120 Beautiful Sotho Names for Boys and Girls

Like in most African cultures, names are of great significance and importance in the  Basotho ethnic. The region has unique names for boys, girls, and even newly married women. There are also rare Sotho names that a handful of people bear for some reason. Christian families also have a long list of Sotho biblical names from where they can choose a name for their child. Generally, Sotho names are beautiful, meaningful, and unique. We have listed over 100 names to choose from for your child.

Top Sotho Baby Names For Girls

A Sotho man whose first child is a girl is usually soaked in water to indicate the typical duties of a girl child at home, including fetching water. The ethnic group also believes that the name of a baby has a strong connection with the child’s future. Hence, they take their time to choose their baby’s names.

1. Sesi

Meaning: Sister

Most parents name their child Sesi when the child looks so much like one of their relatives (either from the child’s father’s or mother’s side).

2. Nyakallo

Meaning: Joy

Nothing brings so much joy in a family like the birth of a child, especially in a situation where the woman couldn’t conceive for a long time. Nyakallo is such a perfect name for such a situation.

3. Letsha

Meaning: Lake

Letsha is a nature-inspired name that could be answered in any part or region of the world.

4. Bina

Meaning: To dance or freshness

This name, in particular, is endearing. The usage of this Sotho name, in recent times, has slowly but steadily increased. A lot of parents are beginning to name their girls Bina.

5. Khauhelo

Meaning: Compassion or pity

Nothing beats the joy of having a child that is full of compassion for other people or things happening around him. Khauhelo is one of those names that bring hope, comfort, and light in situations.

6. Bertha

Meaning: Bright

Bertha is a nice name that evokes hope and optimism. It is not common in South Africa, but it’s an endearing Sotho name. Your baby’s life is sure to be bright and full of positive things.

7. Bokang

Meaning: Rejoice or praise

Who wouldn’t want his bundle of joy to receive praises lifelong? This name is one of the people’s favorite names in Basothos.

8. Ntsoaki

Meaning: Girl amongst boys

In the Sotho culture, this name is usually given to girls with several brothers. We know how beautiful it is to be the only girl in the midst of boys.

9. Puleng

Meaning: In or during the rain

Puleng is a cute name. It probably could be that girls who bear this name were born during the rain or in the rain. Most people that bear this name are also called Pula as a pet name.

10. Mosela

Meaning: Tail

Idiomatically, Mosela means the last child. If you’ve been thinking about the name to give to your last kid, this name wouldn’t be bad at all.

11. Nthabiseng

Meaning: Make me happy

Children are supposed to make their parents happy all their lives. If you want your baby to make you happy as he grows and you age, Nthabiseng is an ideal name.

12. Dineo

Meaning: Gifts or talents

Dineo is a popular name in South Africa for obvious reasons, and we are not surprised that most of them are actually naturally talented.

13. Ramatla

Meaning: Strength

This name is a common Sotho name. Its nickname, Remy, is fast becoming an independent name too.

14. Palesa

Meaning: Flower

Apart from Lily and Daisy, Palesa is another flower-inspired name to christen your daughter.

15. Mantso

Meaning: The dark one

Mantso has been in existence for many years and is commonly preferred by some Basotho families.

16. Tebatso

Meaning: Distraction

17. Arabang

Meaning: Reply

Names like Arabang could be given to a child whose birth brought an end to unpleasant questions, remarks, and criticism against his parents or family.

18. Liseho

Meaning: Laughter

Many things could bring laughter to someone’s face, and it’s always heart-melting when good things make someone laugh. You can bring you so much joy and laughter through greatness.

19. Naleli

Meaning: Star

Stars don’t struggle to shine. This is absolutely a beautiful name for your daughter.

20. Matseliso

Meaning: Consolation

This moniker is given to most kids that brought so much joy and consolation to their parents. If you lost a baby previously or found it difficult to conceive for a long time but eventually gives birth to a child, this name could be befitting for your new bundle of joy.

21. Mpho

Meaning: Gift

No matter the way some people look at it, children are the greatest gift ever.

22. Lindelani

Meaning: To be patient

Lindelani can be shorten to Linda. Generally, this is a beautiful name.

23. Mathapelo

Meaning: Mother of prayer

24. Moipone

Meaning: Self-admirer

25. Lisebo

Meaning: Whisper

Though slightly nerdy, Lisebo is such a charming name. You can use the nickname Lea for Lisebo to enhance the nerd factor.

