The name "Vhembe" has been chosen amongst a number of suggested names for the district. Vhembe is a Venda name for what is also known as the Limpopo River. In essence Vhembe means Limpopo River. The name Vhembe symbolizes a fountain of life. This is captured in the Venda legend which says "Vhembe yo alama, yo ela, yo beba vhana vhayo"(Vhembe river has laid wide like an ocean, flowing and giving rise to its children).