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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Makai

Number of Babies Named Makai

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Makai

Popular Hawaiian Baby Names

Waikiki-Beach-Charles-Furneaux

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.


Two-Hit Wonder Baby Names

The following names ranked among the top 1,000 U.S. baby names only twice from 1880 through 2006:

Girls Boys
  • Adriene (1962, 1967)
  • Agusta (1882, 1884)
  • Aili (1909, 1910)
  • Alcie (1880, 1886)
  • Alethea (1973, 1974)
  • Alexina (1881, 1882)
  • Almedia (1881, 1885)
  • Aloma (1942, 1943)
  • Alwina (1882, 1886)
  • Alys (1880, 1910)
  • Ama (1881, 1885)
  • Amalie (1881, 1883)
  • Amma (1881, 1887)
  • Anastacia (1880, 1896)
  • Angeles (2003, 2004)
  • Anie (1881, 1882)
  • Anona (1904, 1905)
  • Antonetta (1910, 1915)
  • Araminta (1880, 1884)
  • Ardath (1905, 1923)
  • Arkie (1883, 1889)
  • Arta (1881, 1884)
  • Ayesha (1979, 1982)
  • Abbott (1880, 1888)
  • Adron (1901, 1904)
  • Albertus (1880, 1883)
  • Alferd (1891, 1899)
  • Alfie (1967, 1968)
  • Amado (1883, 1932)
  • Ananias (1883, 1889)
  • Arnett (1893, 1897)
  • Atlas (1883, 1890)
  • Aurthur (1880, 1891)
  • Bebe (1923, 1932)
  • Bertina (1882, 1893)
  • Bethann (1965, 1967)
  • Brigid (1965, 1966)
  • Brinda (1951, 1952)
  • Britny (1989, 1990)
  • Bryn (1999, 2004)
  • Bayard (1882, 1884)
  • Bilal (1991, 2002)
  • Bjorn (1977, 1980)
  • Blas (1880, 1911)
  • Bryton (1994, 1995)
  • Burgess (1884, 1890)
  • Burrel (1884, 1889)
  • Carlota (1887, 1892)
  • Celie (1880, 1887)
  • Cena (1881, 1883)
  • Chaney (1880, 1888)
  • Channie (1884, 1885)
  • Chante (1977, 1993)
  • Charlotta (1880, 1884)
  • Chelsy (1991, 1992)
  • Cherelle (1986, 1989)
  • Cherilyn (1972, 1975)
  • Chimere (1980, 1981)
  • Ciarra (1995, 1997)
  • Cicely (1973, 1974)
  • Cielo (2000, 2001)
  • Ciji (1983, 1984)
  • Cinthia (1991, 1996)
  • Cleva (1884, 1885)
  • Clevie (1884, 1885)
  • Columbia (1882, 1893)
  • Consuela (1971, 1972)
  • Contina (1972, 1973)
  • Coralie (1880, 1929)
  • Cornie (1885, 1887)
  • Cressie (1889, 1899)
  • Crete (1881, 1882)
  • Cuba (1898, 1899)
  • Cyntha (1881, 1884)
  • Captain (1883, 1887)
  • Cato (1880, 1891)
  • Ceasar (1883, 1900)
  • Chancey (1883, 1885)
  • Charls (1886, 1892)
  • Chauncy (1883, 1890)
  • Claudius (1890, 1893)
  • Clemon (1894, 1899)
  • Clide (1883, 1901)
  • Colie (1911, 1912)
  • Collis (1899, 1900)
  • Colon (1885, 1886)
  • Coolidge (1924, 1925)
  • Crockett (1880, 1883)
  • Daja (1995, 1996)
  • Danyel (1974, 1976)
  • Danyell (1973, 1974)
  • Davante (1992, 1993)
  • Dawne (1962, 1965)
  • Deliah (1880, 1883)
  • Delinda (1964, 1965)
  • Dellia (1881, 1888)
  • Dellia (1881, 1888)
