Basotho baby names for boys and girls
Here's a selection of South Africa's lovely Sotho baby names.
(Parent24)
Source

Updated: 23 May 2017

In this list we celebrate beautiful Sesotho baby names for boys and girls. Also see our other SA language baby name lists:

  • Top baby names in South Africa: 2015/16
  • Zulu baby names for boys and girls
  • Tshivenda baby names (new!)
  • ABC of Xhosa names
  • ABC of Setswana names
  • Our full baby names list
  • A

    Amohelang: Receive
    Amose: Amos (Bible)
    Arabang: Reply, respond
    Ata: Multiply, increase

    B

    Baholo: Elders
    Basetsana: Young girls
    Bereng: Famous Basotho chief
    Bohlokoa: Precious
    Bokang: Praise, rejoice
    Bongoe: Oneness
    Bonolo: Ease
    Bontle/Botle: Beauty
    Buang: Speak, chat

    D

    Diboko: Praises
    Dikeledi: Tears
    Dikgang: Arguments
    Dikotsi: Accidents
    Dimakatso: Surprises, amazements
    Dimo: Man eater in Basotho legends
    Dimpho: Presents, gifts
    Dineo: Gfits, talents, grants
    Dintle: Beauty
    Dipalesa: Flowers
    Disebo: Whispers
    Dithole: Dusty, waste
    Ditsheho: Laughter
    Ditswanelo: Suitable things

    E

    Esaia: Isaiah (Bible)
    Estere: Esther (Bible)
    Ezekiele: Ezekiel (Bible)

    F

    Felleng: Beyond the End, exposed
    Filemone: Philemon (Bible)
    Fumane: Found, discovered

    H

    Hlompho: Respect

    I

    Itumeleng: Be joyous, grateful

    J

    Jakobo: James (Bible)
    Jeremia: Jeremiah (Bible)
    Jeso: Jesus (Bible)
    Jobo: Job (Bible)
    Joele: Joel (Bible)
    Johanne: John (Bible)
    Jonase: Jonah (Bible)
    Josefa: Joseph (Bible)

    K

    Kabelo: Inheritance, given
    Kamohelo: Acceptance, a welcome
    Kananelo: Approval, appreciation
    Karabo: Answer
    Katleho: Success
    Kekeletso: Addition
    Kelebohile: I am grateful
    Keneiloe/Keneoue/Keneuwe: I have been given
    Kerefese: From English name Griffiths
    Keromang: One who was sent
    Kgethang: Choose
    Kgotso/Khotso: Peace, tranquility
    Khabane: Valuable, precious, warrior
    Khauhelo/Kgauhelo: Compassion, pity
    Khethang: Choose
    Khothatso: Encouragement
    Khotsofalang: Be satisfied
    Kotsi: Danger, accident
    Kutloano/Kutlwano: Mutual understanding
    Kutloisiso/Kutlwisiso: Understanding

    L

    Leabua: You speak (formal or plural)
    Leauoa: from "ho lauoa?" (to be advised)
    Leba la ka: My pigeon
    Lebo: Short form of Lebohang
    Lebohang: Be thankful
    Lebona: The one who sees
    Lefa: Inheritance
    Lefu: Death, misfortune
    Lehlohonolo: Luck
    Lekhotla/Lekgotla: Court of law
    Lemoha/Lemohang: Take cognisance
    Lenka: Taker
    Leoatle/Lewatle: Ocean
    Lepolesa: Police officer
    Lepoqo: Moshoeshoe's real name
    Lerato: Love
    Lereko: Abundance, merciful
    Lesebo: Gift from the ancestors
    Leseli/Lesedi: Light, illumination
    Letlotlo: Treasure
    Letšatši: Sun, day
    Letsie: Basotho chief
    Letsoalo/Letswalo: Fear, apprehension
    Liboko: Praises
    Liepollo: Revelations, exposures
    Likeleli: Teardrops
    Likengkeng: Tears
    Likhang: Arguments
    Likhapa: Tears
    Likotsi: Accidents
    Limakatso: Surprises, amazements
    Limpho: Gifts, presents
    Lineo: Talents, gifts, grants
    Lintle: Beauty
    Lipalesa: Flowers
    Lisebo: Whispers
    Litšeho: Laughter 
    Litšehoana: Little laughter 
    Lithole: Dusty waste
    Litsoanelo: Suitable things
    Luka: Luke (Bible)

