Baby Names

200+ Popular & Traditional Hawaiian Baby Names With Their Meanings

Updated on 27 September 2022 • 6 minute read

 

Origins Of Traditional Hawaiian Names (Naming Traditions)

In Hawaiian culture, there’s a high value placed on one’s ancestry. So, it isn’t surprising that many Hawaiian names honor ancestors and other aspects of their culture.

The naming traditions also follow certain aspects of the Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures or history, such as picking names based on a baby’s personality traits. Other names are chosen from a sign that their parents or other family members received in a dream. (1)

Some baby names are also picked to remember a loved one or commemorate an event. (1)

 

The Beauty In Choosing Hawaiian Baby Names

Some parents prefer to pick an exotic-sounding, non-English name (such as Hawaiian baby names) over an English name because they love the unique sound and spelling of popular names from other languages.

We prepared this list to share some of the most popular, trending Hawaiian names with their meanings to help you pick the best one that suits your baby. 

 

What’s The Most Common Hawaiian Name?

The trending names can vary, but the following are some of the most common Hawaiian names: (2)

  • Kainoa and Kai for boys
  • Kailani and Malia for girls

 

You can find their meanings and other popular baby names below.

 

Popular Hawaiian Baby Boy Names

Hawaiian Nature Boy Names

  • Alapai – Coastal area
  • Aukai – Seafarer
  • Hema – South
  • Kahawai – River
  • Kahikū – Star
  • Kamaile – Vein of a lei
  • Keawe – Southern star
  • Keola – Life
  • Koukakala – Dark river
  • Mahi’ai – Farmer
  • Mamo – Yellow bird
  • Manu – Bird
  • Mauka – Toward the mountain
  • Maunakea – White mountain
  • Maunawili – Twisted mountain
  • Moanalua – Valley or stream
  • Na’alehu – The volcanic ashes
  • Nahele – Forest
  • Oliwa – Olive tree
  • Onaona – Sweet fragrance
  • Pahokee – Grassy waters
  • Pupuhi – Blow or as a strong wind

 

What’s A Hawaiian Name For A Boy?

  • Anakoni – Valuable 
  • Analu – Manly
  • Kahalo – Light-footed one
  • Kai – Sea
  • Kainalu – Surf
  • Kainoa – Place or a father’s namesake
  • Kaleo – Pure, but can also mean a saying or expression
  • Kalino – The brilliant one
  • Kamaha’o – Amazing and wonderful
  • Luano – Enjoyment
  • Maika’i – Good health
  • Māui – A ‘trickster’ demigod

 

Strong Hawaiian Boy Names

  • Alaka’i – Guide or leader
  • Ali’i – Chief or leader
  • Aloiki – Renowned war
  • Ano – Awe and reverence
  • Etana – Strong, dedication, or strength
  • HaikiliGod of thunder
  • He pohaku – Stone
  • Huaka’i – Journey or path taken
  • Ino – Storm
  • Ka’eo – Strong zealous
  • Kalākaua – The day of battle
  • Kanakamana – Powerful man
  • Kapena – Captain
  • Kawikani – The strong one
  • Kekoa – Courageous, but can also mean coral
  • Koa ikaika – Strong warrior
  • Lokela – Famous warrior
  • Makaʻala – Vigilant, alert, or watchful
  • Mano – Shark or a passionate lover
  • Mililani – To praise

 

Special Hawaiian Names For Boys

  • Alo – The face
  • Apela – Old
  • Hauoli – Happiness
  • Havika – Beloved
  • Iki – Small
  • Kahale – Home
  • Kahinu – To anoint
  • Kaiaulu – A pleasant or gentle breeze
  • Kaikane – Strong sea
  • Kaholo – Swift
  • Kaipo – Sweetheart
  • Kakahiaka – Morning
  • Kaui – The youthful one
  • Kekapa – The cloth
  • MāhoeTwin
  • Meka – Eyes or beloved one
  • Nohea – Handsome

 

