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Updated July 18, 2023

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If you have visited the beautiful islands of Hawaii, you will notice how unique the culture is compared to other states in the USA. Even though traditional Hawaiian names are used less often these days, many of the people born there still take them on as middle names to preserve that part of their heritage.

Below there are some once-popular baby boy names, baby girl names, and gender-neutral Hawaiian names. You can learn a little bit about each one, as well as about naming traditions in Hawaii.

 Hawaiian Naming Traditions

When you take a look at ancient Hawaii, they did not have last names like they do today. This changed in 1860 when the 4th monarch of Hawaii, Kamehameha, signed the Act to Regulate Names. It stated that any children born from that moment on were to be given a Christian English first name and their Hawaiian name would be their middle name. Their surname would be their father’s given name.

All genuine Hawaiian names are unisex. Many of the names you see used in Hawaii today are of Hawaiian origin but are technically English names. Hawaii has been part of the United States since 1898, and this is probably the reason why we have seen a rise of Hawaiian names of English origin.

Before all of this happened, Hawaiians prided themselves on their diverse choices for given names. They were all unique and inspiration was drawn from several areas. Families couldn’t copy each other’s name choices, making duplicates very uncommon. You can name your child after a relative while others named their children after experiences and the world around them.

Hawaiian Boy Names and Meanings

  1. Aheahe - The word “ahe” means “soft” in the Hawaiian language. “Aheahe” means a “softly blowing breeze.”
  2. Akamu - This Hawaiian name means “red earth.”
  3. Akoni - This is the Hawaiian version of “Anthony” and it means “priceless.”
  4. Ailani - In Hawaiian, “Ailani” means “high chief.”
  5. Ekewaka - This boy's name means “wealthy protector” in Hawaiian.
  6. Ikaika - In the Hawaiian language, this name means “man of strength.”
  7. Kaleo - This Hawaiian name means “pure.”
  8. Kawika - This is the Hawaiian version of “David” which is an Old Hebrew name that means “beloved of Yahweh.”
  9. Keanu - This name means “cool breeze off the mountain” in Hawaiian.
  10. Keona - In Hawaiian, this boy’s name means “God’s gracious gift.”
  11. Koa - This Hawaiian name means “warrior” or “brave one.”
  12. Lono - This Hawaiian name means “God of farming.”
  13. Makani - This name means “the wind” in Hawaiian.
  14. Maui - This is the name of an island in Hawaii. It is also the name of a demigod in Hawaiian mythology, that is known as the God of fire.
Hawaii landscape

Hawaiian Girl Names and Meanings

  1. Alana - This Hawaiian name means “offering.” It is also the feminine form of “Alan.”
  2. Haunani - This Hawaiian name means “beautiful snow.”
  3. Iolana - This girl’s name means “to soar like an eagle or hawk” in Hawaiian.
  4. Kalani - This name means “the heavens” in Hawaiian and “gallon” in Polynesian.
  5. Kaimana - This name is the combination of “kai'“ which means “ocean” and “mana” which is “spiritual power.”
  6. Kapua - In Hawaiian, this name either means “the flower” or “the child.”
  7. Leilani - This girl’s name means “heavenly flower” in Hawaiian.
  8. Maile - This name means “vine” Hawaiian and is the type of flowering plant that is used to make leis.
  9. Mele - This is the Hawaiian version of “Maria” and it means “song.”
  10. Melika - This is the Hawaiian form of “Melissa” and it means “honey bee.”
  11. Moana - In Hawaiian and Polynesian, “Moana” means “vast body of water.”
  12. Nani - This Hawaiian name means “orange blossoms.”
  13. Noelani - This name means “beautiful girl from heaven” or “heavenly mist” in Hawaiian.
  14. Pikake - “Pikake” translates to mean “peacock” in Hawaiian but it is the name used to refer to Asian jasmine.

Hawaiian Unisex Names and Meanings 

  1. Akamai - This Hawaiian name means “smart” or “clever.”
  2. Akela - This is the Hawaiian form of “Adele” and it means “lucky” or “noble.”
  3. Alika - This name is found in several cultures but in the Hawaiian language, it means “of noble kin” or “guardian of people.”
  4. Aloha - This is the Hawaiian form of “hello” and “goodbye” and it also means “love.”
  5. Halia - This Hawaiian name means “remembrance of a loved one.”
  6. Kai - In Hawaiian, this gender-neutral name means “sea” or “ocean.”
  7. Keahi - This Hawaiian name means “flames” or “fire.”
  8. Kimo - “Kimo” is the Hawaiian version of “James” and it means “supplanter.”
  9. Nalani - This unisex name means “calmness of the skies” in Hawaiian.
  10. Nohea - This name of Hawaiian origin means “beautiful” or “handsome.”

Most Popular Hawaiian First Names on FamilyEducation: Keona, Kai, Alana, Kiana

Stefanie Miller

About Stefanie

Stefanie is an experienced parenting writer and has published works in other publications… Read more

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