Deciding what to call your daughter or son is one of the most exciting things, second after giving birth itself. Whether you are checking monikers starting with given letters or focusing on particular cultures, your inspiration during the naming process is important. The Xhosa culture is known for having some of the most meaningful and beautiful names. Read on to learn some of the uncommon Xhosa names for boys and girls, as well as their meaning.
Naming a child requires careful thinking as some personal options might have a different meaning in particular settings and cultures. For example, some people are guided by diverse motivations and aspirations to choose a specific name for their babies. Some individuals depend on circumstances to determine how to call their newborns. Others are based on happiness, joy, gift, and gratitude. You have to do a lot before you can settle on something that fits your little one.
An overview of the Xhosa naming culture
Unlike in the Euro-western context, naming a child in South Africa, particularly among the Xhosa people is a great occasion. You do not just label your child just for reference and identification, but you give him an identity based on certain cultural dictates. Usually, the first title in the Xhosa culture tends to have general semantic transparency with the lexicon of the language inspiring the choice of a name given. It is essential to get the correct interpretations based on both the carrier’s language and the linguistic system. Let us look at some of the uncommon Xhosa names for boys and girls.
South African male names
The Xhosa society has a finite name stock; hence not every entry you come across can be an appropriate for your baby’s name. This explains the variations in the popularity and the use of particular titles– some are common while others are few. Traditionally, boys are considered heirs to their fathers, and nothing beats the joy of a parent to get a baby boy.
With the arrival of the baby being considered a blessing, it takes many considerations for the parents to align the child's identity with their aspirations, expectations, as well as feelings. Here are some of the uncommon Xhosa names for boys.
- Melisizwe – nation’s leader
- Sifso – wish
- Rolihlahla – pulling a tree branch (the colloquial of troublemaker)
- Nkosi – ruler, king, god, or lord
- Mpilo – life
- Mxolisi – peacemaker
- Lephelo – the end
- Lubanzi – upper flat and clear surface (directly associated with the parents’ love for a child)
- Luphumlo – rest
- Khanyiso – light
- Themba – hope, trust
- Abongile – thankfulness
What are the cutest girl names?
Most parents who get baby girls tend to be more excited. Nothing can stop them from giving the new member the sweetest identity they can find. It has to be a name that has a form of attachment, just as pointed above –something that shows affection, love, joy, or gratitude. As such, it is natural that we concentrate so much in such naming approach that we fail to notice other yet great options.
Here are some Xhosa names for girls and their meanings that you can consider the next time you are blessed with a baby girl.
- Fundiswa – smart, sensible, educated
- Noxolo – peace
- Funeka – needed
- Khanyiswa – lights up
- Nobomi – life
- Gugu – our pride
- Sindiswa – we have it
- Nonhle - beautiful
- Nocawe – born on Sunday
- Sisipho – gift
- Nkosazana – princess
- Nontle – beautiful (variation of Nonhle)
- Sivuyile – we are happy
- Thandiwe – loving one
- Sansile – we increased
- Simpho – gift
- Liyema – stability in the family
- Liyabona – it sees
- Andisiwe – extension
- Akhona – present
- Aphiwe – they are given
- Babalwa – graced
- Bathandwa – beloved
- Buhle – beauty
- Hlengiwe – redeemed, rescued, helped
- Gugulethu – pride, treasure
- Lindiwe – awaited, waited for
- Nosipho – gift
- Nosizwe – nation
Unisex Xhosa names
If you are looking for a name but yet not aware of the baby's gender, you may consider an unisex name. Here are some uncommon ideas to try.
- Luthando – it’s love
- Unathi – she or he is with us
- Thando – to love
- Esihle – good, beautiful
- Akhona – present
- Ayanda – they are increasing
- Bandile – they have increased
- Zola – calm
- Buhle – handsome, beautiful
If you did not know that the majority of the names you have come across have meaning, now you do. The shift to the western culture has washed away the majority of the cultural practices in Africa such as naming newborns with a purpose. Perhaps, this explains why some Xhosa names are not so common. Even though the naming process is a personal aspect, the Xhosa culture has held to the belief that whatever you call your child can have a significant impact in the individual that the baby becomes when he grows up. While we can only suggest the options appropriate for girls and boys, or even unisex, the last decision on what name to give to your baby is ultimately yours.
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