100 Unique Tswana Names for Boys and Girls and their Meanings

Names are of great significance to people as they give the bearer a form of identity. For this reason, people tend to attach so much value to names because people tend to associate your life and actions with the name you bear. This explains why a lot is taken into consideration before a child is named. The Tswana people of South Africa are also not left out when it comes to attaching great significance to the names people bear. Their culture agrees with the general norm that what a child is called eventually becomes the identity of the child.

100 Unique Tswana Names For Boys and Girls and Their Meanings

All names are beautiful and convey different meanings. However, parents decide what names they deem suitable for their child. Their decisions are often informed by the emotions surrounding the pregnancy and arrival of their precious one. Here is a list of selected 100 unique Tswana names for boys and girls.

50 Tswana Names for Boys

1. Alebakwe

Meaning: Let us praise the name of the lord (God)

2. Anterea

Meaning: This is the Tswana version of Andrew (as in the bible)

3. Aobakwe

Meaning: Praise Him or Praise God

4. Atasaone

Meaning: God’s hand is involved

5. Babusi

Meaning: Leader or leadership. It is suitable for a male child born into a leadership role.

6. Baboloki

Meaning: Our savior

7. Baitumetse

Meaning: They are happy, content, or fulfilled

8. Bapaki

Meaning: Those who give testimony or bearers of good news

9. Boatametse

Meaning: His (God’s) kingdom drew near. Resonates with the line ‘Thy kingdom come’ from the popular Christian prayer, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.

10. Boikaego

Meaning: Someone to lean on or a dependable person

Tswana names
image source

11. Daniele

Meaning: God is my Judge or it can also be referred to as the Tswana version of the bible name Daniel

12. Fenyang

Meaning: Victory

13. Goafenngwe

Meaning: He cannot be defeated or God cannot be defeated

14. Goatsemodime

Meaning: God knows everything

15. Godiraone

Meaning: It is God who does all things

16. Gofaone

Meaning: It is God who gives

17. Goitsemodomo

Meaning: God knows our heart desires

18. Kagiso

Meaning: Peace

19. Katlego

Meaning: Success or Greatness

20. Kefilwe

Meaning: I was given a gift

21. Kealeboga

Meaning: Thank you

22. Keatlile

Meaning: I have increased in number or status

23. Kebitsemang

Meaning: Whom shall I call?

24. Mmoloki

Meaning: A savior

25. Mmusi

Meaning: Governor or leader

26. Moagi

Meaning: A Builder

27. Modise

Meaning: Herder, that is, one who looks after animals.

28. Moeng

Meaning: Guest or visitor

29. Mogapi

Meaning: One who confiscates or takes over

30. Mogorosi

Meaning: One who brings animals into the kraal in the evening

31. Mogotsi

Meaning: The builder of fire

32. Mokgosi

Meaning: A loud call for help in a time of difficulty

33. Molatlhegi

Meaning: The lost one, a prodigal one

34. Molefe

Meaning: Pay damages for her. This name may be given in a situation where the father of the child has not paid damages for the child’s mother or married her.

35. Molefi

Meaning: One who pays damages to another

36. Motlalepula

Meaning: One who brings rain

37. Motswane

Meaning: Good thing or Good one

38. Odirile

Meaning: He has done it or God has done it

39. Oesi

Meaning: God is the only one or simply, He is the only one

40. Olorato

Meaning: Loving

41. Omphile

Meaning: God-given gift

42. Onkemetse

Meaning: He is representing me

43. Omphemetse

Meaning: God has protected me

44. Onkgopotse

Meaning: I have been remembered

45. Orefile

Meaning: He has given us

46. Tau

Meaning: Lion

47. Thabo

Meaning: Joy

48. Thato

Meaning: Will power

49. Tshepo

Meaning: Trust

50. Botsile

Meaning: His Kingdom has come or God’s Kingdom has come

50 Tswana Names for Girls

Tswana Names
image source

1. Anele

Meaning: It is enough, sufficient, or adequate. This name is usually given to last-born female children in a family.

2. Baakantse

Meaning: What they thought did not come to pass.

3. Babedi

Meaning: Two people. Ideal for twins.

4. Badiri

Meaning: Workers or producers.

5. Badumedi

Meaning: Believe or do not lose faith or hope.

6. Bankatametse

Meaning: They are close to me. Often to show familial relationships.

7. Banyatsang

Meaning: Why do they doubt or not have faith?

