Thursday, 16 May 2013


Personal and place names is one of the oldest elements of the Yoruba Language and a good knowledge of them will enhance our knowledge of their history and past experiences.

The Yoruba names can be nominal or sentential and the names has been classified into three:
Given Names (Oruko Amutorunwa), Ascribed Names (Oruko Abiso), and Pet Names (Oriki).

Also, some names are formed from Yoruba proverbs.
The list of names here, are 'oruko amutorunwa'.

Ojo ---------- A male child that has his umbilical cord tied around his neck at birth.
Ajayi --------A child born with face turned downwards
Talabi ------ A child born with the head and body covered with Caul like a masquerade
Oni --------- A baby whose incessant cry at birth suggest that he/she is in distress
Ige -------- A baby that came out of the womb with feet first
Aina ------ Is the female of Ojo (of the two names, Ijebu tribe uses Aina, it is proverbial that (Ijebu
Kii je Ojo),"Ijebu's never bear the name Ojo."
Dada ----- Children with knotted hair or dreads
Ilori ------ Conceived after a previous birth, before resumption of menstruation
Oke ----- A child wrapped in a thin membrane at birth, (The Amniotic sac)
Taiwo ---- The first to arrive of a twin
Kehinde ---The last to arrive of a twin
Eta Oko --- The third child in a Triplet
Idowu ----- A child born after a set of twins.
Alaba ----- A child born after Idowu
Olugbodi -- A child born with a the sixth finger
Erinle ----- A child born with an umbilical cord around his wrist.

All the Amutorunwa names are connected to an unusual event at birth, they are instant names.
This whispers the significance of the midwifery lore of the Yoruba. Unlike the Abiso names, one waits till the naming
ceremony on the eighth day to hear the names the parents would like to call their child based on the events at birth, family tradition, and interest.
Wow! what is your name and what does it signify, where do you belong? Share with us!

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