Unisex names

Uncommon Unisex Names You Should Give Your Child (Yoruba and English)

by Ogechi Anyanwu

In Nigeria, names hold profound significance and are often chosen after careful consideration. They reflect the bearer’s family’s hopes, dreams, and cultural heritage. As a proud Nigerian parent, finding the ideal name for your child is indeed crucial.

In this piece, we embark on a delightful exploration of twenty uncommon unisex names, ten from the vibrant Yoruba language and ten with Nigerian roots in English. First, let’s examine the value of unisex names.

Relevance of Unisex Names

In this modern age, unisex or gender-neutral names have gained momentum, offering a delightful balance of inclusivity and individuality. These names challenge conventional gender expectations, allowing children to freely express their identities without limitations. While paying homage to our Nigerian heritage, these unisex names portray the essence of uniqueness and evoke feelings of novelty and appeal.

In this article, we celebrate the beauty of embracing our roots while cherishing the future, all through the magic of a name. Join us on this discovery journey as we unveil a diverse collection of uncommon, unique unisex names, each with a captivating story and cultural significance. Let us begin with the Yoruba Unisex names.

Read also: Traditional Marriages of Various Tribes in Nigeria.

Uncommon Unisex Yoruba Names

“If culture was a person, I would name it Yoruba.” The Yoruba people are an ethnic group in Nigeria renowned for preserving their culture. They have a vibrant culture, a rich history, and deep-rooted traditions. Names hold great significance in Yoruba culture, just as the language does. 

For the Yorubas, names are often chosen with profound care to convey blessings, aspirations, and a strong connection to their heritage. Below are ten meaningful Yoruba gender-neutral names that are unique.

  1. Enitan

The name Enitan holds the meaning “person of history” in Yoruba. It is given to a child believed to have a significant destiny or who is destined to make a lasting impact on their community or the world. This name instils a sense of purpose and responsibility in the child, regardless of gender.

  1. Ifedapo

The Yoruba name means “love has come together” in English. It symbolizes the introduction of love into a family and highlights the love and harmony the newborn brings to their parents’ lives. 

  1. Abimifoluwa

Abimifoluwa is a Yoruba word that means “dedicated to the Lord.” This remarkable name is usually given to children to express the parents’ thankfulness for God’s blessings and protection. It highlights the child’s connection to God and the hope for divine favor throughout their life.

  1. Iretomiwa

“Goodness has come to me,” is what the name “Iretomiwa” means. The name Iretomiwa conveys the parents’ happiness and appreciation for their child’s birth. It stands for the positives and blessings entering the family’s life.

  1. Morounranti

The lovely meaning of the Yoruba unisex name Morounranti is “I have seen a better world.” It expresses the parents’ optimism and wishes for a promising future for their child and their neighborhood. Parents can give their children this inspiring and cheerful name to express their hope for a better future through their cherished child.

Read also: 40+ Cute and Romantic Nicknames for Boyfriends.

  1. Folami

Folami means “respect and honour me” in English. It signifies the parents’ desire to treat their children with respect, dignity, and honour. The name emphasizes the importance of self-worth and instills a sense of pride and confidence in either gender that bears the unique name.

  1. Araoluwa

Araoluwa is a meaningful choice for parents who want to celebrate the wonder and marvel of their child, irrespective of their gender. The name has the meaning “wonder of God.” It signifies the child as a miraculous gift from God, inspiring awe and admiration. 

  1. Eri-ife Oluwa

Eri-ife Oluwa is a beautiful and meaningful gender-neutral. It is a combination of three Yoruba words: “Eri; evidence,” “Ife; love,” and “Oluwa; God.” Interpreted as “evidence of God’s love,” this name symbolizes parents cherished status as a testament to God’s love and a source of joy and blessings in their family’s life.

  1. Folahan

Although the more traditional usage of Folahan is as a male name in Yoruba culture, a few females can still bear the name, it carries the meaning “asked for by wealth,” signifying the child as a blessing and a fulfillment of their family’s desires for prosperity and abundance. The full name is Afolahanmi.

  1. Ademayowa

The name Ademayowa is a mashup of two Yoruba names: “Ademola” (meaning “the crown/royalty meets wealth”) and “Ayowa” (meaning “joy/pleasure”). The gender-neutral name Ademayowa signifies the child as a joyful blessing destined for greatness. It is a lovely and vital choice for parents looking for an original and adaptable name for their child that captures the cultural diversity of Yoruba tradition.

