Afrikaans Names, Surnames and their Meanings

Afrikaans names are widely used by speakers of the Afrikaans language in several parts of Africa. The names and surnames that are prevalent among the members of the tribe today are a result of the people’s rich history that has been influenced by a lot of things, from the European settlers who have been inhabiting the land since the pre-colonial era to the traditional Zulu and Xhosa people who have been with them from time immemorial.

For this piece, we have gathered some beautiful Afrikaans names for babies, boys, girls, and surnames for your perusal.

The Significance of Afrikaans Names

Afrikaans is one beautiful African language of Germanic origin. Countries, where it is widely spoken, include South Africa and Botswana. You can also find speakers of the language in Zimbabwe and Namibia, albeit to a lesser extent. Just like other languages of similar ilk, Afrikaans has been evolving over the years, incorporating several other languages, including Portuguese, Malay, and a smattering of the Bantu languages.

Apart from having sweet words, the Afrikaans language can also boast lovely names with diverse origins like German, Greek, French, and we have even witnessed some with Arabic origin.

In the Afrikaans tribe, naming is one of the vital processes in the life of every child, both male and female. While giving names to their bundles of joy, some parents would choose to follow tradition and give their children very core African names. However, there are still many that that prefer to borrow from other cultures. South Africa, being a country that has seen the influx of foreigners from all parts of the world, doesn’t even need to look far to borrow. For some modern parents, their children bear Afrikaans surnames and they may decide to add monikers from the English, the French, the Americans, and even Spanish.

What is common within the tribe is that the people follow some unique traditions during naming. Most of the names babies end up with are inspired by various life events. For the boy-child, most of their names are Dutch names with Germanic origins. This is quite common in the tribe and these names usually come with very unique twists at the end or the beginning, making them appear fancier.

Afrikaans Girl Names

Afrikaans names
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Within the Afrikaans tribe, daughters are viewed as beautiful flowers and deserving of cute names. These names are given according to circumstances like the day a baby girl was born – a baby girl born on a Tuesday may end up with the name, Abina. If the birth of an Afrikaans girl coincides with the death of her grandmother, the name Abiba will be quite befitting. Afrikaans, like every other tribe in the black continent of Africa, are strong believers in reincarnation, thus, you would not be surprised to see them giving their female children names like Amahle, signifying the presence of the ancestors among the living. These are some female names from the Afrikaans tribe;

1. Annika

  • Meaning – Among the Afrikaans, Annika is a female name that means grace. It is also a Swedish diminutive of the moniker Anna
  • Origin – Sweden and Afrikaans
  • Pronunciation – AHN-nee-kah.

2. Elna

  • Meaning – Just like the Dutch and the Danish have Helena, the Swedish have Elin, the Afrikaans female name Elna is derived from both Helena and Elin and is taken to mean “beloved”
  • Origin – Sweden, Dutch, Danish, and Afrikaans
  • Pronunciation – ÊLL-nah

3. Imka

  • Meaning – Meaning water, Imka is an Afrikaans moniker of Frisian derivative and it is commonly born by females in South Africa
  • Origin – Afrikaans, Frisian
  • Pronunciation – IEM-ka.

4. Elize

  • Meaning – Afrikaans who are Christians can give their children the name Elize as it means “Consecrated to God”. Also, traditionalists whose religious beliefs are rooted in the great Nkulunkulu can also give the name to their female children.

5. Elsabe

  • Meaning – The Afrikaans name, Elsabe happens to be a variation of Elizabeth just like Elize and the meaning remains the same “Consecrated to God. Other variations of Elsabe exist like Elspeth and Elzebe all with the same meaning.

6. Hanneli

  • Meaning – Hanneli is truly an Afrikaans name but t happens to be a variation of the biblical moniker Hannah and means grace.

7. Jacomien

  • Meaning – Afrikaans parents expecting to give their bundle of joy the name James if it happens to be a boy may decide to go for Jacomien when the baby turns out to be a girl. Meaning supplanter, Jacomien is the female version of the name James.

8. Johanika

  • Meaning – The Afrikaans moniker, Johanika has a meaning rooted in the religious belief “God is Gracious”. People who are of the Christian faith often give this name to their female children.