  • Dorthey (1932, 1934)
  • Dossie (1881, 1885)
  • Darryn (1965, 1968)
  • Daulton (1994, 1997)
  • Dejon (1991, 1992)
  • Demian (1971, 1974)
  • Demonte (1993, 1994)
  • Desean (1991, 1994)
  • Desi (1956, 1970)
  • Dink (1883, 1892)
  • Dionicio (1882, 1887)
  • Dozier (1884, 1892)
  • Duff (1880, 1882)
  • Durell (1985, 1986)
  • Durrell (1985, 1986)
  • Dustan (1980, 1984)
  • Echo (1983, 1984)
  • Edla (1882, 1889)
  • Ednah (1880, 1887)
  • Edra (1905, 1908)
  • Elana (1960, 1966)
  • Eleonore (1882, 1887)
  • Elfie (1883, 1888)
  • Elwanda (1921, 1922)
  • Epsie (1881, 1888)
  • Eris (1923, 1924)
  • Erykah (1997, 1998)
  • Estefany (1996, 2002)
  • Evelena (1885, 1910)
  • Ever (1893, 1901)
  • Ebbie (1881, 1882)
  • Elick (1880, 1890)
  • Encarnacion (1892, 1895)
  • Ephram (1881, 1887)
  • Epifanio (1885, 1888)
  • Eustace (1882, 1885)
  • Everet (1897, 1905)
  • Ewin (1882, 1883)
  • Farah (1976, 1977)
  • Flavia (1881, 1884)
  • Floretta (1908, 1916)
  • Franc (1882, 1883)
  • Francisqui (1883, 1892)
  • Ferman (1886, 1893)
  • Fitzgerald (1964, 1965)
  • Flint (1959, 1960)
  • Florencio (1882, 1889)
  • Fredy (1993, 2005)
  • Fremont (1882, 1899)
  • Georgeanna (1883, 1884)
  • Gidget (1966, 1967)
  • Glennis (1936, 1939)
  • Gracia (1880, 1887)
  • Gwyn (1961, 1962)
  • Gaines (1882, 1885)
  • Gasper (1911, 1917)
  • Gennaro (1911, 1913)
  • Geoff (1962, 1969)
  • Gibson (1882, 1897)
  • Gorge (1880, 1900)
  • Grayling (1957, 1959)
  • Hasel (1895, 1901)
  • Hennie (1882, 1883)
  • Hortensia (1927, 1928)
  • Halbert (1881, 1907)
  • Hansel (1905, 1917)
  • Harl (1880, 1897)
  • Harrie (1880, 1890)
  • Hartley (1895, 1909)
  • Hartwell (1881, 1883)
  • Holmes (1880, 1903)
  • Horton (1888, 1895)
  • Hoy (1880, 1910)
  • Hurbert (1891, 1903)
  • Ilo (1898, 1899)
  • Ingeborg (1901, 1905)
  • Ivonne (1992, 1993)
  • Illya (1966, 1967)
  • Imanol (2001, 2006)
  • Ingram (1883, 1890)
  • Jacquelynn (1943, 1947)
  • Jenniffer (1972, 1973)
  • Jerilynn (1941, 1942)
  • Jesenia (1987, 1990)
  • Jinnie (1881, 1882)
  • Joell (1966, 1967)
  • Judyth (1941, 1944)
  • Jarett (1997, 1998)
  • Jeb (1978, 1981)
  • Jerrad (1984, 1985)
  • Jerrel (1934, 1940)
  • Jessee (1880, 1887)
  • Jethro (1899, 1913)
  • Jobe (1882, 1887)
  • Jordi (1998, 1999)
  • Joshuah (1985, 1989)
  • Kadijah (1993, 1994)
  • Kaleena (1982, 1983)
  • Kanisha (1990, 1991)
  • Kiarra (1999, 2000)
  • Kylene (1979, 1980)
  • Kanye (2004, 2005)
  • Kavon (2000, 2001)
  • Keenen (1990, 1991)
  • Kenji (1978, 1979)
  • Keshaun (2000, 2001)
  • Kiefer (1990, 1991)
  • Knox (1881, 1888)
  • Lakendra (1987, 1988)
  • Lalla (1885, 1888)
  • Lashunda (1977, 1980)
  • Lasonya (1971, 1972)
  • Latifah (1990, 1992)
  • Lavonda (1965, 1968)
  • Lavonia (1880, 1898)
