THE ORIKI – COGNOMEN OR PET NAMES
This is an attributive, expressing what a child is or what a child hope to become. If a male it is always expressive of something heroic, brave, or strong; it is a term of endearment. It is intended to have stimulating effect on the individual. Yorubas are most often particular to distinguish between the Oruko(name) and Oriki (cognomen).
Male Cognomen names:–
Ajagbe One who carries off after a fight
Ajani One who possesses after a struggle
Alabi A male that comes after several female births.
Female Cognomen names:–
Amoke Whom to know is to pet
Ayoka One who causes joy all around
Abebi One born after a supplication
Akanke To meet whom is to pet
Asabi One of select birth
Alake One to be petted if she survives
The use of these pet names is so common that many children are better known by them than their real names (abiso), that some do not even know their christening names especially when their attributives name is common. Children are addressed by their Oriki by their elders, especially when they wish to express a feeling of endearment for the child. Worthy of note is the fact that, some certain Abiso (christening) carry their own cognomen with them e.g. Adeniji (the crown has a shadow), the attributive to this is Apata (rock). Hence, Adeniji Apata, Apata ni iji – Adeniji is a rock, a rock that casts out its shadow.
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wow this is nice, have tried to search on Yoruba names and oriki now I find this. thanks God bless you.
I’m trying to get the associated poem for my oriki – Aremu. Are orikis documented somewhere? Or can you help?
Kindly help me Oriki Aremu. I will be do glad if you can send it me.
Thanks for your contribution