Hawaiian culture is a rich one that is almost 2,000 years old, and the Hawaiian language is only a few hundred years younger than that. Unfortunately, the Hawaiian language is now considered endangered, and it only has about 24,000 native speakers.
If you’re a parent of Hawaiian heritage and you have a baby on the way, it may be that you want to help rejuvenate the Hawaiian language by giving your child a Hawaiian name.
There’s no shortage of beautiful Hawaiian names, so here are some of our favorite Hawaiian baby girl names.
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Popular Hawaiian Girl Names
No need to reinvent the wheel. Thankfully, Hawaiian baby names are beautiful, meaningful, and plentiful, so there are plenty of options out there for you without needing to get creative. You can feel free to stick to the classics. Here are some of our favorite popular Hawaiian baby girl names.
Traditional Hawaiian baby names have a tendency to evoke the skies and the heavens, and the first Hawaiian name on our list of Hawaiian names is no exception. In Hawaiian, Kalani means “the heavens,” and this is a beautiful name for your Hawaiian baby girl.
Kalea doesn’t pay homage to the heavens but instead references our human emotions. Give your baby girl this Hawaiian name that means “joy” and you be sure she’ll lead a life of happiness that spreads to those around her.
Here is a Hawaiian name that will make sure your baby girl never forgets how much you mean to her. Kaipo literally means “sweetheart,” and this name will help your daughter feel loved no matter what.
Kamalani is another name that will make your baby girl feel loved and cherished. It also, like Kalani, references the heavens (you may notice the shared “lani” ending, which is the Hawaiian word for heaven.) This name means “heavenly child,” and naming your daughter “heavenly child” is a great way to embrace your Hawaiian culture and tell her she’s one in a million.
Youth doesn’t have to be temporary. Kau’i is a beautiful Hawaiian name that means “the youthful one.” Bestow this moniker upon your baby girl to help your stay young-at-heart forever. On a side note, you may have noticed that a lot of Hawaiian names start with the letters “ka,” and that’s because this is the Hawaiian word for “the.”
If there’s one Hawaiian word that just about everybody knows, it’s “aloha.” However, while most people think of aloha as a greeting, it’s actually the Hawaiian word for love, and for that reason, it’s found in many traditional Hawaiian baby names. In this case, Kealoha means “the loved one,” and it’s a beautiful Hawaiian name to give to your Hawaiian baby girl.
If you want a baby girl that lights up the room, then Konane is the perfect Hawaiian name for you. Likfe many Hawaiian girl names, it references lightness and joy. This Hawaiian name literally means “bright,” and is the perfect authentic Hawaiian name for your baby girl who will light up every room she’s in.
You’ll see the prefix “Lei” in many Hawaiian girl names, as it means both “flowers” and “child.” Combined with the word “lani” which translates to “heaven” or “sky,” this beautiful traditional Hawaiian name means “heavenly child,” “royal child,” or “heavenly flower.” Reference nature and the heavens all at once with this lovely Hawaiian name.
Another one of our Hawaiian baby girl names that draws inspiration from positive emotions, Malie translates to “calm,” and this is a great name if you want your Hawaiian baby girl to stay calm in the face of adversity.
The last name on this portion of our list of Hawaiian baby names is also one of the most beautiful (though also probably the hardest to pronounce) and it means “royal beauty.” U’ilani is one of many Hawaiian female names that evokes royalty, and it’s a great traditional Hawaiian name to teach your baby girl that she’ll always be a queen.
Strong Hawaiian Girl Names
Female names sometimes pay maybe too much attention to sensitivity, delicateness, and beauty, and not enough attention to strength and assertiveness for everyone’s liking. It can be hard to find empowering female baby names, but we’re here to help. Here are our favorite Hawaiian baby names that will fill your daughter with a strong, feminine energy.
Appeal to that hierarchical mentality for a second with this strong, traditional name. Ailani means “chief,” and it’s a great name choice if you want your daughter to take command and be the one people look to for guidance.
There aren’t many Hawaiian names stronger than this one; Aima literally means “leader,” and everyone will know who’s in charge when your little Aima walks into the room.
This name is a little more poetic than our other strong Hawaiian baby names. Alana translates to “rising,” and this powerful name will help your daughter rise above the rest in everything she sets her mind to.
