100+ popular South African names for girls and boys

100+ popular South African names for girls and boys

South Africa is a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage. It has various ethnic groups, each with its unique naming culture. If you want to give your child a name from the South African community, here is a list of popular South African names you can use.

south african names
A woman playing with a baby on the sofa near a smiling husband using a laptop. Photo: pexels.com, @william-fortunato (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Naming is one of the best moments for any parent expecting a child. While there are numerous name options, most parents prefer the unique ones. In such cases, popular names in South Africa can be a great choice.

100+ popular South African names

Every parent wishes to find the ideal name for their child. Here is a list of names with meanings you can choose for your baby boy or girl.

Unique South African female names

If you are expecting or have welcomed a little girl into your family, here are fantastic female South African names and their meanings to consider.

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  • Aba: Given to girls born on Thursday
  • Abebi: We asked and got her
  • Abina: Born on Tuesday
  • Ade: Princess
  • Adelheid: Nobility
  • Adiel: Animal Inspired
  • Adonis: Goddess of peace or love
  • Adowa: Noble
  • Adriaan: One who is from Adria
  • Agetha: Good woman
  • Aia: Eternal's mother
  • Aitan: A possessive woman
  • Ajani: She who always wins the struggle
  • Akpena: Thanks to God
  • Aletta: Truth
  • Andrietta: Strong and manly
  • Bonolo: Ease
  • Brunelda: Armor or protection
  • Busisiwe: Blessed
  • Cezanne: Big flower
  • Christien: Follower of Christ
  • Dikeledi: Tears
  • Duduzile: Consoled
  • Khethiwe: The one who is chosen
  • Kholwa: Believe
  • Lindiwe: Waited for
  • Londiwe: Protected
  • Mbalenhle: Beautiful flower
  • Nomasonto: Mother of Sundays
  • Nomathalente: Mother of talents
  • Noxolo: Peace
  • Ntombifuthi: A girl again
  • Palesa: Flower
  • Philisiwe: Healed
  • Samukelisiwe: We have received a gift
  • Sibongile: We are grateful
  • Sibusisiwe: We're blessed
  • Thabisa: To bring joy
  • Thulile: Quiet, peaceful
  • Xolisile: We are sorry
  • Zandile: They have multiplied
  • Zanele: Enough
  • Zibuyile: The dowry cows have come back

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Short female names in South Africa

south african names
A girl leaning on the table. Photo: pexels.com, @artempodrez (modified by author)
Source: UGC

A short name is easy to pronounce and even remember. Check out this list of fantastic names for your little girl.

  • Alizea: Joyful
  • Amadi: Freeman
  • Amari: Possesses great strength
  • Amo: An Eagle
  • Amore: Love
  • Aneke: Grace
  • Anja: Grace
  • Arno: Eagle
  • Ava: Life
  • Ayize: Let it happen, or come
  • Azelle: Reserved
  • Aziza: Precious
  • Azizi: Precious one
  • Badru: Born on a full moon
  • Betje: Devoted to God
  • Bibi: Lady or grandmother
  • Elna: Beloved
  • Ike: God will laugh
  • Imka: Water
  • Kai: Goddess of the sea
  • Kaya: Restful place
  • Kian: The beautiful one
  • Kofi: Born on a Friday
  • Lerato: Love
  • Luan: Lion
  • Masego: Blessed one
  • Mieke: Water
  • Mpho: Gift, blessing
  • Nandi: Sweet
  • Oratile: Origin
  • Sifiso: Wish
  • Sipho: Gift
  • Tau: Means lion
  • Zola: Calm
  • Zonke: All

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Cute South African male names

south african male names
Children lying on the couch. Photo: pexels.com, @keira-burton
Source: UGC

Check out this list of charming South African male names. Some are quite traditional, while others offer a modern twist.

  • Akhona: To build or to construct
  • Amahle: The ancestors are here
  • Bandile: The girls have increased in number
  • Enzokuhle: Do good or do the right thing
  • Gugulethu: One you are proud of
  • Kagiso: Peace
  • Kaikara: Goddess
  • Kaikura: Ground
  • Kamogelo: Acceptance
  • Kgosi: Chief or king
  • Lethabo: Happiness or joy
  • Liambe: To request or to ask for
  • Minenhle: Beautiful day
  • Naidoo: Alternative spelling of Naidu
  • Nandipha: Gift of God
  • Njabulo: Joy or happiness
  • Pretorious: From the Latin word "praetor"
  • Sbusiso: Blessings
  • Sibabalwe: The blessed one
  • Simphiwe: We have him as a gift
  • Sinegugu: We now have a precious treasure
  • Sinenhlanhla: We now have luck
  • Swanepoel: Swan’s pool
  • Tau: Lion
  • Tebello: Expectation
  • Thabo: Joy or happiness
  • Thalente: Talent or a gift from God
  • Themba: Trust, hope, or faith
  • Thembeka: Trustworthy One
  • Van Niekerk: From the new church

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Popular South African surnames

south african surnames
Mum and kids playing blocks. Photo: pexels.com, @pnw-prod
Source: UGC

A name reflects a person's character or personality, and many people want to resonate with theirs fully. Here are some cool South African surnames for your baby.