9. Kayla

  • Meaning – Now when Afrikaans parents consider their female child to be a crown, they wouldn’t go wrong with the name, Kayla, as it means either crown or laurel.

10. Liandri

  • Meaning – Whether boy or girl, children have always been considered as precious gifts in Africa. For the Afrikaans parents, they might just decide to name their daughter, Liandri, meaning precious gift.

11. Loraina

  • Meaning – The name Loraina is an Afrikaans name often borne by people from the province of Lorraine

12. Lorelei

  • Meaning – Just like other tribes of African origin, the Afrikaans believe in the existence of sea creatures such as mermaids. This belief is evidenced in the feminine name Lorelei which means associated with mermaids.

13. Maliné

Meaning – In the Afrikaans’ parlance, the name Maliné has a couple of meanings. It can either be interpreted as a woman of Magdela or high tower.

14. Maretha

  • Meaning – There is no name more befitting for a female child than Maretha. The Afrikaans moniker simply means lady.

15. Marieke

  • Meaning – The name Maria in the bible is known to mean bitter and the Afrikaans variation of it is Marieke which is equally interpreted in exactly the same way

16. Marietjie

  • Meaning – When Afrikaans parents who have been wishing to be blessed with the fruit of the womb have a baby girl. They may decide to name the child, Marietjie which means “wished for a child“

17. Retha

  • Meaning – Margaretha means pearl and the Afrikaans variation of it is Retha with the same meaning.

18. Aba

  • Meaning – The day of the week in which a girl is born can come to play in the name she will be given – Aba is a name given to girls whose birthday fell on a Thursday.

19. Abina

  • Meaning – The name Abina is comparable to Aba as it is also given to mark the day a girl was born. In the case of Abina, it is borne by those born on Tuesday.

20. Abebi

Meaning – Afrikaans parents who asked God for a baby girl will not go wrong with the name Abebi when they are eventually blessed with a girl as the meaning is “we asked and got her”

21. Abiba

  • Meaning – Sometimes, the deaths of elderly people in a family may herald the birth of a new baby. Under this situation, an Afrikaans family that had a baby girl immediately after the death of her grandmother can be called Abiba. It means “born after her grandmother’s death”

22. Adowa

  • Meaning – Just like Adelheid that means nobility, the Afrikaans name, Adowa
    Simply means noble and can be used to serve the same purpose as Adelheid

23. Adrie

  • Meaning – A girl’s name can be informed by the place she comes from. A good instance is Adrie which means a person coming from the Adriatic

24. Aileen

  • Meaning –The meaning of the moniker Aileen is alone and it is often given to female children in the Afrikaans tribe

25. Agretha

  • Meaning – Agretha is an Afrikaans name with a beautiful meaning. It is interpreted as “good woman” and it goes without saying that it is an apt one for females.

26. Aia

  • Meaning – Aia is another Afrikaans moniker that can only be given to the girl-child. It means eternal mother

27. Akpena

  • Meaning – To express gratitude to God for favors received, Afrikaans parents may decide to name their baby girl Akpena meaning “thanks to God” this name can be used by both Christians and traditionalists.

28. Aletta

  • Meaning – The meaning inherent in the Afrikaans name Aletta is “truth” and it is quite common among girls within the tribe

29. Alizea

  • Meaning – Alizea means “joyful” and can be taken as an interpretation of the feelings of parents when they received their bundle of joy

30. Amahle

  • Meaning – The meaning of Amahle is “the ancestors are here” and needless to say, it is quite deep. Perhaps it is informed by the belief that one of their ancestors has reincarnated in a baby girl

31. Amogelang

  • Meaning – Amogelang is a beautiful name with a beautiful meaning, ”welcoming”. Perhaps the bearer of the name came as an answer to a prayer

32. Amore

  • Meaning – Amore simply means love, this beautiful name is quite widespread among girls of Afrikaans origin

33. Andrietta

  • Meaning – There are girls that appear to be quite masculine and brawny and there is no better name for them than Andrietta which means strong and manly”

Afrikaans Boy Names

Having a male child among the Afrikaans is a thing of pride and parents have a wide choice of befitting male names to give their sons. Some of these names took their origins from the bible, some originated from their contact with other tribes and nations while many are undiluted core Afrikaans’ names. These names are usually short with two syllabi or three, but they sound very sweet to the ear.

