Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hawaiian Names For Babies

Babies seem to be all around me at the moment – a former colleague had a baby girl on Thursday (congrats Liz!), a current colleague is pregnant (yay Stephanie!) and I feel like I am the only one without a baby right now, no matter where I look. My husband and I have only talked about baby names in a joking fashion, but I started thinking over the weekend that if I ever have a baby, I may like to use a Hawaiian name. Nothing too weird, my last name is already weird enough, but something that is easy to say, easy to spell, and has a nice meaning. I took a look at the popular baby names in Hawaii in 2007 on the Social Security Website and there are not many Hawaiian names on the list at all! As it turns out, many people in Hawaii use Hawaiian names as a middle name instead.

Here is some info on Hawaiian names for you to consider:
Hawaiian names can be used for both boys and girls, unless they are versions of boy and girl names taken from other languages or if a name's meaning just wouldn't suit one particular gender.

The pronunciation of a name is very important; get it wrong and the name can mean something completely different.

For Hawaiians, the giving of a name is an incredibly important task. The parents or grandparents may invent a name specifically for the child to be born, and the name could be inspired by a dream or an event that happened around the time of the child's birth.

Let's take a look at some Hawaiian baby names that have appeared in recent popular baby name lists for the State of Hawaii:

Boys’ Names

Girls’ Names

My favorites are: Boy: Kalani (The Heavens), Girl: Leilani (Heavenly Flower). Now you know why my blog is called Natalani – I have a thing with the term ‘lani’ – because I associate Hawaii with heaven!


A Maui Blog said...

Hawaian Names are cool. Too late for me to give my kids Hawaiian names (too old to have another baby) but will definitely give my grandkids a Hawaiian name :)

Kris Nelson said...

This is a nice list.

My wife Cindy and I don't have any plans for children (yet), but the running joke with us is that we'd have to move to Maui before we start a family. The joke sort of originates with seeing a handful of visitors to the islands with strollers and diaper bags and wondering how much work it would be travel with an infant.

Anyway, I've always been a fan of Hawaiian names and their meanings, even if not just for babies. The names, as you mentioned when pronounced correctly, are so beautiful and their meanings often reflect that beauty.

For example, Cindy and I bought matching rings last year while in Maui, and the design is called Nalani, which stands for "the heavens". It's a lovely pattern and I've since bought her matching earrings that she absolutely adores.

You said it best, Hawaii is a true reflection of heaven on Earth, and I'm reminded of it whenever I see my ring.