Sotho or Sepedi is a language spoken by the Bantu ethnic group native to Botswana, Lesotho, and Southern Africa. With a vast culture and tradition, the Sepedi baby names offer and reflect the thoughts of the Sotho elderly. The Sothos take the baby naming tradition seriously as they believe that these names shape an individual’s character. Their names are gender-specific and are selected after careful deliberations with many family elders. Take a peek at the Sotho or Sepedian baby names to find the one endearing to your baby.
Sotho Culture- An Overview:
Lesotho, also called the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a small country in southern Africa, surrounded almost entirely by South Africa. The term Lesotho translates into “the land of the people who speak Sesotho”.
The Lesotho people follow some rites and rituals following the birth of the baby. If the first-born is a girl, the father is soaked in water. And if the firstborn is a boy, the father is beaten with a stick. The ritual suggests that the life of a female is occupied with domestic duties like fetching water, and life of males is occupied by warfare. For up to three months, the child is secluded with the mother in a hut.
In Lesotho, names are more than a word. The names given to a baby signify something about the day she was born or an attribute the parents have the child to have. It does not just serve as an identity but also determine the type of person the child will be. That’s because people of Lesotho strongly believe that the names have an influence on the character of a person.
Top Sotho Names For Girls With Meanings:
Sesi is a cute and friendly name, meaning ‘sister.’ The double‘s’ in this name gives it an element of uniqueness.
The arrival of a newborn fills the family with immense joy. So why not give your bundle of joy a name that nods to this emotion? Nyakallo means ‘joy.’
Letsha would make a wonderful choice for parents looking for a nature-inspired name for their daughters. It’s relaxed and casual and does not sound restricted to any region or country.
This moniker, meaning ‘increasing family’ is used mildly by the people of Lesotho, so use it becomes too familiar. The option of Attie as the nickname makes this name even more endearing.
This moniker, meaning ‘grace’ invokes lofty and sublime images.
There is something absolutely dignifying about this name, meaning ‘to dance or freshness.’ The usage of this name has slowly, but steadily increased in the last decade.
Bathsheba is the Sotho form of the name Bathsheba. In the Bible, Bathsheba was the name of the beautiful daughter of King Solomon and wife of King David.
This feminine name means ‘compassion or pity.’ The crisp and elegant sound adds a new dimension to this name. What nickname you think would go best with this one?
Bertha is a lovely Sepedi name means ‘bright.’ This moniker was borne by Bertha Motlogelwa Ledwaba, the civilian secretariat of South Africa. It’s also represented by the French Impressionist painter, but in its English form.
Bokang is a charming name with Sotho ancestry. And with meaning ‘rejoice or praise’, your little darling is sure to receive praises lifelong.
This cute name, meaning ‘girl amongst boys’ is usually given to a daughter with several brothers. It’s pretty and sounds feminine and contemporary.
Puleng is a super cute Sotho girl name meaning ‘in or during the rain.’ You can consider Pula as its pet name, which also happens to be the same.
This name is unique, different and has a lovely meaning ‘care’, but we’re not sure many people can pronounce it correctly. You can try shortening it to Tlhoko if you want.
This feminine name means ‘tail,’ which is idiomatically ‘the last child or the last one.’ So you can consider using this name for your last child.
This name is yet to prove its staying power in the English-speaking countries, probably because of its spelling. The meaning of Nthabiseng is ‘make me happy’.
This name, with a lovely ring, would make a good choice for parents who prefer appealing sound over substance or spelling for that matter. Tlotliso means ‘honor.’
This lovely name is sweet and simple, and we’re not surprised by its popularity in South Africa. The meaning of Dineo is ‘gifts or talents’.
This moniker is most straightforward and least fancy of all the names. So it will probably appeal to parents who prefer simple instead of flashy names. Tebello means ‘expectation.’
This moniker is headed to be one of the most used Sotho names. Its nickname, Remy has become an independent given name in its own right. The meaning of Ramatla is ‘strength’.
If you are tired of using the same old floral monikers like Lily and Daisy for your daughter, go with Palesa this time, which means ‘flower.’
Liseho, meaning ‘laughter’ may have never made to the popularity charts, but we have a feeling that it soon will.
Despite the advancement of this name on the charts, Naleli has not yet managed to secure a place in Social Security Administration list. At least, you can be assured that your child would have to share this bright and twinkling name with anyone in her school. Naleli means ‘star.’
This moniker, meaning ‘consolation’ debuted with much success in the South African region, including Lesotho. Scores of girls are named Matseliso in Lesotho and its surrounding areas.
Don’t you think this name meaning ‘gift,’ sounds a lot like a Chinese name? We love the etymology of this name. After all, your daughter is the greatest gift for you, right.
Lindelani has a romantic quality and sophisticated flair to it. You also have the option to shorten it to Linda, one of the most familiar names in America. Lindelani means ‘be patient.’
Mathapelo is sassy, feminine and debonair. It brings to mind an elegant girl with a paintbrush in hand and canvas in front. The meaning of Mathapelo is ‘mother of prayer’.
