Popular Akwa Ibom Words, Names and Meanings

Akwa Ibom State is a state of cultural diversity and language similarities. The state is home to some of the over 500 languages spoken in the country. Generally, there are over 20 languages spoken as first languages in Akwa Ibom State, and though with some minor dialectical differences, there are still some common denominators in all languages spoken.

While most of the languages spoken are in the minority, the major languages in the state are Anaang, Ibibio, and Igbo. The Ibibio language, which is spoken by the state’s largest group, belongs to the Benue-Congo language family, which forms part of the Niger-Congo group of languages.

The language shares some similarities with the Annang and Efik but differences exist in speaking. However, they have the same alphabet in writing. Other Akwa Ibom languages that sound similar are Ibeno and Eket. This article presents you with the most popular Akwa Ibom words, names and their meanings.

Note that most Akwa Ibom words are written in Latin Nsibidi, which is an ancient system of graphic communication, a system of symbols or proto-writing developed in what is now the far South of Nigeria.

20 Popular Akwa Ibom Words and Phrases for Beginners

Learning the Akwa Ibom language could be a bit challenging, especially for non-indigenes. This is because of some disparities in spoken words. Below are some of the popular Akwa Ibom words you can learn as a beginner.

1. Amesiere/ Emesiere

  • Meaning: Good morning greeting for one person. If you are to greet more than one person, then the word to use is Emesiere, and a proper reply to this should be Emesiere nde. Good morning is also translated as Alaha (pronounced Alagha) in Oron language.
  • Commonly used in: Efik Ibibio and Annang.

2. Mokom – o

  • Meaning: I greet you. This is another form of saying ‘Hi’ to either a person or people. It is the commonest form of greeting among Ibibio people. This can be used in all situations whether the person greeted is sitting down, standing up, walking, working or whatever else he may be doing.

These Akwa Ibom words can serve as both ‘Good afternoon and Good evening. A perfect response for it is mme- kom nde – o or Ekọm do: I greet you too. A variation of this could be ‘Ke Anam – o’ which is said to someone while working.

  • Commonly used in: Ibibio, Annang and Efik

3. Sòsòñò (esòsòñò plural) 

  • Meaning: Thank you. You can say “sòsòñò” when you are addressing one person but when they are many, the Akwa Ibom word to say thank you is “esòsòñò”. A simple reply for Akwa Ibom words like sòsòñò or ‘sósóngó eti eti’ (Thank you very much) meaning is ‘Ọfọn o’
  • Commonly Used in: Ibibio, Annang and Efik

4. Amedi (emedi Plural)

  • Meaning: Welcome. This can be said to a person (Amedi ) or persons (emedi)  who is just returning from a journey or you have not seen them for a long time. In the Efik language, Emedi is most commonly used to say welcome to either a person or people. so, whichever of the two words you use is appropriate depending on the community you find yourself. You can reply by simply saying Sọsọñọ or Sọsọñọ eti eti as already explained above.

5. Amenam eti eti (emenam eti eti plural)

  • Meaning: You have done well. Another way of appreciating someone or people for their kind gesture or for doing something helpful. ‘Emenam’ is best used when referring to more than one person.
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio, Annang and Efik

6. Kaa di

  • Meaning: Goodbye. This is another important Akwa Ibom word you will need to learn as a beginner. It is a subtle way of dismissing yourself from a meeting or conversation. You can as well use the word Tie suñ. When saying goodbye to more than one person, then ‘Ekaya edi’ will be the appropriate word to use. You can also say farewell which is ‘Ka di – o’.
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio and Annang tribes. Efik tribe can say ‘Tie suñ,  or  ‘Ka di’

7. kpe

  • Meaning: Sorry. This is a short way of saying I am sorry. It is an Ibibio word but is primarily used by other Akwa Ibom tribes. However, some part of Efik people say ‘Ìnín’ instead

8. Mbók

  • Meaning: Please or excuse me. This is one of the Akwa Ibom words you should get handy. It could be a polite way of calling one’s attention.
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio and Efik tribes

9. Mbọk nwam mi!

  • Meaning: Help (Me). A form of calling one’s or people’s attention for help in times of distress. This could replace ‘Mbọk’ when the need for help becomes urgent.
  • Commonly Used in: Ibibio, Annang and Efik

10. Ami mme uma fien

  • Meaning: I love you/I like you. A common way of showing affection or likeness for someone. A simple reply to this could be ‘Sọsọñọ,’ which means thank you in English. A variant of this is ‘Mme ama fi’ (Efik word for I love you)
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio and Annang

11. Di dia mkpò

  • Meaning: Come and eat. A common invitation for someone to join you while eating your meal. You could reply by saying ‘Mbok’ as the case may be.
  • Commonly used in: Annang, Efik, and Ibibio.

