60 Modern Xhosa Names and Their Meanings

Even before having a child, most people usually keep names that have been carefully picked for the new one. Although picking a nice and unique name can look difficult at times, it is usually worth the effort. Thankfully Xhosa people do not have to worry about finding nice names because there is a long list of modern and unique Xhosa names to choose from. What an expectant parent (or parents) may have to worry about is finding the perfect name for your children from this long list of nice names.

To make the search much easier for you, we have put together a list of modern Xhosa names and their meanings. The names below were carefully picked and will be just perfect for your child.

Naming A Child In The Xhosa Culture – Background Details

The Xhosa language is considered South Africa’s second-most known used language after Zulu with an estimate of 8 million Xhosa people living in the country. Although about 200,000 Xhosa people can be found in Zimbabwe, South Africa has the highest number of Xhosa people. Just like Zulu, Xhosa people do not just give their children names as a mere means of identification. All Xhosa names usually have strong meanings and significance attached to them.

Some parents give their children names depending on the situation surrounding their births. Others may name a child depending on their feelings and beliefs. Also, children are named based on what the parents expect the child to become. In the Xhosa culture, names are usually considered more important than surnames and are used to trace ancestral history. When a woman gets married, she is expected to add her clan name to her new surname.

Based on the name numerology, these names have attributes attached to them, but that does not necessarily mean that your child will automatically have any of the attributes that come with his or her name.

Modern Xhosa Names For Girls

Xhosa Names

Giving your newborn female child a name that shows off her femininity and upholds the Xhosa culture is one of the best choices a Xhosa parent can make. Xhosa names for females are very pleasing to the ears, easy to pronounce and have very interesting and rich meanings. This makes the search for Xhosa names easier because you don’t have to worry about filtering names with bad meanings.

1 . Melisizwe

  • Meaning: Nations leaders.
  • Significance: Denotes the parent’s expectations towards the child.
  • Qualities: Diplomatic, discreet, down-to-earth, and intelligent.
  • Pronunciation: Me-li-sizwe.

2. Vuyokazi

  • Meaning: Happiness.
  • Significance: Signifies the way the family feels about the child.
  • Qualities: Good organizers, managers. They have a systematic and methodical approach to life.
  • Pronunciation: Vuh-uh-yuh-kah-zh-ee.

3. Thembeka

  • Meaning: Be reliable/trustworthy.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s expectations towards the child.
  • Qualities: Sensitive, acceptable, cooperative, diplomatic, and eventful.
  • Pronunciation: Th(e)-mbe-ka.

4. Sisipho

  • Meaning: The one who is your gift.
  • Significance: Signifies how the family feels about the child.
  • Qualities: Audacious, non-traditional, and help others adapt to life.
  • Pronunciation: Si-si-ph-o.

5. Simthandile

  • Meaning: We have loved her.
  • Significance: Depicts the parents feeling about the child.
  • Qualities: They have seductive and magnetic power and are willing to help others.
  • Pronunciation: Sim-than-di-le.

6. Qaqamba

  • Meaning: One who shines bright.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s expectations towards the child.
  • Qualities: They are idealists who over-analyze and may seem hesitant or distant.
  • Pronunciation: Kwuh-ah-kwuh-uh-muh-buh-ah.

7. Olwethu

  • Meaning: Our own.
  • Significance: Signifies the way the parent feels about their child.
  • Qualities: They have a free spirit and love adventure, freedom, and change.
  • Pronunciation: Ol-we-thu.

8. Ntombentsha

  • Meaning: Newly born or new girl.
  • Significance: Denotes the way the family feels about their child.
  • Qualities: Easily adapt to change, good at approaching people and presenting ideas.
  • Pronunciation: Ntom-bent-sha.

9. Nomble

  • Meaning: Graced with beauty.
  • Significance: Denotes the way the parent feels about the child.
  • Qualities: They are optimistic, inspiring, outgoing, expressive, and cheerful.
  • Pronunciation: Nom-ble.

10. Nkosazana

  • Meaning: Princess.
  • Significance: Signifies the family’s feelings about the child.
  • Qualities: They are a perfectionist who strives towards a lofty goal.
  • Pronunciation: Nko-sa-za-na.