    M

    Mafatle: probably adapted from "mafatla" which means a bald head showing old age and wisdom
    Majobo: Mother of Job
    Makalo: Perplexity, surprise, bewilderment
    Makgotla: Courts of law
    Makhokolotso: Refuse
    Makhotla: Courts of law
    Malefane: One who pays
    Malefu: Mother of death or illness
    Maleshoane: Ladybird
    Malesotho: Mother of Lesotho
    Maletšatši: From the day or sun
    Mamello: Patience, perseverance
    Mampe: Mother of ugliness
    Mantso: The dark one
    Mantsopa: One of the female leaders in the history of Basotho
    Mareka: Mark (Bible)
    Maria/Mariha: Mary
    Masilo: Traditional name from legends
    Masilonyane: Diminutive form of "Masilo" (both used often with twins)
    Masoabi: Shame
    Masopha: Basotho chief (son of Moshoeshoe)
    Matšeliso: Consolation
    Mathapelo/Mmathapelo: Mother of prayer (or mother of Thapelo)
    Mathe: Saliva
    Matjhatjhametse: The swift one
    Matlakala: Refuse
    Matshediso: Consolation
    Mattheu: Matthew (Bible)
    Mikea: Micah (Bible)
    Mmalefu: Mother of death or illness
    Mmalesotho: Mother of Lesotho
    Mmampe: Mother of ugliness
    Mmaseretse: Mother of mud
    Modise: Short form of Modisana
    Moeketsi: The multiplier, proliferator
    Moeletsi: Advisor
    Mohapi: Victor
    Mohato: Step
    Mohau: Pity, mercy
    Mohlomi: One of the wisest leaders, the "founder" or "planter"
    Moipone: Self-admirer
    Mojalefa: Heir
    Mokhethi/Mokgethi: The one who will choose
    Mokhachane: Moshoeshoe's father (historic)
    Mokhasi: The one who crawls
    Molahlehi: The lost one
    Molapo: Name of a Basotho chief, meaning stream, river
    Molise: A short form of Molisana
    Moluleloa: We have long awaited your arrival
    Monaheng: One of the ancestral chiefs (historic)
    Mookho: Tear, lacrimation
    Moratuoa/Moratuwa: Darling
    Mosa: Grace
    Mosela: Tail, the last one
    Moselantja: The dog's tail
    Mosemodi/Mosimodi/Mosimoli: Traditional boy's name from legends, fables
    Mosemotsane: Diminutive form of "Mosemodi" (both used often with twins)
    Moshanyana: Boy
    Moshe: Moses (Bible)
    Moshoeshoe: Father of the Basotho nation (first king)
    Mosimotsana: Traditional name from legends, fables
    Mosiuoa: The abandoned one
    Motlalepule: The rain bringer
    Motle: Beautiful
    Motsamai: Traveller
    Motsumi: The seeker
    Mphafane: Praiser
    Mpho: Gift, present
    Mponeng: Behold me, admire me
    Mutloanyana: Little rabbit

    N

    Naledi: Star
    Nana: Baby, infant
    Neo: Gift, talent, grant
    Ngoana: Child, also used to refer to girls
    Nkhetheleng: Choose for me
    Nkoe/Nkwe: Tiger
    Nkoeneane/Nkoenyane/Nkwenyane: Little tiger
    Nku: Sheep
    Nthabi: Short form of Nthabiseng (make me happy)
    Nthabiseng: Make me happy
    Nthati: One to love me
    Nthatisi: Historical female name
    Nthofeela: Thing
    Ntja: Dog
    Ntsebo: Adapted from the word for whispers
    Ntsoaki/Ntswaki: The girls among boys, usually given to a girl who is the only daughter among male siblings 
    Ntsu: Eagle
    Nyakallo: Joy

