Hausa Names and Their Meanings in English

Traditional Hausa Names

Written by Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff is a team of Editors and Authors Trusted by over 1.3 million readers worldwide.

August 25, 2020

Hausa as a language has been heavily influenced by other languages. Borrowing is the taking of a word or phrase from one language into another or one variety of a language into another. It has been standard practice in most languages. English has borrowed heavily from languages such as Latin, French, Italian, and Greek. Hausa has also borrowed—and continues to do so — from languages like English and Arabic. Hausa has been heavily influenced by Arabic culture, literature, and tradition. Islam as a religion has also played an important role in shaping the culture of Hausa Land and Northern Nigeria in general. It has become so pervasive that some of the cultures and identities of the people in the region have been discarded in favor of Arab culture and traditions. This post aims to list some of the common Hausa names and their meanings in English.

The practice of naming children with the traditional Hausa names had been discarded in favor of Arabic—and sometimes Jewish— names. While much argument has been done on whether these names should be discarded for the more ‘suitable’ Islamic names, one can’t deny the fact that they remain an integral component of Hausa history, culture, and traditions. On that note, here are some traditional Hausa names and their meanings in English that might have been well forgotten.

Read: 150 Great Hausa Proverbs You Want To Remember

List of Hausa Names and Their Meanings in English

  1. Danliti: One born on a Monday 
  2. Dantala: A male born on Tuesday 
  3. Balarabe: A male born on Wednesday 
  4. Danladi: One born on a Sunday 
  5. Danlami: Born on a Thursday
  6. Danjuma: One born on a Friday 
  7. Jatau: A traditional Habe name for one who is fair in complexion 
  8. Duna: One who is dark in complexion 
  9. Tanko: A brother to female children in a family 
  10.  Gambo: One who follows after twins 
  11. Dandawo: A child born when his mother was in the middle of pounding millets 
  12. Maiwake/ Ci wake: A child born when the parent harvested abundant beans 
  13. Maigero/ Gerau: A child born in the season of abundant millets 
  14. Hakurau: An extremely patient person 
  15. Shekarau: One who spent a year in his mother’s womb 
  16. Nomau: A child born in a planting season. 
  17.  Tunau: A person who reminds his mother of birth I.e. conceived a long time after her last pregnancy. 
  18. Ana ruwa: One born when it was raining 
  19. Maifari: One born in the middle of a drought. 
  20. Bako: One born while there are guests in the house 
  21. Sarki: One named after the Sarki; Emir 
  22. Yarima: Someone named after the prince in a Kingdom 
  23. Maikasuwa: The son of a popular merchant 
  24. Maikudi: Son of a wealthy person or who is hoped to be rich. 
  25. Madugu: One born while his parents were on a journey 
  26. Nagoma: The tenth child in a family 
  27. Korau: One born when his mother was divorced 
  28. Babangida: Meaning father of the household, or one who bears the name of a grandfather or father in the household 
  29. Bawa: One brought up by another woman other than his mother 
  30. Talatu/ Talatuwa: A female born on a Tuesday 
  31. Laraba: A female born on a Wednesday 
  32. Jummai/ Jummalo: A female Born on a Friday 
  33. Asabe/ Ta Asibi: A female born on a Saturday 
  34. Lami: A Female born on a Thursday 
  35. Ladidi/ Ladi: A female born on a Sunday 
  36. Shekara: A female who spent a year 
  37. Uwani: Someone who bears a person’s name 
  38. Kyauta: An only child while others are dying 
  39. Kande: A older female daughter born in a family of male siblings 
  40. Kuluwa: A female child loved by her family 
  41. Kyallu: A beautiful female child 
  42. Talle: One born on a Tuesday
  43. Rahila: A Hausa version of Rachel
  44. Damina: One born in a rainy season
  45. Tanimu: A common Hausa name
  46. Maishanu: One who has a herd of cattle to his name
  47. Korasu: One born to a guard
  48. Kumatu: A female with puffy cheeks
  49. Dan Agulla: A common Hausa name
  50. Kumbo: An unknown Hausa name
  51. Dan Goggo/Na Goggo: Means,’Goggos paddy’, named for a mother or grandmother’s favorite son
  52. Dan Iya: Son of Iya, a Hausa word for an older woman; mostly a Mother or Grandmother
  53. Iyatu: A female version of Dan Iya
  54. Audi: A corrupted version of Audu
  55. Jimrau: One who spent a long time in the womb
  56. Kosau: Someone born fat giving the impression of being satisfied
  57. Gwarzo: A courageous person
  58. Yohanna: A Hausa Christian equivalent of John
  59. Ishaya: A corrupted version of Ishaq or Isiah
  60. Delu: A common traditional female Hausa name
  61. Bayajidda: Named after the founder of the Hausa kingdoms
  62. Tsalha: A corrupted version of Usman
  63. Garbati or Garba: A corrupted version of Abubakar
  64. Belu: A common traditional name
  65. Bara’u: Common Hausa name.
  66. Barde: Someone who is a warrior.
  67. Sallu: A common Hausa name
  68. Baha’u: A common Hausa name
  69. Bawale: A common Hausa name.
  70. Alu: A corrupted version of Aliyu
  71. Danbaba: A favorite child of the father/.
  72. Ango: Hausa name for bridegroom which sticks to a person.
  73. Bature: Hausa name for foreigner
  74. Bahago: A left-handed person
  75. Bakutu: A popular traditional female name
  76. Rakiya: A traditional name reserved for females
  77. Bawa: A popular Hausa name. Bawa means slave in Hausa
  78. Dudu: A common name given to females in Hausaland
  79. Karime: A corrupted version of Karima, an Arabic name

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1 Comment

  1. Abdullahi

    It was a nice piece. Hop to see more from our culture.
    But there is a repetation in no1 and 17 of Nomou.
    Also in the case of no6: guess you wanted to write Thursday instead of Tuesday.


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