100+ most popular South African female names and what they mean

100+ most popular South African female names and what they mean

In traditional African cultures, the naming ceremony acts as the official announcement of the newborn. Some parents like to name their children after famous people or meaningful words. For example, recently, there has been a shift in the trend and South African pop culture has dominated the entertainment industry. With it came an interest in South African baby names. But what do they mean? You may want to know the most popular South African female names and their meanings.

South African female names
Photo: pexels.com, @pixabay (modified by author)
Source: UGC


What is a name? It is an identity that makes people unique and ties them to a specific group or community. Names carry deep personal, cultural, family, and historical connections. It gives people a sense of identity and connection in the world.

A variety of factors influence South African girl names. Traditional ones are influenced by various cultures, natural occurrences, and a child's birth circumstances. In addition, some are colonial or European in origin. While some South African female names are lengthy, others are simple and contain only a few syllables.

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South African female names and their meanings

South African female names
Photo: pexels.com, @hillary-disantos (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is a good name for an African girl? The ideal name for an African girl should suit and complement her. Since most African names have meanings, most children are named according to the time of day, season, religion/belief or even after a legend/idol.

Below are some short and cute South African female names and their meanings.

  • Amahle – The beautiful one
  • Annika – Grace
  • Arno – Eagle
  • Bonolo – Ease
  • Imka – Water
  • Kaya – Restful place
  • Kholwa – Believe
  • Lerato – Love
  • Lindiwe – Waited for
  • Londiwe – Protected
  • Mpho – Gift, blessing
  • Nandi – Sweet
  • Noxolo – Peace
  • Palesa – Flower
  • Thandiwe – Loving one
  • Thembeka – Reliable, trustworthy
  • Thenjiwe – The trusted one
  • Thulile – Quiet, peaceful
  • Zandile – They have multiplied
  • Zanele – Enough
  • Zinhle – The girls are good, beautiful
  • Amore – Love
  • Andrietta – Strong and manly
  • Aneke – Grace
  • Anika – Sweet-faced
  • Anja – Grace
  • Arabella – Yielding to prayer
  • Ava – Life
  • Azelle – Reserved
  • Aziza – Precious
  • Behati – She who brings happiness
  • Berhane – My light
  • Betje – Devoted to God
  • Bibi – Lady or grandmother
  • Brunelda – Armor or protection
  • Cezanne – Big flower
  • Christien – Follower of Christ
  • Collien – Girl

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What are some common African girl names?
Photo: pixabay.com, @evanskyz (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What are some common African girl names? Popular names are common and often favoured by parents. They are popular due to their meanings or for the famous/influential people that bore the name before them. For example, South African female monikers like Thusi and Thandie have been popularised by celebrities like Pearl Thusi and Thandie Newton.

  • Busisiwe – Blessed
  • Dikeledi – Tears
  • Duduzile – Consoled
  • Gabisile – Has made people envious
  • Gugulethu – Our treasure
  • Gugulethu – Pride
  • Hlengiwe – Redeemed
  • Jabulisile – She has brought joy
  • Khanyisile – Has brought light
  • Khethiwe – The one who is chosen
  • Mbalenhle – Beautiful flower
  • Mieke – Afrikaans for water
  • Ndondoloza – Prudence
  • Nkazimulo – Glory
  • Nkosingiphile – The Lord gave me
  • Nobantu – Mother of people
  • Nobuhle – Mother of beauty, goodness
  • Nolwandle – Mother of oceans
  • Nomalanga – Mother of sun, sunshine
  • Nomandla – Mother of strength
  • Nomasonto – Mother of Sundays
  • Nomathalente – Mother of talents
  • Ntombifuthi – A girl again
  • Oratile – The origin
  • Philisiwe – Healed
  • Samukelisiwe – We have received a gift
  • Sibongile – We are grateful
  • Sibusisiwe – We're blessed
  • Thabisa – To bring joy
  • Thuthukile – Better person
  • Xolisile – We are sorry
  • Zibuyile – The dowry cows have come back

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White South African female names

South African female names
Photo: pexels.com, @keira-burton (modified by author)
Source: UGC

In South Africa, those who identify as white are of European descent. They are essentially divided between Anglophone descendants of British immigrants in South Africa and Afrikaners, who speak Afrikaans and are descendants of the Dutch East India Company's early settlers. Here are some popular female South African names.