26. Bongi

Meaning: Thanks

Bongi is a short form of the name Sibongile. It is commonly used in the Sotho tribe, and one of the famous bearers of the name is the South African singer and songwriter Bongi Makeba.

29. Bonolo

Meaning: Ease

If you are looking for a name with originality and beauty, you should consider the name Bonolo. It is a perennially popular female name among Sotho people.

30. Keneoue

Meaning: I have been given

Keneoue is a sophisticated name that is unique.

31. Libiko

Meaning: Praises

Libiko is a girl’s name of Sotho origin. It is unique, simple, and meaningful.

32. Dipuo

Meaning: Rumor

This particular will make a great name for your little girl regardless of what people think about it. You just need to get past its strange meaning and coin a beautiful nickname from it.

33. Mesea

Meaning: Smoke

Mesea is a very common name among Basothos. The name is unique, detective, and strong.

34. Lebadi

Meaning: Birthmark

The name Lebadi is not for everyone. It is mostly used by parents who are not afraid of going against the grain as there is something very affirming about the name.

35. Lebone

Meaning: Candle or light

This name is naturally beautiful due to its meaning. Kids are not only beautiful but they also do fill their parents’ lives with light, just like the candle.

36. Ausi

Meaning: Sister

Ausi is a great name for girls. In fact, it is more than a name which is one reason it is unique and lovely.

37. Buang

Meaning: Chat

Buang is a simple name that is common among Basothos.

38. Benya

Meaning: To be bright and to shine

39. Tsepiso

Meaning: Promise

Some babies are not ordinary. This set of kids are promises fulfilled by the Almighty. You can go ahead to give your baby this name if she is one.

40. Diboko

Meaning: Praises

Diboko is a name of thanksgiving. It is really unique and beautiful. It naturally evokes a feeling of praise to the Almighty.

41. Dintle

Meaning: Beauty

Every name is befitting for every newborn baby because babies are beautiful and lovely. This name is just perfect for parents searching for a simple and meaningful name.

42. Ratsebo

Meaning: Knowledge

Basetsana

Meaning: Ladies

Basetsana as a name evokes a sense of innocence and youthfulness, which we believe are enviable traits to impart through the name choice.

43. Lineo

Meaning: Grants

44. Ramatla

Meaning: Strength

Most African parents draw strength from the existence of their children, and on most occasions, these kids, on their own, exhibit so much strength as they grow and in places where people ordinarily fail.

Sotho Baby Names For Boys

The birth of a baby among Basotho people is celebrated in a special way, unlike that of a baby girl. To welcome the baby into the community, the father of the newborn baby boy is flogged to show that what characterizes the life of a man is warfare. This tradition has been in existence for years.

46. Tuma

Meaning: Immortal

This is a stylish name that has been in usage for decades. Tuma is a nice name if you are a parent looking for a stylish and meaningful name.

47. Addington

Addington is an English name that is used widely among Basotho people. The name is believed to have originated from the old English name Eaddingtūn, which means ‘Eadda’s town’ or Æddingtūn.

48. Kananelo

Meaning: Appreciation

This Sotho name is indeed very beautiful and meaningful. Every parent absolutely feels proud when their child is appreciated by someone. S, Kananelo is a name denoting appreciation.

49. Tlhokomela

Meaning: Care

50. Khosi

Meaning: King

Khosi is a popular name in Sotho ethnic tribe. It is simple, unique, fashionable, and classy; after all, no parents wouldn’t want their kids to be great.

51. Teboho

Meaning: Gratitude

52. Thuso

Meaning: Help

53. Matsimela

Meaning: Roots

Matsimela would make a great pick for parents who want an approachable name that isn’t totally traditional.

54. Kamohelo

Meaning: Welcome or acceptance

55. Thapelo

Thapelo as a name is currently on an upswing. It would make an excellent middle name too.

56. Litsehoana

Litsehoana has a timeless and multicultural appeal. It is a beautiful Sotho baby boy name.

57. Rapula

Meaning: Father of rain or giver of rain

This is a lovely nature-inspired name for your son. It is unique in the sense that Rapula is highly respected in Sotho mythology.

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58. Lebohang

Meaning: Be thankful

Lebohang is a name that will forever remind your child to be grateful to God for everything that happens in his life.

