Gender in Igbo Language Nouns and Pronouns

In English, the pronoun 'he' indicates 'male' and the pronoun 'she' indicates female. In Igbo, the pronoun 'o' indicates both male and female. Igbo pronouns are gender-neutral. However, there are nouns that are either female or male.

Gender in Igbo Nouns/Adjectives
MaleFemale
Male
Oke
Female
Nwunye
Husband
Di
Wife
Nwunye
Man
Nwoke
Woman
Nwaanyị
Cock
Ọkpa
Hen
Nnekwu
Male Lizard
Okotikpo
Female Lizard
Nwunye Ngwere
He-Goat
Mkpi
Female Goat
Nwunye Ewu


Igbo Personal Names
Most Igbo personal names are gender-neutral. However, there are few Igbo personal names that are gender-specific. A name is very likely to be gender-specific if it has word like nne, oke, nwunye, nwaanyị, ada, ọkpara. See table below for some examples.

Gender in Igbo Personal Names
MaleFemale
Okeke (Okereke) (Okoroeke)Mgbeke (Mgbeeke)
Okafo (Okoroafo)Mgbafo (Mgbaafo)
Okonkwo (Okoronkwo)Mgbankwo
Okorie (Okoye)Mgboye (Mgbooye)