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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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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