59. Mohavi

Meaning: Victor

Victor is a unique name. If you feel the name is too common but loves it anyway, you can pick Mohavi as a replacement.

60. Lewatle

Meaning: Ocean

If you are looking for a calm and some sort of ‘peaceful name,’ Lewatle will be just fine.

61. Letsatsi

Meaning: Sun

Letsatsi exudes determination and confidence, just like the mighty sun.

62. Katleho

Meaning: Success

With this lovely and beautiful name, you can be assured that your child will always walk on the path of ‘success.’

63. Kutloisiso

Meaning: Understanding

64. Kabelo

Meaning: Given

65. Moshoeshoe

Meaning: South African king

This name could be a bit mouthful for most people to call, but if you really want a name with a regal ring, Moshoeshoe, which is ideal.

66. Amohelang

Meaning: Receive

Amohelang is used widely all over South Africa, even though the name originated from Sotho.

67. Setene

Setene originated from the  African surname ‘Steyn.’

68. Tumisang

Meaning: Praise to God

69. Tsotang

Meaning: Amazement or astonishment

70. Sontaha

Meaning: Sunday

People who bear Sontaha are those born on a Sunday. The name is unique because it is one of the days of the week.

71. Pheijna

Meaning: Youngest child

This name is most suitable for kids who are the youngest in their families.

72. Potso

Meaning: Ask

73. Pule

Meaning: In the rain

This is a nature-inspired name that sounds nice and has various connotative meanings.

74. Tsietsi

Meaning: Predicament

An unusual Sotho baby name, Tsietsi is fast gaining popularity in recent times.

75. Motsumi

Meaning: The seeker

Every child grows up to seek something in life. When or what he finally finds depends on how fair life treats you. Motsumi is a meaningful name indeed.

76. Reaotlotla

Meaning: We praise his name

Though quite a mouthful name, Reaotlotla is a unique name in every sense.

77. Sello

Meaning: Wailing

Sello is one of the most popular names among the people of the Sotho tribe regardless of its sad meaning (wailing).

Rare Sotho Names 

78. Areneha

Meaning: He gave us

79. Masimong

Meaning: At the field

Masimong has a southern appeal, which makes it beautiful and unique. It’s different and exotic, but not totally strange or uncommon.

80. Keneoue

Meaning: I have been given

Keneoue is not a regular Sotho name. However, you will definitely cross paths with someone with the name anytime you visit the region.

81. Kutloisiso

Meaning: Understanding

Yet another rare name, Kutloisiso is not entirely bad, especially when you want your baby to stand out from other children in terms of names.

82. Peo

Meaning: Seed

83. Atile

Meaning: Increasing family

This is not commonly used among Basothos. However, the option of Attie as its nickname makes the name more endearing.

Common Unisex Sotho Names 

84. Tlotliso

Meaning: Honour

85. Tumisho

Meaning: Glory

86. Tlhokomelo

Meaning: Care

Tlhokomelo is a unique name that has been in existence for many years. Though most people find it difficult to pronounce it correctly,  a lot of parents are fast beginning to pick up the name for their kids. You can try shortening it to Tlhoko if you want.

87. Tebello

Meaning: Expectation.’

This name will definitely appeal to parents who prefer simple names.

88. Rethabile

Meaning: We are happy

If you think your little bundle of joy can handle a larger-than-life name, then Rethabile is one of the suitable names to choose. Rethabile, literarily, is a lovely name, after all, every parent feels ‘very happy’ after the birth of their child.

89. Omphile

Meaning: Given

This particular one is unique as well. Every child is given by the Almighty and not a product of man’s strength.

90. Nalane

Meaning: History

91. Naha

Meaning: Land or World

92. Motlagomang

Meaning: Who are you going to?

Motlagomang is such a unique name due to its literal meaning.

93. Mosa

Meaning: Grace

Sotho Names For Twins

The birth of twins in a family among the Basotho people is seen as a blessing and a good thing. Their arrivals are always celebrated in a special way, while their naming is unique as well. In the olden days, the first twin to come out bears the real name, while the second one bears the diminutive form of the given name. However, in recent times, things have changed a bit as twins can no bear non-matching names and all that.

94. Masilonyane and Masilo

Meaning: Just

These are traditional names from legends. Masilonyane and Masilo are popular twins names with historic meanings.