A baby with this name is sure to be narcissistic. And what’s even wrong with loving yourself? Moipone is a Sotho name, meaning ‘self-admirer.’
Lisebo slightly nerdy, but in a charming way. You can use the nickname Lea for Lisebo to enhance the nerd factor. The meaning of Lisebo is ‘whisper’.
Bongi is a short form of Sibongile, but is used widely as the given name in Lesotho. Bongi Makeba, the South African singer, and songwriter is the famous bearer of this name.
Bonolo is a perennially popular female name for Lesotho and means ‘ease.’ This one has the potential to appeal to parents looking for an original name.
Keneoue is a sophisticated girl’s name, translating to ‘I have been given’. This moniker exited the top 1000 list a decade ago and is no longer super trendy. So pick it if you want a unique name for your daughter.
Libiko is a girl’s name of Lesotho origins and means ‘praises’, what your kid will get in bundles after her birth.
Dipuo, meaning ‘rumor’ will make a great name for your little girl. You just need to get past its strange meaning before that. And for the nickname, you just need to snip the ‘o’.
Masimong is a beautiful and wholesome name with a southern appeal. It’s different and exotic, but not totally strange or uncommon. Masimong means ‘at the field.’
Mesea is a well-used Sotho name, meaning ‘smoke.’ It’s strong, decisive and unique. You can use Mesi as its nickname.
There is something very affirming about this name, probably because of its meaning ‘birthmark’. It will appeal to parents who are not afraid of going against the grain.
There is absolutely nothing not to like in this Sotho baby girl name. And the lovely meaning ‘candle or light’ makes it even more marvelous. Children do fill the lives of parents with light, just like the candle.
After years of obscurity, this name has finally begun to see moderate levels of usage. And with such a meaning (‘sister’), it will sound great on any girl.
If you want something modern, something different, and something lovely, pick Futsana, which means ‘to look alike.’ We’d suggest this name to parents expecting girl-girl twins.
Buang is a delightful name with a fun meaning (chat).
Benya is a happy name for a happy girl. It means ‘to be bright and to shine’. It’s dainty, yet confident and strong.
If you are looking for an original name with a positive meaning, Tsepiso would make a nice pick. Tspeiso means ‘promise’.
This moniker has an exotic African ring to it, isn’t it? Meaning ‘praises’, Diboko also has loads of variety in terms of short forms and nickname, for instance Debby.
Dintle, meaning ‘beauty’ is neglected and not much used. So it will make a good pick for parents looking for an African name with a ‘beautiful’ meaning.
Here’s another lovely sounding Sotho name to consider for your little princess. There’s also the option of using Rita as the nickname. The meaning of Ratsebo is knowledge’.
Basetsana is a Sotho word translating to ‘ladies’. This moniker conjures a sense of innocence and youthfulness, which we believe are lovely notions to impart through the name choice.
This moniker, meaning ‘grants’ is at the forefront of popularity, probably because of its easy spelling and pronunciation. It will work as a nice twist to the name Lina.
Ramatla is poetically charming and delicately sophisticated. It appears to be going up the charts since the turn of the century. The meaning of Ramatla is ‘strength’.
There is something vulnerably beautiful about Mantso, which makes it oh-so appealing. Mantso means ‘the dark one’.
Tebatso has a beautiful, sing-along quality that draws us towards this name. The meaning of Tebatso is ‘distraction’.
Top Sotho Names For Boys With Meanings:
This moniker, which was stylish for decades, is now inching back into favor, probably because of its friendly sound. The only concern is its similarity with tuna, as in the fish. Tuma means ‘immortal’.
This English name is used widely in Lesotho. It’s derived either from the Old English name Eaddingtūn, which means ‘Eadda’s town’ or Æddingtūn.
We all know how proud parents feel when their child is appreciated by someone. So here’s a name denoting the same. Kananelo is a Sotho baby boy name, meaning ‘appreciation’.
Tlhokomela, meaning ‘care’ is staid and vigorous, yet current and fresh. If it were an American name, it would have definitely been on the top 100 list.
Khosi is a trendy and edgy S name, meaning ‘king’ in the Sesotho language. Its popularity in Lesotho shows that a name does not need to be proper or stuffy to be loved by people.
This Sotho name, meaning ‘lightening’ has a hardy and strong feel to it. And it’s easy to spell and pronounce too!
Did you know that Dean Martin was born as Dino Paul Crocetti? Yes, Dino is as famous in the English world as it is in Lesotho. But the meanings differ. The Sotho meaning of Dino is ‘spearman’.
Teboho is extremely versatile. It could be both, a strong and silent type or a true, tough guy. This masculine name means ‘gratitude’.
You cannot go wrong choosing this perennial favorite name for your child. It means ‘help’.
Matsimela would make a great pick for parents who want an approachable name that isn’t very traditional. It means ‘roots’.
Kamohelo is great! It really is! While most of the top baby names are simple and sweet, Kamohelo boasts of four syllables. It means ‘welcome or acceptance’.
This Sotho name, meaning ‘help’ is on an upswing right now. It would make an excellent middle name too!
We love Litsehoana for its timeless and multicultural appeal. This adorable name means ‘little laughter’. And please do not try to shorten this name.