  • Aba – Given to girls born on Thursday
  • Abebi – We asked and got her
  • Abina – Born on Tuesday
  • Ade – Princess
  • Adelheid – Nobility
  • Adiel – Animal Inspired
  • Adonis – Goddess of peace or love
  • Adowa – Noble
  • Adriaan – One who is from Adria
  • Agetha – Good woman
  • Aia – Eternal's mother
  • Aitan – A possessive woman
  • Ajani – She who always wins the struggle
  • Akpena – Thanks to God
  • Aletta – Truth
  • Alizea – Joyful
  • Amahle – The ancestors are here
  • Amogelang – welcoming
  • Ayize – Let it happen or come
  • Bandile – The girls have increased in number
  • Kai – Goddess of the sea
  • Kaikara – Goddess
  • Kaikura – Ground
  • Kamogelo – Acceptance
  • Kian – The beautiful one
  • Sinegugu – We now have a precious treasure
  • Sinenhlanhla – We now have luck
  • Thalente – Talent or a gift from God
  • Thandazile – Has/have prayed
  • Thandeka – Lovely, beloved
  • Thandiwe – Beloved
  • Thembeka – Be trustworthy and dependable
  • Thembekile – Trustworthy and reliable
  • Thembile – Hopeful, trusting
  • Ziphozonke – All our gifts
  • Zodwa – Abbreviation for Ntombizodwa
  • Zonke – All
  • Zonkizizwe – All the nations

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What is a common South African name?

South African female names
Photo: pixabay.com, @5dmedia (modified by author)
Source: UGC

According to Business Tech, the most popular baby names for males in 2015 were Junior, Blessing, and Gift, while the most popular baby names for girls were Precious, Princess, and Angel, in that order. Dlamini was the most common Nguni clan surname, followed by Nkosi and Ndlovu.

What is the most used South African name?

According to Forebears, Johannes, Maria, Elizabeth, David, and Anna are the most popular ones.

What is a nice female African name?

According to Mama Natural, the most popular ones include Jahzara, Athiambo, Isoke and Adeniyi.

What is the African name for Queen?

Malkia (Swahili) is the name used for Queen. However there are other monikers for the term, but Malikia is the most popular one because Swahili is the most spoken language in Africa.

Because Africa has so many dialects, the name Queen changes depending on tribe/culture or language.

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South African female names are among the most used when a baby girl is born. These names are great, and their meanings add to their charm. The nicest part about giving your newborn daughter South African female names is that she will treasure them and grow up to be the good girl her name inspires her to be.

Yen.com.gh just published an intriguing article about the top Filipino girl names and their meanings. Filipinos are known as people, citizens or natives of the Philippines. Their naming system is unique to most western nations in that they combine a Christian name, a Western name, and a surname.

Most popular Philippine names have religious implications or Biblical allusions. Discover the best Filipino female names and learn about their meanings.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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Julian Mireri (SEO editor) Julian is a content creator who has been working with Yen since 2018. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Planning and Management in the year 2013. Think of her as a content whisperer and a gifted storyteller who never disappoints when it comes to finding the right words for her pieces. Email: julianmireri@gmail.com

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Chris Ndetei (Lifestyle writer) Christopher Ndetei is a junior reporter writer who joined the Yen team in May 2021. He graduated from the Machakos Technical College in 2009 with a diploma in ICT. Chris has over two years of experience in content creation and more than ten working in the hospitality industry. He covers lifestyle/entertainment, focusing on biographies, life hacks, gaming and guides. In 2023, Christopher finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. You can reach him at chrisndetei@gmail.com