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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nakoa

Number of Babies Named Nakoa

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Nakoa

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.


Celebrity Baby Name – Kahekili

Another celebrity has gone with a Hawaiian baby name. Helen Hunt has a daughter named Makena Lei, Lisa Bonet has a son named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha, and now Evangeline Lilly has a son named Kahekili.

This is old news, actually. Lilly’s baby (with boyfriend Norman Kali) was born in mid-2011, and the name was revealed later that year. Kahekili means “the thunder” in Hawaiian: ka is “the” and hekili is “thunder.”

But apparently Lilly has only recently come out with the full story behind Kahekili’s name:

My son was born outside in Hawaii in the middle of a thunder and lightning storm that was so insane that we had an island-wide power outage… We were woken out of our sleep by the thunder, it was so intense, and in Hawaii they call that mana, which is like your essence or your spirit… so we had to name him after his mana.

She’d previously mentioned that the baby was born “outside in a thunderstorm.” Also, that the name wasn’t chosen right away: “My baby did not have a name for a month. It took me a month to name my child.”

A handful of other baby boys have been named Kahekili lately. In fact, over past few years, the name has popped up on the national list three times and on the Hawaii list twice:

  • 2012: 6 baby boys named Kahekili nationally
  • 2011: unlisted
  • 2010: 6 baby boys named Kahekili nationally, 5 in Hawaii
  • 2009: 5 baby boys named Kahekili nationally [debut], all 5 in Hawaii [debut]
  • 2008: unlisted

I wonder how many of these babies were born during thunderstorms.

What do you think of the name Kahekili?

Sources: Evangeline Lilly – Wikipedia, The Things They Say – Hollywood.com, Evangeline Lilly was in labor for 30 hours (h/t elbowin, for making me look up Tauriel)

Celebrity Baby Name – Cyrus Michael Christopher

Actress Claire Danes and her husband Hugh Dancy recently welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy.

Most of the articles/blog posts I’ve read have called the name Cyrus “unusual.”

I suppose it is, numbers-wise. Cyrus has never been a very common name in the U.S., though it’s become more popular in the last decade.

But by celebrity baby name standards? Not so much. Cyrus is vintage-unusual, not bizarre-unusual. More like Enoch, Harmon, Otto, Florian and Lambert than like Sparrow, Jermasjesty, Moroccan, Nakoa-Wolf and Bronx.

In terms of etymology, Cyrus can be traced back to Kyros, the Greek form of the Old Persian name Kurus or Kurush, of unknown etymology.

How do you feel about the name Cyrus? (Is it possible for you to put aside the Miley Cyrus association?)

Celebrity Baby Name – Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha

Actors Lisa Bonet (a.k.a. Lilakoi Moon) and Jason Momoa (a.k.a. Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa) welcomed their second child together on December 15th.

The baby boy was named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.

In Hawaiian, Nakoa (na koa) means either “the warrior” or “the koa [tree].” Manakauapo includes elements meaning “spirit” (mana) “the rain” (ka ua) and “night” (po). Namakaeha, passed down from dad, seems to have something to do with “the eyes” (na maka), but I can’t figure out what the last element stands for.

Nakoa-Wolf joins big sister Lola Iolani Momoa and half-sister Zoe Isabella Kravitz.

Source: Huffington Post