Dabiri, Dabir and Dibri


Dabiri is a name common to the Eko (part of Lagos), Awori, Ikorodu (a Remo people) and perhaps Egun peoples of Aku (aka Omo Oduduwa) land. The translation of the name can be derived by analyzing the roots:

Da – found/create/started

Ibi – here

Ri –  to existence

Bring this location into existence or first settler

Another suggested translation is Da (perform) Biri (swiftly). Unknown to some Yoruba people, the name also appears in the Igbo language though at a lesser frequency but with the same meaning – first settler. Examples include Dabiri, Dabirim, Dabirichi, Dabirinna, and Dabirichukwu.

The Ijaw (Ijo) people of the Niger Delta bear the name as well but with a different translation alluding to a relationship of paternal lineage. The proper translation here depends on context.

Da – Father

Biri – land, side, middle, centre, stomach or half

The paternal family

The general conclusion however is that Dabiri in Aku and Igbo means “First to make discovery of a place and settle therein”.

Similar names

Dabir as a name found in the Arab and Persian world and parts of East Africa meaning scribe or teacher. There is Dibri (Leviticus 24: 10-23) as well in Hebrew which is thought to literally mean My Word.

  • Could the similarity of the names Dabiri, Dabir, and Dibri be simply coincidence?
  • Could the translations of Dabir and Dibri as widely accepted today be in fact erroneous?
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