All children need not be “born with a name” but all must be named. Names are not given at random because of their euphony or merely because a distinguished member of the family or of the community was so named, but a set of purpose from circumstance connected with the child itself, or with reference to the family fortunes at the time etc. Hence the saying –
Ile la wo kia to so mo loruko (the state of the house must first be considered before naming a child)

The names then are always significant of something either with references to the child itself or to the family. A child may have two or more christening names given it one by each parent or grandparents if living or by any elderly member of the family. 

These names are mainly categorized thus:

Names having reference to the child,

Names having reference to the family,

Names compounded of Ade, Olu, etc.,

Names compounded of names of deity worshipped,

Names compounded of Akin,

Compounds of Oje,

Compounds of Ode,

Compounds of Oso/Efun

Names having reference to the child itself:

Ayodele Joy enters the house

Morenike I have someone to pet

Moseb”olatan Joy hitherto despaired of

Ibiyemi Good birth becomes/befits me

Ibiyinka Surrounded by children

Names having reference to the family:

Ogundalenu Our home has been devastated by war

Otegbeye Warfare deprived us of our honour

Kurumi Death has improvised me

Ogunmola The   river Ogun took away our honour

Iyapo Many trails

Names compounded of Ade, Olu, Ola and Oye. These names originally belonged to one of high or princely birth, but are now used indiscriminately:

Adebiyi The crown has begotten this

Adegbite The crown demands a throne

Olaleye Honour comes fittingly/ honour is full of dignity

Oyeyemi Title becomes me/ title befits me

Oyewole Title enters the house i.e. where the parent has a title

Ade does not always signify a crown, it may be taken from the de to arrive, it may then mean – coming e.g.:

Adebisi or My coming cause an increase

Adesina My coming opens the way

Adepoju The coming has become too much

Names compounded of names of deity worshipped:

Sangobunmi Sango (the god of thunder and lightning) gave me this

Ogundipe Ogun (the god of war) consoles me with this

Omiyale The god of visits the house

Oba –bunmi The king (i.e. god of small of pox) gave me this

Fafumke Ifa gave me this to pet

Osuntoki Osun is worthy of praise or honour

Compounds  of Akin:

Akin which also means strength is compounded with names mostly for males:

Akinyele A strong one befits the house

Akinwale A strong one comes home

Akinrole The strong holds the house

Compounds of Oje:
These names are peculiar to the children of Elewi of Ado. Names peculiar to the royal family of Oyo.

Male: Afonja, Tela, Ajuan
Female: Ogboja, Siye, Akere

Compounds of Ode: name peculiar to children of Ogun or Erinle worshippers

Odewale Ode comes to the house i.e. visits the family

Odemuyiwa Ode has brought me this

Compounds of Oso/Efun: shows that the family is a worshipper of Orisa Oko i.e. god of the fields.

Osodipe Oso has granted me a consolation

Osodeke Oso has become a shield/shelter

Efunsetan Efun has done it (by granting the child)

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Christening the child

The naming of a child is an important affair amongst the Yorubas, it is always attended with some ceremonies. These of course differ amongst the different tribes. Traditionally naming usually takes place on the 9th day of birth for male and eighth day for female, Muslim children of either sex are invariably named on the 8th day.
It is on the day of this ceremony that the is for the first time brought out of the home hence the term applied to the event –  ko omo jade (Bringing out the child). The mother of the baby is also expected to have not come out of the house until that day.
The ceremony is thus performed:
the members of the family and friends having assembled early in the morning of the day, the child and its mother being brought out  of the house, a jugular of water is tossed up to the roof (all Yoruba houses being low roofed then) and the baby is brought under the eaves to catch the spray, the baby yells, and the relative shout for joy. The child is now named by the parent and elderly members of the family, hence the festivities continues follow.
In some cases there is also the offering of sacrifice and consultation of the household oracle on the child’s behalf.

Yoruba Names
There are three sets of names a child can possibly have, although not every child can have the threeː one at least will be inapplicable.
The Amutorunwa i.e the name the child is born with.
The Abiso i.e the christening name.
The Oriki i.e the cognomen or attributive name.

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