A rainbow of beautiful Hawaiian girl names
From the sun-soaked shores of Maui to the lush landscapes of Kauai, and the bustling energy of Oahu to the natural wonders of the Big Island, Hawaii is a place that exudes beauty, culture, and community spirit.
Giving your daughter a Hawaiian name can offer her a piece of this paradise and heritage right from the start.
Choosing a name for your baby is a beautiful life milestone to appreciate as you add another branch to your family tree — or as they say in Hawai‘i, your ‘ohana. The term ‘ohana means “family” in Hawaiian, and often extends beyond blood relations to include friends and other loved ones who come into your life. As for the word keiki, it simply means child.
So what better way to honor your growing ‘ohana than by choosing a Hawaiian girl name as unique as your new keiki?
If you’re looking for a name that celebrates nature, empowers, or simply sounds poetic, you’ll find plenty of options here — each carrying a little touch of the aloha spirit.
The basics of the Hawaiian alphabet
Before we jump into names, you should know that the Hawaiian alphabet is a bit unique. It has only 12 letters, including 5 vowels (A, E, I, O, and U) and 7 letter consonants (H, K, L, M, N, P, W).
Additionally, there are two important accent marks in the Hawaiian language. The first is the ‘okina. In written form, it looks like a backward apostrophe, and it’s actually considered an official consonant in their alphabet.
It functions as a glottal stop, a brief pause that separates vowels, much like the sound at the end of the word “Hawai’i.” When you see it in a name or word, it’s a cue to make a slight pause. It adds a distinctive touch to Hawaiian names and words, shaping how they’re pronounced.
The kahakō, a line over a vowel, signals that you should hold that vowel sound a little longer. An example of a name that uses the kahakō is Nāmaka, pronounced “NAH-mah-kah,” where the first ‘a’ is elongated. (This feminine name means “the eyes” in Hawaiian, and is often associated with a goddess of the sea.)
A kahakō over the ‘a’ indicates that you should hold that vowel sound a little longer than you normally would. It’s a subtle detail, but one that’s significant in the Hawaiian language, and it adds authenticity and proper pronunciation to Hawaiian names.
Understanding these can help with pronunciation, especially if you’re considering a name with these accent marks.
Beautiful female Hawaiian names with an aloha spirit
Hawaiian girl names that celebrate nature
Hawaiian culture is deeply connected to nature, and this is reflected in many of its names.
- Leilani – Pronounced “Lay-LAH-nee,” this name means “heavenly flowers.” You might recall actress Leilani Jones, or the popular song “Sweet Leilani.”
- Kai – Pronounced “Kye,” this name is more commonly used for boys but is also a beautiful Hawaiian name for girls. It means “sea,” which ties in well with island culture.
- Noelani – Pronounced “Noh-eh-LAH-nee,” this name means “heavenly mist,” capturing the beauty and mystique of the islands.
Strong and empowering Hawaiian baby girl names
If you’re looking for a name that carries a powerful meaning, consider:
- Iolani – Pronounced “ee-oh-LAH-nee,” this name means “royal hawk” in Hawaiian. It carries a sense of nobility and majesty. The name is historically significant, as Iolani Palace in Honolulu (the only royal palace in the United States), takes its name from this term. With such rich historical and cultural associations, the name Iolani offers both a connection to natural beauty and a nod to Hawaiian royal heritage.
- Iolana is pronounced “ee-oh-LAH-nah” and generally means “to soar like a hawk.” While it maintains the hawk symbolism, it doesn’t have the same historical ties as Iolani.
- Kala – Pronounced “KAH-lah,” this name means “princess.” It’s an alternative to popular names like Sarah or Diana. Musician Kala Farnham is a notable person with this name.
- Mana – Pronounced “MAH-nah,” this name means “spiritual power.” If you’re hoping your daughter will be strong and self-reliant, Mana could be a good fit.
Hawaiian names for girls: A touch of the poetic
For names that evoke a sense of romance or poetic flair, you might consider:
- Mele – Pronounced “Meh-leh,” this name means “song.” It’s a less common choice, but resonates with artistic charm.
- Roselani – Pronounced “Rose-eh-LAH-nee,” this name translates to “heavenly rose,” making it a perfect choice for those who love both flowers and celestial themes.
- Lani – Pronounced “LAH-nee,” this name means “sky.” It’s simple yet poetic and is also fairly easy to pronounce.
Additional Hawaiian female names to consider
- Ailani – Pronounced “eye-LAH-nee,” this name means “high chief.” It captures a sense of leadership and nobility.
- Halia – Pronounced “ha-LEE-ah,” this name means “remembrance of a loved one.” It’s a heartfelt name that resonates with many.
- Kailani – Meaning “sea and sky,” this name embodies the vast natural beauty of Hawaii.
- Kalena – Pronounced “Kah-LEH-nah,” this name means “pure.” It offers a lovely Hawaiian twist to the more traditional name Karen.
- Kuulei – Pronounced “Koo-oo-lei,” this Hawaiian female name has dual meanings: it can mean “my sweetheart” or “garland of flowers.” Whether you think of it as a term of endearment or a nod to natural beauty, it’s a name filled with both love and poetic imagery.
- Lea – Pronounced as “Lei-ah,” it means “child of heaven.”
- Maile – Pronounced “MY-lee,” this name refers to a native Hawaiian vine used in leis. The name is often associated with grace and a natural, easy-going demeanor.
- Makena – Pronounced “ma-KEN-ah,” this name not only means “abundance” or “many gathered,” but it’s also the name of a beautiful beach area on the island of Maui. It’s a name that captures the essence of Hawaiian natural beauty and a sense of plentifulness in life.
- Malia – Pronounced “muh-LEE-ah,” this name is the Hawaiian form of Mary, and means “beloved.” Malia Obama, the daughter of former President Barack Obama, is a well-known person with this name.
- Moana – Pronounced “moh-AH-nah,” this name means “ocean.” It became especially popular after the Disney film of the same name captured hearts around the world.
- Nalani – Pronounced “nah-LAH-nee,” this name means “the heavens.” It carries a calming and majestic vibe that might resonate with you.
- Naneki – Pronounced “Nah-NEE-kee,” this name is a modern variation of Nancy, Nan, or Nanette. It’s not a traditional Hawaiian name, but still carries an island-friendly sound.
Gender-neutral Hawaiian baby names
- Aloha – Pronounced “ah-LOH-hah,” this name is widely recognized as a Hawaiian greeting but also means “love” and “compassion.” embodying the spirit of kindness and warmth.
- Kona – Pronounced “KOH-nah,” this name refers to the leeward side of the Big Island, which is famous for its delicious coffee, so unique geographic and cultural reference.
- Maka – Pronounced “MAH-kah,” this name means “eyes” or “sight.” It’s commonly part of compound names like Makalani, adding a layer of meaning about vision or perspective.
Hawaiian girl names are gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why — they’re meaningful, unique, and have a beautiful sound to them. They also give you a chance to add a touch of the tropics to your baby’s identity!
Still looking? See more Hawaiian baby names here!