114 Swahili Baby Names With Meanings

swahili-baby-names-with-meanings

If you're on the quest for ideal Swahili baby names, consider it an exciting treasure hunt where you're destined to be a winner. Hidden on the Internet or tucked within the pages of a baby name book, the perfect name awaits your discovery. You just have to find out the perfect one, which you surely will. We have crafted a helpful cheat sheet for Swahili baby names to make your search easier. Swahili, often referred to by its local name Kiswahili, holds a significant place as the native language of the Swahili people, primarily found in the picturesque lands of Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. This captivating language finds its core in the Bantu languages spoken along the enchanting coast of East Africa. Swahili, the official language of Kenya and Tanzania, widely used in countries like Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is highly influenced by other languages and dialects. Some of the Swahili words are Arabic, obtained from the ten centuries of contact with the Arabic nations. The Swahili loanwords emerged during the time of trade between the towns of the East African coast, Asia, and the Persian Gulf. It was during this period that Swahili evolved into a widely spoken bridge language in the region (1). Even the name of the language itself is derived from an Arabic term meaning 'of the coast' (2). However, several of its words are influenced by other languages as well. The vocabulary also includes English, Persian, Portuguese, German, and French words attained through contact with these countries in the past centuries. This influence is also reflected in Swahili baby names, considering a large number of Swahili names are either Arabic or Biblical. Below is our wide selection of traditional, modern, unique, and famous Swahili baby names with meanings and traditional gender use.

Name Gender Meaning
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Abedi
Baby Boy Sign Boy Worshipper
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Adea
Baby Girl Sign Girl A kind gift from the God
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Adia
Baby Girl Sign Girl A gift
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Adiah
Baby Girl Sign Girl God's gift or God's ornaments
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Ahadi
Baby Girl Sign Girl Promising; With much promise
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Aiysha
Baby Girl Sign Girl Powerful; Complete
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Akida
Baby Boy Sign Boy Chief; Officer; One who is determined and diplomatic
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Akina
Baby Girl Sign Girl Solidarity; Bond; Family bond
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Amana
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Faithful and loyal warrior
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Amaziah
Baby Boy Sign Boy One who has the strength of God
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Amne
Baby Girl Sign Girl Safe; Secure
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Asafa
Baby Boy Sign Boy One who is the son of a chief; A Persian officer
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Asani
Baby Boy Sign Boy Rebellious
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Asanis
Baby Boy Sign Boy Rebel; a clear and modest person
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Ashura
Baby Boy Sign Boy Friend; The one who accompanies
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Athumani
Baby Boy Sign Boy The third Khalifa
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Atiena
Baby Girl Sign Girl Guardian of the night
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Auni
Baby Boy Sign Boy Help; Assist
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Azizi
Baby Boy Sign Boy Beloved; Precious one; Treasure; Valuable
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Badru
Baby Boy Sign Boy Full Moon; A variant of the name Badr
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Bahati
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Fortunate; Lucky
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Bakari
Baby Boy Sign Boy Hopeful; Noble oath
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Banou
Baby Girl Sign Girl Female; Lady; Princess
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Barika
Baby Girl Sign Girl Bloom; Be successful
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Binti
Baby Girl Sign Girl Daughter
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Chacha
Baby Boy Sign Boy A strong man
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Chandu
Baby Boy Sign Boy An octopus
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Chane
Baby Boy Sign Boy The one having a strong oak heart
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Chiku
Baby Girl Sign Girl The one talking a lot
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Desia
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Desired; Wished for
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Diani
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Divine; Joyful; Caring
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Djimon
Baby Boy Sign Boy One who has strong blood; Powerful person
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Elewisa
Baby Boy Sign Boy An intelligent and mindful person
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Enzi
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Strong and powerful
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Hami
Baby Boy Sign Boy Defender; Patron; Protector; Supporter; Show favor; From Swahili
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Hashaan
Baby Boy Sign Boy Good-looking
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Hasnaa
Baby Girl Sign Girl Very beautiful
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Hassian
Baby Boy Sign Boy Handsome
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Hediye
Baby Girl Sign Girl Gift
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Imara
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Strong; Resilient
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Iniko
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Strong, courageous, powerful
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Ishaal
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Light; Illumination
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Jabali
Baby Boy Sign Boy A man who is strong as a rock
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Jabori
Baby Boy Sign Boy One who brings comfort to people
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Jahari
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Jjewel or precious stone
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Jamani
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Righteous; Intelligent; Peaceful
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Jasiri
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Brave; Courageous
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Jel
Baby Boy Sign Boy Refers to strong and hard
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Jendaya
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Unique; Strong
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Jina
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Born investigators with leadership skills; Curious and always seeking knowledge
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Johari
Baby Girl Sign Girl Something of value; Jewel; Something precious; Which is adored
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Julani
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Strength and bravery
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Kamaria
Baby Girl Sign Girl Moon
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Kamili
Baby Boy Sign Boy Perfect, without flaws
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Karisa
Baby Girl Sign Girl Grace; Kindness
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Keny
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Strong, intelligent, determined
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Kenyada
Baby Boy Sign Boy Gem
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Kenyatta
Baby Boy Sign Boy Jewel
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Kenzi
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex The one who is artistic and unique
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Kesi
Baby Girl Sign Girl Born at a time of great trouble for father
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Kichaka
Baby Girl Sign Girl The one who blushes
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Kimana
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Butterfly
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Kimara
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Rare beauty
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Kion
Baby Boy Sign Boy Born after a long time
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Kito
Baby Boy Sign Boy A precious stone
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Kobe
Baby Boy Sign Boy Holder of the heel
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Kondo
Baby Boy Sign Boy A warrior
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Kovu
Baby Boy Sign Boy Scar
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Lakeisha
Baby Girl Sign Girl Joyful
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Lakicia
Baby Girl Sign Girl She who is a Favorite among people
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Liela
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Night's beauty
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Melanin
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex The pigment responsible for skin, hair, and eye color
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Mosi
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex The first-born child
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Mosiya
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex A first-born child to the parents
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Mufasa
Baby Boy Sign Boy King
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Nairobi
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Cool water
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Nalah
Baby Girl Sign Girl A lioness; As furious as a lioness
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Nalla
Baby Girl Sign Girl A successful person; One who has achieved everything
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Nea
Baby Girl Sign Girl Radiant; Shimmering; Glossy; Glistening
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Niagh
Baby Girl Sign Girl An aim or a purpose
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Niambi
Baby Girl Sign Girl Strong-willed; Determined
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Niari
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Goddess of water; Beautiful river
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Nya
Baby Girl Sign Girl Friend; Young; Purpose
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Nyeema
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Graceful or blessed
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Nyimbo
Baby Girl Sign Girl An Arabic word one who gives respect and honor others
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Nyota
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Star
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Nzuri
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Beautiful; Unique; African
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Pacca
Baby Girl Sign Girl A pussycat; A lovely person
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Penda
Baby Girl Sign Girl Admired; Loved; Beloved; A variant of Penha
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Pendo
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Love
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Pumba
Baby Boy Sign Boy Simpleton; Awkward
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Reth
Baby Boy Sign Boy The King, the Ruler
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Riziki
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Blessing or provision
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Russom
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex One who is a leader; A head of the charge
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Sarabi
Baby Girl Sign Girl Mirage; Illusion
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Sefu
Baby Boy Sign Boy Sword
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Shani
Baby Girl Sign Girl A wonderful woman
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Shenzi
Unisex Baby Sign Unisex Savage; Barbaric
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Shomari
Baby Boy Sign Boy One with a forceful personality
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Sikudhani
Baby Girl Sign Girl A pleasant surprise
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This compilation of Swahili baby names with meaningful interpretations offers a treasure trove of options for parents seeking unique and culturally rich names for their children. Each name carries a story and essence from Swahili heritage, reflecting the beauty and diversity of African culture. Whether you're looking for names inspired by nature, virtues, or historical significance, this list provides a delightful array of choices. Embrace the richness of the Swahili language and let these names resonate with your heart as they grace your little ones with exquisite identities.

