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What Your Igbo Name Says About You: Igbo Names and Their Meanings

The beauty of Igbo names is that they are rich in meaning, symbolism, intent and purpose. In this blog, we will explore the significance of Igbo names and how they reflect the unique and beautiful culture of the Igbos. That's also why here at Igbo Tees, we are proud to create designs inspired by the rich cultural heritage of our Igbo people and our Igbo names.

Igbo names can represent the hopes and aspirations that parents have for their children. They can also reflect their belief in a higher power (Chukwu or Chineke which translates as God) as well as the importance of family in Igbo culture (Nneka which translates as mother is supreme). Igbo names also commonly reflect the circumstances surrounding someones birth. For example, a child born during a period of prosperity may be named Obianuju (born into abundance) or Chigozirim (God has blessed me). Although we may encounter people with shortened versions of their Igbo names and sometimes may not realize they are even Igbo, we must remember that these names are reminders of each persons unique story and values that shape their identity. When we realize this, we are more likely to treat our names with the respect they deserve.

Igbo Names Reflecting the Day Of Birth
Some Igbo names are derived from the day the person was born. Unlike the western calendar that has 7 days in a week, the Igbo calendar has 4 days (market days) called Eke, Orie, Afo and Nkwo. The traditional names of Igbo people were derived from the day on which they were born. For example Okafor would have been born on Afo market day. Okeke would have been born on Eke market day. Okorie on Orie day and Okonkwo/ Nwankwo on Nkwo market day.

 

Igbo Names Reflecting the Circumstances Of Birth
It could reflect the circumstances of birth or the wishes of the parents for the child. For example, someone who has been waiting for a long time for a certain gender of child or suffered repeated child loss or is hoping for improved family situation may then name that child Ositadimma (which translates as 'It gets better from today') when they finally give birth. Also arrival of a new born may signify the end of a long period of waiting or following a period of loss in the family. For instance, 'Oguguamakwa' which means consoler of my tears and Ozoemena , may misfortune not befall us again.

Igbo Names Reflecting Birth Order 
Igbo names can indicate the position of birth. For example first born daughters are typically called Ada although any young lady could be called this.
Second daughters are referred to as 'Ulu'.
First sons are  referred to as 'Diokpara'. 

 

Igbo Names Reflecting Wealth and Status
Adaku: daughter of wealth 
Akunna: fathers wealth
Obianuju: born into abundance
Ubadike: wealth of warriors
Nwakaego: child is better than money

Igbo Names Reflecting Beauty
Adamma: Beautiful daughter
Agbomma: A beautiful girl child
Ezimma: True beauty
Nwamaka (Amaka): Child is beautiful

New Generation Igbo Names
(For some reason, a lot of them start with letter Z)
Songoli: only enjoyment
Zifechi: Show the light of God
Zikora/ Ziora: Show the people
Zimuzo: show me the way

Igbo Name Suggestions For Twin Boys 
Jidenna and Lotanna:
Hold unto the father and Remember the father
Ugonna and Ugochukwu:
The father's honour and God's honour
Olisama and Chukwuma:
God knows (for both)

Igbo Name Suggestions For Twin girls
Chimamanda and Kamharida:
My God will not fail and I will not fail
Nneka(Nnekanna) and Nnedi (Nnedimkpa): 
Mother is supreme and Mother is important

Igbo Names Referencing God 
Akaolisa: The hand of God
Ifeanyichukwu: Nothing is impossible for God
Chizaram: God answered me
Sochukwuma: Only God knows
Somtochukwu: Praise God with me
Sopuruchukwu: Respect God 
Ugochi: Gods Honour
Ugosinachi: Honour comes from God 

Igbo Names Referencing Mothers
Nnekanna (Nneka): Mother is supreme /precious
Ezinne: Good mother
Nneoma: Good mother

Igbo Names Referencing Fathers
Ugonna: Father's honour
Nnamdi: My father lives
Afunwa: Short form of the saying Ahu-nwa-echeta-nna which means when we see the child we are reminded of the father.

Igbo Names Referencing Life
Akobundu: wisdom gives life
Nduka (Ndukaku) : Life is greater than wealth
Nduoma: A good life

Igbo Names Referencing Harmony
Obiajulu: The heart has found Peace
Udoka: Peace above all else
Obioma: A good heart

Igbo Names Reflecting Community
Somadina: May I not exist in isolation
Ukamaka: Conversation is beautiful

This list is by no means exhaustive so we would like to hear from you in the comment section below. In conclusion, Igbo names are a beautiful and important aspect of our Igbo cultural heritage. Whether you are a member of the Igbo community or just someone who appreciates the significance of these names, we invite you to explore our Igbo Name Tee collections and discover more names here via the Igbo Names directory. If you've read up to this point, leave us a comment with your Igbo name and what it means to you. Jisie ike. 

 Igbotees brand is a black owned  clothing  brand in the United kingdom that makes Igbo culture influenced T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and polo shirts. We promote visibility of Igbo language and culture. We started with trying to improve our fluency in Igbo language which lead to the creation of the Igbolearners language learning website. The discovery that we couldn't find Igbo T-shirts to use for a giveaway lead us to create our own hence Igbotees was created. Ultimately, we want to inspire love of igbo culture in this generation and the next through dope fashion.

 

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