Top 100 South African Names

South Africa is a multicultural country where many languages are spoken making it filled with beautiful baby names.
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South Africa is known for its cultural diversity, so it’s natural that it includes a variety of names.

To illustrate this, their national anthem is sung in 5 languages! They are the most widely spoken from the 11 official languages spoken in South Africa, including Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English, respectively.

A culture with that many different facets is definitely one rich with culture and beautiful mindsets. So, if you want to find a baby name from South Africa that stands out, go on reading.

For more baby name inspiration, take a look at Egyptian Girls' Names and Top African Boys' Names.

South African Names For Boys

South African boys names is typically revolved around commendable moral characteristics or ferocious animals, a combination that makes them absolutely unique; check our list for some popular and common ones for boys.

1. Andre (Greek origin), a name meaning “man,” and is derived from the Greek “aner” or “andros,” which can also signify courageousness, strength, and being a warrior.

2. Arno (Germanic origin), a name meaning “eagle.” This name is pronounced AR-nou, and it plays on being as strong as an eagle, and it’s the first of our Afrikaans names.

3. Friedrich (Germanic origin), meaning “peaceful ruler.” “Frid” means peace, and “ric” means power or ruler.

4. Jabulani (Southern African origin), meaning “rejoice,” and is the first of the Zulu names on the list. It’s often shortened to “Jabu.”

5. Johan (Hebrew origin), meaning “God is gracious.”

6. Loyiso (Southern African origin), meaning “victory.”

7. Luan(Southern African origin), meaning “white lion” in Afrikaans. It’s pronounced LU-han.

8. Mandla (Southern African origin), meaning “strength” in Zulu and is quite a popular South African boy’s name that’s pronounced MAN-dhla.

9. Onkarabile (Southern African origin), meaning “God has answered our prayers," one of the most meaningful South African boy names.

10. Sandile (Southern African origin), meaning “we extended” in Ndebele, Xhosa, and Zulu.

11. Sbusiso (Southern African origin), among the names meaning “blessings” in South Africa.

12. Sifiso (Southern African origin), meaning “wish” in Zulu.

13. Sipho (Southern African origin), meaning “gift” from Zulu, Ndebele, and Xhosa.

14. Siyabonga (Southern African origin), meaning “we feel grateful to you” in Ndebele and Zulu.

15. Sizwe (Southern African origin), meaning “nation” in Xhosa.

16. Tau (Southern African origin), meaning “lion” in Sotho and Tswana.

17. Teboho (Southern African origin), meaning “thankfulness” in Sotho.

18. Thabani (Southern African origin), meaning “be happy” in Ndebele and Zulu.

19. Thabo (Southern African origin), meaning “happiness” in South Africa.

20. Themba (Southern African origin), meaning “faith,” “trust,” or “hope” in Ndebele, Xhosa, and Zulu.

21. Thulani (Southern African origin), meaning “be peaceful,” or “be quiet” in Zulu.

22. Tjaart (Greek origin), meaning “God-given.”

23. Xolani (Southern African origin), meaning “peace,” among the baby names one doesn't get enough of.

South African Names For Girls

There are many top South African names with beautiful meanings and significance.

Because of how girls are seen as precious diamonds, South African girls names often mean things that revolve around “grace”, “gift,” “love,” and “beautiful;" take a look at these gorgeous baby names for girls on our list.

24. Amahle (Southern African origin), meaning “the beautiful one” in Zulu and is among the most typical South African baby names. It’s pronounced Ah-MAH-she.

25. Annika (Southern African origin), meaning “grace” and derived from the Swedish “Anna” but tweaked to suit Afrikaans tongue and to be pronounced AHN-nee-kah.

26. Bakang (Southern African origin), meaning “Praise the Lord.”

27. Bonolo (Southern African origin), meaning “ease” in Sotho.

28. Busisiwe (Southern African origin), meaning “the one who’s blessed.”

29.Charlize (Germanic origin), meaning “free woman,” and is a popular Afrikaans name.

30. Elna (Southern African origin), meaning “beloved” and is an Afrikaans name derived from the Swedish name “Elin” and the Danish and Dutch name “Helena.” It’s pronounced ELL-nah.

31. Gugulethu (Southern African origin), meaning “our pride” or “our treasure," among the beautiful South African girl names.

32. Hlengiwe (Southern African origin), meaning “rescued,” “redeemed,” or “helped,” in Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, and Swazi, and it plays on a spiritual meaning.

33. Imka (Southern African origin), meaning “water," and is a popular Afrikaans name pronounced IEM-ka.

34. Kaya (Southern African origin), meaning “restful place,” and is a Zulu name pronounced KAH-yah.

35. Kholwa (Southern African origin), meaning “believe” and is found in both Ndebele and Zulu cultures. It’s pronounced Col-u-WHA.

36. Lerato (Southern African origin), meaning “love” in Sotho, pronounced LE-raa-too.

37. Lindiwe (Southern African origin), meaning “the one that was awaited” in Zulu, Swazi, and Ndebele. It’s pronounced as LIN-dee-we.

38. Liyabona (Southern African origin), meaning “the name of God’s eye.”

39. Marietjie (Southern African origin), meaning “wished-for child,” is an Afrikaans tweak of the name “Maria,” the name of Jesus’ mother in the bible.

40. Mbalenhle (Southern African origin), meaning “beautiful flower,” combining the last syllable “hle” like “Amahle,” and adds “imbali,” which means flower in Zulu.

41. Mbali (Southern African origin), meaning “flower” in Zulu.

42. Mieke (Dutch origin), meaning “water” in Afrikaans and is pronounced MY-khu.

43. Nandipha (Southern African origin), meaning “God’s gift.” It’s derived from the name of King Shaku Zulu’s mother, Nandi.