Infographic: Mesmerizing Swahili Names For Your Bundle Of Joy

The quaint Swahili region has a long and unique cultural history. Its eponymous language is a multicultural polyglot. So you can expect to find many profoundly meaningful names for your little one. Moreover, most of them are easy to pronounce without any silent letters. This infographic lists the top ones.

meaningful and warm swahili baby names (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What name means beautiful in Swahili?

In Swahili, the feminine name Zuri means ‘beautiful.’ The names Jamila and Jamala are derived from the masculine Jamil, which means ‘beauty.’

2. What name means blessed in Swahili?

The gender-neutral name, Baraka, means ‘blessed’ in Swahili. The feminine name Neema means ‘blessing’ in the same language.

3. What name means lucky in Swahili?

In Swahili, the unisex name Bahati means ‘luck or ‘good fortune.’

4. What Swahili names mean faith?

The Swahili name Imani, with Arabic roots, means ‘faith.’ The feminine name ‘Taraji’ means ‘hope,’ also associated with faith.

5. What is the Swahili name for hope?

The unisex name Tumaini means ‘hope’ in the Swahili language. The feminine name ‘Taraji’ also means ‘to hope’ or ‘to wish for.’

6. What Swahili names mean courage?

The masculine first name Jabari means ‘the brave one’ in Swahili. The feminine name Jasiri refers to ‘bold and courageous.’

7. What Swahili names mean strength?

In Swahili, the masculine name Kiume means ‘stamina’ or ‘strength,’ while the unisex name Makini refers to ‘the strength of a person’s character.’ Nwabudike means ‘the father’s strength lies in his son.’ The name Nguvu means ‘strong’ in Swahili.

8. What are some creative ways that Swahili baby names are being incorporated into modern naming conventions?

Swahili names can be modernized by altering the spelling or adding prefixes or suffixes to create a fresh new variation while still maintaining the Swahili essence. Swahili words having positive meanings or those related to nature or good human virtues and qualities can also be adopted as a name for children.

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Swahili Language.
    https://www.ohio.edu/cis/african/languages/swahili
  2. The People of the Swahili Coast.
    https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/people-coast/
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Shikha is a writer-turned-editor at MomJunction, with over seven years of experience in the field of content. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood.

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