O

 

 

 

OBI [Obi = Heart or palace]

Interpretation: This name is never given on its own. Many names that are rooted either in “heart” or “lineage” eventually end up in this short corner. Even when such ones as OBINNA want to assert their distinctness, folks still drag them down to Obí (palace/lineage) Obî (heart). Interestingly, even when women go by the name OBIOMA, there are rarely called “Obi”--folks say it full. [See also OBINNA, OBIORA, OBIEZE, etc.]

Gender: Mostly male

 

OBIAMAKA [Obi amaka = The heart/lineage is great]

Interpretation: There are two sides to this story: If the name-giver means that the new lineage they are creating is great, then that’s a male child there. If the couple agree on the affairs of the heart, then that’s a baby girl right there. Thus, we actually have two names here: Obíamaka and Obîamaka. Unfortunately, toning is not yet popularly embraced by the generality of Igbo writers and speakers, who simply couldn’t be bothered with a yet to be rigidly structured and respected rules of toning.

DWV: No dialectical or written differences throughout Igboland, but the toning will soon change all that. However, we have such shortened versions as OBI (male); AMAKA (Female)

Gender: Both --depending on meaning)

 

OBIAKO

 

OBIAZO

 

OBIALO [Obi alo = The mind is not at rest.]

Interpretation: Whatever the nature of the worry, either to have the desired sex or just to have the woman and child go their separate way, the arrival of the child has put minds at rest. Hence, the mind that was sent the mind wondering on all sorts of “what if,” is now back to its normal frequency.

 

OBIAJULU

 

OBIECHETE [Obi echete = The mind/heart remembers] Interpretation, another victim of shortening names, this could mean that the heart retains good deeds [Obi na-echete ife oma], but we may never know.

 

OBIECHILE [Obi echile = May ther lineage never cease (for lack of heirs)]

Interpretation: An obvious celebration of the arrival of a male child, who would continue the lineage. See also AMAEFULE, OBIEFULE

DWV: OBIECHI, OBIECHILA, OBIECHINA, OBIECHINE

Gender: Strictly male

 

OBIEFULE [Obi efule = May ther lineage never become lost]

Interpretation: Another celebration of the arrival of a male child, who would continue the lineage. See also AMAEFULE, OBIECHILE

DWV: OBIEFULA, OBIEFUNA, OBIEFUNE

Gender: Strictly male

  

OBIOMA: [Obi oma = Good heart]

Interpretation: Every child has an innocent heart, with the exception of an established ogbanje (spirit child). Therefore, it is most likely that the name-giver is thinking about the “good heart” of family and friends who has rallied round the young couple. Hence, this name might be a sort of “thank you” to all those who offered prayers in the quiet of their presumably more comfortable lives. 

DWV: Pronunciation vary slightly from one major dialectical group to another, but this is the only spelling presently available.

Gender: Female

 

OBINNA [Obi nna = The mind of the father]

Gender: Male

 

OBINWANNE [Obi nwanne = The mind of a brother]

Gender: Male

 

OBIORA [Obi ora = The wish/mind of the community] 

 

OBIECHINA [See AMAECHINA]

 

OBUADAZIE [Obi adazie = The family is now balanced] This is possible a child of the "right" sex coming to complete the "wrong" sex siblings. According to Maazi Chinyeaka Okoli, it is given in situation where the number of males fall short of expectation of the family, and the resultant child is a male. You can imagine the joy of parents, at the arrival of a male child.

DWV: OBIADAZIE [Obu is Oka (Awka) dialect for Obi]

Gender: Male

 

OGBUAGU [Ogbu agu = Slayer of Leopard] Interpretation: The name implies that the child is descended from heroes, who might have save the community from the attack of leopards or lions, or who might have performed a feat deemed extraordinary at the time.

Gender: Male

  

ODERAA [O deraa (o dechego) = Once it is written (it is set for life)]

Interpretation: This name is modern; it is rooted more in Igbo Christianity than in Igbo cultural creed. The Igbo do not have the concept of a God who writes; this is a Euro-Christian fairytale. Unfortunately, some parents with fertile imagination bought into it. A good name, it emphasizes the meaning of destiny.

DWV: ODERA [See also CHIDERA]

 

ODOGWU

 

ODOGWUNAAGHA

 

OGECHIKA [Oge Chi ka = God’s time is best]

Interpretation

DWV: OGE, OGECHI, CHIKA, OG,

Gender: Strictly female

 

OGECHUKWU [Oge Chukwu ka mma = God’s time is the best]

 

OGELUE (Chukwu) lue.... = When is (God’s) time....]