11. Nontasasa

  • Meaning: Born in the early morning.
  • Significance: Denotes the time or season when the child was born.
  • Qualities: They have a broad view of life and an inspirational approach to it.
  • Pronunciation: Non-ta-sa-sa.

12. Nofoto

  • Meaning: Someone who is like her grandmother.
  • Significance: Denotes the way the family feels about the child.
  • Qualities: Down to earth, willing to take those stressful jobs and artistic.
  • Pronunciation: No-fo-to.

13. Thozoma

  • Meaning: Calmness.
  • Significance: Signifies the family expectations towards the child.
  • Qualities: They love making their family members happy and are always in a competition to attract those around them.
  • Pronunciation: Tho-zo-mah.

14. Notumato

  • Meaning: Beautiful at birth.
  • Significance: Denotes the way the parent feels about their child.
  • Qualities: Idealistic and crave attention.
  • Pronunciation: No-tu-ma-to.

15. Lulama

  • Meaning: Mild and Soft Spoken.
  • Significance: Signifies the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Responsible, truth worthy and have the tendency to put the needs of others before theirs.
  • Pronunciation: Lu-la-mah.

16. Lindelwa

  • Meaning: One who was awaited.
  • Significance: Denotes the situation surrounding the child’s birth.
  • Qualities: Have the potential of achieving great things, warm, soft, and love having dominion.
  • Pronunciation: Lin-del-wah.

17. Mthobeli

  • Meaning: Obedient one.
  • Significance: Signifies the parent’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Friendly loving, social and creative.
  • Pronunciation: Mtho-be-li.

18. Nceba

  • Meaning: Mercy.
  • Significance: Xhosa Christian name.
  • Qualities: Analytical, love helping others, and value courage.
  • Pronunciation: N-ce-bah.

19. Nandipha

  • Meaning: Good taste.
  • Significance: This signifies the way the family feels about their child.
  • Qualities: Problem solvers, have a systemic and methodological approach to life.
  • Pronunciation: Nan-di-pha.

20. Kuhle

  • Meaning: Wellness.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Expressive, positive, cheerful and have a charming personality.
  • Pronunciation: Ku-hle.

21. Funeka

  • Meaning: One who is needed.
  • Significance: Denotes the situation surrounding the child’s birth and the family’s feelings towards the child.
  • Qualities: They are perfectionists, and they make long-term goals.
  • Pronunciation: Fu-ne-ka.

22. Fezeka

  • Meaning: Fulfilled.
  • Significance: Signifies the way the parents feel about the child.
  • Qualities: Idealistic, peacemakers, and studious.
  • Pronunciation: Fe-ze-kah.

23. Buhle

  • Meaning: Beauty.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s feelings about the child.
  • Qualities: Outgoing, expressive, optimistic, and reliable.
  • Pronunciation: Bu-hle.

24. Babalwa

  • Meaning: Graced.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that denotes the way the parents feel about the child.
  • Qualities: Loving, caring, friendly and attractive.
  • Pronunciation: Ba-bal-wa.

25. Bathandwa

  • Meaning: Beloved.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that signifies the way the parent feels.
  • Qualities: They are creative, may procrastinate a lot but they love anything that involves concentration.
  • Pronunciation: Ba-th-and-wah.

26. Sivuyile

  • Meaning: We are happy.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s feelings towards the child.
  • Qualities: They love adventures and freedom of expression. They are also good at helping others adapt to change.
  • Pronunciation: Si-vu-yi-le.
See also
10 Stereotypes About South African Girls That Aren't Always True

27. Ayanda

  • Meaning: They are increasing.
  • Significance: Signifies the way the family feels about the coming of the child.
  • Qualities: Always want to be in the spotlight and go to the peak of whatever they pick interest in.
  • Pronunciation: A-yan-da.

28. Zola

  • Meaning: Calm.
  • Significance: Signifies the feelings of the parents.
  • Qualities: Achievers who have a broad vision and love improving any project or situation.
  • Pronunciation: Zo-lah.

