95 Hawaiian Last Names With Meaning And History

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Dec 12, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Nov 02, 2020
Edited by Isobel Murphy
hawaiian last names that are never heard

Why Hawaiian Last Names?

A list of places with beautiful and natural islands around the world would most certainly include Hawaii as a top choice. Hawaii is a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, forming a US state separate from the North American mainland.

Apart from traditional or native Hawaiians, the state also hosts people from several cultural backgrounds. Traditionally, Hawaiians and especially native Hawaiians did not have surnames.

However, having a surname as a means of identification was necessary when Hawaii became a US territory. People adopted an English or Christian first name, while their traditional first names became surnames.

You will discover a variety of Hawaiian last names listed below. You will find many popular and unique surnames. There is also a list of the last names of historical Hawaiian figures along with the surnames of personalities of Hawaiian descent.

Another short list is included that includes last names inspired by the elements of nature. Read through the article to learn about Hawaiian naming practices.

Both children and adults get to increase their general knowledge of some famous people in Hawaii. Aspiring creative writers might also find fitting names for their Hawaiian characters.

Popular Hawaiian Last Names

1. Anela - means ‘angel’ or ‘messenger of God’. 

2. Alana - meaning ‘awakening’, is a Hawaiian surname and also a female given name.

3. Hale - meaning ‘house’, is a Hawaiian male given name. 

4. Hekekia (Hebrew origin) - a patronymic surname and male first name based on a biblical character meaning, ‘Yahweh strengthens’. 

5. Iona (Hebrew origin) - a male given name and surname based on the biblical character Jonah, meaning ‘dove’. 

6. Iosua (Hebrew origin) - a male name and surname, based on another biblical character named Joshua, meaning ‘Yahweh is salvation’.

7. Kahale - meaning ‘the house’, is a gender-neutral name and surname. 

8. Kahananui - means ‘great work’. 

9. Kahele - a gender-neutral name and surname that translates to ‘the, to go’.  

10. Kaiwi - the Hawaiian surname means ‘the bone’, considered to be symbolic of old age in life. 

11. Kalani - has multiple meanings like ‘the heavens’, ‘royal one’, ‘the sky’, and ‘chief’.

12. Kalili - means ‘jealousy’ and is the name of a Hawaiian violet flower.

13. Kalua - meaning ‘the second one’ or ‘companion’.

14. Kama - means ‘child’ or ‘person’.

15. Kamaka - means ‘the eye’, ‘the bud’, or ‘the child’. 

16. Kāne - means ‘male’.

17. Kealoha - meaning ‘the love’.

18. Kaʻuhane - means ‘the soul’ or ‘the spirit’.

19. Māhoe - meaning ‘twin’. 

20. ʻŌpūnui - meaning ‘large-bellied’.

Unique Hawaiian Last Names

21. Akana (Japanese origin) - meaning ‘play the music’ or ‘bright’.

22. ʻAlika - is the Hawaiian form of the English name Alex, which is an abbreviation of Alexander and means ‘I defend’.

23. Hikialani - meaning ‘one who looks up towards the heavens’.

24. Inoa - meaning ‘name chant’.

25. Iolana - means ‘to soar’.

26. Kaʻanāʻanā - means ‘black magic’. 

27. Kaawa - a rarely used Hawaiian last name, which may refer to a Hawaiian fish or community. 

28. Kahalewai - meaning ‘the prison’, ‘the Treasury' or ‘the water house’. 

29. Kameāloha - means ‘the beloved one’.

30. Kapule - means ‘the magic’ or ‘the prayer’.

31. Kauhi - means ‘the cover’.

32. Kealani - meaning ‘heavenly whiteness’ or ‘the seaweed’, is one of the rarely used Hawaiian surnames. 

33. Keawe - meaning ‘the strand’ or ‘the twisted string’.

34. Kekoa -meaning ‘the warrior’ or ‘the koa tree’, is one of the most common last names in Hawaii.

35. Kelekolio (English origin) - is a patronymic surname derived from Gregory, meaning ‘vigilant’ or ‘watchful’. 

36. Mahelona (Hebrew origin) - a patronymic surname, based on the biblical character Mahlon. The name means ‘sickness’.

37. Makanui - means ‘big eyes’.   

38. Palakiko (Portuguese, Spanish and English origin) - the surname is derived from Francis, meaning ‘Frenchman’. 

39. Pilipō (English origin) - meaning ‘fond of horses’, is the Hawaiian form of Philip. 

40. Wailani - means ‘heavenly water’. 

Hawaiian Last Names Inspired By Social Status

41. Ailani - means ‘chief’.

42. ʻAukai - means ‘traveller by sea’ or ‘seafarer’.