  • Leafy (1893, 1894)
  • Leitha (1880, 1906)
  • Lempi (1899, 1904)
  • Leoma (1901, 1908)
  • Lesta (1883, 1892)
  • Lethia (1886, 1893)
  • Leyla (2005, 2006)
  • Liane (1959, 1969)
  • Lilianna (2005, 2006)
  • Liller (1880, 1885)
  • Lisbeth (2002, 2003)
  • Litha (1883, 1885)
  • Livia (2004, 2005)
  • Lorayne (1920, 1922)
  • Lorean (1901, 1920)
  • Loria (1961, 1962)
  • Loris (1935, 1936)
  • Louanna (1881, 1891)
  • Leandro (2005, 2006)
  • Lemmie (1900, 1903)
  • Levern (1954, 1955)
  • Lillard (1885, 1890)
  • Lindbergh (1927, 1928)
  • Linden (1943, 1947)
  • Linn (1882, 1891)
  • Lish (1889, 1893)
  • Littleton (1882, 1896)
  • Lydell (1977, 1978)
  • Madora (1880, 1883)
  • Mahalia (1880, 1881)
  • Mallorie (1986, 1987)
  • Malorie (1986, 1987)
  • Manila (1898, 1899)
  • Maralyn (1936, 1938)
  • Margene (1929, 1935)
  • Margeret (1880, 1882)
  • Marget (1882, 1883)
  • Margrett (1885, 1888)
  • Margy (1929, 1930)
  • Markita (1984, 1985)
  • Marlana (1978, 1979)
  • Marlen (2000, 2003)
  • Marnita (1961, 1962)
  • Martika (1989, 1990)
  • Marylouise (1922, 1923)
  • Melony (1963, 1966)
  • Mena (1880, 1887)
  • Merrilee (1942, 1943)
  • Mila (1881, 2006)*
  • Milda (1896, 1897)
  • Moesha (1996, 1997)
  • Mora (1881, 1887)
  • Myla (2005, 2006)
  • Macarthur (1942, 1943)
  • Mace (1883, 1902)
  • Makai (2005, 2006)
  • Mal (1880, 1883)
  • Mansfield (1890, 1909)
  • Manson (1886, 1892)
  • Messia (2005, 2006)
  • Michial (1950, 1954)
  • Mikhail (1988, 1990)
  • Minoru (1920, 1926)
  • Mustafa (2001, 2002)
  • Naima (2005, 2006)
  • Nakita (1986, 1987)
  • Norita (1935, 1937)
  • Nyree (1973, 1975)
  • Nobie (1890, 1908)
  • Namon (1884, 1899)
  • Needham (1890, 1893)
  • Nile (1896, 1905)
  • Odette (1899, 1905)
  • Olinda (1893, 1895)
  • Oliva (1889, 1894)
  • Oneida (1919, 1922)
  • Opha (1887, 1897)
  • Orlena (1881, 1891)
  • Ota (1881, 1882)
  • Octavius (1987, 1991)
  • Olof (1883, 1891)
  • Orren (1880, 1886)
  • Ott (1882, 1891)
  • Ovid (1894, 1907)
  • Owens (1890, 1896)
  • Pamelia (1949, 1954)
  • Pearly (1884, 1904)
  • Pheobe (1885, 1889)
  • Porsche (1987, 1988)
  • Posey (1889, 1896)
  • Prentiss (1907, 1943)
  • Purl (1884, 1885)
  • Quint (1964, 1965)
  • Rafaela (1903, 1909)
  • Rennie (1880, 1885)
  • Rinda (1882, 1885)
  • Roena (1880, 1884)
  • Ruie (1884, 1886)
  • Randolf (1953, 1955)
  • Ras (1890, 1891)
  • Rayfield (1904, 1906)
  • Reubin (1892, 1898)
  • Reynolds (1895, 1901)
  • Ridge (1988, 1989)
  • Rishi (2004, 2005)
  • Romello (1995, 1996)
  • Ruffus (1881, 1884)
  • Rustin (1979, 1980)
  • Salena (1977, 1995)
  • Sanjuana (1949, 1950)
  • Sebrina (1967, 1970)
  • Selah (2005, 2006)
  • Serina (1970, 1998)
  • Shanelle (1989, 1992)
  • Shanequa (1991, 1992)
