200 Nigerian Last Names: With Their Meanings

Forget the middle-of-the-road monikers and choose Nigerian last names.

With over 250 ethnic groups speaking over 500 dialects, is it any wonder that Nigerian last names are as rich and varied as the country? If you want something different for your little bundle, Nigerian surnames are a great starting point.

You may also be trying to reconnect with your Nigerian heritage or are eager to learn more about the spiritual, cultural, and practical meanings of Nigerian family names.

From its colorful costumes, abundant wildlife and forests, and bustling urban areas, Nigeria has everything you could want when starting your naming journey. So, let’s dive in and explore the vibrant world of Nigerian family names.

200 Wonderful Nigerian Surnames

From Yoruba to Igbo last names, we deliver the ultimate list of Nigerian family names.

  1. Abara – some Nigerian last names are short and sweet, like Abara, meaning “God.”
  2. Abdul – a classic Arabic boy’s name meaning “servant.”
  3. Abdullahi – a variant of the Arabic Abdullah, meaning “God’s servant.”
  4. Abel – a biblical Hebrew name meaning “breath” and “vapor.”
  5. Abimbola – Yoruba last names are as pretty as they are descriptive – Abimbola means “born with wealth.”
  6. Abiola – another Yoruba surname, meaning “born with honor and wealth.“
  7. Abraham – this Hebrew name represents the founder of Jewish people and means “father of a multitude.”
  8. Abubakar – this name of Arabic origin means “father of a young camel.”
  9. Adams – another Hebrew Nigerian surname meaning “earth.”
  10. Adamo – is derived from the Hebrew Adam with the same meaning and origin.
  11. Adebayo – a traditional Yoruba name meaning “he came in a joyful time,” “king/crown,” and “loyalty.”
  12. Adeoye – a noble Nigerian last name meaning “the crown of honor.”
  13. Adepoju – a unisex Nigerian name meaning “the crown or royalty has become ubiquitous.”
  14. Adesina – a gender-neutral Nigerian name meaning “my coming has opened the way.”
  15. Adewale – a cool Yoruba name meaning “the crown or royalty has come home.”
  16. Adeyemi – a common name among the Yoruba tribe, meaning “worthy to be king.”
  17. Agbo – this simple Nigerian name means “an elder of high rank.”
  18. Agu – this Nigerian surname signifies strength and means “tiger.”
  19. Aguta – the first of many Igbo last names – Aguta means “to have plenty.”
  20. Agwuegbo – the second Igbo family name on the list, meaning “the hardship is over.”
  21. Ahmed – from Arabic, meaning “highly praised” and “one who constantly thanks God.”
  22. Akerele – a badass name meaning “one who has been tough from a young age.”
  23. Akinola – a pretty Nigerian name meaning “valor” and “possesses dignity and honor.”
  24. Akintola – Nigerian family names have emotive meanings, like Akintola, meaning “valor is sufficient for honor.”
  25. Akinyemi – this powerful Yoruba name means “fated to be a warrior.”
  26. Akpabio – a cool Nigerian name meaning “risk-taker, wealth, and shyness” or “noble leader.”
  27. Aku – a simple Nigerian name meaning “wealth.”
  28. Alabi – derived from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, meaning “a rarity, gem, or not easily come by.”
  29. Alana – in Nigerian, this cute surname means “precious, valuable, and little rock.”
  30. Alaneme – this popular Nigerian name possibly means “handsome and kind.”
  31. Ali – with Arabic roots, this Nigerian name means “exalted, eminent, high, and noble.”
  32. Alison – derived from Old French and German and means “noble and exalted.”
  33. Aliu – a popular Muslim name in Nigeria, meaning “noteworthy, distinctive, and remarkable.”
  34. Amadu – derived from the French “amadouer,” meaning “to caress and allure.”
  35. Amaechi – a common name among the Igbo tribes, meaning “who knows tomorrow.”
  36. Amos – a Hebrew name from the Old Testament, meaning “to carry” and “carried by God.”
  37. Anenih – an unusual Nigerian name meaning “the name of God.”
  38. Anthony – derived from the Latin Antonius, meaning “God’s gift” and “God is gracious.”
  39. Asaju – a commanding Yoruba name for the “leader or head of warriors.”
  40. Attah – the Christian name of a Nigerian king, meaning “father or leader.”
  41. Augustine – derived from the Latin Augustus, meaning “great or magnificent.”
  42. Awolowo – a traditional Yoruba name meaning “the oracle has dignity.”
  43. Azeez – a cute Muslim name meaning “dear.”
  44. Azi – Nigerian surnames are rarely shorter than Azi, meaning “youth.”