12. Anwaña fi?       

  • Meaning: Do you understand? As used during conversations to ensure the person you are chatting with truly understands what you are saying. A possible reply for this should be Anwaña mi meaning ‘I understand’, or Inwañake mi, meaning ‘I don’t understand. If the listener wants you to repeat what you said then the right word to say should be Mbọk fiak tin ise, meaning ‘Please say that again’
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio, Annang and Efik

13. Saña suñ

  • Meaning: Safe Journey. This is a perfect Akwa Ibom word for someone wishing a friend or beloved one a safe trip. It could replace the Akwa Ibom words Tie suñ or Ka di which is ‘Goodbye’ as already explained above. As expected, the reply to this should be Sọsọñọ (thank you)
  • Commonly used in: Annang and Efik

14. Kudọñọ aba    

  • Meaning: Get well soon. Best for wishing a friend or loved one a quick recovery from their illness. It is much preferred to ‘Ìnín’ which is an Akwa Ibom word for ‘Sorry’.
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio, Efik

15. Idem Fo?

  • Meaning: How are You? This could serve as a question or a way of saying Hi. It is a variation of ‘Etie didie? which means How is it with you?
  •  Commonly Used in: Efik and Ibibio

16. Suk tie

  • Meaning: Sit down. Depending on the tone, Suk tie is an Akwa Ibom word that is used by mostly all the tribes in the state. It could either serve as a command or a simple invitation to engage one in a discussion.
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio, Efik,

17. Wut mi itie ukeñ idem/esa uyere mmọñ?

  • Meaning: Where’s the toilet/bathroom? A proper and polite Akwa Ibom word to request to use the restroom.
  • Commonly used in: Ibibio, Annang

18. Enem mi ndi kut fi

  • Meaning: Pleased to meet you. A polite way of greeting someone who you are meeting for the first time.
  • Commonly used in: Efik and Ibibio

19. Afo to idun emi? 

  • Meaning: Are you from this village? It is different from the Akwa Ibom word Oto mmọñ? which means where are you from? However, the two Akwa Ibom words can stand in for each other. A proper answer to this should start with In (Yes), Nto …(I’m from), or Ínín (No), Nto …(I’m from…)
  • Commonly used in: Efik, Ibibio

20. Ekere didie?

  • Meaning: What is your name? A common way to identify oneself. To go ahead and identify yourself, you will start by saying Enyin mi edi … or Ekot mi …, meaning ‘My name is…’
  • Commonly used in: Efik

Most Common Akwa Ibom Names and their Meanings

Akwa Ibom people also attach importance to names, and it’s no wonder that names such as Ebong, Ubong, Effiong Obong, and Idio are freely given to their offspring with embedded meanings attached. however, most of these names are historical, many of which depict their oriental origin names are historical, many of which depict their oriental origin.

The Efik people, for instance, have their naming system based on four categories: the proper names which link children genealogically to their ancestors; names that indicate what day of the week or time of day a child is born.

Pet names traceable through time to the parent after whom the child is properly named; a system of names used only by peers and contemporaries oftentimes, indicating valor or some other exceptional attribute of note. This naming method is common in most  Akwa Ibom tribes. Here is a list of some most popular Akwa Ibom names and their meanings.

Note: The Ibibio language does not have the letter “G.” The “g” in Anaang words for example is only used to show how the words are pronounced. “-ng” sound in English is written as “ñ” in Ibibio.

1. Akpan

  • Meaning: “First Son.” It is a popular name given to every first son of a family, especially among the Ibibio/Efik people. The name roughly translates to ‘most important or ‘of great worth’.
  • Origin: Ibibio/Efik

2. Anietie 

  • Meaning: “Who is like God? or Who could you compare (to God)?. This is the short form for “Anietie-nte-Abasi” and can be a name for both males and females.
  • Origin: Efik

3. Uwanna

  • Meaning: ‘Light’ or Shine like a light. It is a unisex name commonly used in akwa Ibom state.
  • Origin:  Ibibio, Annang

4. Obong

  • Meaning: King or a paramount leader. Not exclusively given to those of royal lineage. It is a name given with the expectation that the bearer will grow up to become somebody of great value to his parents and society, someone of class.
  • Origin: Efik
See also  Beginner Yoruba Words and their Meaning in English

5. Ima-Obong

  • Meaning: Love of God or “God’s love. Mostly a female name
  • Origin: Anang, Efik.

