Afrikaans is one of the native languages of South Africa that is, however, spoken mostly by the Dutch settlers in the country. The language is made up of both Bantu, Malay, Portuguese and Khoisan languages, but an estimated 90 to 95% of its vocabulary is of Dutch origin. It came about as a result of the migration and subsequent settlement of the Dutch in the area known today as South Africa. Afrikaans evolved from Dutch vernacular and was earlier on in its existence, referred to as Cape Dutch. It was also called kitchen dutch and even Creole.
The emergence of Afrikaans as a dialect can be traced to as far back as the 17th century, when a Dutch East India Company official from the Netherlands complained about a “distorted and incomprehensible” version of Dutch being spoken in a European settlement in the country.
It is today ranked as the third most spoken language in South Africa, with about 7.2 million people speaking it as a native language. A further 8-15 million people speak it as a second language in South Africa, with the total number of speakers around the world estimated to be between 15 and 23 million.
In Africa, it is spoken and understood in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Namibia, specifically, uses the language as lingua franca, meaning that Afrikaans is adopted and used to communicate by Namibians who have different native languages. Countries around the world where Afrikaans speakers can be found include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Now, with Afrikaans’ huge popularity, and an increased number of people speaking the language, it has become a common practice to give children Afrikaans names.
Here are some of the most popular Afrikaans names and their meanings.
List of Popular Afrikaans Names and Meanings
Aba – Usually given to a female child born on Thursday.
Abu – A masculine name which simply means “Father”.
Abebi – It simply means “we asked and got her”.
Abina – Usually given to a female child born on Tuesday.
Abiba – A feminine name that is given to a child born after her grandmother’s death.
Adonis – Usually given to a male child. It means God of peace and love.
Aitan – A variant of the Biblical name Ethan which simply means “strong”.
Ajani – An inspirational name which means “he who wins the struggle”.
Ajayi – A masculine name that is given to baby boys who are born face down. It simply means “born face down”.
Alake – Means “one to be honored”.
Amiri – A masculine name which means Prince.
Aziza – A feminine name which simply means “Precious”.
Barke – Simply means “blessings”.
Bash – A masculine name which means “forerunner”.
Bayode – A name that is given to the male child which simply means “he comes with joy”.
Bern – Borrowed from the Swiss, it means “peace” in the Afrikaans language.
Bokamoso – Simply means “the future”
Berhane – A feminine name which means “my light”.
Bibi – Daughter of a king, Lady, Grandmother
Christiaan – A Dutch variant of Christian.
Dawie – Masculine name related to the Hebrew name David which simply means “beloved”.
Dane – A feminine name coined from Danae.
Dian – A feminine name which means “divine”, but is used for boys by Afrikaners.
Dolinde – A form of Adelinde.
Elize – An Afrikaans form of Elise which simply means “consecrated to God”.
Elna – A contracted form of Eleonora which means “beloved”.
Elspeth – A variation of Elizabeth which also means “consecrated to God”.
Fabunni – A sophisticated Afrikaans name meaning “God has given me this”.
Francois – An Afrikaans form of Francis which means “free man”.
Gerhardus – A variant of Gerard often used by old-school Afrikaners.
Gidea: A masculine name related to the Hebrew name Gideon, which simply means “was neglected for long, but has started to climb now”.
Hansie – A version of Johannes which simply means “God is gracious”.
Heinrich – Borrowed from German, the name means “home of the king”.
Henrico – A masculine name which simply means “state ruler”.
Imka – Simply means “water”.
Jaivyn – A cheerful and friendly name which means “light spirit”.
Janco – A Dutch-Hungarian form of John which simply means “Jehovah has been gracious”.
Jaquan – means “loving or good spirit”.
Jengo – meaning ‘one with a reddish complexion’.
Johan – Simply means ‘God is gracious’.
Kabili – meaning “possession”.
Kai – Usually for children who have water as their sign. It simply means “sea”.
Leeto – Simply means “journey”.
Lencho – Used as an alternative for Leo. it simply means Lion.
Luan – Also means Lion
Maghiel – A variant of Machiel, the Dutch form of Michael, meaning “Who is like God?”
Ricus – Simply means “sovereign ruler”.
Rylond – Afrikaans spelling for Reynold which simply means “counselor or ruler”.
Sybella – A unique Afrikaans name which simply means “Oracle or Prophetess”.
Thandolwethu – Feminine name which simply means “our love”.
Theolene – Means “people or soft”.
Trudene – A feminine name which simply means “spear of strength”.