  45. Baba – the perfect Nigerian name for kids “born on Thursday.”
  46. Babangida – a prominent African name meaning “home-ruler” or “master of the household.”
  47. Babatunde – this Yoruba tribe name means “father has returned” or “father returns.”
  48. Bala – the perfect Nigerian name for a child “born on Wednesday.”
  49. Balogun – fewer West African names inspire fear than Balogun meaning “warlord” or “meet at war.”
  50. Bankole – this quirky Yoruba name means “build a house for/with me.”
  51. Bassey – a popular unisex Nigerian name meaning “God.”
  52. Bello – this uncommon African name means “helper or assistant.”
  53. Benjamin – this popular Hebrew and Arabic name means “son of the right hand.”
  54. Benson – a patronymic English name meaning “son of Ben.”
  55. Bolaji – a beautiful Yoruba name meaning “wakes with wealth.”
  56. Bosede – the perfect African name for children “born on Sunday.”
  57. Chidubem – a classic religious Nigerian name meaning “may God lead me.”
  58. Chima – a gender-neutral name of Nigerian Igbo origin, meaning “God knows.”
  59. Chuku – this spiritual Igbo name means “great spirit” and “the first great cause.”
  60. Chukwu – a rare Igbo name meaning “the most high” and “the Almighty.”
  61. Dada – a quirky Yoruba name meaning “the one with wavy or curly hair.”
  62. Daniel – many Nigerian family names are Hebrew, like Daniel, meaning “God is my judge.”
  63. Danjuma – the perfect Nigerian name for children “born on Friday.”
  64. Daramola – this unusual Yoruba name means “one who is good or suited to the high estate.”
  65. Edeh – according to some, this Nigerian name means “brave, fearless and legend.”
  66. Egbe – in the Igbo language, Egbe is the name of a “kite.”
  67. Ekpo – this short and sweet Nigerian name possibly means “ghost” and “masquerade or costume.”
  68. Elijah – straight from the Old Testament, this Hebrew name means “Jehovah is my God.”
  69. Emanuel – an alternate spelling of Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us” in Hebrew.
  70. Emem – this pretty Igbo name means “peace.”
  71. Esuola – an unusual Yoruba surname meaning “the locust of wealth.”
  72. Essien – a powerful Nigerian name meaning “a child who takes charge of outside matters.”
  73. Etienam – this rare Nigerian name means “doer of good” and “benevolent.”
  74. Eze – such a short Igbo name with the powerful meaning of “king.”
  75. Ezekiel – a traditional Hebrew name meaning “strength of God.”
  76. Falade – of Yoruba descent, meaning “he who owns the oracle owns the crown.”
  77. Folorunsho – this sophisticated Yoruba name means “under God’s protection.”
  78. Francis – derived from the Latin Franciscus, meaning “Frenchman, or free man.”
  79. Friday – this playful Nigerian name comes from the Norse god Frigg and means “frigg’s day.”
  80. Gabriel – a popular Hebrew name meaning “God is my strength.”
  81. Garba – this Sanskrit name derives from Garbha, meaning “womb.”
  82. Gbadimosi – of Nigerian origin, meaning “one who puts something great together.”
  83. George – derived from the Greek Georgios, meaning “earth-worker” and “farmer.”
  84. Guh – a commonly found Hebrew name in Nigeria, meaning “gift of God.”
  85. Habibu – this Arabic name translates as “beloved.”
  86. Haladu – of Arabic origin, meaning “those who came one after another.”
  87. Hamza – this legendary Arabic name means “lion and strong.”
  88. Haruna – an Islamic/Arabic surname meaning “springtime vegetables.”
  89. Hassan – a popular Arabic boy’s name meaning “handsome.”
  90. Ibe – possibly the shortest of Igbo last names, meaning “if others will allow.”
  91. Ibeh – this Igbo name means “one related to a friend, family member, or acquaintance.”
  92. Ibrahim – is the Arabic version of Abraham, meaning “father of many.”
  93. Idris – while the original meaning is “interpreter” in Arabic, it also means “studious and smart.”
  94. Idoko – this descriptive Nigerian name means “child who has gone to the farm.”
  95. Igbinedion – a common name to the Nigerian Benin tribe, meaning “seeking refuge in an elder’s protection.”
  96. Igwe – this short and snappy Nigerian name means “sky.”
  97. Ihejerika – a classic Igbo name meaning “the one that I have is greater.”
  98. Ikande – this Nigerian surname signifies “someone with ample love.”
  99. Isaac – a cool Hebrew name meaning “one who laughs or rejoices.”
  100. Ismail – in Hebrew, Ismail means “heard by God.”
  101. Jacobs – this trending name belongs to a famous Nigerian actor and means “to follow/behold” and “supplanter.”
  102. James – derived from the Latin Jacobus, meaning “supplanter” and “replacer.”