  • Shaquita (1985, 1986)
  • Sharman (1949, 1950)
  • Shaunna (1978, 1979)
  • Shelvia (1937, 1938)
  • Sheyla (2001, 2006)
  • Shirl (1963, 1964)
  • Shirlie (1926, 1935)
  • Shona (1969, 1970)
  • Shyla (1999, 2006)
  • Siena (2005, 2006)
  • Signa (1890, 1892)
  • Soledad (1919, 1929)
  • Stephani (1987, 1989)
  • Saint (1896, 1897)
  • Severt (1882, 1896)
  • Shan (1968, 1969)
  • Sie (1888, 1890)
  • Sing (1890, 1905)
  • Tamya (2003, 2004)
  • Tayla (1998, 2006)
  • Tea (1997, 1998)
  • Thresa (1883, 1888)
  • Tinie (1881, 1885)
  • Tobi (1974, 1975)
  • Torrie (1976, 1977)
  • Toshiko (1919, 1923)
  • Tahj (1998, 1999)
  • Taj (1976, 1998)
  • Talan (2005, 2006)
  • Tandy (1883, 1899)
  • Tavion (1999, 2002)
  • Tayshaun (2004, 2005)
  • Terell (1985, 1986)
  • Theodis (1952, 1955)
  • Tilman (1881, 1884)
  • Toshio (1921, 1925)
  • Treyton (2002, 2003)
  • Tuan (1982, 1983)
  • Tyriq (1998, 1999)
  • Tyrus (1912, 1916)
  • Valery (2005, 2006)
  • Velia (1929, 1930)
  • Vonetta (1973, 1974)
  • Vander (1884, 1887)
  • Vashon (1973, 1974)
  • Vidal (1972, 1973)
  • Vinie (1885, 1895)
  • Wanita (1924, 1931)
  • Winter (1978, 1979)
  • Waino (1904, 1909)
  • Wells (1881, 1886)
  • Wess (1883, 1890)
  • Wirt (1881, 1886)
  • Wood (1881, 1882)
  • Xena (1996, 1997)
  • Yahaira (2003, 2005)
  • Yuridia (2005, 2006)
  • Yaakov (1986, 1987)
  • Yehuda (2001, 2005)
  • Zana (1888, 1994)
  • Zara (2005, 2006)
  • Zhane (1994, 1995)
  • Zaid (2003, 2004)

And here are explanations for a few of the above:

  • Bjorn was given a boost by tennis great Bjorn Borg, who was ranked #1 in the world several times in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
  • The surge of Ciji can be attributed to Knot’s Landing character Ciji Dunne.
  • Gidget grew in popularity thanks to mid-1960s TV series Gidget, starring Sally Field. The series was based on the 1957 book Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas by Frederick Kohner. Kohner’s daughter Kathy had been nicknamed Gidget — a blend of the words “girl” and “midget” — by surfers in Malibu.
  • Illya, a Slavic form of Elijah, was popularized by 1960s TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968), which featured main characters named Illya Nickovetch Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo. During the two years that Illya ranked, Napoleon also became slightly more popular.
  • Lindbergh was given a lift by famous aviator Charles Lindbergh.
  • The rise of Ridge was influenced by The Bold and the Beautiful character Ridge Forrester. (Alas, Ridge’s brother Thorne did not manage to inspire a similar baby name following.) I’ve interviewed a Ridge, if you’re interested.
  • Finally, Jenniffer ranked 972nd in 1972, and then 973rd in 1973. How crazy is that?