How popular is the baby name Lehua in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Lehua.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Lehua


Posts that Mention the Name Lehua

The Hawaiian Name Lilikoi

We talked about passion flowers yesterday, so today let’s look at passion fruit — specifically, the Hawaiian word for passion fruit, liliko’i. Why? Because Lilikoi started popping up in the SSA’s baby name data in 2006, and it’s been in the data consistently over the last few years:

  • 2018: 5 baby girls named Lilikoi
  • 2017: 9 baby girls named Lilikoi
  • 2016: 8 baby girls named Lilikoi
  • 2015: 5 baby girls named Lilikoi
  • 2014: unlisted

As it happens, the fruit isn’t native to Hawaii. The purple variety of passion fruit, originally from South America, came to Hawaii via Australia in 1880. The seeds were planted on Maui at a place called Liliko’i, and the fruit itself eventually became known by that name. The yellow variety — which is the most common type in Hawaii these days — didn’t arrive until 1923.

I tried to track down the etymology of the place name Liliko’i, but didn’t have any luck.

What do you think of the baby name Lilikoi? Do you like it more or less than the name Lehua?

Source: Liliko’i – Wehewehe Wikiwiki, Hawaii’s favorite flavor – Lilikoi

P.S. Did you know that Lilikoi can be typed entirely with the right hand on a standard Qwerty keyboard? Here are some other one-handed baby names

Hawaiian Nature Name: Lehua

lehua, hawaii, name, plant, nature, flower

The Hawaiian name Lehua (pronounced leh-HOO-ah) refers to the showy flower of the ‘?hi’a lehua plant, Metrosideros polymorpha. The flower’s petals are very small, but its stamens are long and typically bright red.

The plant is endemic to the Hawaiian islands and has great cultural significance among Hawaiians. The word lehua refers not just to the flower, for instance, but also (figuratively) to various types of people: “warrior, beloved friend or relative, sweetheart, expert.” The plant even has its own creation myth: the goddess Pele created the plant by transforming human lovers Ohia and Lehua into the tree and the blossom, respectively.

This cultural importance no doubt stems from the plant’s ecological importance. The ‘?hi’a lehua is a keystone species in Hawaii that’s often the first to colonize barren lava. The adaptations that allow for this include: year-round flowering, lightweight seeds, roots adept at growing vertically (i.e., in cracks and fissures), and the plant’s ability to close its stomata when volcanic gases are around — to hold its breath when the air turns toxic, in other words.

So Lehua, like other flower names, refers to an object of beauty…but this particular object of beauty is also a genuine symbol of concepts like resilience and adaptation. Which makes Lehua rather unique among flower names, I think.

What are your thoughts on the name Lehua?

(The photo is of a young ‘?hi’a lehua inside the K?lauea Iki pit crater, which my husband and I visited a few years ago on a trip to Hawaii. That particular lava flow happened in 1959.)

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