  103. John – from the Hebrew Yohanan, meaning “God is gracious” or “graced by God.”
  104. Jonah – this biblical Hebrew name comes from Yonah and means “dove or pigeon.”
  105. Jonathan – a shortened version of the Hebrew Yehonatan, meaning “God has given.”
  106. Joseph – another biblical Hebrew name meaning “God will give.”
  107. Kalu – an Igbo name sometimes spelled Kanu, meaning “god of thunder.”
  108. Kareem – rooted in Arabic, Kareem means “gracious and generous.”
  109. Kayode – this Yoruba family name means “he who brings joy.”
  110. Kazah – this classic Nigerian name means “God” or “God’s grace.”
  111. Kikelomo – a cute Nigerian name meaning “child destined to be pampered.”
  112. Kporaro – some Nigerian family names are cute, like Kporaro, meaning “progress.”
  113. Lateef – this alternate spelling of Latif means “gentle and kind” in Arabic.
  114. Lawal – this Arabic name seems to have many meanings, including “handsome, courage, peace, and shy.”
  115. Mamman – possibly derived from the French “maman,” meaning “mother.”
  116. Matthew – with strong biblical roots, this Hebrew name means “gift of God.”
  117. Meremikwu – a beautiful Igbo name full of optimism, meaning “to become better” or “rise higher.”
  118. Michael – this popular Yoruba surname means “who is like God” in Hebrew.
  119. Mohammed – this male Arabic name means “praiseworthy” and “commendable.”
  120. Monday – derived from the Anglo-Saxon “mōnandæg,” meaning “the moon’s day.”
  121. Moses – this classic biblical name means “to pull or draw out of water” in Hebrew.
  122. Muktar – this cool Arabic name means “chosen.”
  123. Musa – an Arabic variation of the Hebrew Moses, meaning “drawn out of the water.”
  124. Mustapha – this powerful Arabic boy’s name means “chosen, selected, and appointed.”
  125. Nathaniel – one of many Nigerian surnames derived from Hebrew – Nathaniel means “God has given.”
  126. Njoku – the name of two Yam Deities of the Igbo people.
  127. Nnadi – another religious Nigerian name meaning “my God is alive” or “my father is alive.”
  128. Nwadike – the perfect name for children of courageous parents because it means “child of the brave.”
  129. Nwaeze – comprised of “nwa,” meaning “child,” and “eze,” meaning “king” – means “child of a king.”
  130. Nwafor – a unique Nigerian name for a “child born on the day of Afor market.”
  131. Nwaigbo – a gender-neutral Nigerian name meaning “child of the Igbo.”
  132. Obasi – this Igbo name means “in honor of the Supreme God.”
  133. Obi – a short and sweet Igbo name meaning “heart.”
  134. Obiaka – means “good judge and genius” and upholds the value that every Igbo family is great.
  135. Obiakpani – an unusual Igbo surname meaning “end of suspense” and “the heart rests.”
  136. Obianagha – this warrior Nigerian name refers to “someone who came to fight.”
  137. Odoemene – a rare Igbo surname meaning “yellow reluctance.”
  138. Ojo – a strange name referring to a challenging birth where the umbilical cord is wrapped around a neck.
  139. Okeke – an Igbo surname for a man born on Eke (fasting) day.
  140. Okere – another unique Igbo name meaning “son born on orie (second day) market day.”
  141. Okon – some Nigerian last names are meaningful, like Okon, meaning “born at night.”
  142. Okoro – an edgy Igbo name meaning “greatness,” especially in one’s character.
  143. Okoturo – this popular Igbo name possibly means “great companion” and “trustworthy.”
  144. Okpara – of Nigerian origin, meaning “big man,” “rich man,” and “man of wealth.”
  145. Okusanya – of Yoruba origin, meaning “the god of wealth has rewarded me for my sufferings.”
  146. Oladele – a meaningful Yoruba name meaning “wealth has come home.”
  147. Oladoyinbo – this gender-neutral name of Nigerian origin means “intelligence, optimism, and guidance.”
  148. Olanrewaju – a cool name of Yoruba origin, meaning “wealth is the future.”
  149. Olowe – this Yoruba name means “a person capable of calling many people for help.”
  150. Oni – a wonderfully descriptive name for someone “born on sacred ground.”
  151. Onyema – this common Nigerian surname means “who knows.”
  152. Oseni – the perfect twin name meaning “second half of a twin” in Yoruba.
  153. Osondu – in Igbo, it means “race of life.”
  154. Owayale – another cool Yoruba surname meaning “the river goddess came home.”
  155. Oyinlola – names starting with O are descriptive – Oyinlola means “wealth is sweet.”
  156. Patrick – derived from the Roman Patricius, meaning “father” and “nobleman.”
