Hawaiian Baby Names: Beyond Malia
Thanks to first daughter Malia Obama, Hawaiian baby names are more popular than ever.
But Malia, a Hawaiian form of Mary that means "calm," "peaceful" or "probably," isn't the only interesting and popular Hawaiian name you may consider for your baby girl.
With a few exceptions, Hawaiian-influenced girls' names are more widely used today than boys' names. Still, there are many unique and engaging Hawaiian baby names for parents to consider for their son, as well.
Here are some popular Hawaiian baby names for girls:
- Alana means "the awakening." Notable Alanas include actress Alana De La Garza and singer/songwriter Alana Davis.
- Kayla, meaning "crown of laurels," gained popularity, in part, because of the character Kayla Brady on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives."
- Kiana, a Hawaiian form of Diana, means "light" or "deity." Kiana is also the name of a town in far northern Alaska.
- Lana means "awakening" or "calm as still waters." Famous Lanas include legendary actress Lana Turner and former Superman girlfriend Lana Lang.
- Lea was a mythical Hawaiian goddess of canoe builders. It's also the name of Lea Michele, breakout star of the TV show "Glee."
- Luana means "enjoyment" and is the first name of Brazilian actress and model Luana Piovani.
- Meli, a short, sweet Hawaiian baby name, means "honey" and "bee."
- Iz, while not technically a traditional Hawaiian baby name, is the nickname of legendary Hawaiian musician and cultural hero Israel Kamakawiwo'le. Israel, a name of Hebrew origin, means "ruling with the Lord."
- Kai, a popular Hawaiian baby name for boys, means "the sea." Welsh actor Kai Owen stars as Rhys Williams on the BBC TV series "Torchwood." Kainoa means "the name" and it's the first name of surfer and waterman Kainoa McGee.
- Kale, the Hawaiian form of Charles, means "man." Once less commonly used, it has grown in popularity in the United States as a boys' name in recent years.
- Keanu means "the breeze." This Hawaiian baby name has remained popular largely due to the career of actor Keanu Reeves.
- Koa is a Hawaiian baby name with a variety of meanings, including "brave," "bold," "fearless" and "happy."
- Lio, a variation of the more widely known boys' name Leo means "lion."
- Mano, a Hawaiian boys' name that evokes strength, Mano has two distinct meanings: "passionate lover" and "shark."
- Noa, a Hawaiian variation of the Biblical name Noah, means "free" or "freedom."
Aloha Friends has more information about traditional Hawaiian baby names and their meanings. Also check out Magical Hawaii for background on Hawaiian names.
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