How popular is the baby name Mahina 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 Mahina.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mahina


Posts that Mention the Name Mahina

Popular and unique baby names by state, 2018

Sampling of baby names that appeared in the SSA state-specific baby name data for one state only.

We know what the top names in the country were last year, but what about the top names in each state? Here’s the list, released just yesterday by the SSA. I’ve also included each state’s most popular unique names (i.e., names that only appeared in the data for that particular state).

StateTop Names (f & m)Top Unique Names (f & m)
AlabamaAva & WilliamCrimson & Kendarius, Walton (tie)
AlaskaAurora & Oliver(none) & Paxson
ArizonaEmma & LiamSedona & Yadier
ArkansasAva & Noah(none) & Timber
CaliforniaEmma & NoahAni & Aram
ColoradoOlivia & LiamVail & Redding
ConnecticutOlivia & Noah(none) & (none)
DelawareAva & Liam(none) & (none)
D.C.Ava & William(none) & (none)
FloridaIsabella & LiamAbigaelle & Miron
GeorgiaAva & WilliamKaylei & Taylin
HawaiiEmma & LiamMahina & Kaimana
IdahoOlivia & LiamQuincey & Roczen
IllinoisOlivia & NoahJamaya & Laron
IndianaEmma & OliverDawt, Elma (tie) & Jamin
IowaHarper & OliverHuxley & Kinnick
KansasOlivia & LiamMacklyn & Creighton, Whit (tie)
KentuckyEmma & WilliamAnnlee, Terri (tie) & Jansen
LouisianaAva & NoahJaicee, Jersi (tie) & Colston
MaineOliver & Charlotte(none) & (none)
MarylandAva & LiamAnjolaoluwa & Adon, Murtaza (tie)
MassachusettsEmma & BenjaminVittoria & Henrique
MichiganOlivia & NoahLayal & Eldon
MinnesotaEvelyn & HenryMaida & Muhsin
MississippiAva & JohnSwayze & Jadarius
MissouriOlivia & LiamCharlea & Daxten, Zebulun (tie)
MontanaHarper & Liam(none) & (none)
NebraskaOlivia & Liam(none) & (none)
NevadaEmma & Liam(none) & (none)
New HampshireOlivia & Oliver (none) & (none)
New JerseyEmma & LiamTzipora & Binyomin
New MexicoIsabella & Noah(none) & (none)
New YorkEmma & LiamGitty & Mendel
North CarolinaAva & NoahHolden & Nahmir
North DakotaOlivia & Oliver(none) & (none)
OhioAva & LiamWilma & Grayden
OklahomaEmma & LiamDim, Jadyn (tie) & Thang
OregonEmma & OliverRuna & (none)
PennsylvaniaEmma & LiamBarbie, Surah (tie) & Joniel
Rhode IslandAmelia, Olivia (tie) & Liam(none) & (none)
South CarolinaAva & WilliamEmmagrace, Mills (tie) & Drayton, Mills (tie)
South DakotaHarper & Grayson, Henry, Liam (3-way tie)(none) & Ryken
TennesseeEmma & WilliamAnnaclaire, Caylen, Eulalia, Jakyra, Kamri, Parthenia, Tamari, Tylee (8-way tie) & Neyland
TexasEmma & LiamJessi & Eliud
UtahOlivia & OliverMable & Ammon
VermontHarper & Oliver(none) & (none)
VirginiaAva & WilliamTyasia & Alexi, Javonte, Mckinley (3-way tie)
WashingtonOlivia & LiamCallista & Ruvim
West VirginiaEmma & Mason(none) & Bransen
WisconsinEvelyn & Oliver(none) & Broxton, Kelby (tie)
WyomingAmelia, Emma (tie) & Oliver(none) & (none)

A few final thoughts…

  • I love that Aurora is now #1 in Alaska. :)
  • What’s up with Wilma in Ohio? Nine baby girls is nearly a quarter (23%) of the total national usage. Interesting.
  • One of the other unique Utah boy names was Kaladin, which comes from a character in the Stormlight Archive book series by Utah-based fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson.

How about you — what are your thoughts/observations?

Some single-state baby names: Ariza, Barbie, Cruzito…

It’s easy to figure out which baby names appeared on all (or most) of the state-specific baby name lists for 2017. But what about the rare names that only made one or two state lists?

A total of 1,324 names appeared on just one state list, and a total of 1,198 names appeared on two state lists. (I analyzed boy names and girl names separately, though, so several of these names did show up on extra lists as the other gender.)