  157. Peter – derived from the Greek Petros, meaning “rock” or “stone.”
  158. Popoola – meaning “road to the high estate,” this Yoruba name is cute.
  159. Prest – derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “preost,” meaning “priest.”
  160. Rabiu – in Arabic, it means “fourth child” and “intelligent” in Nigerian.
  161. Rafiu – another Arabic name popular in Nigeria, meaning “exalted” and “to raise or lift.”
  162. Raheem – this classic Mulsim and Arabic name means “emphatic, merciful, and compassionate.”
  163. Raimi – this Arabic name means “compassionate” and “fond.”
  164. Razzaq – one of the names of God in Islam, meaning “provider or sustainer.”
  165. Saadu – derived from the Sanskrit Sadhu, meaning “straight, right, and leading straight to your goal.”
  166. Sami – derived from the Arabic verb “to throw,” Sami means “good marksman.”
  167. Samuel – a masculine name of Hebrew origin, meaning “God has heard” and “name of God.”
  168. Sampson – derived from the Hebrew Samson, the perfect name for bright kids and means “sun.”
  169. Sanusi – an important Islamic name meaning “something great created by Allah.”
  170. Shehu – in Arabic, it means “great scholar in religious matters.”
  171. Simon – a Greek and Hebrew name meaning “listen to or hearing” and “flat nose.”
  172. Solomon – derived from the Hebrew word “shalom,” meaning “peace.”
  173. Stephen – this popular Greek name means “crown” and “garland.”
  174. Sulaimom – an Arabic version of the Hebrew Solomon, meaning “peace.”
  175. Sunday – a cheerful Nigerian name of Norse origin, meaning “of the sun goddess Sunna.”
  176. Tanimu – a unique Arabic name for a “boy born on Monday.”
  177. Taiwo – this Yoruba name means “the first twin to taste the world.”
  178. Tersoo – used mainly by the Tiv people of the Nigerian Benue state, meaning “father’s love.”
  179. Timothy – is derived from the Greek Timotheos, meaning “God’s honor.”
  180. Tom – a short form of the Aramaic Thomas, meaning “twin.”
  181. Tyjani – possibly derived from the Ghanaian name Tijani, meaning “crown or crowning.”
  182. Uba – a short and sweet African name meaning “father and lord.”
  183. Uche – this Igbo name means “God’s will” or “God’s intention.”
  184. Uchenna – like many religious Nigerian names, this one means “the wisdom of God.”
  185. Udo – a short and meaningful Igbo name meaning “peace.”
  186. Ugochukwu – with many ethnicities, Nigeria is rich in culture – means “crown or glory of God.”
  187. Ukpabi – is rarely used by the Igbo people, probably because it means “death.”
  188. Umaru – derived from the West African Umar, meaning “flourishing and populous.”
  189. Umeh – a short form of the Igbo name Umeaku, meaning “tragic loss of property.”
  190. Umunna – this Nigerian girl’s name means “human, open, and generous.”
  191. Unigwe – possibly means “heaven” in Igbo culture but could also mean “wisdom, faith, and influence.”
  192. Usman – an Urdu variation of the Arabic name Uthman, meaning “the chosen one.”
  193. Uthman – this classic Arabic name means “wise, most powerful, and dragon cub.”
  194. Victor – one of the earliest Latin Christian names, meaning “winner or conqueror.”
  195. Vincent – this English and French name derives from Latin and means “prevailing.”
  196. Wahab – an edgy Arabic name meaning “servant of the bestower.”
  197. Williams – derived from Old German, meaning “will” and “helmet protector.”
  198. Yakubu – this Swahili name means “supplanter.”
  199. Yusef – an Arabic and Islamic name meaning “God increases.”
  200. Zaabu – sometimes spelled Zabu, this Nigerian name means gold.

Nigerian Last Names FAQs

Which Nigerian Last Names Are Igbo?

Many Nigerian last names are Igbo, including Chuku, Udo, Osondu, Okaturo, Ibeh, and Aguta. Many other names are also Igbo, like Amaechi, Meremikwu, Kalu, and Ihejerika.

Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark has always been fascinated by the stories behind names, their meanings, and the rich histories they carry. It's a curiosity that has grown into a full-fledged passion project, engaging him in the study of how names shape our identities and reflect our cultures. Since stepping away from his previous career, Mark has delved deeper into this fascinating realm. He spends his days unraveling these narratives and sharing his findings on Honey Name. He does all this amidst the tranquility of England's rivers and canals from his charming widebeam barge. His constant companions on this journey are his wife, Julie, and their adorable King Charles Cavalier, Eric.