Research Article

Socio-Onomastic Traits in Basotho Racehorse Names


  • Palesa Khotso National University of Lesotho, Lesotho


Racehorse names are popularly known for being poetic and creative with loaded meaning. In a similar pattern like other names in their diverging categories, they communicate society’s experiences in which namer’s live. Generally, one way of offering the public attributes of the namer and the bearer is through naming. In This study the horse owner is the name giver while the horse is the name bearer. Positive and negative experiences of a society cannot be taken lightly: they worth documentation. One of the simple but practical ways of documenting social experiences is through naming. Naming is a social activity.  This fact is evidenced by naming of entities which is done by the society.  As names are the products of linguistic aspects, and they are capable of conveying a message, this study’s interest is to find out the meaning, history, culture and function behind each racehorse name. The researcher acted as a research instrument therefore collected data as a primary tool and used tape recording and video as secondary tools to back up the primary method. Through the Socio-Onomastic approach this study discovered that: first, some names discussed in this paper indicate the experiences and philosophy of horse namers. Secondly, they are communicative devices to the society as they are a platform used to avoid confrontation. Thirdly, racehorse’s names are used as techniques to advertise racehorse business.  Bettor’s also belief good names have power to influence the racehorse’s positive behaviour. Therefore, this study recommends that racehorse names should be preserved.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

2 (4)





How to Cite

Khotso, P. (2019). Socio-Onomastic Traits in Basotho Racehorse Names . International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 2(4), 137–149. Retrieved from



Socio-onomastics, naming, creativity, origin, history