54 Ethiopian Names


Have you ever heard the names the Ethiopians go by? Of all the names that exist in the world, the Ethiopians are one people who have spectacular names. Their names are not literally understood, as there lies a mysterious meaning to every name they bear. Notwithstanding, a lot of people adopt names from any place in the world. Ride with me as I take you through series of names the Ethiopians go by.

The Ethiopians are the native inhabitants of Ethiopia, as well as the global diaspora of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest country and it has been said to be an ancient cradle of human culture. The Ethiopians constitute several component ethnic groups, and these ethnic groups are closely related to neighboring Eritrea and other parts of the Horn of Africa

Naming Patterns Of The Ethiopians

The naming convention used in Eritrea and Ethiopia typically consists of an individual personal name and a separate patronymic. This naming pattern is similar to Arabic, Icelandic, and Somali naming conventions.

Names And Meanings

Ethiopian names and their meanings, are mainly from the country’s two most widely spoken languages: Amharic and Oromo. We shall look at some of these names below:

1. Abai

Abai, is an interesting name, which means “River Nile”

2. Addisu

This name, Addisu, has a significant meaning: “the new one”. This name is specifically refers to a new child brought forth.

3. Afework

This is a gender-neutral Ethiopian name that means “one who speaks about pleasant things”. It is sure to have a special name, which commands a positive future.

3. Ajani

This is a traditional Ethiopian name that actually shares roots with names from other African cultures, including the Sanskrit language. Interesting right?

Ajani means “victor”, which means such a child is a conqueror. What a significant name!

4. Aklilu

This male name means “laurel wreath” or “crown”. It is can be used to accord affluence which the family of the child might have.

5. Alimayu

This is a strong name of the Ethiopian Christian tradition, meaning  “In honor of God”.

6. Anbassa

This name has variations throughout Ethiopia and it is an iconic name that has been in existence for a very long time. It means “lion”.It signifies strength.

7. Bemnet

“In trust”. This is a name that signifies the faith of a family that such a child will bring good fortune.

8. Belkis

This name means ,“The Queen of Sheba”.

9. Cherenet

Oh my, you would love to give that sweet, cute baby boy or girl a cute name? Cherenet is one lovely name that distills peace whenever mentioned; it means “kindness”.

10. Dejen

This is an Amharic form of the Hebrew David, which means “pillar”. This is one strong name for a baby, as it signifies strength. I hope you know that names follow and influence people? So our choice of names for newborns should be a very thoughtful and crucial one.

11. Desta

This is a gender-neutral name for boys and girls that means “joy”. If your little boy or girl was kicking continuously after they were brought forth, this name would suit them perfectly.

12. Dinkinesh

This name means “You are a marvel.” This is a declarative name.

13. Etenesh

This is a lovely name, which means “my sister”.

14. Eskender

This is an ancient emperor in Ethiopia. It is the equivalent of Alexander; you’re not the only one thinking that this is a great choice of name.  This name means “defender of mankind”.

In my opinion, children after iconic leaders, should live and grow with reference to the iconic person they were named after. I think it’s a hidden way of setting standards for them as to the height they should reach.

15. Fikru

This name, has an interesting meaning, which means “his love”, with many variations across the country.

Oh yeah, the love here can refer to any person.  This is a very solemn name, as it depicts thoughtfulness and appreciation.

16. Fikremariam

A variation on Fikru, this time meaning “love of Mary”. What a significant name.

17. Gebre

A name meaning ‘servant’. One interesting thing about this name is that it can be used as a prefix for other names. Examples include Gebre-Mariam (“servant of Mary”), Gebre-Meskel (“servant of the cross’’), or Gebre-Selassie (“servant of the Trinity”). This name is a good Christian name.

18. Gelila

This is an Ethiopian name for females; it means “tempting beauty”.

19. Genet

This means “Paradise” or “heaven”. This could be used for a very calm child who didn’t disturb his mother during pregnancy.

20. Haile

The name “Haile” is a famous Ethiopian name and guess what it means? It means “power”, it is such a name that can be used to instill courage in a child. This was the name of the famous Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie.

21. Haile-Mariam

This name means “The power of Mary”. It is a name that was brought out after considering the power of the virgin, Mary.

22. Haile-Selassie

“The power of the Trinity”. Hmmm, what a great name. This is a name that tries to show, the power of God who must have come through for the mother of a child during conception and delivery. It is a name that praises God and spells out His incomprehensible power.

23. Isayas

This is an Amharic alternative to Isaiah. It means “the salvation of the Lord”. What a thoughtful name for a child.

24. Jember

Meaning “the sun”. If your baby boy or girl has fair and glittering skin, this is a good name for that child. The sun could also mean that the child’s future would be bright and undefeatable. I hope I’m not the only one who is already in love with this name?

25. Kassahun

So many people just love to give their children names for what they exactly are. Children are gifts from God and this name means just that.

26. Kebede

I love poetry, I don’t know about you. Kebede, is an unusual but beautiful name that happened to have the poetic meaning “he became heavy, he became honored”.

27. Kefyalew

This name speaks of a place where such a child should always be. It means “Above others”.  It will remind the child, wherever he finds himself, to always stand out, as that is his watchword.

28. Kidus

This is such an endearing name for your baby. It means “Blessed” or “holy”. Do you know what it means to already have a child blessed at his arrival by giving him this name?

29. Kokebe

It shows their everly trust in all the efforts of their child.  It means “My star”.

30. Lami

This is an Oromo name meaning “nation”. This name speaks greatness!

31. Luliya

This is from Tigrayan region, and means “diamond”.

32. Makonnen

This name means “Aristocrat” or “king”. Do you know what it feels like to honour a child’s arrival? It is famous as it is  the name of Haile Selassie’s father, the military leader, Makonnen Wolde Mikael.

33. Menelik

It means “son of the wise”.

34. Mariam

This is the Ethiopian equivalent of Mary.

35. Mesfin

This name means “prince”. It is a royal moniker

36. Nahome

This is a name which spells out tranquility, as it means “Compassionate”.

37. Neberu

This name means “Leopard”. The leopard signifies hardwork and self reliance.

38. Negash

“He who is in line to the throne”. This is a royal name.

39. Netsanet

This is a name which tries to describe a past experience of a parent. It means “Freedom”.

40. Rahwa

Another name comes from Tigrinya, the language of Tigray, meaning “satisfied”.

41. Rebka

Ethiopian version of the Biblical name Rebecca.

42. Samrawit

“She who unifies”.

43. Selassie

This is one of the most recognizable Ethiopian names, it means “the Trinity”.

44. Tadele

“Fortunate”. This is a name which commands good tidings to follow a child.

45. Tadesse

“Renewed”. This name signifies the birth of a new hope.

46. Tafari

“Awe-inspiring”. Haile Selassie’s given name.

47. Tamrat

“Miracle”. A name given to a child who came forth by no small means.

48. Tilahun

Tila literally means “umbrella” in Amharic, this name means “shelter” or “shelter from the rain”. It is a name that can be used to signify a child who saved one from shame.

49. Tsegaye

“My wealth”. One with a child is definitely one with wealth.

50. Workneh

“You are gold”. This name, holds in it, the importance of a child.

51. Yafet

It means “Handsome”, for the male children.

52. Yidnekachew

“Let them be amazed”.

53. Zelalem

This means “Eternal”.

54. Zewdu

This is another name, which means “Crown”.

I would want to even get an Ethiopian name for myself someday. Their names are endearing and interesting. This is a rundown of the various names that the Ethiopians bear, so next time you know how to spot the Ethiopians by the names they bear.


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