29. Hlengiwe

  • Meaning: Redeemed.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that signifies the way the family feels about the coming of the child.
  • Qualities: They have a personality that is a perfect blend between masculine and feminine.
  • Pronunciation: Hlen-gi-we.

30. Liyema

  • Meaning: Stability in the family.
  • Significance: Denotes the situation surrounding the child’s birth.
  • Qualities: Honest, unreserved and have natural tendencies to work well with others.
  • Pronunciation: Li-ye-mah.
See also
10 Lesser Known Facts About the Historical Zulu War

Xhosa Names For Boys

In the Xhosa tradition, boys are usually considered heirs to their father and their birth brings so much joy and happiness to their parents. For a child that gives you so much joy, giving him a modern and befitting name is certainly worth it. Here are 30 Xhosa names for boys that you should absolutely choose from.

1. Silumko

  • Meaning: Wise man.
  • Significance: A Xhosa Christian name that signifies the family expectations.
  • Qualities: Sensual, alluring, and creative.
  • Pronunciation: Si-lum-ko.

2. Nyaniso

  • Meaning: Truthfulness.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that denotes the parent expectations.
  • Qualities: Creative, analytical, and love to study to gain insight.
  • Pronunciation: Nya-ni-so.

3. Qaqambile

  • Meaning: Brightness.
  • Significance: Signifies the family’s feelings towards the child.
  • Qualities: Resilient, preserving, know how to cope with life situations and challenges.
  • Pronunciation: Kwuh-ah-kwuh-am-bile.

4. Sibabalwe

  • Meaning: Blessed.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that signifies the way the family feels about the coming of the child.
  • Qualities: Consistent, reliable and have a powerful presence.
  • Pronunciation: Si-ba-bal-we.

5. Ntando

  • Meaning: Strong will.
  • Significance: Signifies the situation surrounding the child’s birth.
  • Qualities: Self-sufficient, intelligent, and naturally attracts respect.
  • Pronunciation: Nt-an-do.

6. Mpumelelo

  • Meaning: Success.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Natural instinct to be a leader, intelligent, optimistic, and have a methodical and systematic approach to life and problems.
  • Pronunciation: Mpu-me-le-lo.

7. Nkululeko

  • Meaning: Freedom.
  • Significance: Denotes the situation surrounding the child’s birth and the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Compassionate, warm ambitious, and love adventure.
  • Pronunciation: N-(ku)-lu-le-ko.

8. Mthandeni

  • Meaning: Love him.
  • Significance: Denotes the parent’s feelings.
  • Qualities: Intellectual, disciplined and non-materialistic.
  • Pronunciation: M-than-de-ni.

9. Nkokheli

  • Meaning: Leader.
  • Significance: Signifies the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Self-sacrificing, relaxed, and adventurous.
  • Pronunciation: Nko-khe-li.

10. Mandla

  • Meaning: One who has power.
  • Significance: Denotes the parent’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Sensitive, emotional and want to live in peace and harmony.
  • Pronunciation: Man-dla.

Xhosa Names

11. Luthando

  • Meaning: Love.
  • Significance: Signifies the way the parent feels about the child.
  • Qualities: Intelligent, independent, creative, sensitive, and creative.
  • Pronunciation: Lu-than-do.

12. Lwazi

  • Meaning: Full of knowledge.
  • Significance: Denotes the expectations of the family.
  • Qualities: Highly competitive, studious, confident, and successful.
  • Pronunciation: L-wa-zi.

13. Mangaliso

  • Meaning: Wonderful.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s feelings about the coming of the child.
  • Qualities: Visionary, unpretentious, risk-takers, courageous, and ambitious.
  • Pronunciation: (M)-an-ga-li-so.

14. Luzuko

  • Meaning: Glory.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that signifies the way the family feels about the child.
  • Qualities: They love peace, relaxation and are sensitive to nature.
  • Pronunciation: Lu-zu-ko.

15. Langa

  • Meaning: The Sun.
  • Significance: Denotes the time and season the child was born.
  • Qualities: They have the potential to achieve great things. They are compassionate, understanding, and love peace and harmony.
  • Pronunciation: L-an-ga.

