Afro-American (Slavery-era) Submitted Names

These names are were used by African slaves in the Americas.
gender
usage
Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
Abba f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Short form of Abena. This was used by early slaves in the American south.
Amoretta f American (Rare), Theatre, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Latinate form of Amoret, from Edmund Spenser's epic poem The Faerie Queene (1590).
Anarcha f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Perhaps based on the English word anarchy meaning "absence of government". A known bearer of this name was Anarcha Westcott, an Alabama slave woman who, in the latter 1840s, was subjected to years of surgical experimentation at the hands of gynecologist J. Marion Sims.
Benah f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Short form of Gubena or Abena. This was used by early slaves in the American South - attested in the 1730s in South Carolina... [more]
Beneba f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
English corruption of Abena. This was used by early slaves in the American south. Attested in the 1730's in South Carolina.
Box m Afro-American (Slavery-era, Rare)
Henry Box Brown (c. 1815 – June 15, 1897) was a 19th-century Virginia slave who escaped to freedom at the age of 33 by arranging to have himself mailed in a wooden crate in 1849 to abolitionists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Calinette f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Possibly derived from French câline, the feminine form of the adjective câlin "cuddly" (ultimately via Old French from Vulgar Latin *calina, which itself is from Latin calidus "warm").
Caron m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Variant of both Charon and Chéron. It might, however, also be a transferred use of the surname.
Catin f French (Archaic), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Originally a (now archaic) French diminutive of Catherine. While in Louisiana French catin also means "doll; mannequin, dummy", in European French catin means "harlot, slattern" (which is no doubt the reason this form of the name fell out of usage in France).
Choisi m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Derived from French choisi, the past participle of choisir "to choose; (obsolete) to perceive, distinguish".
Cubbenah m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
English corruption of Kwabena. This was used by early slaves in the American south. Attested in the 1730's in South Carolina.
Cudjoe m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Anglicized form of Kojo used by early slaves in the American South. It is attested in the 1730s in South Carolina. This name was borne by Cudjoe Lewis (c. 1840-1935), the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and the United States.
Cuff m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Anglicized form of Kofi. According to George Rippey Stewart in American Given Names (1979): "It was a common name for a black during the slave period, but died out in the late 19th century."
Cupidon m Roman Mythology (Gallicized), Literature, French (African, Rare), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
French form of Cupid. It was mentioned in Marquis de Sade's novel 'The 120 Days of Sodom' (1785) as belonging to one of the male victims.
Dilcey f American (South, Archaic), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Possibly a variant of Dulcie or Dilly. Margaret Mitchell used this name in her historical novel Gone with the Wind (1936), where it belongs to a slave on Scarlett O'Hara's plantation.
Dred m English (American), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Short form of (feminine) Etheldred. Dred Scott (c. 1799-1858) was an African American slave who unsuccessfully sued for his and his family's freedom before the Supreme Court of the United States in the landmark case Dred Scott v. Sandford... [more]
Friday m & f Literature, English (Rare), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
As an English feminine name, this was previously a short form of Frideswide, dating from the 17th century (note, Frideswide was recorded in various forms such as Fridayweed, Fridaysweede and Frydiswide)... [more]
Gubena f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
English corruption of Abena. This was used by early slaves in the American south. Attested in the 1730's in South Carolina.
Juba f African American, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Anglicized form of Adjoa used by early slaves in the American South. It is attested in the 1730s in South Carolina.
Lindor m Theatre, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Of uncertain origin and meaning; theories include a corruption of Leander. This name first featured in medieval romances, often for lovelorn shepherds, later appearing in Jean-Baptiste Niels's ballet Les Romans (1736), Egidio Duni's opera Nina et Lindor (1761) and Mozart's Variation in E-flat Major on the romance "Je suis Lindor".
Magloire m French, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
French masculine and feminine form of Maglorius (see Maglorio).
Mimba f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Form of Ama used by early slaves in the American South and Jamaica. This was given to girls born on Saturday.
Mingo m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
One of the commoner African names, used for slaves, in the United States' period of slavery. Its meaning and connections are uncertain. It went out of use early, perhaps by 1800.
Monimia f Theatre, Literature, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Probably a Latinate form of Monime, first used by Thomas Otway for the title character in his tragic play The Orphan (1680). It was subsequently used by the Scottish author Tobias Smollett (also for an orphan character) in his novel The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom (1753), and later by English poet and novelist Charlotte Smith for the heroine of her novel The Old Manor House (1793), which was a huge bestseller in the last decade of the 18th century... [more]
Olaudah m History, Igbo (Anglicized, ?), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Possibly a form of the Igbo name Olaedo. This was borne by former slave, anti-slavery campaigner and autobiographer Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797), the son of a West African village chief.
Phibba f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Form of Afua used by early slaves in the American South and Jamaica. This was given to girls born on Friday. It was sometimes Anglicized as Phoebe.
Quaco m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Form of Kwaku used by early slaves in the American South and Jamaica. It was sometimes Anglicized as Jack.
Quao m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Form of Yaw used by early slaves in the American South and Jamaica. This was the name of an 18th-century Jamaican rebel slave who co-led a community of formerly enslaved Africans called the Windward Maroons.
Quasheba f African American (Rare), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Feminine variant of Quashee or Quashie, which were anglicized forms of Kwasi... [more]
Redoshi f Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Of uncertain origin. This was the name of the last known survivor of the Transatlantic slave trade, a woman from present-day Benin in West Africa who was kidnapped at about age 12, sold to American slavers and taken to Alabama in 1860... [more]
Sabary m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Likely a transferred use of the surname.
Sambo m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
'In its origin the name has no connection with Samuel. The meaning is uncertain, though similar words occur in several African languages, and the name itself was planted in American by African-born slaves.... [more]
Sans-Soucy m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Derived from French sans-souci "carefree person".
Scipio m Ancient Roman, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
Roman cognomen derived from Latin scipio meaning "staff, walking stick". A known bearer of this name was Scipio Africanus, a Roman general from the 2nd century BC.... [more]
Thursday m & f English (Rare), Afro-American (Slavery-era)
From the name of the day of the week, which ultimately derives from Old English þunresdæg meaning literally "Thor's day", from Þunor (genitive Þunre) and dæg... [more]
Tuesday f & m English, Afro-American (Slavery-era)
From the name of the day of the week, which derives from Old English tiwesdæg, itself composed of Tiw (genitive Tiwes) and dæg meaning "day"... [more]
Yiacinta f Afro-American (Slavery-era, Archaic)
Variant of Jacinta used in the 19th century.
Zip m Afro-American (Slavery-era)
English diminutive of Scipio.