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AbabaSince this is the first post of a series about Ethiopian names, I’ve decided to start with the name Abäba (Ababa) since it is part of the name of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The name means “a flower” and in its original form it’s a girl’s name. As is usual in Ethiopian names it can be combined with a second element to reflect the parental feelings about the birth of the baby.
Abäba-Wärk’ / Abeba-Werk (abebawerk) is an example of a two-element name where Wärk’ means gold, so the full meaning of the name would be “a flower of gold” or “golden flower”.
Examples of Amharic verbal sentence names containing the idea of “flower” or “to flower” are the names :

Name Pronunciation Meaning Amharic
Abebe (m) Abbäbä He flowered abebe
Abebech (f) Abbäbäčč She flowered abebech
Abebayehu (m) Abäbayyähu I saw a flower abebayehu

You can notice that by just adding the suffix “ch”(ch ) the male name Abebe gets transformed into the female name Abebech. Both names predict a successful future for the child.
In the name Abebayehu, the word Abäba is a symbolic way of referring to the newborn child.
As a last note, the Amharic word Abäba is sometimes translated as Abeba and other times as Ababa, so the Ethiopian city name can be found written as Addis Abeba or Addis Ababa. The name means “New Flower”.


Bibliography: Amharic and Ethiopic Onomastics by Elias Yemane