Here’s a selection of the baby names that appeared on just one state list last year:

  • Neyland, 41 boys in Tennessee (out of 53 nation-wide)
  • Roel, 23 boys in Texas (out of 50 nation-wide)
  • Ariza, 22 girls in Arizona (out of 31 nation-wide)
  • Marty, 21 boys in Ohio (out of 66 boys, and 13 girls, nation-wide)
  • Venice, 20 girls and 5 boys in California (out of 44 and 12 nation-wide)
  • Kinnick, 19 boys in Iowa (out of 29 nation-wide)
  • Benuel, 17 boys in Pennsylvania (out of 26 nation-wide)
  • Barbie, 16 girls in Pennsylvania (out of 29 nation-wide)
  • Kainalu, 16 boys in Hawaii (out of 23 nation-wide)
  • Mahina, 16 girls in Hawaii (out of 22 nation-wide)
  • Taysom, 14 boys in Utah (out of 24 nation-wide)
  • Hatcher, 10 boys in Alaska (out of 40 nation-wide)
  • Talmage, 10 boys in Utah (out of 20 nation-wide)
  • Atlee, 8 boys in Ohio (out of 25 boys and 32 girls nation-wide)
  • Cruzito, 8 boys in New Mexico (out of 25 nation-wide)
  • Nizhoni, 8 girls in Arizona (out of 21 nation-wide)
  • California, 7 girls in California (out of 16 nation-wide)
  • Griffey, 7 boys in Washington state (out of 21 nation-wide)
  • Kodiak, 7 boys in California (out of 30 nation-wide)
  • Rainier, 7 boys in Washington state (out of 24 nation-wide)
  • Alabama, 5 girls in California (out of 16 nation-wide)
  • Boomer, 5 boys in Texas (out of 33 nation-wide)
  • Cleveland, 5 boys in Florida (out of 28 nation-wide)
  • Crockett, 5 boys in Texas (out of 10 nation-wide)
  • Ole, 5 boys in Minnesota (out of 21 nation-wide)

A lot of these have easy explanations (e.g., Neyland Stadium, Kinnick Stadium, Mount Rainier, Taysom Hill) or are logical in some other way (like “Ariza” in Arizona).

Two that I couldn’t figure out, though, were Marty in Ohio and Barbie in Pennsylvania. My assumption regarding Barbie is that it’s popular among the Amish. (Benuel too.) But I have no clue about Marty. Is it college sports…?

And here’s a selection of the baby names that showed up on two state lists in 2017:

  • Hyrum, 36 boys in Utah and 15 in Idaho (out of 88 nation-wide)
  • Ammon, 24 boys in Utah and 6 in Pennsylvania (out of 64 nation-wide)
  • Fannie, 18 in Pennsylvania and 6 in New York (out of 45 nation-wide)
  • Avenir, 11 boys in Washington state and 6 in California (out of 31 nation-wide)
  • Reverie, 8 girls in California and 5 in Illinois (out of 26 nation-wide)
  • Sunshine, 7 girls in Arizona and 7 in California (out of 55 nation-wide)

I was confused about Avenir a few years ago, but I’ve since found the answer: it’s the Russian form of the Biblical name Abner. Avenir has been popping up on West Coast state lists (WA, OR, CA) lately, which makes sense given the fact that several West Coast cities have relatively large Russian-American populations.

Have you had a chance to go over the state lists yet? If so, did you spot anything interesting?

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse

On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have (or conceive!) a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that perhaps isn’t as obvious as Eclipse itself).

So what are your options?

Names with “celestial” associations

A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…

“Sun” namesElio, Haruko, Helios, Hinata, Ravi, Samson, Sol, Solaris, Soleil, Solfrid, Solveig, Sunniva, Sunny, Surya
“Star” namesAsteria, Astra, Astraea, Estelle, Citlali, Hoshi, Seren, Star, Starla, Stella, Tara
“Moon” namesChandra, Dawa, Luna, Mahina, Moon, Qamar, Selena, Selene
“Earth” namesAvani, Eartha, Gaia, Tierra, Tlaloc
“Sky” namesAkash, Alya, Celeste, Celestine, Ciel, Lani, Miku, Sky, Skyla, Skylar, Sora

Names with “dark” associations

The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…

“Shadow” namesShade, Shadow, Umbra, Zillah
“Dark” or “Black” namesBlake, Charna, Ciar, Ciara, Ciaran, Dubhan, Duff, Jett, Krishna, Melanie, Raven, Sullivan
“Night” namesLayla, Lilith, Miyako, Nisha, Nyx, Rajnish

I think Blake and Sullivan are particularly intriguing choices.

The English surname Blake can come from either of two similar Middle English words that happen to have opposite definitions: blac, meaning “black,” or blac, meaning “wan, pale, white, fair.” So it manages to encapsulate the concepts of both darkness and lightness — two key elements of an eclipse.

And the Irish surname Sullivan, “descendant of Súileabhán,” is based on the Gaelic personal name Súileabhán, meaning “little dark eye” — which sounds a lot like a poetic description of an eclipse.

Name combos with both “celestial” and “dark” associations

You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…

  • Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
  • Jett Samson: “black” and “sun”
  • Ciaran Sol: “black” and “sun”
  • Melanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
  • Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)

Names (or name combos) featuring the letters “S” and “E”

This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…

Sela
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Selma
Seraphina
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Serenity
Sean
Sebastian
Sefton
Sergio
Seth
Severino

Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…

Sabrina Eden
Sydney Elise
Sarah Evangeline
Susanna Elizabeth
Simon Elijah
Spencer Ellis
Shane Everett
Samuel Edward

Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?

Sources:

Update, 5/15/2018: The baby name Eclipse debuted in the 2017 SSA data! The name Moon also more than tripled in usage last year.

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.