168 Hawaiian Last Names With Meaning and History | Kidadl


168 Hawaiian Last Names With Meaning and History

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Our names act as windows into our cultures.

Hawaiian culture is widely known for its vibrancy and the island's natural beauty. Another interesting part of the island nation is their naming systems.

Surnames did not exist in ancient Hawaii, but over years of history and encounters with other countries Hawaiian surnames have come into use in the country. For this reason, many of these Hawaiian surnames are adapted from or inspired by names that were initially used as first names by Hawaiians. On the other hand, many Hawaiians' surnames have origins from different countries all around the world, for this very same reason. Here's our list of 100 Hawaiian surnames and their meanings, the origins of any names that are not of Hawaiian origin are noted for your information.

For more surname ideas, take a look at these Haitian surnames and these Thai last names.

Popular Hawaiian Last Names

The Hawaiian language has many exciting surnames. Names in Hawaiian are quite meaningful too. Here is a list of some popular Hawaiian last names and their meanings.

1. Kai (Japanese Origin) meaning "forgiveness".

2. Keanu meaning "the one", or " the cool one". A popular name due to actor, Keanu Reeves.

3. Kainoa meaning "free-flowing sea".

4. Aria meaning "melody". It can also mean "air" as well.

5. Sophia (Greek Origin) meaning "the one who possesses great wisdom".

6. Allana meaning "tranquility".

7. Etana meaning "strong".

8. Kayl meaning "a man who is free".

9. Lani meaning "the blue sky".

10. Maui meaning "God of fire". This Hawaiian name gained prominence due to the hit movie, 'Moana'.

11. Nani meaning "beauty". This Hawaiian last name became famous due to the movie, 'Lilo And Stitch'.

13. Pele, meaning "volcano". This Hawaiian last name got popularized because of the famous soccer player, Pele.

Hawaiian Last Names Inspired By Religion

Ki'i in Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Big Island, Hawaii

Religion has played an important role in shaping Hawaiian cultures, their beliefs and customs.  Several Hawaiian surnames are influenced by it.  Here is a list of Hawaiian names inspired by religion that you can refer to.

14. Ai'la'ausd meaning "the God of fire".

15. Akamu meaning “Adam”. A biblical reference to  Adam and Eve. It also means "one of the red earth" and is typically used for children with earth signs.

16. Ailana meaning "the strength or will of God".

17. Anela meaning "angel".

18. Aolani meaning "a cloud from heaven".

19. Hekekia a Hebrew name which means "the strengthening of Yahweh".

20. Hikialani meaning "one who looks up towards the heavens".

21. Inoa meaning "the virgin Mary".

22. Iokua meaning "Joshua". A character from the Bible.

23. Iona referring to Jonah.  A prophet from the Bible sent to warn of the destruction of Nineveh.

24. Ionakana meaning "God gives us all".

25. Isaia referring to "Isaiah". A prophet from the Old Testament.

26. Iuda referring to "Jude" from the Bible.

27. Keaka meaning "God's gift".

28. Kapiolani meaning "fire from the heavens".

29. Kealani meaning "heaven".

30. Kealohilani meaning "the one who shines bright in the heavens". However, this last name has other heavenly connotations as well.

31. Kehau meaning "dew from the heavens".

32. Keikilani meaning "the child of heaven". This is a holy last name.

33. Kiana meaning "Goddess of the moon".

34. Kimokea meaning "in the name of God".

35. Kulani meaning "similar to heaven" or "revealing the heavens".

36. Laini meaning "the heavens". However, it can also mean "the sky".

37. Lanni meaning "the one who is from heaven".

38. Lono meaning "harvest God".

39. Mahelona meaning "mahlon", a biblical reference to a harp, which is considered an auspicious instrument.

40. Makaio meaning "one who is God's gift to the world".

41. Mililani meaning "touch of God".

42. Nalani meaning "guard of the heavens".

43. Nanea meaning "heavenly land".

44. Noelani meaning "mist of heaven".

45. Okalani meaning "from heaven".

46. Ualoheke Akua meaning "God who has listened".

47. Wailani meaning "heaven water". This Hawaiian last name is a perfect choice for your beloved one.

48. Zariyah meaning "the one who has been favored greatly by God".

Hawaiian Last Names Inspired By Status And Work

Like most other cultures, many Hawaiian last names are inspired by the professions of a family's ancestors. Some of these Hawaiian last names are given below.

50. A'amakualenalena meaning "powerful warrior".

51. Ailani meaning "chief of high honor".

52. Alaka'I meaning "leader".

53. Aleka meaning "the one who is the protector of humankind".

54. Aukai meaning "sailor".

55. Aulani meaning "the messenger of the King" or "the royal messenger".

56. Haulani meaning "ruler of the heavens".

57. Haoa meaning "chief", "guardian" or "protector". It is actually a Hawaiian version of the name Howard.

58. Ka'aukai meaning "swimmer".

59. Kahlil meaning "the keeper of keys".

60. Kaimi meaning "the one who seeks".

61. Kalawai'a meaning "fisherman".

62. Kalei meaning "the person who works for the King".

63. Kalua meaning "companion".

64. Kapena meaning "the captain".

65. Kealoha meaning "leader".

66. Keawe meaning "the bearer". It is said that this Hawaiian last name refers to tribe chiefs.

67. Keilani meaning "wonderful chief".

68. Kekoa meaning "warrior", this is one of the most common last names in Hawaii.

69. Kekepania meaning "the one who is victorious".  It can also refer to a winner who is given a crown or prize.

70. Kekua meaning "the brave warrior".

71. Keli'i meaning "chief".

72. Kilo meaning "the one who observes the stars". This is used to imply people who daydream.

73. Konala meaning "ruler of the world".

74. Kualili meaning "famous chief" or "beloved chief".

75. Loe meaning "King".

76. Lokela meaning "beloved warrior".

77. Lui meaning "well known warrior".

78. Mahi'ai meaning "farmer".

79. Malo meaning "the winner" or "the victorious man".

80. Malu meaning "the harbinger of peace".

81. Nainoa meaning "the protector of children" or "the guardian of the kids".

82. Palapala meaning "a woman of foreign origin". It has been used historically to describe people who came to Hawaii from other islands and countries.