Hawaiian Versions Of English Boy Names

  • Akamu – Adam
  • Akoni – Anthony
  • Alani – Alan
  • Alekanekeio – Alexander
  • Alika – Alec
  • Amosa – Amos
  • Ekewaka – Edward
  • Iokepa – St. Joseph
  • Ionakana – Jonathan
  • Kawika – David
  • Kimo – James
  • Lopaka – Robert
  • Makaio – Matthew
  • Mikala – Michael
  • Nikolao – Nicholas
  • Pakelika – Patrick

 

Hawaiian Names For Boys With Heavenly Meanings

Some spiritual names for boys:

  • Anuenue AkuaGod’s rainbow or rainbow’s spirit
  • Apekalmoa – My father is peace
  • Elta – The Lord is my God
  • Haoa – Hot as the sun
  • Kalani – Of the heavens
  • Kapono – Righteous
  • Keahilani – Heaven’s fire
  • Ke’alohilani – Heavenly brightness
  • Kealakekua – Pathway of the gods
  • Kealamauloa – The path of eternity
  • KeonaGod‘s gracious gift
  • Kimokea – Honoring God
  • Lono God of the harvest
  • Mana – Divine power
  • Pukalani – Heavenly gate
  • Uhane – Soul
  • Wehilani – Adornment from heaven

 

Popular Hawaiian Baby Names For Girls

Hawaiian Nature Names For Girls

  • Alaula – Light of dawn
  • Ava – Bird
  • Anuenue – Rainbow
  • Haleakalā – House of the rising sun
  • Iolana – To soar like an eagle
  • Kailua – Two seas
  • Kalama – Flaming torch
  • Kumulāʻau – Tree
  • Mahina – Moon
  • Moana – Ocean
  • Naia – Dolphin
  • Palila – Bird
  • Pōhaku – Rock
  • Wai nani – Beautiful water

 

What’s A Good Name For A Hawaiian Girl?

  • Aulani – King’s messenger
  • Kaia – The sea
  • Kailani – Beach and sky
  • Kalena – Radiate
  • Kona – Lady 
  • Leilani – Heavenly child
  • Maile – Vine
  • Malie – Calm
  • Nani – Beautiful

 

What’s A Pretty Hawaiian Name?

  • Aloha – Love
  • Haukea – White snow
  • Haunani – Beautiful snow
  • Kau’i – The youthful one
  • Mino’aka – Smile
  • Nani kōkī – Supremely beautiful
  • NoelaniHeavenly mist
  • Puanani – Beautiful child
  • Uʻilani – Royal beauty

 

Hawaiian Flower Names For Girls

Some beautiful flower names for your little girl:

  • Kalei – The flowers
  • Kaleia – Curled flower
  • Kapua – Blossom
  • Kiele – Gardenia
  • Lehua Hawaii state flower (blossoms of the Ohia tree)
  • Lei – Flowers
  • Leimomi – Pearl flowers
  • Lokelani – Small red rose
  • Oliana – Oleander
  • Pikake – Jasmine
  • Pua – Flower
  • PualaniHeavenly flower
  • Roselani – Red rose

 

Hawaiian Names For Girls With Heavenly Meanings

Baby girl names with spiritual meanings:

  • Anela – Angel
  • Aolani – Heavenly cloud
  • Edena – Eden
  • Heiau – Temple
  • Hōkūlani – Heavenly star
  • Lolani – Bird of heaven
  • Kaili – Departing spirit
  • Kalea – Prayers
  • Kamalani – Heavenly child
  • Kiana – Moon baby. 
  • Laka – Goddess of the hula
  • Lanikai – Heavenly beach
  • Na’au – Heart and mind
  • Nālani – The heavens
  • Pele – Volcano goddess

 

Hawaiian Names For Girls With Unique & Special Meanings

  • Ahonui – Patience
  • Alamea – Precious, volcanic stone
  • Alana – Awakening
  • Hanohano – Noble
  • Hoʻomana – Adored
  • Ka mea ʻimi – The seeker
  • Ka’ahumanu – Bird cloak
  • Kanoa – Hollow of land
  • Ke’ala – The path
  • Lili’uokalani – High born
  • Malu – Peacefulness
  • Mana’o – Thoughts
  • Mele – Poem
  • Peni – Penny
  • Pule – Prayer
  • Uluwehi – Growing in beauty
  • Wena – Glow

