Yoruba names are much more than mere identification tags, much more than mere "luggage labels"; each has a reason (a) for being just what it is; and (b) for being given to a particular individual. Yoruba names embody circumstances of birth, history, family, religion, or some other equally pertinent facts relevant to that particular individual bearing the name. Yoruba names are, in fact, in most cases contractions of whole sentences. "Atoloye," for example [see above list], is but the shortened form of
A to ni oye," and could be amplified into "Eniti o to lati fi je oje= He to whom a Chieftancy is but right and proper".
"Atoloye" is perhaps more properly amplified into "A to ni oye", i.e ‘’Eniti o to ni oye", where "to" is a verb that means "to be durable" The only question here is, can this apply to a person on his accession to the Chieftaincy, at which time nobody could possibly know what the future held in sure for the new Chief?" On the other hands, the salutation to a Yoruba chief, from the moment of his accession, is "Ade a pe l'ori, Bata a pe l'ese, olori a sise ebi, Esin oba a ma j'oko!-which is to say-"Long will the crown remain on the chief's head; long will the shoes remain on the chief's feet; the chief's wives will bear children; the chief's virile member will always be fully active (literally: the chief's horse will eat fodder), "at a time when no one knows what the gods have planned for the chief. By the same token, the derivation of "Atoloye" as "He who is durable as Chief" (with 'durable' being used in the sense outlined abive), is perhaps to be preferred
All Yoruba names are unisex expects the one start with Akin, baba, iya/ ye and the orikis
"Olu Orun" = "Olorun "= (The Chief /the owner or heaven)
Olu(ti o) ntun iwa se = God who remodels character in being.
Olu (ti o) npa iwa da = God who changes character (from bad to good, implying the Regenerative Power of God.)
Adenekan = Ade ni eniti o nkan = Crown (or honor) comes only to the chosen.
Adedoyin= Ade di oyin = (My) crown had become (sweet as) honey.
Adeyinka= Ade yi mi ka = (My) crown surrounds me: i.e. , all those things associated with a king's crown-prestige, honor, authority, etcetera-surround me.
Adeniji= Ade ni iji = (My) crown has a shade (under which I rest).
Adetoro= Ade mi toro = (My) crown is without blemish (is unruffled).
Oyerinde= Oye rin de = High rank has walked in (to me).
Oyesiku= Oue si ileku(n) = High rank has open the door (to all good things).
Oyerola= Oye to ola = High rank is equivalent to (i. e., is such that it has brought) honor (or authority, dignity).
Okunowo(Okun ni owo )= Okun ni owo-The strings (of beads) commands respect.
Okuneye= Okun ni eye = The string (of beads) commands adoration.
Okunbajo= Oku(n) ba eni (pe) jo = The string of beads gather together .ith us.
Here, "Okun" is the string of beads, one of the insignias of the powerful.
Olayinka= Ola yi mi ka =Honor (authority, dignity) surrounds me.
Olatunde= Ola tun de. i. e., tun (pada) de = Honor has returned again.
Olabopo=Ola bo si ipo (re) = Honor has returned to its rightful place.
Ogundele= Ogun (the Orisa) has reached (his) home.
Ogundare(Ogun da are) = Ogun has found in my favor, acquitted me.Ogunsola= Ogun se ola = Ogun has created (ie. e. clothed me with ) honor.
Ogundehin= Ogun dehin (wa) = Ogun has turned back to come to us.
Egunleti= Egun ni eti = The Ancestral Spirit (Rgun) has ears (to hear us through this baby)
Ojediran= Oje di (ohun) iran (diran) = The cult of the Ancestors has become part of our family heritage (something handed down from one generation to the next, down the line forever and a day.
Abegunrin= Eniti o mba Egun rin = One who walks with the Ancestral Spirit ( i.e. , who communes with the Ancestral Spirit).
Sangowanwa= Sango wa mi wa = Sango has come looking for me.
Sangodijo= Sango has closed the ranks (of our group).
Sangolaja= Sango la ija = Sango has made peace (has settled the dispute).
Oyagbaro= Oya gbo aro = Oya has heard our grief (and turned it into joy).; [Oya is the wife of Sango]
Oyabunmi= Oya bun emi = Oya has given me (this child).
OyatundeOya tun de = Oyahas come back again.
Oyagogun= Oya to ogun = Oya to ogun = Oya is (in herself) effective magic.
Ayangbami= Ayan gba emi = Ayan has accepted me [could also mean:
Ayan has saved me(from childlessness).]
Ayandiran= Ayan di [ohun) iran(diran) = Ayan has become an heirloom; i. e., the worship of Ayan (the patron god of drumming and drumming styles)has become something handed down from generation to generation in our family.
Alayande=Eniti o nsin Ayan de = The devotee of Ayan has arrived.
Ayanlaja = Ayan la ija = Ayan has made peace, replaced strife with concord.
Fatoyinbo= Ifa to Oyinbo = Ifa is to be equated with Oyinbo. Here, "Oyinbo" is not [Note "not" is underlined] the white man," but the Yoruba child of Yoruba parents who at birth is light-skinned, and is held to bring good fortune to himself and to all connected with him.