8. Baone

Meaning: Rare, unique, or special.

9. Bapaletswe

Meaning: They have failed. This name is usually given to commemorate a victory over an enemy or situation.

10. Bontle

Meaning: Beautiful.

11. Dineo

Meaning: This popular Tswana name means gift.

12. Diphimotswe

Meaning: My tears have been wiped.

13. Gadifele

Meaning: Things do not end.

14. Galaletsang

Meaning: To glorify.

15. Galeboe

Meaning: Be careful with what you say to people because you cannot take them back.

16. Gaodithong

Meaning: He (ie God) does not shy away from our problems.

17. Gaolefufa

Meaning: God is not jealous.

18. Gaongalelwe

Meaning: You can’t be angry with God.

19. Gogontlejang

Meaning: She is beautiful.

20. Joalane

Meaning: This name has its origin from the word ‘Joala’ which means “Alcohol” and it suggests that the mother of the child drank a lot of alcohol while pregnant.

21. Keatlaretse

Meaning: To receive with open hands. This name has cultural significance and it is usually used as a sign of respect.

22. Kebarutile

Meaning: I have taught them.

23. Kebasadi

Meaning: These are women. This name is ideal for twin girls or to reference the achievements of women within the family or clan.

24. Kedumetse

Meaning: I have agreed.

25. Kefentse

Meaning: I have won or victory.

26. Kehumile

Meaning: I am very rich.

27. Keitumetse

Meaning: I am happy or it can also be used to express gratitude and in this case, the meaning will be, I am thankful.

28. Kelebileone

Meaning: I am watching God.

29. Kelefetswe

Meaning: They have done it for me.

30. Lethonogolo

Meaning: Blessing or Lucky.

31. Lesego

Meaning: Luck.

32. Lorato/Lerato

Meaning: Love.

33. Lesedi

Meaning: Light.

34. Masego

Meaning: Blessings.

35. Mogau

Meaning: Grace.

36. Montsho

Meaning: Black.

37. Mosetsanagape

Meaning: A girl again. This name is given when there are recurring baby girls especially if the family desire male children.

38. Mpho

Meaning: Gift.

39. Onalena

Meaning: He has protected me.

40. Ontlametse

Meaning: God has protected me.

41. Omphile

Meaning: God provided for me.

42. Akanyang

Meaning: Think about it or simply think. This name comes in handy when a child comes at a time when a serious decision needs to be made

43. Onkgolotse

Meaning: God has relieved me.

44. Lesedilaone

Meaning: God’s light.

45. Oweditse

Meaning: She has completed her job.

46. Pelonomi

Meaning: Noble heart

47. Pelontle

Meaning: Beautiful Heart

48. Puleng

Meaning: Born of rain

49. Rehana

Meaning: We are here

50. Seithati

Meaning: The one who loves herself

Popular Tswana Unisex Names

image source

1. Amogelang

Meaning: To receive, welcome, or accept what you have been given. This could mean accepting the child or a certain situation.

2. Atang

Meaning: Increase, multiply, or enlargement.

3. Atarelang

Meaning: Receive with cupped hands or receive in abundance.

4. Baaitse

Meaning: They know the truth or they know the situation.

5. Baakanyang

Meaning: To mend or repair what is broken.

6. Bakang

Meaning: Praise.

7. Boitumelo

Meaning: Joy

8. Ipeleng/ Itumela

Meaning: Be happy or happiness

9. Kagiso

Meaning: Peace of mind.

10. Kakanyo

Meaning: To think.

11. Karabo

Meaning: Answer.

12. Katlego

Meaning: Success, prosperity.

13. Kefilwe

Meaning: I was given.

14. Kelebogile

Meaning: I am thankful, to be thankful, or to give thanks.

15. Kegomoditswe

Meaning: I have been comforted.

16. Lebogang

Meaning: Be thankful for what you have.

Popular Tswana Clan Names and Their Meanings

Like the names of individuals, the major Tswana clans are also given names that depict the unique nature of a clan. Here is a list of Tswana clan names and their meanings.

Note: The ‘bo’ or ‘ba’ prefix in the clan names mean ‘people’

1. Bafokeng

Meaning: People of the dew or grass. The clan is also referred to as The Royal Bafokeng Nation.

2. Bakwena

Meaning: Those who venerate the crocodile.

3. Balete

Meaning: The actual meaning of the Balete clan/tribe is not available. As of name, it is simply a name associated with this unique Tswana clan.

