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.
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).
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.
Letsha is a nature-inspired name that could be answered in any part or region of the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This name is a common Sotho name. Its nickname, Remy, is fast becoming an independent name too.
Apart from Lily and Daisy, Palesa is another flower-inspired name to christen your daughter.
Meaning: The dark one
Mantso has been in existence for many years and is commonly preferred by some Basotho families.
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.
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.
Stars don’t struggle to shine. This is absolutely a beautiful name for your daughter.
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.
No matter the way some people look at it, children are the greatest gift ever.
Meaning: To be patient
Lindelani can be shorten to Linda. Generally, this is a beautiful name.
Meaning: Mother of prayer
Though slightly nerdy, Lisebo is such a charming name. You can use the nickname Lea for Lisebo to enhance the nerd factor.
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.
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.
Meaning: I have been given
Keneoue is a sophisticated name that is unique.
Libiko is a girl’s name of Sotho origin. It is unique, simple, and meaningful.
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.
Mesea is a very common name among Basothos. The name is unique, detective, and strong.
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.
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.
Ausi is a great name for girls. In fact, it is more than a name which is one reason it is unique and lovely.
Buang is a simple name that is common among Basothos.
Meaning: To be bright and to shine
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.
Diboko is a name of thanksgiving. It is really unique and beautiful. It naturally evokes a feeling of praise to the Almighty.
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.
Basetsana as a name evokes a sense of innocence and youthfulness, which we believe are enviable traits to impart through the name choice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Matsimela would make a great pick for parents who want an approachable name that isn’t totally traditional.
Meaning: Welcome or acceptance
Thapelo as a name is currently on an upswing. It would make an excellent middle name too.
Litsehoana has a timeless and multicultural appeal. It is a beautiful Sotho baby boy name.
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.
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.
Victor is a unique name. If you feel the name is too common but loves it anyway, you can pick Mohavi as a replacement.
If you are looking for a calm and some sort of ‘peaceful name,’ Lewatle will be just fine.
Letsatsi exudes determination and confidence, just like the mighty sun.
With this lovely and beautiful name, you can be assured that your child will always walk on the path of ‘success.’
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.
Amohelang is used widely all over South Africa, even though the name originated from Sotho.
Setene originated from the African surname ‘Steyn.’
Meaning: Praise to God
Meaning: Amazement or astonishment
People who bear Sontaha are those born on a Sunday. The name is unique because it is one of the days of the week.
Meaning: Youngest child
This name is most suitable for kids who are the youngest in their families.
Meaning: In the rain
This is a nature-inspired name that sounds nice and has various connotative meanings.
An unusual Sotho baby name, Tsietsi is fast gaining popularity in recent times.
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.
Meaning: We praise his name
Though quite a mouthful name, Reaotlotla is a unique name in every sense.
Sello is one of the most popular names among the people of the Sotho tribe regardless of its sad meaning (wailing).
Rare Sotho Names
Meaning: He gave us
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
This name will definitely appeal to parents who prefer simple names.
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.
This particular one is unique as well. Every child is given by the Almighty and not a product of man’s strength.
Meaning: Land or World
Meaning: Who are you going to?
Motlagomang is such a unique name due to its literal meaning.
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
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
The biblical meaning of Peter is rock. Peter is really a precious masculine name.
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.
Zephaniah means God has protected. Zephaniah was a minor prophet in the bible.
Timothy was a young man worth emulating in his time. The name means Honoured by God.
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.
Jakobo is Sotho form for the name is James. Its meaning is “holder of the heel” or “supplanter”.
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.
Amos means Borne by God. He was a minor prophet in the Bible.
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.
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.
Matthew is usually a boy’s name. It means “Gift from God”. Indeed, babies are lovely gifts from God.
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.
Moses was a great man of his time. He was a respected leader, teacher, and major prophet. Moses means drawn out (of water).
Paul was one of the beloved apostles in the bible. The name means Little or humble.
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: Little rabbit
Meaning: Love of mine
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.