83. Peleke meaning "a peace loving ruler".

Hawaiian Names Inspired By Qualities

A hawaiin girl enjoying on the beach

Hawaiian last names are also indicative of people's qualities and their personalities. Here is a list of some good Hawaiian names inspired by qualities.

84. Ahuahu meaning "healthy", "fit".

85. Akamai meaning "one who is wise, smart, intelligent".

86. Akiona meaning "one who of the brown hills"

87. Aka meaning "noble", "distinguished".

88. Akamai meaning "clever", "wise", "intelligent".

89. Akana meaning "bright", "light". This is the most common Hawaiian last name.

90. Allanna meaning "serenity", "tranquility".

91. Alika meaning "most gorgeous", "beautiful".

92. Alohi meaning "brilliance".

93. Ele meaning "the one who shines bright".

94. Eusebio meaning "God's best worshiper" It refers to those who pray well.

95. Haukea meaning "fair snow". It is a way to refer to someone's fair complexion.

96. Havika meaning "beloved".

97. Ikaika meaning "strong, brave, powerful".

98. Kaeo meaning "the one who is strong".

99. Kahiau meaning "the one who is generous" or "the one who is selfless".

100. Kaileah meaning "the clearest one" or "the brightest one".

101. Kaipo meaning "the sweetest one".

102. Kaiulani meaning "the one who is royalty" or "the sacred one".

103. Kale meaning "hunky" or "manly".

104. Kalili meaning "jealousy".

105. Kalino meaning "the one who is brilliant".

106. Kamaya meaning "the one who is most precious".

107. Kamealoha meaning "beloved one".

108. Kanani meaning "the one who is beautiful".

109. Kapono meaning "the righteous one".

110. Kapuni meaning "the one who is the favorite of all".

111. Kaua meaning "one who is sensitive at heart".

112. Kaylani meaning "the majestic one".

113. Keala meaning "the one who is the path".

114. Kealoha meaning "loved one".

115. Keka meaning "the chosen one".

116. Kilohana meaning "the one who is the best" or "the superior one".

117. Klei meaning "the one who is vigilant".

118. Koa meaning "unafraid".

119. Konani meaning "bright". This is one of the rarest Hawaiian last names.

120. Laia meaning "one who speaks very softly".

121. Leimomi meaning "child of pearl".

122. Likeke meaning "brave".

123. Lilo meaning "one who is very generous and giving" This name has gained a lot of popularity due to the movie, 'Lilo And Stitch'.

124. Louanne meaning "one who is relaxed and full of joy".

125. Makali is one of the more popular Hawaiian names meaning "one with small eyes".

126. Malana meaning "one who is full of lightness".

127. Maliah meaning "rebellious" or "loved".

128. Maliana meaning "one who is beautiful".

129. Malkeo meaning "the one who is masculine".

130. Mele meaning "one who is merry and happy".

131. Nohea meaning "good looking".

132. Olina meaning "joyous".

133. Pakelika meaning "noble".

134. Polunu meaning "plump".

Hawaiian Last Names Inspired By Nature


Hawaii is known for its natural beauty. Its flora and fauna have deep associations with Hawaiians' culture. A Hawaiian name is often based on natural elements. Here are some Hawaiian language names inspired by nature.

135. Ahe meaning "soft breeze".

136. Alama meaning "eternal earth".

137. Alanna meaning "rock", "boulder".

138. Illima meaning "blooming flower".

139. Iolana meaning "soaring eagle".

140. Kahue meaning "gourd". There are chances that this surname was associated with gourd farmers.

141. Kaia meaning "sea".

142. Kailani meaning "ocean and sky".

143. Kawai meaning "the water".

144. Kiele meaning "garden", "field of flowers".

145. Leilani meaning "flower of heaven".

146. Mailee meaning "vines", "plant of vines".

147. Makani meaning "powerful wind".

148. Mano meaning "shark".

149. Manu meaning "birds".

150. Moana meaning "sea", "ocean".

151. Nahele meaning "forest", "woods".

152. Nalanie meaning "clear sky".

153. Napua meaning "floral".

154. Palila meaning "bird".

155. Pekelo meaning "stone", "rock".

156. Pualani meaning "flower of the heaven". Often used to refer to children of royalty and Kings.

157. Urima meaning "the earth's fruit".

158. Zariah meaning "a kind of flower".

Hawaiian Last Names Inspired By Magic

Magic and spirituality are very important in Hawaiian culture. These are a few surnames related to magic.

159. Ka’ana’ana meaning “black magic”.

160. Hawea the meaning is a reference to mythical drums that were once brought from Tahiti.

161. Kahoku meaning "star".

162. Kala meaning "torch", "flame".

163. Kalpana meaning "diamond of the ocean".

164. Kapula meaning "prayers".

165. Kapule meaning “magic”.

166. Ka’uhane meaning "soul or spirit".

167. Mana meaning “soul or spirit”.

168. Nohealani meaning "a woman who is from paradise.

Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Hawaiian last names then why not take a look at these Hawaiian girl names, or these Hawaiian boy names.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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