Appendix:Luo surnames

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Main category: Luo surnames

List of Luo Surnames:

Luo names follow an order pattern of (1) a Christian given name (these used at least for the past two generations), (2) a personal surname (selected from among over 50 "special" attributes, usually relating to the circumstances of a birth, see below), and (3) a patronymic, the child’s father’s personal surname (a woman assumes her husband’s at marriage). Thus, e.g., Valentine Odhiambo Pengo or Philomena Ogwang Odede.

The commonest Luo “personal surnames” are as follows (O- always indicates a male; A- indicates a female; about 85% of Luo names include one of these). The meaning is indicated, when well known and accepted.

By spelling distortion, “personal surnames” finishing by the “lo” letters can also be find with a double “l” as Akello for Akelo or Omollo for Omolo etc.

  • Agina
  • Adida
  • Obong'o/Abong'o -- Only child
  • Ahenda
  • Obama - Twisting
  • Obiero/Abiero -- born with the placenta (biero mean placenta)
  • Obonyo/[Abonyo] -- Born during locust infestation (Bonyo is locust)
  • Obura/Abura -- Born during a meeting (bura mean meeting)
  • Oburu/Aburu -- Born during a funeral (buru mean ash)
  • Obuo/[Abuo] -- Is a medicinal water plant
  • Ochanda/XXXXX -- Difficult birth (Same for male and female)
  • Ochieng’/Achieng’ -- Born with the sun shining (Born about Noon & after (12n –2pm)) (chieng' mean sun)
  • Ochola/Achola -- Born after the father’s death
  • Ochuka/[Achuka] --
  • Odede/[Adede] --
  • Odero/Adero -- Born during a during a period of abundance (dero mean a granary)
  • Odhiambo/Adhiambo -- Born in the afternoon (Born around dusk (3-6pm); Born in the evening; Born after sunset) (odhiambo mean afternoon)
  • Odhon’g/Adhon’g -- Very old name; Meaning "Fist"
  • Odek - Born when mother had gone to pick traditional vegetables from farm
  • Odika/[Adika] -- Something that Steps hard on the ground
  • Odinga - Luhya Origin
  • Odiwuor/Adiwuor -- Born at night Like Owuor/Awuor(11pm-2am)
  • Odondi/[Adondi] -- Quarrelsome
  • Odongo/Adongo -- Second born of a twin pair
  • Odoyo/Adoyo -- Born during weeding
  • Oduol/[Aduol] -- Born in the father's house (Duol)
  • Oero/Aero -- Very old name; Meaning "To Love"
  • Ogola -- Born outside the house, just under the eave
  • Ogol -- Remove
  • Ogolo --Striger weed
  • Ogot/[Agot] -- Born on a hill (Especially if the mother had taken a walk not expecting the child to come).
  • Ogutu/[Agutu] -- Born next to the traditional Luo Ugali Bowl (Called Ogutu or Hagudu)
  • Oigo/[Aigo] -- Wrestle with
  • Ojwang'/Ajwang' -- Born after father died
  • Ojuok -- Born by the intervention of a spirit (juok mean spirit)
  • Okelo/Akelo -- Born after a pair of twins or the third born of triplets
  • Okech/Akech -- Born in famine
  • Okeyo/Akeyo -- Born at harvest time
  • Okinyi or Okinyo/Akinyi -- Born at dawn (Born just after dawn (6am-10am); Male form rare
  • Okombo/[Akombo] --
  • Okomo/Akomo -- Born in prosperous times or during planting
  • Okongo/Akongo -- Born during celebration especially where alcohol brew is plenty
  • Okoth/Akoth -- Born during rainy season (koth mean rain)
  • Okumu/Akumu -- ‘Mysterious birth’: Conception after a birth, but before resumption of menses (kum mean punition)
  • Okungu/[Akungu] -- Born during the outbreak of caterpillars, which was also an indication of impending bumpler harvest.
  • Oloo/[Aloo] -- It's the luo name for Adam
  • Oludhe/[Aludhe] -- Provoking, as the case of Peninah to Hannah in the Bible
  • Oluoch/Aluoch -- Born during a cloudy season
  • Omolo/Amolo -- Born around dawn (4-6am)
  • Omole
  • Omondi/Amondi -- Born around dawn (6-10am). Mostly men, used interchangeably with Akinyi for women
  • Okoka/[Anoka] -- Luo for Enock
  • Ondiek - Monster or A wild animal especially the Leopard
  • Oneko/[Aneko] -- Mad or Wild
  • [Ong’ina]/Ang’ina -- Round
  • Ongonga/[Angonga] --
  • Onyango/Anyango -- Born in the early morning (Born before Noon (10am-12noon)
  • Ooko/Aoko -- Born out-of-doors (usually unintentionally!)
  • Ooro/Aoro -- Born during dry season (oro mean drought)
  • Opiyo/Apiyo -- First born of a twin pair
  • Opolo/Apolo -- Very old name; Meaning Heavenly
  • Opondo/Apondo -- born hidden (pregnancy was not visible)
  • Osano
  • Otieno/Atieno -- Born at night (7- 11pm) (otieno mean night)
  • Otiende/[Atiende] -- Luhya Origin
  • Ouma/Auma -- Infant delivered into a prostrate position on the ground
  • Owino/Awino -- Born with umbilical cord around neck (Born covered in meconium or caul) (
  • Ounda
  • Owiti/Awiti -- ‘Thrown out’: Mother disowns infant for difficult birth as an apotropaic gesture
  • Owuor or Odwuor/Awuor -- Born between midnight & 2am
  • Oyange/Ayange -- Very old name; Meaning Discovered


Other Luo surnames, not following the “classic” pattern, include:

  • Adede
  • Ajek
  • Gor -- was the “personal surname” of Gor K'Ogalo a famous Luo chief during the 19th century
  • Jalang'o -- A Kalenjin or one who is spirited
  • Jow -- Buffalo
  • Julu
  • Kidenda
  • Kowa - Escort me
  • Hongo
  • Magero - Causing fearfulness
  • Majuma - Swahili origin (Born on friday)
  • Muga - Rhino (But the O removed or corrupted)
  • Ndiege
  • Nyang'au - Hyena (Mostly used in Kisii)
  • Nyaoro -- mean drought's daughter
  • Raila -- Luhya origin (Meaning One who tickles and causes laughter)
  • Ramogi -- Luhya Origin (Corruption of Luo for Lamogi - Their style of worship)
  • Rao or Rawo -- rawo mean Hippopotamus
  • Ogwang -- Wild cat
  • Ogweyo -- Lizard
  • Omire -- Luhya origin (May mean where are you coming from)
  • Omuga --Rhino
  • Onango
  • Oronge -- Kisii Origin
  • Oruoch --Kisii origin (Corruption of Oluoch, one born during fog of cloudiness)
  • Sialo
  • Were -- Benevolent or Philanthropic (Attribute of God to Luhyas and Luos)
  • Yienya