Western African Submitted Surnames

Western African names include those from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. See also about African names.
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Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ABDELLAHIWestern African, Wolof
From the given name Abdellah (chiefly Mauritanian).
Possibly an Islamic male name or surname as well as Nigerian.
From the given name Abioye.
Meaning unknown.
ACHAMPONGWestern African
Variant of the Ashanti surname Acheamphong, meaning "destined for greatness".
Means "one crown has become two" in Yoruba.
AGBAJENigerian, Yoruba
Meaning unknown. A bearer is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (1967-), an English actor and model of Yoruba Nigerian descent.
AGRINYANigerian (Rare)
Means "warrior" in the Nigerian language of Yala. It was an earned name.
Agu is an Igbo surname; the word Agu means Tiger in Igobo language.
AGUMANUIgbo, Trinidadian Creole
its an last name and first name that comes from an Igbo tribe in Trinidad
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
ALIOUNEWestern African, Wolof
From the given name Alioune (chiefly Mauritanian).
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
BABANigerian, Yoruba, Western African
From an honourific title used to denote a father, wise man, or an elder.
Meaning unknown.
This surname is very common in Nigeria. Possibly taken from a word in one of the Nigerian tribes languages.
BOUSHABWestern African
Used in Mauritania.
CHÉRIFArabic (Maghrebi), Western African
Maghrebi and Western African transcription of Sharif, influenced by French orthography.
COULIBALYWestern African, Manding
Meaning uncertain. One popular folk etymology suggests that it is derived from Bambara kulun-bari meaning "without a canoe", referring to someone who crossed a river or other body of water without the use of a canoe... [more]
DAREGONigerian (Rare)
Meaning unknown.
DIALLOWestern African
A common name throughout West Africa, it is the French transcription of a surname of Fula origin.
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
EJIOFORIgbo, Nigerian
A famous bearer of this surname is Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor of Nigerian and Igbo descent.
EL BECHIRWestern African
Means "the Bechir", derived from the given name Bashir. This surname is mainly used in Mauritania.
EL MOCTARWestern African
Derived from the given Moctar, a variant of Mokhtar. A bearer is Jidou El Moctar (1985–), a Mauritanian runner.
ETIENAMNigerian, Ibibio (?), Spanish (Caribbean, ?)
This is a name which originates from the Calabar/Akwa Ibom region of southeastern Nigeria. It means "a doer of good, or benevolent". It is also found in Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba (El Oriente) which have populations of people of Ibibio/Efik decent known as "Carabali".
Meaning unknown.
IMAMBengali (Muslim), Urdu, Indian (Muslim), Nigerian, Arabic, Indonesian
From Arabic إِمَام (ʾimām) meaning "leader, guide", used to denote a leader within a Muslim community.
IWUCHUKWUIgbo, African
It means God's covenant is unwavering. This name is a bearer is a testimony of God's command. This ia a Christian name.
JALLOHWestern African
Probably a derivative of Arabic Jalil.
JEDOUWestern African
Found in Mauritania.
The surname Joof (English spelling in Gambia) whit its derivatives Juuf / Juf (Seereer proper) or Diouf (French spelling in Senegal and Mauritania) is a Senegambian surname found amongst the Seereer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania... [more]
KABIRBengali (Muslim), Nigerian, Pakistani, Indian (Muslim), Afghani, Persian
From the Arabic كَبِير (kabīr) meaning "big, large, great" (see Akbar).
Meaning unknown.
MALICKIndian, Bengali, Pakistani, Western African
From the Arabic ملك (malik) meaning "king, sovereign, monarch" (see Malik (1)), used by Indian Hindus and Muslims.
MAOULOUDWestern African
Derived from Arabic مولود‎‎ (mawlud) meaning "born, newborn", used to refer to the مولد (Mawlid) observance of the birth of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (chiefly Mauritanian).
M'BARECKWestern African
Derived from Arabic مُبَارَك (mubārak) meaning "blessed, fortunate, lucky" (chiefly Mauritanian).
M'BEIRICKWestern African
Most likely a variant of M’Bareck.
MESSOUDWestern African
From the given name Mas'ud; used in Mauritania.
MIKELEnglish, Nigerian
From the given name Mikel.
Means, "see".
ODERASAKYoruba (Rare)
It is Yoruba mispronunciation of the the name Oscar. It was a middle name that became a last name.
Odoemene roots from Nigeria. It has branched onward to America, and multiple other countries. It literally means 'yellow reluctance' in Igbo.
Meaning unknown.
"Olatunji" is a Yoruba surname and a given name meaning "Wealth awakes again".
ONYILOGWUNigerian (Rare), Igbo (Rare)
Possibly means "he who is invulnerable to dark magic" in Igbo.
OSEIWestern African
Very popular surname in Ghana.
OUBEIDWestern African
Mauritanian variant of Obeid (see Ubayd).
ỌYÁWÁLÉYoruba, Nigerian
Means "the river goddess came home" in Yoruba.
Meaning unknown.
A name from the history of the urhobo culture. It's been noted that the name indicate strength and is the name attached to it. The important vice of the tradition. Leads trivial matters in hope for liberty.
"The way of the rich man" or "The way of prosperity"
QUARTEYWestern African, Ga
Ga surname of unknown meaning.
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
SELASSIEEthiopian, Amharic, Western African
Possibly means "trinity" in Amharic. A notable bearer was Haile Selassie (1892-1975), the regent and emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
Meaning unknown.
SOUEIDIWestern African
Mainly found in Mauritania.
SOUEILEMWestern African
Meaning unknown—this surname is mainly found in Mauritania.
Meaning unknown.
TANGARAWestern African, Manding
Malian Bambara surname of unknown meaning.
Means, "father's love". Has its history from Tiv origin. Its a common name amongst the Tiv people of Nigeria.
TRAORÉWestern African, Manding
Manding surname of unknown meaning and etymology. It is a common surname in Western Africa.
Meaning unknown.
Means, "Remember the father". Father also used in the context of God.
From the given name Uthman.
Meaning unknown.
ZEIDANEWestern African
Mauritanian variant of Zidane.