This Yoruba name is salutary reminder that the most obvious-and seemingly correct amplification of Yoruba compound words is just as likely as not to lead us astray, and
Fabunmi = Ifa bun emi = Ifa has given me [this child].
Fagbemi = Ifa gbe emi+ Ifa is on my side. [Ifa supports me].Falana = Ifa la ona = Ifa has opened (or has shown)the way.
Odutola = Odu to ola = Odu is equivalent to (is worthy of) honor. (Odu can be rep[ace with, Ifa, Ogun, Ade etc)
Odun eye =Odu ni eye = Odu intrinsically possesses adoration (is such that men automatically adore and worship it).
Odulate = Odu la ote =Odu has made conspiracy ineffective (has cut conspiracy open as with a knife).
Awotunde = Awo tun de = The mysteries (Awo) have a new lease on life (or the Adept=Awo-has returned again).
Awolaja = Awo la ija = The adept (by his birth) has brought peace.
Awolowo = Awo ni owo = Rhe adept has reverence (shown to him; or The Mysteries are holy, sacred).
Another names are those or the types the star with ‘a bi’ meaning ‘born to’
Abiola =Born during the time of a festival.
Abiola = Born into wealth
Abiona = Born on the road
Abioye = Born after the installation as a chief or a king
Abidemi = Born before the arrival of the father.
Abidekun = The last born ( No child is born after the child)
Abodunrin = Born when a festival is approaching.
Note; These names are unisex names.
Baba ibeji……… Twins father
Iya ibeji………….Twins mother
Iya ibeta……….Triple’s mother
Baba Ibeta……..Triple’s father
Omo meji /ibeji /ejire (eji ore)
Kedunwa = A child born before a set of twins. (this name is given after the birth of a set of twin)
Taiwo = The first child of a set of twin/ triplet
Kehinde = the second child of a set of twin/ triplet
Idowu = Child born immediately after a set of twin/ triplet
Etaoko / Idowu.. the third child of a set of triplet
Ato = .The only girl in a set of a triplet.
Alaba = .Born after Idowu
Idogbe = Born after Alaba
Idoha = .Born after Idogbe
Kokorugudu. = Born after Idoha
Other important names are ‘Oruko amutorunwa’ (brought from heaven names)
Note; names under twins family are oruko amutorunwa.
Ajayi. = Child faced down immediately after the birth
Ojo = A baby boy born with umbilical cord round his neck
Aina = A baby girl born with umbilical cord around her neck (note; Egba people give Aina to baby boy)
Ilori = Child born without mother menstruates
Joojo.. = The child who his or her mother dies immediately after the delivery of the baby.
Olugbodi. = The child that born with six fingers.
Oke. = The child who folded with membrane (sac like) during birth.
Oni. = (today) The baby who cries always
Ola. = (tomorrow) Child born after Oni
Otunla. = (day after tomorrow) Child born after Ola
Babatunde. = Baby boy born after the death of one’s grandfather
Yetunde/Iyabo/Yewande = Baby girl born after the death of grand mother
Babarimisa = The child whose father dies after the delivery
Yeyerimisa = The child whose mother dies after the delivery (not that day but befor the naming ceremony).
Abiiba = The child who did not meet his father.
Abiara.. the child who did not know his/her father.
Oriki (Praise name)
Akanbi = A male child born after many female children (the parent are looking for female)
Alabi. = A male child born after many female children or born by another wife after the first wife have given birth to many children.
Ajani. = A baby boy born after the dispute between the parents settled.
Akano. = A male child born when parent are looking for female
Akanni = As Akano
..Alake. = Baby girl born after many male children or born by another wife after many children by another woman.
Ajoke. = Born to be taking care.
Ajoke = We are to take care of this together.
Asabi = Baby girl born after many boys or special baby to parent
Alamu = same as Alabi.
Another set of names are ;
Ojuolape = Those to take care of this child are available or completed
Omobaonikee = The child meets those to take care of him her
Onikeepe = Those to take care of him/her are completed
Onipede. = The child born after a disaster in a family (the child to plead to the family)
: "Bo ku o te" meaning "If you die you disgrace yourself", revealing that this woman had had "abiku" (short- lived) children prior to this one
"Biobaku," i. e., "Bi (iwo) ko ba ku," or in English: "If (you, or ) this one does not die" an inconclusive phrase requiring a "then" part to complete it; a "then" part of the name of "My heart will rejoice", or "God will have heard my prayers," or "My sorrows have ended, " or some such phrase".
Aiyédun – Life is sweet
Aiyédun, = Life is sweet, don’t go (die) again
Aiyélagbe = in the world we live, do not go
A já – Dog, do not break the rope, sorry, do not go
Ajéigbe Wealth is not lost
Aklsatán – Rag has finished, do not use more rags
Akújí What are you dead, awakens
Akúji, knife sorts of sleight of hand
Apara . He who go to the heaven and return
Aybrunbò Go to Heaven and back
Bánjókó - senta-se comigo
Bánjókó, sits/rests/stay with me
Dúródólú, = wait and see good things
Dúrójaiyé = wait and enjoy life
Dúrorike -= Stay, thou shall be spoiled (in this world) (àbíkú name for a girl)
Dúrósomo stay and do child