34. Christo

  • Meaning – The moniker Christo is a diminutive form of Christopher or Christian used by the Afrikaans tribe to mean a follower of Christ. The name is usually born by males
  • Origin – Greek

35. Gidea

  • Meaning – As earlier mentioned, Afrikaans parents can name their children from the circumstances surrounding their birth. The name Gidea has a deep meaning in Afrikaans; it means someone that was neglected/ignored for a long time but has now started to climb.

36. Frederich

  • Meaning – This is the Afrikaans version of Friedrich and its meaning is interpreted as a peaceful ruler or nonviolent king
  • Origin – The name is of German origin, it emanated from a personal moniker composed of several Germanic elements like frid, Fred ‘peace’ + ric ‘power’. A canonized 9th-century bishop from Utrecht bore the name and it was a hereditary moniker among the Hohenstaufen ruling family. It has popularity in central Europe. The meaning still remains a peaceful ruler in the Germanic parlance.

37. Lodewikus

  • Meaning – Lodewikus is an Afrikaans form of Ludovicus and it means war or battle. This is a strong name that can befit a male child born during a battle or warfare

38. Arno

  • Meaning – The eagle is a distinguished bird that does not fly but soar and it’s also renowned for its sharp eyesight. Afrikaans parents give their deserving male child the name Arno which means eagle
  • Origin – Arno originated from the Germanic but was adopted by the Afrikaans
  • Pronunciation – It is pronounced as AR-nou.

39. Luan

  • Meaning – Luhan is another name born by strong men among the Afrikaans tribe. It has a handful of meanings but the most notable among them is a lion. The moniker can also mean white lion, fair, transparent, and justice.
  • Pronunciation – The Afrikaans name is as is pronounced LU-han

40. Maghiel

  • Meaning – Maghiel is a variation of the name Michael used by the tribe to mean “who is like God”. Instead of Maghiel, some parts of the tribe prefer Michel and both of them have exactly the same meaning
  • Origin – Michel or Maghiel’s origin is traceable to the holy bible

41. Paulsen

  • Meaning – Many African tribes are noted for using diminutive forms of major names and the Afrikaans are not different from the rest. A man whose name is Paul can give his son Paulsen, meaning son of Paul or little Paul
  • Origin – Just like several other Afrikaans names, Paulsen is a name with roots in the bible

42. Adam

  • Meaning – Afrikaans also give their male children the name Adam and it means read earth just like the name of the first man on earth.
  • Origin – Adam originated from the bible and it is the name borne by the first human being created by God.

43. Braam

  • Meaning – This happens to be an Afrikaans variation of the name, Abraham and just like Abraham in the bible, it means father of nations or multitude.
  • Origin – The name takes root from the holy book

44. Jan

  • Meaning – Afrikaans people who don’t wish to give their male kids English names like John may decide to go for the Afrikaan version of the name. In the same way as John, it means “God has been gracious”
  • Origin – John is one of the popular biblical names.

45. Jaquan

  • Meaning – Jaquan is an Afrikaans name that has two meanings. It may mean “raised by Yahweh” and can also be interpreted as “loving spirit”

46. Jengo

  • Meaning – As earlier mentioned, the circumstances surrounding a person’s birth or his physical outlook can inform the name he will be given. If a male child’s complexion happens to be reddish, he can be named Jengo which means exactly that, somebody with a reddish complexion.

47. Ajanie

  • Meaning – For the moniker Ajanie, the meaning is “he who wins the struggle” or a victor in a struggle.

48. Emil

  • Meaning – Emil is an Afrikaans name with multiple meanings, it can be interpreted as eager and can be taken to mean laborious. The same name can also mean rival.
  • Origin – Emil originated from the Latin language but is used extensively among the Afrikaans tribe.