4. Bangwato

Meaning: The literal meaning of this clan is also not known. However, even though the meaning of the clan is not certain, it produced the first president of Botswana, Seretse Khama – this had earned them a lot of popularity over the years.

5. BaNgwaketse

Meaning: There is no specific meaning attached to the clan’s name and so they are simply referred to as the ‘People of Ngwaketse’.

6. Barolong

Meaning: People of the Rolong tribe is the literal meaning that has been given to this clan since their name has no specific meaning.

7. Bataung

Meaning: Lion’s den

8. Batlhaping

Meaning: Those with an affinity for fish.

9. Batlôkwa

Meaning: People of Tlôkwa.

10. Bakgatla

Meaning: No specific meaning has been linked to Bakgatla but the clan remains notable as one of the 8 principal Tswana clans.

Notable People With Tswana Names

1. Tshepo

Meaning: Tshepo sometimes spelled Tsepo, is a popular Tswana/Sesotho name. It means ‘Hope’ and is derived from ‘tshepa’ which can signify ‘Trust’. The name is unisex and many distinguished sons and daughters of the Tswana/Setswana tribe go by it. More so, the name Tshepo is so popular that it is a moniker for the clothing label, Tshepo Jeans. Some popular persons that go by the name are:

  • Tshepo Gumede: He is a South African professional footballer and plays for the AmaZulu club as a defender.
  • Tshepo Mangena: Notable as a former South African cricketer who was a left-handed batsman, right-arm medium-fast bowler, and wicket-keeper for Limpopo.
  • Tshepo Motsepe: She is the current First Lady of South Africa and a notable physician as well as a businesswoman.

2. Lebogang

Meaning: Lebogang/Lebohang is another beautiful Tswana name that ticks with famous people. The name means “gratitude” or “be thankful”. For a pet name, Lebogangs are often called Lebo. Some notable real-life Lebogangs are:

  • Lebogang Mashile: The stunning lady is a South African actor, writer, and performance poet. She appeared in Terry George’s 2004 film Hotel Rwanda.
  • Lebogang Shange: He is notable as a South African race walker and had emerged 4th place in the 2017 World Championship.

3. Karabo

Meaning: The name Karabo means ‘Answer’ and is suitable for boys and girls alike. Here are some famous personalities that go by the name:

  • Anna Karabo Mots’oeneng: Now Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso by marriage, she is Lesotho’s queen consort and the wife of King Letsie III of Lesotho. Anna Karabo is best known for using her position as queen to advocate for causes close to her heart, especially projects related to HIV/AIDS.

4. Katlego

Meaning: Katlego is a unique unisex name that literally translates to ‘Success’ or ‘Extreme Wealth’. Here are some public figures named Katlego:

  • Katlego Mphela: He is a South African professional soccer player who has played for the Arcadia Shepherds F.C., Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos F.C., RC Strasbourg Alsace, Stade de Reims, SuperSport United F.C, Mamelodi Sundowns F.C., Kaizer Chiefs F.C, South Africa national under-23 football team, and the national football team.
  • Katlego Maboe: He is a notable South African media personality, songwriter, singer, TV presenter, and accountant. He won the South African Film and Television Awards in 2015 and 2016.

5. Itumeleng

Meaning: Itumeleng is a name with a very deep meaning. Although it literally means ‘Joy’, it is believed that the meaning the name holds cannot be described in one word. Some popular personalities are named Itumeleng.

  • Itumeleng Isaac Khune: He is a South African professional soccer player who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs football club in the Premier Soccer League and the South African national team. More so, he is the captain of both teams.

The Significance of Names Among Tswana People

South Africa is a multi-faceted nation with diverse peoples and cultures. Each tribe has its own unique lifestyle and sometimes a distinct language. Tswana is one such tribe and beyond South Africa, they are dominant in Botswana. This tribe has recorded tremendous growth over the years and as of now, approximately 8.2 million people speak Tswana.

A distinct feature of this tribe is the importance its people place on their customs and when it comes to naming a child among the Tswana people. There are many factors that are considered before the task is carried out. These include the situations surrounding the birth of the child, events within the family, but top on the list are cultural and traditional beliefs. A child can be given the Tswana name Kagiso which means ‘Peace’ – such a child is born at a time when there is a crisis within the family or the family has just emerged from an overwhelming situation. However, parents sometimes pick a name that reflects their future aspirations or what they wish for their child or children.


Featured Today

Related Stories