How popular is the baby name Kainoa in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Kainoa and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Kainoa.
I love coming across personal names that refer to names in their definitions. Some examples:
- Behnam, meaning “good name” in Persian.
- Hieronymus, meaning “sacred name,” based on the Greek words hieros, “sacred,” and onoma, “name.”
- Jerome, the English form of Hieronymus.
- Jerónimo, the Spanish form of Jerome.
- Kainoa, meaning “the namesake,” based on the Hawaiian words ka, “the” (singular), and inoa, “name.”
- Kainoakupuna, “the namesake of one’s ancestor,” with kupuna meaning “ancestor.”
- Nainoa, which means “the namesakes,” based on the Hawaiian words na, “the” (plural), and inoa, “name.”
- Nergüi, meaning “no name” in Mongolian.
- Shem, meaning “name” in Hebrew. (Sem, a variant, is popular in The Netherlands right now.)
Do you know of any others?
Which Hawaiian names are popular in Hawaii right now?
I read through the current list of top baby names in Hawaii and picked out as many traditional Hawaiian names as I could. Here they are, plus their definitions (and their missing ‘okinas!).
Popular Hawaiian Names for Girls
- Leilani, 19 baby girls, means “heavenly (lani) flowers/child (lei).”
- Mahina, 15, means “moon” or “moonlight.”
- Kalena, 13, means “the (ka) yellow (lena).” Yellow was once symbolic of the alii, Hawaii’s powerful royal class (source).
- Kaila, 11, means “style, fashion.”
- Hali’a, 9, means “sudden remembrance, memory.”
- Kai’a, 9, means “the (ka) fish (i’a).”
- Kailani, 8, means “heavenly (lani) sea (kai).”
- Keani, 7, means “the (ke) soft breeze (ani).”
- Mehana, 7, means “warmth, heat.”
- Hi’ilani, 6, means “held in the arms (hi’i) of heaven (lani).”
- Kailana, 6, means “calm (lana) sea (kai).”
- Kamaile, 6, means “the (ka) maile vine.”
- Lilinoe, 6, means “fine mist.”
- Malie, 6, means “calm.”
- Anuhea, 5, means “cool, soft fragrance.”
- Hi’ilei, 5, means “child (lei) held in the arms (hi’i).”
- Ilihia, 5, means “excited” or “awe-stricken.”
- Kawena, 5, means “the (ka) glow (wena).”
- Kealani, 5, means “heavenly (lani) whiteness (kea).”
- Lea, 5, is the name of a Hawaiian goddess.
- Mahealani, 5, means “sixteenth day of the lunar month; night of the full moon” (source).
- Nai’a, 5, means “dolphin.”
- Noelani, 5, means “heavenly (lani) mist (noe).”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser said Malia (ranked 21st overall) was the most popular Hawaiian name for girls in 2013, but Malia is is just the Hawaiian form of the non-Hawaiian name Mary, so I didn’t include it. I didn’t include several other names (like Keoni, Hawaiian for “John”) for the same reason.
Popular Hawaiian Names for Boys
- Kai, 38 baby boys, means “sea.” Kai was the 19th most popular boy name overall in Hawaii last year.
- Kainoa, 21, means “the (ka) namesake (inoa).”
- Kaimana, 20, means “power (mana) of the sea (kai).”
- Koa, 16, means “warrior, brave” or is a reference to the koa tree.
- Nainoa, 11, means “the (na) namesakes (inoa)” — na is the article used for plural nouns.
- Makoa, 10, means “fearless.”
- Nakoa, 10, means “”the (ne) brave ones/koa trees (koa).”
- Kana’i, 9, means “the (ka) conqueror (na’i).”
- Makana, 9, means “gift.”
- Ka’eo, 8, means “full of knowledge.”
- Kahiau, 8, means “generous.”
- Kainalu, 8, means “billowy (nalu) sea (kai).”
- Keanu, 8, means “the (ke) coolness (anu).”
- Noa, 8, means “commoner/free man.”
- Kaleo, 7, means “the (ka) sound/voice (leo).”
- Kamaha’o, 6, means “wondrous.”
- Kanoa, 6, means “the (ka) commoner/free man (noa).”
- Kekoa, 6, means “the (ke) brave one/koa tree (koa).”
- La’akea, 6, means “sacred (la’a) white/light (kea).”
- Makai, 6, means “toward (ma) the sea (kai).”
- Mana, 6, means “supernatural or divine power.”
- Alaka’i, 5, means “leader.”
- Kaiea, 5, means “rising (ea) sea/tide (kai).”
- Ka’imipono, 5, means “the (ka) seeker of righteousness (‘imi pono).”
- Kalani, 5, means “the (ka) heavenly one/royal one (lani).”
- Kamakani, 5, means “the (ka) wind (makani).”
- Koamalu, 5, means “brave (koa) peace (malu).”
While I was gathering all those definitions, I also found a bunch of other interesting Hawaiian names, such as…
- ‘Aukai, “seafarer” (‘au, “travel” + kai, “sea”). It’s like the Hawaiian version of Sailor.
- Kapi’ioho, “curly hair.” It’s like the Hawaiian version of Crispin (Latin crispus, “curly”).
- ‘Opunui, “big-bellied” (‘opu, “belly” + nui, “big”). Big bellies were a status symbol in old Hawaii. According to one source, “the elite lived lavishly, were feasting constantly, and the highest chiefs were distinguished by their corpulence.”
- Leiko is a hybrid Hawaiian-Japanese name: lei, “flowers/child” + ko, “child.”
Do you have a favorite Hawaiian name? Leave a comment and tell me about it!
Source: Bodley, John H. Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States, and the Global System. Lanham, MD: AltaMira-Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.
We finished up our Hawaiian vacation with a stop on Maui, and — between the blowhole, the black sand and the banyan tree — I was able to scan (most of) the 201-page Maui phone book for unusual names. Here’s what I found:
As with the Kauai list, I highlighted the names I liked best.
*Linberg is likely named in honor of Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974), who spent his final years on Maui and is buried in Kipahulu.
Hawaii Posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7