  • Absko: Power and strength
  • Andile: They have extended
  • Anika: Sweet-faced
  • Arabella: Yielding to prayer
  • Avethandwa: Truly loved
  • Behati: She who brings happiness
  • Berhane: My light
  • Chima: God knows
  • Dakarai: Rejoice
  • Dlamini: Associated with the Swazi royal family
  • Gabisile: Has made people envious
  • Hlengiwe: Redeemed
  • Jabulisile: She has brought joy
  • Jansen: Son of Jan (John)
  • Khanyisile: Has brought light
  • Khumalo: Descendant of the fish
  • Mhlongo: Tall person
  • Modise: Founder or Originator
  • Molefe: He/she has given
  • Ndlovu: Elephant
  • Ndondoloza: Prudence
  • Nkazimulo: Glory
  • Nkosi: King or Lord
  • Nkosingiphile: The Lord gave me
  • Nobantu: Mother of people
  • Nobuhle: Mother of beauty, goodness
  • Siyabonga: Feeling grateful to you
  • Sizwe: Refers to a nation
  • Teboho: Thankfulness
  • Thandiwe: Loving one
  • Thando: Love
  • Thembekile: Trustworthy and reliable
  • Thembile: Hopeful, trusting
  • Thenjiwe: The trusted one
  • Thuthukile: Better person
  • Van der Merwe: From the Merwe (near a river)
  • Zinhle: The girls are good, beautiful
  • Ziphozonke: All our gifts
  • Zodwa: Abbreviation for Ntombizodwa
  • Zonkizizwe: All the nations

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Simple kids' names in South Africa

names in south africa
A baby wearing a green dress. Photo: pexels.com, @emma-bauso
Source: UGC

Simple names have a sophisticated, posh and elegant feel. These are fashionable names that will never go out of style.

  • Akani: Means to build
  • Amogelang: Accept or receive
  • Anathi: They are with us
  • Anele: The one who is enough or the last one
  • Aphiwe: They are given
  • Ayanda: Means they are increasing
  • Bokamoso: The future
  • Bokang: Rejoice or praise
  • Buhle: Comes from the root, handsome or beautiful
  • Jaivyn: Light spirit
  • Katlego: The successful or accomplished one
  • Kganya: Means light
  • Letsatsi: Means day or the sun
  • Linathi: One in the company of God
  • Loyiso: Victory
  • Lungile: Right, correct, or good, Ndebele and Zulu
  • Mandela: Honour the anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela
  • Mandla: Strength
  • Onkarabile: God has responded to our supplications
  • Thabani: You all be joyful
  • Thamsanqa: We have luck
  • Thandanani: You all love one another
  • Thandazile: Has/have prayed
  • Thandeka: Lovely, beloved
  • Thmba: Faith, trust, and hope
  • Thulani: Be quiet or peaceful
  • Thuthuka: Become a better person
  • Unathi: He is with us
  • Vusumuzi: Rekindle the family, builder of the home
  • Wandile: You are extra
  • Xolani: You all have peace

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There are numerous popular South African names for girls and boys. It is up to you to choose the one that best represents your child's personality. Remember that your chosen name will be used for the rest of your child's life.

Legit.ng recently published an article with unique Yoruba names for boys and girls with meanings. When parents give birth to a child in Yoruba land, they must carefully select the Yoruba names the child will carry in the first seven to nine days after birth.

The names chosen depend on the type of family, events that occurred around the time of birth, and the circumstances surrounding the birth. Check out this article to find out which name will suit your child.

Source: Legit.ng

Mercy Mbuthia avatar

Mercy Mbuthia (Lifestyle writer) Mercy Mbuthia is a content writer with five years of experience writing on various topics, including biographies, entertainment, and lifestyle. She joined the Legit team in 2019. Mercy earned a Master of Science (Food, Nutrition & Dietetics) from Dedan Kimathi University in 2022. Her articles have appeared on several media sites such as The Health Channel, The Nation, Tekrati, ValiantCEO and Celebrity Leader. In 2023, Mercy finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. Email: mercymmbuthia18@gmail.com

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