49. Bertus

  • Meaning – Bertus is a moniker that can be borne by strong men as its meaning is interpreted as strength.
  • Origin – The origin of Bertus is traceable to the Germanic

50. Beyers

  • Meaning – Byre is an Old English word that that means shed for cattle. The Afrikaans modified it into Beyers to suit their tongue and its meaning remains the same.
  • Origin – Old English

51. Bernardt

  • Meaning – the meaning of the name Bernardt is quite strong and is only befitting for men of bravery. It means strong, brave bear.
  • Origin – The name emanated from the Old German

52. Kian

  • Meaning – the moniker Kian means ancient, primordial, or prehistoric and is the friendly version of Cian

53. Janco

  • Meaning – The meaning of the name Janco is “Jehovah has been gracious” and it is commonly seen among the believers of Christ

54. Thys

  • Meanings – The name Thys is also commonly used among the followers of Christ in the Afrikaans tribe and it means “gift of Yahweh”

55. Dian

  • Meaning – Dian can be borne by both the male and female children as it is considered to be unisex and the meaning is quite beautiful, “divine”

56. Zander

  • Meaning – A diminutive or smaller version of the moniker, Alexander, and it means defending men

57. Lencho

  • Meaning – While the male name Luhan can mean several things from white lion to transparent, justice, and fair, Lencho is considered as an alternative to Leo, and its meaning is simply a lion

58. Mene

  • Meaning – Mene is an Afrikaans moniker meaning “he who reckons or he who is counted”


Surnames among the members of the Afrikaans tribe can be quite interesting. While most of them are rooted in Africa and have relatable meaning in the Afrikaans parlance, a whole lot of them were derived from other countries of the world, especially those foreigners that came to settle in the region during the pre-colonial era. Thus, it is not surprising to see Afrikaans names with origins traceable to countries and foreign languages like Dutch, English, Danish, French, and many more.

59. Bekker

  • Meaning – Bekker is an Afrikaans name which is a modification of the term Baker; the meaning is exactly the same, “baker”
  • Origin – The name’s origin is traceable to Dutch

60. De Beer

  • Meaning – The surname De Beer means exactly what it suggests, “the bear”
  • Origin –De Beer has both Afrikaans and Dutch origin

61. De Bruyn

  • Meaning – The meaning of De Bruyn is simply “brown” and happens to be an archaic spelling of the term “bruin”,
  • Origin – Afrikaans

62. De Kock

  • Meaning – When translated into English, De Kock simply means “The Cook”
  • Origin – Afrikaans

63. du Plessis

  • Meaning – du Plessis has several other forms like Plessy, de Plessis, and Duplessis, and it is a French topographic moniker for somebody that lived by a quickset fence.
  • Origin – Afrikaans, French (Cajun), French Creole, French (Huguenot)

64. Engelbrecht

  • Meaning – For the name Engelbrecht it can boast of multiple translations from “Bright Angel” to “Angle Glorious”
  • Origin – Engelbrecht is rooted in Afrikaans

65. Kat

  • Meaning – In Dutch, Frisian, and Afrikaans the moniker Kat means “Cat” and according to the records, it might have been a nickname given to someone who resembles a cat or somebody that owns a cat. However, many families in the present-day Afrikaans bear it as a surname
  • Origin – Dutch, Frisian, Jewish, Afrikaans.

66. Louw

  • Meaning – Louw is an Afrikaans surname that also means lion just like Lencho and Luhan; it is a Flemish/Dutch variant of the word Lowe.
  • Origin – The moniker comes with pre-7th century Germanic origins.

67. Prinsloo

  • Meaning – The Dutch word Prins means prince and the suffix loo means clearing the forest. The root word and suffix join together to form an Afrikaans surname, Prinsloo. The name has a couple of other variants such as Prinslo and Prinzloo.
  • Origin – Origin is Dutch and Afrikaans

68. Snyman

  • Meaning – The word Schneider in German is used for tailor, the Afrikaans coined their own version of the name as Snyman and it is used as a surname among the members of the tribe.
  • Origin – Afrikaans, German

69. Steyn

  • Meaning – The Old Dutch word, stēn refers to a weapon constructed using rock or stone. The Afrikaans derived the moniker, Steyn from stēn, and the meaning didn’t change.
  • Origin – Dutch and Afrikaans

70. Theron

  • Meaning – This is a habitation moniker for a person from any of the locations in Occitanie like Théron or Thérond. The name is ultimately from Latin and means “elevation, height, or embankment”. There is one famous bearer of this name – Charlize Theron an SA and American actress.
  • Origin – Southern African, Occitan, and Afrikaans.

