Traditional Names

Disclaimer:This list is still under development and is far from comprehsive. So if we missed your name, or another traditional Gambian name that you know about, please let us know so we can add it to the list.

Below are some fairly common names one may find in The Gambia:

Alieu( Ali)
Momodou (or just 'Modou')
Musa (from Moses)

Amie (Aminata)
Bintu, Binta
Fatoumatta (or just Fatou)

Here is a more comprehensive list of names. This list of names was derived from the Mandinka dictionary, but many of these names are common among the other major ethnic groups in The Gambia as well, such as the Fula, Wolof, and Jola.
Name Pronounced Sex Meaning, or comments
Addo Aadoo m nickname for "Adama"
Amadou Aamadu m one of Muhammad's names
Arn Aan   a first name and a surname
Aba Aba f  
Abbas Abaas m  
Abdou Abdu m short form for Abdoulie
Abi Abi f short form for Abibatu, Abisatou, Abiyatou
Abdoulie Ablaay m short form for Abdoulie
Abdou Abudu m short form for Abdoulie
Abu Abuu m short form for Abuubakar
Adama Adama m or f stands for "Adam"
Adel Adel f  
Aja Aja f title for female pilgrim, short form for "Ajaratu"
Ajamboon Ajamboon f  
Alabatou Alabatu   means ‘to worship’, but is sometimes used as a name for people
Alabatulaa Alabatulaa   worshipper
Alamouta Alamuta   to rely on God, this word is sometimes used as name for people
Alansana Alansana m Alaasana, Lansana, and Sana are variants for Alansana
Alanso Alanso f means "God bless me"
Alifa Alifa m  
Alimatou Alimatu f  
Alieu Aliw m  
Amadou Amadou m  
Amara Amara m  
Anti Antii f  
Attha Attha f  
Antu Antu m  
Antouman Antumaan m  
Aramata Araamata f  
Awa Awa f translation of ‘Eve’
Aisa Ayisa f  
Isatou Ayisatu f long form for Ayisa (Isa)
Bah Ba   a surname
Babou Baabu m Baabu and Buubakar stand for Abuubakar
Badara Badara m  
Balajo Balajo   a surname
Baldeh Balde   a surname
Baluta Baluuta m survived
Bamba Bamba m  
Bakary Bakary m  
Banda Bandaa   a surname
Bandeh Bande   a surname
Banja Banja   a surname
Banora Banoora   a surname
Bango Bango m  
Barrow Baroo   surname
Bassin Bassin f  
Bassirou Basiiru m  
Baturou Batuuru m  
Bailo Bayilo m  
Binta Binta f  
Bintou/Bintu Bintu f  
Biran Biran m  
Birom Birom m  
Bolong Bolong m  
Bora Booraa m also means beard
Boto Booto m  
Boy Booy m also a surname
Bunama Bunaama m  
Banja Bunjaa m  
Buba Buba m  
Burama Buraama m  
Buwa Buwaa m also means witch
Daba Daba m/f  
Damba Damba   a surname
Demba Demba m  
Dembo Demboo m  
Dodou Duudu m  
Duta Duuta m  
Duwa Duwa m  
Ebrima Ebrima m translation of Abraham
Essa Eesaa m translation of Jesus
Ensa Ensaa m translation of Jesus
Fabba Faabaa m  
Fafa Faafa m form of address
Fakebba Faakeebaa m also a father's elder brother
Fanding Fanding m  
Fanta Fanta f  
Fara Fara m  
Faraba Faraba m  
Fatoumatta (Fatou) Fatoumatta f  
Filije Filijee m or f literally means ‘leave it there’. Parents may name a child Filijee so the bad spirits will 'leave it there', especially after one or more previous children have died.
Foday Foodee m eloquent Quranic scholar
Hasimou Haasimu m  
Habib Habiibu m  
Hadang Hadang f  
Haddy Hadi f  
Hassan Hasan m  
Hawa Hawaa f Eve
Ebrima Iburaahiima m Abraham
Ebrahima Iburaayima m Abraham
Idi Idi m short form for Idirissa
Idirissa Idiriisa m name of a prophet
Ilman Ilimaan m  
Isaka Isiyaaka m Isaac
Ismaela Ismaayila m Ismael
Jamang Jaamang m  
Jabou Jabu f  
Jahou Jahou f  
Jalang Jalang m  
Jankeh Jankee f  
Janko Janko m  
Jato Jatoo m also means lion
Jatou Jatu f  
Jebel Jebel m  
Jainaba Jeeneba f  
Jibrin Jibiriin m Gibriel
Jibril Jibril m Gabriel
Jibou Jibu m  
Jombo Jombo m  
Joma Jommaa f  
Jonkong Jonkong m  
Jojo Joojo f  
Joñi Jooñi f  
Juka Juuka f  
Juma Juma m  
Jumu Jumu m  
Junkung Junkung m  
Jung Jung m  
Kabir Kabir m/f  
Kabiru Kabirou m  
Karafa Karafa m  
Karamba Karambaa m great teacher
Karamo Karamoo m also teacher, trainer, tutor
Kasi Kaasi    
Kati Kati f  
Kausu Kawusu m  
Kebba Keebaa m old man, adult, old person
Kekoto Keekotoo m second lunar month
Kekuta Keekuta m  
Kemo Keemoo m  
Kinti Kinti f  
Koba/Kobba Koobaa f also means kitchen
Kumba Kumba f  
Kunda kundaa f place, area
Kunta Kunta m Surname and first name
Kurukemeh Kurukemeh f A hundred kola nuts
Kuta Kuta f lady's name
Kutubo Kutuboo m sermon
Kutu Kutou f  
Lalo/Lallo Laaloo m  
Lafi Lafi m  
Laity Laity m  
Lama Lama m  
Lamin Lamin m very common
Landing Landing m  
Longcan Longcan m  
Mamadi Mamadi m  
Madi Maadi m  
Makuto Maakutu f  
Malamin Maalaamin m  
Malick Maalik m  
Mama Maamaa f granny
Mamanding Maamanding f little mama
Manlafi Manlafi m don't want
Makang Makang m  
Maram Maram f  
Mariama Mariama f translation of Mary
Marang Marang f  
Mbasi Mbaassi f  
Mboose Mboose f  
Mita Meeta    
Mohammed Mohammed m  
Momodou (Modou) Momodou m Muhammad
  Muña m  
Musa Musaa m translation of Moses
Musu Musu f wife, female
Musukebba Musukeebaa f senior wife, elderly woman
Musukuta Musukuta f new woman, new wife, new female
Nfansu Nfansu m  
Nyima Nyima f  
Nyonkoling Ñonkoling f person's name
Ousman Ousman m  


Sarjo m/f  
Sara Saara f  
Saikou Saikou m  
Samba Samba m a surname and first name (m)
Sama Sama m elefant
Sanji Sanji f rain
Satong Satong    
Sherif Sherif m  
Sibo Siboo f rhun palm tree, nick name for Mary
Sisawo Siisaawo m also a surname
Sosseh Soose   Wolof word for Mandinka, a surname
Sulayman Sulayman m  
Sunkarr Sunkari f  
Suntu Suntu    
Suntukung Suntukung m/f rubbish dump
Tamba Tambaa m grey plum, grey bread tree
Tombong Tombong m pick up
Toma Toomaa   person's name, name sake, remainder
Tomaring Toomaaring f little name sake
Wandi/Wandy Wandi m  
Wasa/Wassa Wasa m  
Yama/Yamma Yaama f a short form of Mariama
Yaya Yahya m  
Yoro Yorro m  

Link: A website with an audio guide of how to pronounce names.