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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nainoa

Number of Babies Named Nainoa

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Nainoa

Wanna Talk Names? Give Me a Call!

I’ve created a couple of videos recently (on YouTube) and I’m looking forward to creating similar audio/video content in the future.

But here’s the thing: It’s no fun if it’s just me! I’d love to feature audio from you — your stories, opinions, questions, requests, and so on.

So I’ve set up this phone number (should go straight to voicemail) for collecting anything you’d like to tell me about names: 305-204-NAME (6263).

Just call in and leave me a message!

What should you say? Here are some ideas:

Tell a story about your name.

This is the type of audio I’m most excited about. Lots of people have great name stories, and would be willing to share them…but don’t feel compelled to write those stories down and send them to some random baby name blogger. But what if they could call a number, speak their stories over the phone, and have those stories magically turned into YouTube videos (with no other effort on their part)? That sounds way more fun, right?

A few prompts:

  • What’s the story behind your name?
  • Have you had any unique experiences because of your name?
  • Has your name opened/closed any doors for you?

I’m particularly interested in name origin stories — I’ve been collecting/posting them in the name stories category for years — but I’d be happy to hear any story you want to tell me about your name and your experience of living with it.

Pronounce a name or two (or ten, or twenty).

This is the type of audio I’m next most excited about. Remember that Maryland mom who named her baby Ottilie with the British pronunciation in mind? She was so disappointed by the way Americans pronounced it that she ended up changing the name to Margot. This story makes me eager to gather recordings of names being spoken by all sorts of different people — particularly in various English accents — so that we can easily hear the differences.

Some ideas:

  • If you’re an English speaker, what’s your take on “Ottilie”? How about “Ione”?
  • If you’re from Ireland, how would you say “Aoife”? “Pádraig”?
  • If you’re Hawaiian, how do you say “Ikaika”? “Nāinoa“?
  • If you’re a native Spanish speaker, how would you say “Xiomara”? “Jacinto”?
  • If you’re a native French speaker, how would you say “Maëlle”? “Loïc”?
  • If you’re a native Italian speaker, how would you say “Letizia”? “Enos“?

I think it would be most efficient to work from a pronunciation “wish list” so that the trickiest names get priority. To nominate a name for the list, leave a comment below.

If you call in with pronunciations, please remember to mention your accent and/or location as well. (“I’ve got a Southern Irish accent.” “I was born and raised in Omaha.” “I grew up in Jamaica.”) Same for people pronouncing non-English names. (If you speak Spanish, did you grow up in Buenos Aires? Barcelona? Bogotá?) With this context, the recordings are more useful.

Submit a baby name request.

The videos I’ve made so far are based on written Five-Name Friday requests, but it would be just as easy for me to splice in a spoken request. Be sure the request is still just two sentences long, though. (Check out the Need a Name? page for more information.)

Talk about anything else related to names.

Opinions, questions, observations, rants…anything! I’m happy to listen, and I appreciate anything you’re willing to give me.

And on that note, a few general comments about the recordings:

  • Call as many times as you want, but each voicemail can only be up to three minutes long.
  • Speak clearly, particularly if you’re demonstrating how to pronounce a name.
  • Identify yourself…or not. It’s up to you. But if you’re telling a story about your name, we do need to know what your name is. :) Likewise, for pronunciation recordings we need information about your accent/language.
  • I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to use every single recording in a future video/audio, unfortunately.
  • By calling and leaving a message, you grant me (Nancy) perpetual license to use your message, in whole or in part, in any future piece(s) of media. (Here’s the policy page, btw.)

The number again is 305-204-6263. Those last four digits spell the word “name” on the telephone keypad, which is pretty cool. They also spell “oboe,” incidentally. :)

Hope to hear from you soon!


Names that Mean “Name”

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.”
  • Nāinoa, 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?

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.