 

Hawaiian Form Of English Baby Girl Names

  • Apikalia – Abigail
  • Elikapeka – Elizabeth
  • Iekika – Jessica
  • Kakalina – Katherine
  • Kala– Sarah
  • Kekepania – Stephanie
  • Kilikina – Christina
  • Makayla – Michaela
  • Malia – Mary
  • Melika – Melissa
  • Wikolia – Victoria

 

Unisex Hawaiian Baby Names For Boys & Girls

Traditional Hawaiian Baby Names (Unisex)

  • A’ia’i – Bright like the moon
  • AilaniHigh chief
  • Ainakea – White land
  • Akamai – Smart or clever
  • Akela – Happy or contented
  • Ali’ikai – Queen or king of the sea
  • Eleu – Alert and lively
  • Hau’oli – Happiness
  • Healani – Haze from the heavens
  • Ikaika – Strong and powerful
  • Ka Hiwa – Sacred vine
  • Kaimana – Powerful sea
  • KameaThe one and only
  • Kaulanne – Famous
  • Kealoha – The loved one
  • Keilani – Glorious chief
  • Lulua ‘ina – Freckles
  • Polunu – Chubby
  • Ualoheke AkuaGod has listened

 

Unisex Hawaiian Baby Names With Lovely Meanings

  • A’ala – Fragrant
  • Ahuahu – Healthy
  • Alohi – Shining and brilliant
  • ‘Akau – North or right, but also means god
  • Hoku – Star
  • Io lani – Royal hawk
  • Kahiau – Generosity
  • Kahula – Dancing
  • Kapano – Righteous
  • Konane – Bright moonlight
  • Mahana – Be warm
  • Makani – The wind
  • ‘Olina – Joyful

 

Unisex Hawaiian Middle Names

Some gender-neutral names for your little one:

  • Ahe – Soft
  • Aheahe – Softly blowing breeze
  • ‘Ailana – Island
  • Akahi – For the first time
  • Hali’a – Remembrance of a loved one
  • Hiapo – Firstborn
  • Inoa – Namesake
  • Keahi – Fire
  • Keanu – The cool breeze
  • Keone – The sand or the homeland
  • Ku’u Hoaloha ‘Oi – Best friend
  • Ku’u Maka – Apple of my eye
  • Maka – Favorite one
  • Pilialoha – Close friend
  • Punahele – Favorite

 

FAQs

What Hawaiian Name Means Moon?

Mahina is a name that means moon in Hawaiian.

 

What’s The Hawaiian Name For The Sky?

Lani has many different meanings in the Hawaiian language, including sky, heavenly, majesty, and royal.

 

What Hawaiian name means gift of God?

There are at least two names that mean a gift of God:

  • Makana
  • Makaio – also another form for Matthew

 

What Hawaiian Name Means Beautiful?

Nani and Kanani are Hawaiian names that mean beautiful.

 

What Hawaiian Name Means Brave?

Koa is a Hawaiian name that means brave or fearless.

 

Things To Consider When Choosing Hawaiian Baby Names

The rich Hawaiian culture has lots of beautiful and exotic names you can choose from, but the apostrophes found in these Hawaiian names might not be compatible with many systems that are used with English names.

Your child might need to explain to their teachers and friends that the apostrophe, known as the okina, is a part of their name. But you can also opt to remove it. 

For example, the name Hali’a can also be spelled as Halia, which has the same meaning.

The apostrophe in Hawaiian names serves as a guide for pronouncing the vowels in the names. If you see an okina in between two vowels, then it means that you need to pronounce them both.

Example, Ka‘anapali is pronounced as Kah-ah-naw-PAW-lee, not Ka-NAH-poli or KAW-nah-paw-lee.

 

 

 

References

(1) https://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/heritage/kapainoa.html

(2) https://www.hawaiibusiness.com/most-popular-baby-names-in-hawaii/

 

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