95. Mashiko and Mashikoana

Mashiko and Mashikoana are very names for wins. Mashiko is usually given to the first twin while Mashikoana is believed to mean the smaller or younger Mashiko.

96. Tshepo and Tshepisco

Tshepo is a unique name given to a male twin while the female twin bears Tshepisco. We absolutely love these beautiful twin names in particular.

97. Thabo and Thabang

Thabo and Thabang are names of twins of different sexes. Thabo is for the boy and Thabang is usually given to the girl.

98. Mpho and Maphonyana

The first twin hat that comes out is usually named Mphgoby Basotho people while the second one that comes out is always named Maphonyana.

Sotho Biblical Names

99. Peterose

Meaning: Peter

The biblical meaning of Peter is rock. Peter is really a precious masculine name.

100. Ruthe

Meaning: Ruth

The meaning of Ruth is compassion. One of the best traits one can have is to have or show pity for the misery of others. Ruth was a woman of enviable personality in the bible.

101. Sofonia

Meaning: Zephaniah

Zephaniah means God has protected. Zephaniah was a minor prophet in the bible.

102. Timotia

Meaning: Timothy

Timothy was a young man worth emulating in his time. The name means Honoured by God.

103. Seeta

Meaning: Seth

Seth means appointed. It is a beautiful name and is commonly given to baby boys. Seth, in the bible, is the third son of Adam and Eve.

104. Jakobo

Meaning: James

Jakobo is Sotho form for the name is James. Its meaning is “holder of the heel” or “supplanter”.

105. Jeremia

Meaning: Jeremiah

Jeremiah was a major Israeli prophet. He was greatly respected and honoured during his lifetime. The name means God will uplift or appointed or God.

106. Amose

Meaning: Amos

Amos means Borne by God. He was a minor prophet in the Bible.

107. Estere

Meaning: Esther

Esther means Conceal or Hide. It is a female given name known from the Jewish queen Esther, the heroine of the Book of Esther in the Bible.

108. Ezekiele

Meaning: Ezekiel

If you’d like to give your son a biblical name with an important meaning, Ezekiel could be the ideal name. The name means Strength of God.

109. Mattheu

Meaning: Matthew

Matthew is usually a boy’s name. It means “Gift from God”. Indeed, babies are lovely gifts from God.

110. Mikea

Meaning: Micah

The meaning of Micah is Who is like God?. He was a great prophet in the bible. The moniker is a variation of the name Michael, an angel in the bible.

111. Moshe

Meaning: Moses

Moses was a great man of his time. He was a respected leader, teacher, and major prophet. Moses means drawn out (of water).

112. Paolosi

Meaning: Paul

Paul was one of the beloved apostles in the bible. The name means Little or humble.

113. Baatsheba

Meaning: Daughter of oath (in Hebrew)

Bathsheba is the Sotho form of the biblical name Bathsheba. Bathsheba is a well-known name among Christians. She was the wife of Uriah in the bible who slept with King David and later became the mother of King Solomon

Sotho Baby Pet Names

114. Leba la ka

Meaning: My pigeon

115. Moratuoa or Moratuwa

Meaning: Darling

116. Mutloanyana

Meaning: Little rabbit

117. Nana

Meaning: Baby

118. Ratu

Meaning: Love of mine

119. Toebanya

Meaning: Little mouse

Sotho Makoti Names

A makoti in Sotho culture simply means a bride or a newlywed. It is also used to refer to a daughter-in-law. Naming does not stop at the birth of a child among Basotho people. Once a lady gets married into a family, her new in-laws are expected to give her a bridal or marital name which will automatically become her new identity.

Even if the new bride has not given birth, she must add the name her husband’s family is expected to name her first child. She has the sole right to give her first child his or her second name as a way of honouring the family she (the bride ) was born into. This traditional practice has lasted for years up to the present generation.

However, there have been cases where a family waits for a makoti to give birth to a child before giving a name. They usually name her Mma of her first fruit, and this is derived by adding the prefix Mma to the name of the woman’s first child.

120. Mma Keneiloe

Meaning: Mother of Keneiloe

“Mma/Ma” means “the mother of” while Keneiloe is the name of the makoti’s first child.

121. Mma Thuso 

A Sotho Makoti whose first child has been named Thuso will be known as Mma Thuso.

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