6. Uduak Abasi

  • Meaning: Love of God or “God’s will. Mostly a female name. Uduak means “will” while Abasi is God.
  • Origin: Ibibio

7. Aniekeme – Abasi

  • Meaning: Who is able like God? It is an Akwa Ibom name for both males and females. It can also be short formed as  just Aniekeme which means “who is Able”
  • Origin: Annang, Efik, Ibibio, etc.

8. Okon

  • Meaning: “Moonlight.” It is an Akwa Ibom name for a male child that is born at night.
  • Origin: Efik, Ibibio, etc

9. Ubong

  • Meaning: “Glory.” It is an Akwa Ibom name for a male child. It is most often given to the bearer as a prophecy of positivity.
  • Origin: Efik, AnnanfIbibio, etc.

10. Aniefiok

  • Meaning: “Who knows?” It’s the short form for “Aniefiok mkpong,” meaning, “Who knows tomorrow?” Although God’s name is not directly mentioned, the name presents Him as the omniscient—the one who knows everything and has the future in his hands.
  • Origin: ibibio and Efik

11. Ekanem

  • Meaning: Mother is sweet or Sweet mother. It is a unisex name meaning that the name is suitable for both males and females.
  • Origin: Efik

12. Ekemini

  • Meaning: “God’s Appointment Time”. It is a male name meaning that the name is suitable for both male and female children. Some could also translate it to mean “Now is God’s appointed time.”
  • Origin: Ibibio, Annang,

13. Effiong

  • Meaning: Light or “Illumination.” Mostly a male name, Effiong is a name given to a male child that was born on the day of Akwa Fion, one of the 8 days in the ancient Ibibio-Efik calendars.” It is said to signify ambition, independence, strength, reliability, determination and professionalism.
  • Origin: Efik,

14. Ekaette

  • Meaning: Father’s Mom or “Mother of the father.” It is a traditional name for a female.
  • Origin: Efik

15. Nyangnnoabasi

  • Meaning: All left for God. This is a name given to a male Akwa Ibom child mostly born during challenging periods faced by the parents prior to his birth.
  • Origin: Efik, Ibibio

 16. Edidiong

  • Meaning: Blessing. A name for both male and female Akwa Ibom children but mostly given to female children.
  • Origin: Annang, Ibibio, and Efik.

17. Akaninyene

  • Meaning: Akaninyene. One of the most common names given to an Akwa Ibom child to reference the importance of a child over riches.
  • Origin: Ibibio

18. Owoidighe-abasi

  • Meaning: Man is not [God]” or ‘No one is like God’. A beautiful Akwa Ibom name that references the supremacy of God over everything.
  • Origin: Efik and Ibibio

19. Nyaknno Abasi

  • Meaning: I surrender unto God. A name for both male and female. Most Akwa Ibom parents name their children so to reference their total to the will of their creator.
  • Origin: Efik

20. Uyai Abasi

  • Meaning: God’s beauty. Mostly a female name and it is often shortened as ‘Beauty’.
  • Origin: Efik, Ibibio

Names of God in Akwa Ibom Language

Akwa Ibom people are very religious just like the people in most of its neighbouring states. Despite the influence of Christianity, education, and modernization, most of the communities in Akwa Ibom State adhere graciously to their age-long traditions and cultural practices into the 21st century.

Akwa Ibom words

However, there is a general belief in the supremacy of God who is the creator of all things. Interestingly most of the communities in the state have more than one name for God and with different meanings or interpretations. This is mostly dependent on how and the way they see God. Below are some of the common names Akwa Ibom people call God

1. Abasi

  • Meaning: It means the one who directs or controls the universe. This name of God suggests that He is
    above any other being and rules over heaven and earth.
    Origin: Efik, Ibibio, Eket Okobo (Okkobor), Oron etc. The name is mostly mentioned in a petition prayer and used to praise God while admitting his supremacy.

2. Abasi Afid Abuk

  • Meaning: This means God of All Flesh. Commonly used to reference God’s supreme control over mankind and all the beasts on the earth.
  • Origin: Efik, Ibibio. People use this name mostly during prayer and thanksgiving l sessions, mostly to reference His control over their situation

3. Abasi Enyong

  • Meaning: The supreme one. It is a general name for God; although there are several other names, this name stands as a general term for the Supreme God.
  • Origin: Annang, Ibibio. The name is most commonly used to differentiate the supreme God from other gods the people of Annang worship.

4. Abasi Mbom Mmi 

  • Meaning: God of Mercy or Merciful God. It is believed that God forgives without minding how big a person’s sin may be.
  • Origin: Ibibio, Efik. It is used in times of confession – mainly when a person acknowledges his sin and trusts God for mercies.

5. Osa Nudazi

  • Meaning: The impregnable. People call God impregnable in Akwa Ibom language to show that he cannot be defeated or overcome.
  • Origin: Oron, Ibibio, Efik. The name is mainly used when one is fighting a battle and needs God to intervene.