16. Khuselwa

  • Meaning: Be protected.
  • Significance: Signifies the parent’s expectations.
  • Qualities: They are shy and care about others respecting their views.
  • Pronunciation: K-hu-sel-wa.

17. Khwezi

  • Meaning: Star.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s feelings about the child.
  • Qualities: Independent, natural leaders, independent, and love adventures.
  • Pronunciation: Kh-we-zi.

18. Fezile

  • Meaning: Accomplished.
  • Significance: Denotes the parent’s feelings about the child.
  • Qualities: They have a strong and powerful appearance.
  • Pronunciation: Fe-zi-le.

19. Fundani

  • Meaning: To Learn.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: Soft, warm, unpretentious, and friendly.
  • Pronunciation: F-un-da-ni.

20. Dumisa

  • Meaning: Praise.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that denotes the parent’s feelings about the child’s birth.
  • Qualities: They like to have a stable and organized life and hate sudden changes.
  • Pronunciation: Du-mi-sa.

21. Bonginkosi

  • Meaning: Thanking God.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that signifies the parent’s feelings.
  • Qualities: Intelligence, creative, sensitive, friendly, happy, and outgoing.
  • Pronunciation: Bon-gin-kosi.

22. Ayabonga

  • Meaning: Grateful.
  • Significance: A Christian Xhosa name that denotes the parent’s feelings.
  • Qualities: Optimistic, inspiring, outgoing, and expressive.
  • Pronunciation: A-ya-bon-ga.

23. Aphiwe

  • Meaning: Given.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s relationship with others.
  • Qualities: They have the power and potential to be great, and also love helping others.
  • Pronunciation: A-phi-we.

24. Akhona

  • Meaning: A present.
  • Significance: Signifies the parent’s feelings.
  • Qualities: Compassionate, warm, fair, and ambitious.
  • Pronunciation: Ak-ho-na.

25. Themba

  • Meaning: Faith/hope.
  • Significance: The Xhosa Christian name denotes the parent’s feelings.
  • Qualities: They love showing love to those they really care about, they are also independent and self-sufficient.
  • Pronunciation: Them-ba.

26. Nkosi

  • Meaning: King.
  • Significance: Denotes how the family feels about the child and their expectations.
  • Qualities: They have a free spirit and love helping others. They also love adventure and excitement.
  • Pronunciation: N-ko-si.

27. Mpilo

  • Meaning: Life.
  • Significance: Signifies the situation surrounding the child’s birth and the family’s expectations.
  • Qualities: They esteem their family and have a powerful presence.
  • Pronunciation: M-pi-lo.

28. Khanyiso

  • Meaning: Light.
  • Significance: Denotes how the family feels about the child.
  • Qualities: Good-natured, friendly and take advantage of their potential.
  • Pronunciation: Kh-an-yi-so.

29. Rolihlahla

  • Meaning: Pulling a tree branch (the colloquial of a troublemaker)
  • Significance: Signifies the situation surrounding the child’s birth and the family’s relationship with others.
  • Qualities: Responsible, trustworthy, and uphold justice and honesty
  • Pronunciation: Ro-li-hla-hla

30. Lephelo

  • Meaning: The end.
  • Significance: Denotes the family’s feelings about the child and the circumstances surrounding his birth.
  • Qualities: They are loyal, observant, and hopeful.
  • Pronunciation: Le-phe-lo.

5 Most Common Xhosa Names

Although a lot of people like giving their children unique names that not many people bear, some prefer going for names that are already common. If you fall into the second category, here are 5 common Xhosa names you should consider;

Common Xhosa Names For Girls

  • Noxolo – Peace
  • Lindiwe – Awaited
  • Thembeka – Be reliable/trustworthy
  • Sisipho – The one who is your gift
  • Nocawe – Born on Sunday

Common Xhosa Names For Boys

  • Sifso – Wish
  • Anele – Male
  • Mxolisi – Peacemaker
  • Themba – Hope/Trust
  • Mpilo – Life
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Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes
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