71. Verwey

  • Meaning – Verwey means “from the meadow”. It is the same with van der Weij albeit in contracted form
  • Origin – Dutch, South African, and Afrikaans

72. Pretorius

  • Meaning – Praetorius in Latin is a word that means leader. It was adopted by Wesselius Praetorius during the 17th century as a Latin translation or paraphrase of his previous surname which was Schulte. It is now common in South Africa and many families from the Afrikaans tribe use it as a surname.
  • Origin – Latin, South African, and Afrikaans

73. Van Rooyen

  • Meaning – Van Rooyen is both a Dutch and Afrikaans toponymic surname. It has another variant van Rooyen and is likely to be rooted in the Rhine region of the Netherlands, probably having meant “from Rhine” initially. It became a fairly common surname in South Africa after Dutch settlers brought it to the country over 300 years ago. You will often encounter variations in the spelling of the name but the difference may not be much
  • Origin – Dutch and Afrikaans

Afrikaans Baby Names

Afrikaans names
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The Afrikaans tribe can boast of a plethora of baby names befitting for both males and females. Sometimes, the time of the day in which a baby makes her entrance into the world can inspire the name she will be given. Someone who was born in the middle of the night may end up with the name Mienkie – a feminine name meaning midnight. On the other hand, a baby girl born on a bright sunny day can bear Minenhle, meaning “beautiful day”.

Coming to boys, a boy born to a royal family can be given the name Amiri, meaning prince. Parents of a baby boy who consider their bundle of joy to be a gift from God may decide to go with Mpho which means gift and Yaro is a common name among boys its meaning is interpreted as “son”. Below are some baby names both for girls and boys in the Afrikaans tribe.

74. Melissa

  • Meaning – Honeybee
  • Gender – female

75. Bast

  • Meaning – It means strong and can also mean fights of possession
  • Gender – male

76. Merinda

  • Meaning – Admirable
  • Gender – Female

77. Yaro

  • Meaning – Son
  • Gender – Male

78. Mia

  • Meaning – Bitter
  • Gender – Female

79. Amiri

  • Meaning – Prince
  • Gender – Male

80. Miekie

  • Meaning – Water
  • Gender – Female

81. Bern

  • Meaning – Peace
  • Gender – Male

82. Miems

  • Meaning – Protection
  • Gender – Female

83. Jaivyn

  • Meaning – Light Spirit
  • Gender – Male

84. Mina

  • Meaning – Protector
  • Gender – Female

85. Mpho

  • Meaning – Gift
  • Gender – Male

86. Minenhle

  • Meaning – Beautiful day
  • Gender – Female

87. Jaco

  • Meaning – Supplanter
  • Gender – Male

88, Mienkie

  • Meaning – Midnight
  • Gender – Female

89. Belay

  • Meaning – Above and it can also be interpreted as superior
  • Gender – Male

90. Mischa

  • Meaning – Who is like God
  • Gender – Female

91. Dante

  • Meaning – Enduring
  • Gender – Male

92. Ottoline

  • Meaning – Wealth/fortune
  • Gender – Female

93. Anze

  • Meaning – Curious, optimistic
  • Gender – Male

94. Quintilla

  • Meaning – Fifth born
  • Gender – Female

95. Tjaart

  • Meaning – It is a variant of Tjaard meaning people watcher
  • Gender – Male

96. Rethabile

  • Meaning – We are glad
  • Gender – Female

97. Dawie

  • Meaning – Beloved
  • Gender – Male

98. Saartjie

  • Meaning – Princess
  • Gender – Female

99. Barke

  • Meaning – Blessings
  • Gender – Male

100. Sybella

  • Meaning – Oracle/prophetess
  • Gender – Female


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