Another name that’s maybe not as direct as names like Ailani or Aima, Anika translates to “brilliant” or “merciful.” This name is perfect if you want your daughter to understand that knowledge is power and that sometimes there’s more strength in being kind than in being aggressive.
Few Hawaiian names are stronger than the name of a literal goddess, and giving your daughter the name “Haumea,” the name of the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, is an excellent way to celebrate femininity in all of its strength and beauty.
Hina is my personal favorite of our Hawaiian baby names because it draws its powerful history from a real historical figure and from the rich Hawaiian myths. The historical Hina-au-kekele was a Hawaiian noblewoman and chieftess, while the Hina of Hawaiian mythology was Hina of Hilo, the mother of the legendary Hawaiian hero, Maui. Draw upon mythical and real-life female strength by naming your daughter Hina.
the name Ioke does not beat around the bush with the power it evokes. This name literally means “Lord,” and unlike some of our more traditional Hawaiian names, it’s actually the Hawaiian version of the Old French name “Joyce.” In Ancient Greek Mythology, Ioke was the feminine personification of battle. If you want your daughter to grow up to be a fierce battle queen, name her Ioke.
Similar in meaning and sound to the previous-mentioned Alana, Iolana is the second one of our Hawaiian baby names to draw upon the imagery of flight. This name literally means “to soar,” and it’s an excellent choice for any parent that wants their daughter to soar above her troubles.
One of the many Hawaiian names on our list to include Kai, which as we mentioned earlier, is the Hawaiian word for sea. The second part of this name, Mana, means power (if you’re a fan of trading card games like Magic: the Gathering, a lightbulb just went off in your head.) Together, Kaimana means “powerful sea,” and if you want a name that evokes strength only mother nature is capable of, then stop looking at baby names, because this is the name for you.
The last of our strong, feminine Hawaiian names, Nalani makes an attempt at stealing “Alana’s” thunder. You might think that the names seem similar, and that’s because they are. Nalani is actually the plural version of Nalani and simply means “the chiefs.” What’s stronger than one chief? Many chiefs. Give your daughter the strength of an entire army with this name.
Nature Hawaiian Girl names
As you might have noticed by now, Hawaiian names frequently draw their inspiration from the forces of nature. Names of Hawaiian origin reference the skies, the ocean, flowers, and many other natural bodies. If you want to tap into that energy, then you’ll need to check out these traditional Hawaiian names that reference nature.
As we mentioned earlier, Hawaiian names for both girls and boys have always made use of the prefix “kai.” That’s because “kai” means “sea,” and as an island people, the sea plays a crucial role in Hawaiian culture. Kailani is a powerful name that literally means “lord of the sea” and it’s the perfect name for any parent that wants their baby girl to feel at home in the water. Who knows? Maybe she’ll grow up to be an Olympic swimming champion.
This elegant name embraces the more delicate aspects of mother nature. Maile is the name of a sacred vine that grows in Hawaii, which is used to create the lei flower necklaces Hawaiians sometimes drape around their necks. It’s also a beautiful name with a lovely origin, and it’s the perfect name for your future daughter.
You probably don’t immediately imagine snow when you think of the tropical island of Hawaii, but Haukea is a beautiful name that means “white snow.” This is the perfect Hawaiian name for your daughter if you beaches aren’t your thing and you love the sight of white snow falling from the sky.
Maybe you like the imagery of snow but “white snow” feels a bit redundant to you, or you just don’t like the sound of “Haukea.” If that’s the case, then you’ll want to consider the name Haunani. You’ll see from the shared “Hau” that this lovely name also references snow. In fact, Haunani means “beautiful snow,” and it’s sure to conjure up the image of a beautiful, flawless, sheet of snow covering the ground before anyone’s touched it.
If you speak the Hawaiian language, or if you’ve started picking up a thing or two from reading this list, you can probably figure out that the name Kalei, a combination of “ka” and “lei” literally means “the flowers.” Whether your daughter is a rose, a tulip, a blossom, or any other beautiful flower is up to you. With this name, she can be every flower at once.
With the meaning “fire,” the fierce name “Keahi” could easily have been placed in the above section of strong Hawaiian baby names. If you want your daughter to embrace one of the strongest forces of nature, one that can burn but also provides warmth, creates energy, and helps clean food, then look no further than Keahi.
