The Yorubas are a people with deep cultural meanings to everything they do, names inclusive.


Yoruba Names and Their Meanings: Àìná

Do you know the meaning of Àìná? Àìná is the “natural” name of a Yoruba girl who came out of her mother’s womb with her placenta around her neck!

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It is called “orúkọ àmút’ọ̀run wá” – that is, a “natural” name, a name “brought from heaven.”

This means that the heavens already gave her a name – in other words, regardless of whether or not she’s given other names by her parents, this is a natural name, one that the heavens have stamped on her.

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Yoruba Names and Their Meanings: Remílékún

In the last edition of this column, we brought you the meaning of “Àìná,” but today we’ll like to talk about the meaning of the name “Remílékún.” It could actually be a part of a longer name, such as “Omorèmílékún,” or something else of the sort, but the key part of the word, or name, is “Rèmílékún.”

“Rèmílékún” means “dry my tears.” Or, you could render it as “Relieve me of my loss,” usually referring to the loss of a close person, like a spouse, for instance.

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It means that the birth of such a child (usually if it’s male) came not long after the sad or painful loss of someone very close and very dear. The name is the expression of a “hope,” or even a prayer, to the effect that “I wish your arrival will bring me something to wipe away my sorrow for the loss of my dear one I experienced just before you were born.”

It’s a name that, therefore, shows how dear the Yoruba man and Yoruba people, generally, hold people that are very close relationship-wise.

Yoruba Names and Their Meanings: Abíódún

In our last edition of this column, “Yoruba Names and their Meanings,” we brought you the meaning of “Remílékún”, a fairly common Yoruba name.

Today, we bring you the name, “Abíódún” which actually means “Abísódún” or “Abí i sí ìgbà odún” – an expression that actually means “born at the time of festivities,” which could be any kind of festivities that the parental family of the new-born child holds dear or is involved in.

The kind of festivities, regardless, “odún” is a general word for all occasions and times of periodic festivity, especially annual festivities.

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So, when a child is born either immediately just before, or during, or immediately just after a period of festival, the parents could very well name the child “Abíódún” to signify this fact. Although “Abíódún” would appear to be more of a male’s name, don’t be surprised to find a female “Abíódún” also.

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