    O

    Oagile/Oatile: The household has been firmly built
    Oarona: Ours
    Oupanyana: Small grandfather (from Afrikaans: oupa)

    P

    Paballo: Protection
    Palesa: Flower
    Paolosi: Paul (Bible)
    Paseka: Easter 
    Peterose: Peter (Bible)
    Phahamo: Eminence
    Pheello: Perseverance, insistence
    Pheko: Remedy, cure
    Phethisi: Completion, execution
    Phetoho: Change
    Phutheho: Congregation, collection
    Piti: Derived from Afrikaans name Piet
    Polo: Alligator, Polomashwashe
    Poloko: Safety
    Pontso: Show, exhibition, revelation
    Pula: Rain
    Pulane: Rainy
    Pule/Puleng: Rainy, in the rain, during the rain

    Q

    Qenehelo: Pity
    Qhonqholotsane: Traditional name

    R

    Ramatjato: From tjato, agility
    Ramatla: From matla, strength
    Ramona: From mona, selfishness
    Ratsebo: From tsebo, knowledge
    Ratu: Love of mine
    Reabetsoe/Reabetswe: We have been provided for
    Reabiloe/Reabilwe: We have been blessed Reaboka: We are full of praise
    Realeboha: We are thankful
    Reaotlotla: We praise His name, glory to God
    Refiloe/Refilwe: We have been given, awarded
    Relebohile: We have thanked / We are grateful
    Remaketse: We're surprised
    Rethabile: We are happy
    Ruthe: Ruth (Bible)

    S

    Sakaria: Zechariah (Bible)
    Samuele: Samuel (Bible)
    Sechaba/Setjhaba: Nation
    Seeiso: Basotho chief (may be related to verb ending '-isa', to take to/to lead to)
    Seeng: Gone, astray
    Seeta: Seth (Bible)
    Sehloho: Cruelty, disaster
    Sekgolokgotjhane: Wanderer
    Sello: Wailing
    Senate: Mother of King Moshoeshoe II
    Senkatana: Boy hero in many Basotho legends
    Seretse: Mud
    Setene: Derived from Afrikaans surname Steyn
    Shoeshoe: Flower from the tsikitlane plant Hypoxis argentea
    Sofonia: Zephaniah (Bible)

    T

    Tšeliso: Consolation
    Tšepiso: Promise
    Tšepo: Hope
    Tšoeu: White one
    Tšehla: Yellow Man, lion's cub
    Tau: Lion
    Tebatso: Distraction, makes one forget
    Tebello: Expectation
    Tebelo: Vigil, wake Teboho: Gratitude
    Tefo: Payment, reward
    Thaba: Mountain
    Thabang: Be happy
    Thabiso: Joy bringer
    Thabo: Happiness
    Thapeli: Appeal
    Thapelo: Prayer, plea
    Thato: Love
    Thebe: Shield
    Thoriso: Praise
    Thuso: Help
    Thuto: Lesson
    Tiisetso: Perseverance
    Timotia: Timothy (Bible)
    Tlali: Fulfilled
    Tlhokomelo: Care, being careful
    Tlholo: Victory
    Tlotliso: Honour
    Toebanya: Little mouse
    Tokoloho: Freedom, independence
    Topollo: Emancipation, release, make free
    Tsebo: Knowledge
    Tsela: Path
    Tselane: Traditional fable name
    Tshediso: Consolation
    Tshepiso: Promise
    Tshepo: Hope
    Tsie: Locust
    Tsietsi: Predicament, dilemma
    Tsotang: Amazement, astonishment
    Tsweu: White one
    Tumelo: Faith
    Tumisang: Give praise

    Many thanks to Mr Mojalefa Makhele, lecturer in African Languages at the University of the Free State.

    Sources: Sesotho WebSesotho Setswana Silozi Heritage Facebook Page, reader submissions.

    Did we miss a name? Please send us your Sesotho name with meaning to babynames@parent24.com.

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