Interpretation: The Igbo believe in destiny. A delayed childbirth may just as well be as destined. When the stipulated time came, the woman conceived and had a baby. This name does not infer that the mother had the baby after a long trial; it can be a birth seven months to the day the woman set for in her new home. Yes, that two was destined... somehow.

DWV: OGE, OGECHI, OGECHUKWULUE

Gender: Both [A female eventually takes OGE/OGECHI; male OGELUE/OGECHUKWULUE]

 

OGEMMA

 

 

OKWUEGBUNEM

 

ONYE [Onye? = Who?]

Interpretation: The Igbo give names that are actually questions about life, society, the paranormal and anything all they could not easily explain. No one is actually called “Onye,” but it is used in some localities to mean anyone. For example, if someone asks too many questions and insists on knowing the name of a person whom the speaker does not wish to reveal, an abrupt answer may be “Onye Ene” (Anyone Ene) i.e. it could be anyone whose last name is Ene. Of course, “Ene” should be a common name in the area, a sort of “Smith.”  Other words used to ask question include: “A,” “I,” “Ole” {which} and “O”

DWV: ONYII

Gender: Both

 

ONYEAMA [Onye ama (uche Chukwu) = No one knows (God’s wish)]

 

ONYEARUGBULEM [Onye arugbule m = Let no one persecute me]

 

ONYEATULUCHIAKA [Onye atulu Chi aka = No one points things out for God] 

Interpretation: This name reaffirms the impotence of man in reshaping human destiny. In some version it gets very person: No one should show his Chi the way; you lead the way and your Chi will follow: Onye kwe, chi ya ekwe

DWV: ONYEATULULACHI, ONYEATULUCHUKWU, ONYEATULULACHIYAAKA

 

ONYEBEERECHIYA [Onye beere Chi ya = One should call on one’s Chi.]

Interpretation: This is a reminder that “onye kwe chi ya ekwe (Whoever agrees, his/her Chi would agree]. Hence everyone must “cry” to Chi for assistance in times of need. Of course, the parents here might have called on their Chi and got results: the successful conception and safe delivery of the child without any medical wonders. 

DVW: ONYEBERECHIYA

Gender: Both

 

ONYEDIKACHUKWU [Ohye di ka Chukwu? = Who is like God?]

Interpretation:

DWV: ONYEDIKA [This is the most popular version.] ONYII

Gender: Male

 

ONYEDIKACHI [Onye di ka Chi? = Who is like God?]

Interpretation: As above, this may be the female version, with currrent trends in naming females with “Chi” and males with Chukwu.

DWV: ONYEDIKA

 

ONYEDIMMA [Onye di mma? = Who is good?]

Interpretation: This name is a philosophical statement of the fact that people will always find something wrong with someone behind his back. A version, ONYEDIMMANAZU, drives this point home.

DWV: ONYEDI, ONYEDIMMANAZU

 

ONYEJIAKA [Onye ji aka (Chukwu) = Who holds the hand (of God)]

 

 

ONYEKA [Onye ka... = Who is better/greater than...?”]

Interpretation:  Definitely a short version of a longer name; only the giver/earer knows the full meaning. 

Gender:  Both, depends on the full name

 

ONYEKACHI [Onye ka chi (ya) = Who is greater than (his/her) godly guarding?”]

Interpretation:  This name is rooted in Igbo belief that while human beings can will their chi to agree with the good deeds they do, there is no way they can become greater than an agent of the supreme being. The name is a reflection of the saying that whoever walks before his chi runs the race of his life. 

DWV:  ONYEKA, ONYEKACHIYA, ONYII, KACHI

Gender: Both, mostly female--especially with the current rule of “chi” names for females.

 

ONYEKACHUKWU [Onye ka Chukwu = Who is greater than God?”]

Interpretation:  A restatement of the supremacy of God.

DWV:   ONYEKACHI, ONYEKANNA, ONYEKA, ONYII, KACHI

Gender: Male

 

ONYEKADIBIE [Onye ka dibia = Who is (knows better) than the medicine man?”]

Interpretation: This name is probably a shortened form of Onye ka dibie malu ogwu = Who knows medications more than a medicine man. It may be given to a child whose survival was highly questionable until a renowned doctor stepped in and saved it from certain death. Then again, a parent may simply be stating the obvious, but the Igbo are not generally known to praise a medicine man for the heck of it. 

DWV:  ONYEKA, ONYII, KADIBIE

Gender: Male

 

ONYEKAIBE [Onye ka ibe = Who is better that his mates”]

Interpretation:  Thn: yes"> The name highlights the rugged republicanism of Ndiigbo; everyone is equal. 

DWV:  ONYEKA, ONYII, ONYEKIBE

Gender:  Male

 

ONYEKAMMA [Onye ka mma = Who is better off?”]

