What’s in a Name?

A name is a word or phrase that indicates a person, place or thing. Names as attributes sometimes reflect why the person bearing it, has it at the first place. For instance, one can say Akpan, the first born or Judy, the mechanic. So a name can serve as a trait, a characteristic, feature or attribute.

African’s name their children after several circumstances they ‘evidenced’, events they passed through or situations they find themselves in. In the Igbo culture for instance, a tribe predominantly known to love and worship Chukwu, Chi or Chineke (God) place value on names linked to God’s name. So most of Igbo names are pointed towards God. Names like Okechukwu, Uchechukwu, Chima, Chioma, Ekechukwu, Ikechukwu, Ogochukwu, Chidinma, Chukwuebuka, Chukwuemeka etc bear the name of God and then what He did or a character of Him.

My name, Okechukwu means ‘My share from God’. A typical Igbo name, suggests that I am the share of God’s goodness to my family.

Aug 11, 2019: Let’s look at the name Uchechukwu. This is a typical Igbo name. Uche can mean thoughts, wisdom or understanding depending on the usage. Chukwu like we already know means God. Chi and Chineke also mean God. So the name can also go like Uchechi, Uchechineke and so on. But the most popular is the Uchechukwu which can be shortened to Uche or UC. So the name means The Thought of God. It can also be said to mean the will of God. There are variants in the name too. Uchenna means the Father’s will or thought. As Nna mean Father in Igbo.

Aug 15, 2019: Consider this name Obinna a shortened form of Obinnaya or even Obichukwu (meaning the Father’s/God’s heart/mind). This name is common in the East of Nigeria. Just like the biblical David who God tagged a man after my heart so is the name Obinna or Obichukwu or Obieze. 

Aug 20, 2019: Let us consider this name Chukwuemeka. Chukwu means God and emeka translates to ‘has done it’. So joining the two literally we have God has done it.

Aug 25, 2019: Let’s talk about Chika or Chukwuka. A name that can be translated to God is the Greatest!

On this page I will be updating African names, their origin and meaning. If you would like me to talk about a Nigerian name (preferably Igbo, cos that’s where I know most), feel free to include the name in the comment section or send me an email.

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