Here’s a lovely nature-inspired name for your son. Rapula means ‘father of rain or giver of rain’ in the Lesotho mythology.
This moniker, meaning ‘be thankful’, sounds worldly and sophisticated. It will forever remind your child to be grateful to God for everything that happens in his life.
Do you like the name Victor, but hate that it’s too common? Then you can pick Mohavi, which means ‘victor’ in the Lesotho language.
Same with Lewatle. If you want an uncommon variation of the name Oceanus, pick Lewatle, which means ‘ocean’.
This moniker exudes determination, confidence and poise, just like the mighty sun. The meaning of Letsatsi is ‘sun’.
Katleho is a rarely used name, meaning ‘success’. With this name, you can be assured that your child will always walk on the path of ‘success’.
Kutloisiso is a charming name that’s been climbing the popularity since a decade and a half. It means ‘understanding’.
If you want a macho, but less fussy name for your child, Kabelo would be perfect. The meaning of Kabelo is ‘given’.
Do you want a name with a regal ring? Then pick Moshoeshoe, which means ‘South African king’. The concern is that this name could be a bit of a load for a modern boy to carry.
Even though Amohelang is a Sotho name, it isn’t restricted to this region only. It’s used widely all over South Africa. The meaning of Amohelang is ‘receive’.
Tlotliso is one of the least common ‘honorable’ names. This moniker has taken on a cool edge by the fashionable parents of South Africa.
This moniker is derived from the African surname ‘Steyn’. It’s easy to spell and is timeless. So you can be assured that this name would never trip you up and would never go out of style.
Tumisang is a classic Sotho name meaning, ‘praise to God’. It may have gone down slightly in the last few years, but do not expect it to disappear anytime soon. You can use Tunisia as it a nickname.
This sophisticated name is making a return appearance on the list of baby boys. It means ‘amazement or astonishment’.
Sontaha, meaning ‘Sunday’ would sound best on a baby boy born on this day. It sounds fabulous and soignee, but may come across as old fashioned for some people.
With such an obvious meaning (youngest child), we think you should bestow this name on your youngest one.
The vowel at the end of this name Potso every more appealing and unique. This powerful name means ‘ask’.
If you think your young one can handle a larger than life moniker, pick Rethabile, which means ‘we are happy’. Even the meaning of this name is lovely. After all, every parent feels ‘very happy’ after the birth of their child.
This nature inspired name packs a punch. Meaning ‘in the rain’, Pule would make an excellent alternative to the common name Paul.
Here’s another unusual Lesotho baby name, meaning ‘predicament’. It signifies a man of aristocratic being.
The ‘I’ ending makes this name even more intriguing. Motsumi means ‘the seeker’.
This is quite a mouthful name, but certainly unique. It means ‘we praise his name’. And we’re sure everyone your child comes across will praise his moniker too!
It’s a surprise that this name is so popular with the people of Lesotho despite its sad meaning (wailing). We think it’s probably because of its sophisticated sound.
Here’s a no-nonsense name with a lovely meaning. It means ‘believe or faith’. For the nickname, you can pick Timmy.
If you want a simple to spell, one syllable name, go with Nku. The meaning of Nku is ‘sheep’. The name has two pronunciations: in some regions it is pronounced as ‘Ku’, and in others as ‘En-Ku’.
If you want to give your child an animal inspired name, pick Kweda, which means ‘crocodile’.
If you want a happy-go-lucky name for your child, this lovely Sotho name would make a lovely choice. It means ‘sun or day’.
A boy named Lerumo is destined to be brave, bold and dramatic. It means ‘blade or the edge of a spear’.
This elegant and handsome name got a real boost of late. It means ‘strength’.
This name conjures images of a handsome Sotho boy sailing through the sea and breaking many hearts along the way. The meaning of Lebogo is ‘giving thanks’
This spirited and eye-catching name means ‘crawler’.
Fefo is a contemporary name and means ‘storm or tempest’.
This Sotho name has a glamorous and lovely tilt, all its own. Karabo means ‘answer’.
Jeso is a noble and handsome Sotho name, meaning ‘God is my salvation’.
Hlano means ‘five’. You can use this name if your son is born on the fifth of the month.
This moniker was one of the most glamorous and famous names of the 1930s and 1940s. It isn’t used much now, so we think it would make a unique name for your son. Fenya means ‘conquer’.
You can use Thor as a nickname for this one. It would feel great to see the little Thor transition to Thoriso.
This exotic name means ‘shield’.
Atlarela is a lush Sotho name, meaning ‘to receive gladly with open hands’.
We hope you liked our compilation of Sotho baby names. Would you select a Sotho name for your child? Tell us in the comment section below.
These Sotho and Sepedi baby names represent the vast and rich culture and traditions of the Bantu tribe. As per their tradition, the elders select the name for a baby after careful consideration since they believe that a name shapes an individual’s character. Mostly, names are chosen depending on the baby’s date of birth and are inspired by nature or the traits they wish the child would have. Now that you’ve read the list, you can make an informed choice while selecting a baby name that honors the Sotho culture.