44. Nkosazana (Southern African origin), meaning “princess” in Xhosa.

45. Nomusa (Southern African origin), meaning “one who grants mercy” in Ndebele.

46. Nonhle (Southern African origin), meaning “beautiful woman.”

47. Nontle (Southern African origin), meaning “beautiful woman,” is a tweak on the name Nonhle.

48. Nosipho (Southern African origin), meaning “gift,” which is known as “isipho,” while the “no” is the Xhosa and Zulu prefix that signifies femininity.

49. Nosizwe (Southern African origin), meaning “feminine nation,” and is a Xhosa name derived from “isizwe,” which means nation.

50. Noxolo (Southern African origin), meaning “woman of peace” in Xhosa and Ndebele.

51. Nthabiseng (Southern African origin), meaning “make me happy.”

52. Ntakeko (Southern African origin), meaning “a blessing.”

53. Ntombi (Southern African origin), meaning “girl” in Zulu.

54. Ntombifuthi (Southern African origin), meaning “a girl once more.”

55. Ntombizodwa (Southern African origin), meaning “girls only” in Xhosa, Ndebele, and Zulu.

56. Palesa (Southern African origin), meaning “flower” in Sotho.

57. Puleng (Southern African origin), meaning “in the rain” in Sotho.

58. Retha (Greek/Latin origin), meaning “pearl.” This is a shortened Afrikaans version of Margaretha.

59. Sibongile (Southern African origin), meaning “we feel grateful” in Ndebele and Zulu.

60. Sibusisiwe (Southern African origin), “we feel blessed" in Swazi, Zulu, and Ndebele.

61. Thabisa (Southern African origin), meaning “to bring joy,” Thabisa is a Zulu name pronounced as Tha-BEE-sa.

62. Thandeka (Southern African origin), meaning “someone who’s loved” in Ndebele and Zulu.

63. Thandi (Southern African origin), meaning “the one who spreads love” and is a shortened version of Thandiwe.

64. Thandiwe (Southern African origin), meaning “loving one” in Ndebele, Zulu, and Xhosa. It’s derived from the word “thanda,” which means “to love.”

65. Thulile (Southern African origin), meaning “peaceful” or “quiet” in Zulu.

66. Tintswalo (Southern African origin), meaning “mercy.”

67. Zama (Southern African origin), meaning “the girl from…” and is often a prefix to the clan the woman is from. For example: Zamazizi or Zamantungwa.

68. Zodwa (Southern African origin), meaning “only." It’s a shortened version of “Ntombizodwa.”

Unisex South African Names

If you're wondering what the most beautiful names in South Africa are, here's a list of popular ones that are unisex, which means that whichever of them you like, you can give it to your next child regardless of their gender.

69. Akani (Southern African origin), meaning “to build.”

70. Amogelang (Southern African origin), meaning “to receive” or “accept.”

71. Anathi (Southern African origin), meaning “they are with us.”

72. Anele (Southern African origin), meaning “the last child” or “the one who is enough.”

73. Andile (Southern African origin), meaning “they have extended” and is a name you’ll find in Xhosa, Ndebele, and Zulu cultures.

74. Avethandwa (Southern African origin), meaning “truly loved” in Xhosa.

75. Ayanda (Southern African origin), meaning “they are increasing,” and is found in Zulu, Ndebele, and Xhosa cultures.

76. Bandile (South African origin), meaning “they have increased in number,” and is another choice among the popular Zulu names and can also be found in Ndebele culture.

77. Bokamoso (Southern African origin), meaning “the future."

78. Bokang (Southern African origin), meaning “praise” or “rejoice.”

79. Buhle (Southern African origin), meaning “beautiful” or “handsome” and comes from the root “hle.”

80. Jaivyn (African origin), meaning “light spirit.”

81. Katlego (Southern African origin), meaning “the successful one.”

82. Kganya (Southern African origin), meaning “light.”

83. Lethabo (Southern African origin), meaning “happiness.”

84. Letsatsi (Southern African origin), meaning “day” or “sun.”

85. Linathi (Southern African origin), meaning “one accompanied by God.”

86. Lungile (Southern African origin), meaning “good,” “right,” or “correct” in Zulu and Ndebele.

87. Minenhle (Southern African origin), meaning “beautiful day.”

88. Mpho (African origin), meaning “gift” in Tswana and is another one of the unisex options that suit boys and girls. It's pronounced as M-pho.

89. Oratile (Tswana origin), meaning “origin,” and is pronounced O-ra-TEE-le.

90. Rethabile (Southern African origin), meaning “we are happy.”

91. Sibabalwe (Southern African origin), meaning “the one who is blessed."

92. Sibonakaliso (Southern African origin), meaning “proof,” “token,” or “sign” in Zulu.

93. Simphiwe (Southern African origin), meaning “the one who’s been gifted to us.”

94. Sithembile (Southern African origin), meaning “we are trusting” in Zulu.

95. Thandeka (Southern African origin), meaning “lovable” in Zulu.

96. Thando (Southern African origin), meaning “to love” in Ndebele, Zulu, and Xhosa.

97. Thembeka (Southern African origin), meaning “a trustworthy person.”

98. Tumelo (Southern African origin), meaning “faith” in Tswana and Sotho.

99.  Unathi (Southern African origin), meaning “they are with us.”

100. Zola (Southern African origin), meaning “calm.” It comes from the Xhosa root “zola.”

Kidadl has lots of great baby names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for South African Names then why not take a look at Caribbean Names, or for something different take a look at Girls' Names That Mean Queen.

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