Despite its association with Keanu Reeves, the star of “The Matrix” and “John Wick” this name is actually unisex, and it’s a great Hawaiian name for your baby girl. Keanu means “cool breeze” and it will serve as an ever-important reminder to your daughter that sometimes you need to just go with the flow and take it easy.
Origin: Hawaiian, Maori, Polynesian
After the hit Disney movie, just about everyone in the world is familiar with the name Moana at this point. And true to the plot and imagery of the movie of the same name, “Moana” simply translates to “ocean.” What’s a more worthy natural force for a name than the one that covers 75% of the earth?
Noelani is an original, elegant name that embraces the more mysterious aspects of mother nature. This Hawaiian name means “heavenly mist,” and it’s a great baby name for a parent looking for something a little off the beaten path and creative.
If you love flowers but think that the name “Lei” is just a little played out, then this is the perfect Hawaiian girl’s name for you. Pua is simply another word for “flower,” and it’s the perfect name that manages to be quintessentially Hawaiian while being a little more unique than “Lei.”
Hawaiian Girl Names that Are Easy to Pronounce
Many of us, especially those of us who grew up as minorities in the surrounding community, know how annoying it is to hear someone mess up our name. I know I’ve done my fair share of eye rolls at the pronunciation of my name while traveling. Hawaiian names are probably not the easiest names to pronounce for most Americans or other English speakers, but there are English-friendly options out there. Pick one of these names to stay true to your roots without needing to constantly correct people’s pronunciation of your daughter’s name.
This easy-to-pronounce name, with the “ka” prefix you’ve gotten used to, is Hawaiian for “the beauty.” Teach your daughter she’s the most beautiful girl in the world by naming her Kanani.
The second name on this portion of our list of Hawaiian names is simply the Hawaiian version of the Greek-origin name “Diana” which itself translates to “divine” or “heavenly” and is said to be a calming name. Teach your daughter that she’s holy and give her a calm and relaxing life with this multicultural name.
Barack Obama’s daughter Malia Obama really paved the way for us this time, nobody is going to mess up the name of a former president’s daughter. Malia means “beloved,” and it’s the perfect name to show your daughter how everyone feels about her.
We’ve included a lot of Hawaiian names on this list that tell your daughter how special she is, but none do that quite as well as the beautiful, and easy-to-pronounce, name Makana, which literally means “gift.” Remind your daughter that she’s a gift from above every time you call her name.
This lovely two-syllable name is Hawaiian for “song,” and it’s the perfect name choice for anyone who appreciates the power of music. With this name, your daughter might just become the next big thing.
It doesn’t get much easier to pronounce, than this one-syllable name, which is also the quintessential traditional Hawaiian baby name. As we’ve mentioned, Lei is the Hawaiian word for flower, and this is the perfect name for your daughter if you want a name that’s as Hawaiian as it gets but still easy to pronounce.
Momi is a short, cute, and simple name that has the equally cute meaning of “pearl.” Show your daughter that she’s a precious gem by naming her Momi. It’s a lot easier to pronounce than “amethyst.”
Not to be confused with the Japanese word for “what,” Nani is a Hawaiian name that means “beauty” or “glory.” And with just one consonant and two simple vowels, I really doubt that anybody is messing up this name.
Our second-to-last name rhymes with our previous name, and it’s just as beautiful in its meaning. Lani is a lovely name that means “sky.” It’s short, sweet, easy to say, and the perfect name for your future daughter. Lani will know that the sky’s the limit.
The very last name on our list is also probably the longest name on this list, but it’s surprisingly easy to pronounce. Wikolia is the Hawaiian version of “Victoria,” and it’s fairly straightforward and pronounced how it looks. So despite the length, I don’t think a lot of people, even those unfamiliar with Hawaiian names will be messing up Wikolia.
We’ve reached the end of our list. There are obviously more than 40 Hawaiian girl’s names in the world, so don’t get discouraged if we couldn’t provide you with the perfect name. This is obviously a big decision, and you shouldn’t settle for anything that doesn’t really speak to you. We hope you loved one of our names, but if not, the Hawaiian language is full of beautiful names, and I’m sure you’ll find the perfect Hawaiian baby name in no time.