Read also: 6 Fascinating Tips on How Not to Fall Victim to a Yoruba Demon.

Uncommon Unisex English Names That Nigerians Can Use

In Nigerian culture, English names are of foreign origin or have been adopted from English-speaking countries. These names are often used alongside traditional Nigerian names and can carry cultural and religious significance or be chosen for their appealing sound. Below, we will discuss ten uncommon English names that Nigerians can use and are most undoubtedly gender-neutral. 

  1. Cai

Cai is a Welsh-derived English name that means “rejoice.” It portrays the child as a cause for celebration and joy. Parents who want to bestow joy and optimism on their children can make a beautiful decision with this unusual and profound name.

  1. Lior

Lior is an English name of Hebrew origin. Lior means “my light” or “I have a light.” The gender-neutral name represents the child as a radiance and illumination in their family’s life. This fantastic simple name is a unique choice for parents who want to recognize the joy and warmth their child brings to their lives.

  1. Zephyrine

Zephyrine is a captivating unisex name of Greek origin, inspired by the calm west breeze Zephyr. It symbolizes the child’s calming and soothing presence, like a gentle wind on a hot day. Zephyrine presents the child as a comfort and a source of calm for their loved ones, reflecting a sense of tranquillity and harmony.

Join our Whatsapp community of Young Nigerians passionate about Nigerian Culture and upholding it. 

  1. Harper

Harper is of English origin and initially meant “harp player” or “harpist.” It was mainly a surname in the past but has become increasingly popular as a given name in recent years. Harper symbolizes talent. The name is given by parents who appreciate its gender-neutral unique qualities and trendy yet classic feel.

  1. Salem

Salem is of Hebrew origin and means “peace.” Salem represents the child as a signature of peace and solitude. It has historical significance and is frequently linked to Salem, Massachusetts, famous for the 17th-century Salem witch trials. The unique name carries a sense of calmness and serenity.

  1. Marin

The appealing unisex name Marin was inspired by various cultures, including Latin and Croatian. Its origin lies in the word “marine,” which means “of the sea.” This name evokes the grandeur and calmness of the ocean. Marin conveys the hope that the child will navigate life’s challenges with resilience and calmness, like the ever-changing tides.

  1. Cassian

Cassian is an intriguing name with Latin roots, meaning “hollow” or “empty.” This name holds the promise that a child can have the potential to be knowledgeable, wise, and kind. Cassian reflects that everyone is born with a fresh slate and may be shaped into greatness. It is an intriguing name and inspires parents to guide their children toward becoming people of purpose.

  1. Thane

Thane has been a name for males used throughout history to denote leadership, nobility, and authority. It is derived from the Scottish title “thane.” Although Thane is more frequently used for boys than for girls, some recent naming trends have seen it utilized as a unisex name. Ultimately, the usage of Thane as a unisex name could differ based on cultural and individual preferences. 

  1. Phoenix

Although not entirely uncommon, it is an intriguing gender-neutral name from Greek origins that symbolizes the mythical bird that emerges from its ashes. This name embodies the hope that the child will always emerge stronger and more resilient after facing hardship.

  1. Keelan

Keelan is a nice unisex name of Irish origin, meaning “slender” or “powerful warrior.” The child’s grace, agility, and inner strength are symbolized by this name. Keelan is a representation of the child’s grace and tenacity in the face of difficulties, much like a warrior carefully conquering a battlefield.

In Summary

Nigerian culture is beautiful not just because of the variety of its languages and names but also because it combines global influences. These twenty uncommon unisex Yoruba and English names carry unique meanings and cultural significance, making them a wonderful choice for parents seeking to celebrate their Nigerian heritage while bestowing a distinctive identity upon their child. 

Most importantly, adopting these names promotes the rich essence of Nigerian culture and fosters a deep connection to the child’s roots. Parents should consider these names; they embark on a journey of embracing tradition and the future, all through the power of a name.

Oluwanifemi Akintomide edited this piece.

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About Author

Avatar of Ogechi Anyanwu
Ogechi Anyanwu
Hi. My name is Ogechi. I am a digital content writer who is passionate about making discoveries in tech and lifestyle and presenting them in words and in an exciting manner for my readers to have that ‘divine imaginative experience’.

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