “first child”
Mwanajuma female means “born on Friday”
Mwenye male means “owner, lord”
Nea female means “radiant, shimmering, glossy, glistening”
Nia female means “purpose”
Nuru female means “light. This name is ultimately from the Arabic word Nur.
Pacca female means “lovely person” or a pet name for a kitten.
Reth male means “the king, the ruler”
Sanaa female means “artwork”
Sauda female means “dark and beautiful”
Sauda female means “dark complexion”
Sefu male means “sword”
Sefu male means “sword.” This name is ultimately from the Arabic word Sayf.
Shomari male means “one with a forceful personality”
Sikudhani female means “a pleasant surprise”
Simba male means “lion.” Simba is the name of a popular Disney character from the movie The Lion King (1994)
Subira female means “patience”
Tabia female means “polite and talented”
Tambika female means “religious offering”
Tendaji male means “makes things happen”
Thimba male means “he who hunts lions”
Tish female means “a strong will or will-power”
Tishala female means “one who has a strong will power”
Zalika female means “one who is well born”
Zuberi male means “one who is strong”
Zuberi male means “strong”
Zuri female means “beautiful”
Swahili baby names truly have a unique ring to them. Which of these names do you like the most?