Interpretation:  An interpretation may be deduced from “Onye ka mma n’az preferred behind his back? It shows that folks will always find something bad to say about someone no matter the praises they heap on the person in his presence.

DWV:  ONYEKA, ONYII, KAMMA

Gender:  Male

 

ONYEKANJO [Onye ka njo = Who is worse?”]

Interpretation:  Who exactly is worse than others? The Igbo seem to be saying here that there is no cupboard without cobwebs, if not skeletons. Thus no one should condemn, judge or cast the proverbial first stone. 

DWV:  ONYEKA

Gender:  

 

ONYEKAONWU [Onye ka onwu = Who is greater than death] 

Interpretation: Death is definitely something to mere mortals have no answer.

Gender: Male

 

ONYEKAOZUOLU [Onye ka o zuolu? = Who has it all?]

Interpretation:  The trial of life is unpredictable. No matter what one has, he usually wants to have more. 

DWV:  ONYEKA, ONYII, KAOZUOLU

Gender:  Male

 

ONYEMACHI [Onye ma Chi? = Who knoes God?”]

Interpretation:    

DWV:  ONYEMA, MACHI

Gender:   Male

 

ONYEMAECHI [Onye ma echi? = Who knows tomorrow?]

Interpretation:   

DWV:   ONYEMA, AMAECHI, AMECHI, MECHE, MEECHE

Gender: Male

 

ONYEMAEKE [Onye ma Eke = Who understands creation?]

Interpretation:  The Igbo have always marveled at creation; it is a story that defies logical explanation. This names questions the various theories and encourages folks to accept certain things as being beyond their grasp. 

DWV:  ONYEMA, ONYEMEKE, MEEKE, ONYII

Gender: Male

 

ONYEMAENU [Onye ma enu = Who knows the heavens?]

Interpretation:  Who knows what heavens will bring? The Igbo ask here. 

DWV:  ONYEMA, MAENU. ONYII

Gender: Both 

 

ONYEMAIZU[Onye ma izu = Who understands the plot of others?]

Interpretation:    

DWV:  ONYEMA, ONYEMIZU, ONYII, MAIZU

Gender: Male

 

ONYEMAOBI [Onye ma obi = Who knows what lurks in the mind of men?]

Interpretation:    

DWV:   ONYEMA, ONYEMOBI, MAOBI, ONYII, OBI  

Gender:  Male

 

ONYEMAOGECHI [Onye ma oge Chi = Who knows when God has decided....]

Interpretation:   

DWV:   ONYEMAOGE, ONYII, AMAOGE, MAOGE

Gender:  Female

 

ONYEMAUCHECHI [Onye ma uchi Chi = Who understands the thought of God?”]

Interpretation:    

DWV:    

Gender:  

 

ONYEMAUWA [Onye ma uwa = Who knows  (the way) of the world?]

Interpretation:   

DWV:   ONYEMA, ONYEMUWA, ONYII, MAUWA

Gender:  

 

ONYENANKEYA [Onye na nke ya = Everyone has his own worries.]

Interpretation:    

DWV:   ONYII, NANKEYA

Gender: Male 

 

ONYENYIONWU [Onye nyi onwu = Who is stronger than death?]

Interpretation:  No living person is above  the inexplicable cold hands of death; it is the only way out of life.

DWV:  ONYENYI, ONYII, ANYIONWU

Gender:  Male

 

ONYENWEAKU [Onye nwe aku?= Who owns wealth?]

Interpretation:  The question is, to whom does all the wealth of this world belong to? We came in here with nothing; we shall all live empty-handed. 

DWV:   ONYENWE, ONYII

Gender:  Male

 

ONYESOCHI [Onye so Chi? = Who is next to God?”]

Interpretation:    

DWV:   ONYESO, ONYESOCHUKWU, ONYII, SOCHI

Gender:  Both

 

ONYESOM [Onye so m = Who is with me?]

Interpretation:   There is only one obvious answer to this question: God. It is found in such names as CHIDUMAGA, CHINEEDUM, CHISOM, CHISOLUM,

DWV:    

Gender:  

 

OSINACHI [O si na Chi = It is from God]

Interpretation: The greatest boost to this name was given by Celestine Ukwu: Ife enu uwa si na Chi adi mma  (The things of this world are attributes from God). How humans and evil forces turn it around is another story.  

DWV: OSIE, OSILACHI, OSINACHIADIMMA,

Gender: Female

 

OSITADIMMA

OSITADIMMA

DWV: OSSIE, OSITA, OSII, OSSY, OSY

 

OZUZU [Ozuzu = God]

Interpretation: See CHUKWU 

Gender: Male >