Skip to main content

100 Ethiopian Names for Boys (and Amharic Meanings)

Considering an Ethiopian name for your baby boy? Learn about Ethiopian naming traditions for boys and the meaning of each name in Amharic.
100 Ethiopian Names for Boys (and Amharic Meanings)
Updated: November 23, 2022
Table of contents

If your new baby will be of Ethiopian origin, you might be considering an Ethiopian name or an Amharic baby name.

Ethiopia has an amazing history, beginning with the fact that our own species emerged from this geographical location as nomads, before making their way to the Fertile Crescent, where they became farmers.

Ethiopia has a rich cultural and linguistic history. The country has five official languages. Throughout history, pagan, Christian, and Muslim religions have been embraced throughout its long history.

Ethiopian baby names often come from the two most widely-spoken languages in the country: Amharic and Oromo. Hebrew or Arabic names are also commonly used.

Related: 100 Ethiopian Names for Girls (and Amharic Meanings)

The Amharas inhabit the Amhara region of Ethiopia and other highlands close by in the north. The Amharic language is spoken by almost 30% of Ethiopia’s population. This ethnic group is primarily Christian, which explains why we see some Hebrew baby names in Ethiopia as well as many from the Amharic language.

Oromo is the most widely-spoken language in Ethiopia. The Oromo people live in the South East part of Ethiopia. They are mostly practicing Muslims and some Christians. In addition, a small portion of the Oromo people still practices an ancient Pagan religion called Waaqeffanna, which honors a supreme being as well as many spirits and divinities which influence people’s daily lives.

Ethiopian Naming Traditions 

Ethiopian Naming Traditions

Naming traditions in Ethiopia are quite different than the way babies are named in the U.S. and Europe. Children are given first names, and to form their full names, the first name is followed by the father’s name, in lieu of a surname.

For example, if a boy named Abel’s father’s name is Hakim, he will be called Abel Hakim. If he grows up and has a child called Dawit, the child’s full name would be Dawit Abel.

If the first name and the father’s name are common, the paternal grandfather’s name can follow a total of three names. Using three names is becoming more common. In the case of our example, Dawit could be called Dawit Abel Hakim.

Ethiopians who immigrate generally use their father’s name or their paternal grandfather’s name as a surname on immigration paperwork. This then becomes the family name they use for subsequent generations.

Ethiopian children born in the US are generally given their father’s last name. Women do not generally change their name upon marriage, whether in Ethiopia or in the US.

Popular Ethiopian Boy Names 

Popular Ethiopian Boy Names

Here are 100 of the current most popular Ethiopian names for boys along with their meanings:

  1. Aaron: Hebrew, high mountain
  2. Abal: Amharic, serves the king
  3. Abathun: Amharic, father
  4. Abay: Amharic, big
  5. Abdi: Oromo, hope
  6. Abel: Hebrew, breath
  7. Abera: Ethiopian, light (commonly used as a surname)
  8. Abraham: Hebrew, father of the multitudes
  9. Addis: Amharic, new
  10. Afework: Ethiopian, golden mouth
  11. Ahmed: Arabic, worthy of great praise
  12. Ajani: Sanskrit, victor
  13. Alimayu: Ethiopian, in honor of God
  14. Amadi: Igbo, freeborn man
  15. Amare: Arabic, long life
  16. Amari: Arabic, long life
  17. Amhara: Abyssinian, agreeable, gracious
  18. Araara: Oromo, peace
  19. Baati: Oromo, moon
  20. Bakkalcha: Oromo, full moon
  21. Barak: Arabic, white one
  22. Beekan: Oromo, well-known
  23. Birraa: Oromo, spring
  24. Birrissa: Oromo, fast
  25. Bona: Oromo, summer
  26. Caala: Oromo, the best
  27. Chinua: Ethiopian, blessing of God
  28. Dansa: Oromo, joyful
  29. Dawit: Amharic, beloved
  30. Desta: Amharic, joy
  31. Dhugooms: Oromo, honest
Ethiopian Boy Names
  1. Ebo: Ethiopian, born on Tuesday
  2. Eebbisan: Oromo, blessed
  3. Galaan: Oromo, river
  4. Genet: Ethiopian, paradise
  5. Hagos: Tigrinya, joy
  6. Haile: Amharic, mighty
  7. Hakim: Arabic, wise
  8. Horo: Oromo, one who will multiply
  9. Ibsaa: Oromo, bright
  10. Jiraa: Oromo, long life
  11. Kaleb: Hebrew, dog
  12. Kebede: Amharic, honored
  13. Kebret: Amharic, wealth
  14. Kelile: Ethiopian, protector
  15. Kidus: Amharic, holy
  16. Kofi: Ethiopian, born on Friday
  17. Kokeb: Amharic, bright star
  18. Lencho: Oromo, lion
  19. Leuel: Ethiopian, Prince Amharic
  20. Maebel: Amharic, wave
  21. Makda: Hebrew, high tower
  22. Mamo: Amharic, little boy
  23. Melaku: Amharic, angel
  24. Meleak: Ethiopian, angel
  25. Menab: Amharic, imagination
  26. Mesfin: Amharic, monarch
  27. Milkii: Oromo, successful
  28. Moges: Ethiopian, majesty
  29. Mulu: Amharic, complete
  30. Nahome: Ethiopian, compassionate
  31. Neberu: Ethiopian, leopard
  32. Negasi: Ethiopian, he will wear a crown
  33. Negat: Amharic, dawn
  34. Negus: Tigrinya, king
  35. Negusu: Amharic, king
  36. Nesanet: Amharic, freedom
  37. Neway: Amharic, wealth
  38. Nishan: Amharic, medal
  39. Noab: Amharic, king
Ethiopian Names for Boys
  1. Obsan: Oromo, patience
  2. Qeero: Oromo, tiger
  3. Retta: Amharic, triumph
  4. Robel: Amharic, joy
  5. Salana: Ethiopian, sunshine
  6. Salawi: Amharic, third
  7. Samson: Amharic, bright sun
  8. Sehay: Amharic, sun
  9. Sekwar: Amharic, sugar
  10. Selassie: Ethiopian, trinity (often used as a surname)
  11. Selam: Amharic, peace
  12. Semere: Ethiopian, success
  13. Sitota: Amharic, gift
  14. Solana: Ethiopian, sunshine
  15. Tamagn: Amharic, loyal
  16. Tamru: Ethiopian, miracle
  17. Tarik: Amharic, history
  18. Taye: Ethiopian, he has seen
  19. Tebeb: Ethiopian, wisdom
  20. Tehut: Amharic, polite
  21. Tolfamee: Oromo, created by God
  22. Tsegaye: Ge'ez, my grace
  23. Urgesa: Amharic, mountain
  24. Wendem: Amharic, brother
  25. Werku: Amharic, gold
  26. Yelekal: Ethiopian, excellence
  27. Yonas: Arabic, dove
  28. Zena: Amharic, fame
  29. Zenawe: Amharic, historian
  30. Zenebe: Ethiopian, rain

More Baby Boy Name Ideas 

For more baby name inspiration check out these popular baby name lists:

Found the perfect Ethiopian boy name? Pin this list for later: 

100 Ethiopian Names for Boys (and Amharic Meanings)


Elisa Cinelli

About Elisa

Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based… Read more

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.