One of the first questions we usually get is, "What are you going to name her?"  When we were pregnant with River we had decided on Alice Amelia if he were a girl.  But this baby will already have a name and we would like to honor that as much as possible.  So we're waiting to find out what her name is and how she received it. 

Usually the second question is, "So what do Ethiopian names sound like?" I've made a list of some common Ethiopian names for boys and girls and their meanings.

Makeda- beautiful (this was the first name of the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian)
Selam- peaceful
Amhara- the Amhara people
Genat- heaven
Magdala- central highland town
Selamawit- she is peaceful
Aamina- safe
Meskerem- a month in the year

Benian- form of Benjamin
Dawit- form of David
Desta- happiness (both male and female)
Iskinder- form of Alexander (also means defender of the mankind)
Tariku- events surrounding his birth
Tefere- seed
Yohannas- God's gracious gift
Amare- handsome

In Ethiopia a child takes his or her father's first name as his or her last name.  So rather than being River Wade, he would be River Logan.  Women in Ethiopia do not change their name when they get married.  For this reason parents and children in Ethiopia do not share the same last name.  Mr. is Ato, Mrs. is Woizero (Wzo.) and Miss is Woizerit (Wzt.). So if we were Ethiopian we would be Ato Logan Steven, Woizero Brandy Daryn, and River Logan. 

Here is a website with more information about naming in Ethiopia: http://www.myethiopianame.bravehost.com/index.html

Leave a comment if you have more examples or more information to add about Ethiopian names.

2/9/2011 03:24:45 am

Thanks for the explanation of ET names!!!! We are wanting to wait on what our kiddos' names are to honor their heritage as well! It's been exciting following your journey!


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