Aloha, Cuteness—We're Gushing Over These 10 Hawaiian Baby Names

Updated 05/29/18

There are numerous things we love about the Aloha State—perfect island weather, hula dancing, fresh pineapple, and Hawaiian baby names, to start. There's a lot of beauty in the rich cultural significance of Hawaiian baby names, which have become increasingly more popular over the years, perhaps in part due to the Obamas (Malia is a Hawaiian name) and the Disney movie Moana. With roots in both Polynesian culture and Latin, Hawaiian baby names have a lot to say. See our 10 favorites below and learn a bit more about where they come from.

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Kaia

This gorgeous name translates to "to rejoice" and has been gradually becoming more popular since 2000 when it first began appearing on naming charts. It doesn't hurt that supermodel Cindy Crawford named her now-model daughter "Kaia" in 2001.

Kalani

We're not shocked that this title with a beautiful musical quality is becoming more well-known, especially since 2015. The name translates to "the heavens," and you may recognize it as the title of one of the main dancers on the reality television show Dance Moms.

Kai

Yes, this powerful title is similar to Kaia, which is probably why we like it so much. It's not only rooted in Hawaiian culture but also has Greek and Native American origins. In Hawaiian, it translates to "the sea."

Leilani

We love names that have roots in nature, but this flowery title also harkens to the divine for a hint of sweetness. Leilani translates to "a heavenly flower." It's a compound name so "lei" is the wreath of flowers traditionally worn around the neck, and "lani" evokes both the heavens and the sky.

Bane

Sometimes, the best names are short and sweet, and Bane fits into that category (bonus points that it's also easy to pronounce). It is believed to have originated in Hawaii and means "long-awaited child." Fun fact: It's also the title of a villain in the Batman series.

Keanu

You didn't think we would leave out the Hawaiian title that The Matrix star made a household name, did you? This strong, adventurous moniker means "cool breeze over the mountains." It first started increasing in popularity in the 1990s when the actor first started getting more prominent roles. A coincidence? We think not.

Lani

I had a co-worker by this name a few years ago, and I always thought it was such a stunning, unique title. It's pronounced like the name "Lonny" and is so short you don't even need a nickname. In case you were wondering, Lani translates to "sky, heaven" in Hawaiian.

Kale

No, this title isn't pronounced like your favorite leafy greens (it's KAH-leh) when you go by the Hawaiian pronunciation. It's actually the island's version of the name Charles, but it's gender-neutral. The Hawaiian translation is "happy," so this is one name with meaning we can stand behind.

Moana

Moana translates to "large body of water" in Hawaiian and Maori (a Polynesian language) and refers to a lover of the sea. Not so ironically, the lead character in the favorite Disney film Moana navigates the sea on the hunt for a mystical island. Since the movie came out in late 2016, the name has jumped in popularity, moving up 80 plus spots on name popularity charts.

Akoni

Pronounced Ah-KOW-Niy, this baby name is Hawaiian but finds its origins in Latin. It's actually a variation on the name Anthony, which translates to "priceless one." 

Learning the meaning behind your favorite names helps you appreciate them even more, don't you think? For more name history, learn about the meaning of Arabic names. 

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