6. Itiat Nsinsi

  • Meaning: Rock of ages. This gives meaning to His Divine power, faithfulness and love.
  • Origin: Ibibio. Commonly used to show that God is immutable, immovable, and to all who run to Him, a shelter and to all who trust in Him, an everlasting foundation.

7. Ano owo emem

  • Meaning: Giver of peace.
  • Origin: Ibibio. Commonly used in worship, and praise. The user may be asking for peace or thanking God for peace.

8. Abasi Ifiok

  • Meaning: All-wise God or the All-knowing God.
  • Origin: Efik, Annang, Ibibio, etc d: In acknowledgement of God’s power to know beyond human knowledge and to attest to his wisdom.

9. Utuen Ikang Ekondo

  • Meaning: Light of the World. This could be substituted as Unwana Abasi… God of light.
  • Origin: Efik, Ibibio. In praise to show the uniqueness of God through purity, goodness, holiness, and perfection associated with light.

10. Andikpon Nkan

  • Meaning: God who is bigger than the biggest
  • Origin: Annang, Oron, Ibibio. Mostly used to reference the greatness of God in times of trouble

11. Obot owo ndot ukama

  • Meaning: Creator of man and one who is capable of caring.
  • Origin: Ibibio, Efik. In hallowing or thanksgiving, when one concedes to have been in existence due to a creator -God!

12. Awana ekong ibuot ikpong

  • Meaning: Fighter of individual battle
  • Origin: Annang, Ibibio. This God’s name is used when calling him for help in times of need, weakness, trials, and help or tribulations

13. Ufan Akan Ufan

  • Meaning: Friend above all Friends
  • Origin: Ibibio. This is mostly used with respect to praising God and portraying his simplicity even though he is a consuming fire.

14. Abasi Usen Eset

  • Meaning: Ancient of days. This attests that God is timeless, and no matter how time passes, He will still maintain His position as a ruler.
  • Origin: Oron, Ibibio, Efik. It is used in reverence of God as being the same without minding time, and neither does

15. Ayanha owo Ifiok

  • Meaning: He that surpasses the Wisdom of man.
  • Origin: Efik. In attestation to God’s words as true, filled with wisdom, and without an iota of deceit. It is mostly used in praising God.

16. Obong Nme Mbong

  • Meaning: King of kings.
  • Origin: Eket, Okobo (Okkobor), Ibibio, Oron. Used in the prayer of thanksgiving, praise, and adoration to give God the highest seat as above all kings of all Akwa Ibom kingdoms or other kings of the earth

17. Ntoho ye utit Abasi

  • Meaning: Beginning and the End.
  • Origin: Oron, Ibibio. Mostly used in praise and worship and in referencing God as unstoppable.

18. Atang Anam Abasi

  • Meaning: He that speaks and does or One whose words cannot be altered.
  • Origin: Ibibio, Annang. One declares God as unchangeable and when asking for blessing while keying into promises made by God through his children in time (e.g., promises to
    Abraham in the Christian Holy Bible and Islamic Qur’an). It is also used mostly by people in need while reminding God of his ability to make things happen.

19. Adong owo utom nkene nkaa 

  • Meaning: He that sends you on a journey and follows you on the journey.
  • Origin: Efik, Ibibio. Used in Akwa Ibom language to reference God’s help in times of need. More like man’s helper Atua owo mbom or He that saveth when called upon Atommo Uboho Abasi.

20. Abot Idem Ikpong

  • Meaning: Self-Exiting God
  • Origin: Ibibio. Used in prayer to reference God’s supremacy and that he is neither owned nor controlled by anyone.

Other Popular Names of God In Akwa Ibom Language

  • Andiwam – Helper
  • Andifak mi –  My Deliverer.
  • Abasi Ubong –  God of Glory.
  • Iko Uwem – Word of life.
  • Enyen Abasi – Son of God
  • Abasi Ima – God of Love
  • Otuekong – Mighty man in battle or Warrior
  • Uko ke Ekong – Mighty man in battle.
  • Akukko Mmong Eyet – Wiper of tears
  • Abasi ketu Mme abasi – God of all gods.
  • Unwana ke ekim – Light in the darkness.
  • Utuenikang Ukpong mi – Lamp of my soul.
  • Andikong nkan Abasi – Higher than the highest
  • Ebiet Uboho Nmi – My Tower of deliverance.
  • Awana ekong ibuot ikpong – Fighter of individual battle.
  • Atommo Uboho Abasi – He that saveth when called upon.
  • Abasi usen Nnana enyen – God in time of grief


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