43. Haulani - meaning ‘royal or imperial ruler’.

44. Haku - means ‘lord’ or ‘master’. 

45. Holokai - meaning ‘seafarer’. 

46. Kaʻaukai - means ‘the seafarer’ or ‘sailor’.

47. Kalawaiʻa - is a fairly common surname used in Hawaii that means ‘the fisherman’. 

48. Keliʻi - means ‘the chief’ or ‘the nobleman’. 

49. Kini - meaning ‘king’ or ‘multitude’.

50. Mahiʻai - meaning ‘farmer’.

Last Names Of Personalities of Hawaiian Descent

51. Akaka - means ‘tall’, ‘upright’ or ‘firm’. Daniel Akaka was a politician and the first Native Hawaiian to become a US senator.  

52. Chang (Chinese origin) - means ‘constant’ or ‘often’. Timothy Awa Chang is a former American football player of Hawaiian heritage, who currently works as a coach.

53. Field (English origin) - means ‘open ground’. Henry Nuuanu Field was an American football player of Hawaiian descent. 

54. Holloway (English origin) - means ‘a hollow way’. Mixed martial artist, Max Keliʻi Holloway, is Native Hawaiian. 

55. Ho’opi’i - meaning ‘to elevate’ or ‘ to raise’. Richard Ho’opi’i was a renowned Hawaiian falsetto singer.

56. Kaʻaihue - means ‘the thief’. Micah Kilakila Kaʻaihue is a Hawaiian baseball player. 

57. Kahanamoku - meaning ‘protector of islands’ or ‘islander leader’. Duke and Samuel Kahanamoku were competitive swimmers of Hawaiian descent. 

58. Kamakawiwoʻole - means ‘the fearless eye’ or ‘the bold face’. Israel Kamakawiwoʻole was a musician, activist, and singer-songwriter of Hawaiian descent. 

59. Kapono - means ‘the good’ or ‘the upright’. Cliff Kapono is a professional surfer and journalist of Hawaiian descent.

60. Larnach (Irish origin) - means ‘central’. The Major League Baseball player, Travis Larnach, is of Hawaiian descent.  

61. Mawae - means ‘to separate’. Kevin Mawae is a coach and former American football player of Hawaiian descent. 

62. Muraco - means ‘white moon’. Don Muraco is a former professional wrestler of Hawaiian descent. 

63. Reeves (English origin) - means ‘the occupation of a bailiff’. Keanu Reeves is a famous American actor of Hawaiian heritage from his father’s side.

64. Wilson (English origin) - means ‘son of William’. Zachary Wilson plays American football and is of Hawaiian descent. 

65. Wise (English origin) - means ‘knowledgeable’. John Henry Wise was an educator, religious leader and politician of Native Hawaiian descent.  

66. Wong (Chinese origin) - means ‘king’ or ‘yellow’. Kolten Wong is a Hawaiian baseball player.  

Hawaiian Last Names Inspired By Nature

67. ʻAkamu (Hebrew origin) - means ‘red earth’, ‘soil’, ‘ground’, or ‘brown’. It is the Hawaiian form of Adam. 

68. Akina (Japanese origin) - means ‘bright’ or ‘autumn’. 

69. Kahue - the surname is also a common Hawaiian first name that means ‘the gourd’.

70. Kalama - means ‘the ebony tree’ or ‘the torch’. 

71. Kawai - means ‘the water’.

72. Keahi - means ‘the fire’.

73. Manu - meaning ‘bird’.

75. Nuʻuanu - means ‘chilly heights’.

Hawaiian Last Names Of Figures in Hawaiian History

76. Hoapili - means ‘close personal friend’. Ulumāheihei Hoapili was part of the nobility and a trusted advisor to Kamehameha I, ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

77. Kaʻahumanu-a-Kekūanaōʻa - meaning ‘cape or cloak of feathers’, was the surname of the crown princess and the highest female chief of the Hawaiian kingdom, named Victoria. 

78. Kaʻiulani - means ‘the royal, sacred one’. Anna Kaʻiulani was a member of the Kalākaua dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

79. Kalākaua - meaning ‘the day of battle’ or ‘the sun that fights’, is the native Hawaiian surname of the last king of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

80. Kalanianaʻole - meaning ‘ambitious chief’. Jonah Kalanianaʻole was a prince of the Hawaiian kingdom who later became the only Hawaiian royalty who was a delegate member of the US Congress. 

81. Kalanikupuapaʻīkalaninui - meaning ‘the great chief of supernatural power who strikes in bright daylight’. It was the last name of Kamehameha V, one of the Hawaiian monarchs. 

82. Kaliokalani - meaning ‘the wreath of the sky’ or ‘the child of the sky’. James Kaliokalani served the Hawaiian kingdom as a high chief during the 19th century.

83. Kamakaʻeha - native Hawaiian surname of the last ruler and only queen of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. The last name means ‘sore eyes’. 

84. Kanaʻina - meaning ‘the conquering’. Charles Kanaʻina was a noble of the Hawaiian kingdom. 

85. Kapakuhaili - meaning ‘the beloved one who enjoys the hills’, or ‘the hill or valley’. Kalama Kapakuhaili was a queen of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the wife of King Kamehameha III. 

86. Kapili - meaning ‘to connect’ or ‘a companion’. Mirian Likelike Kapili was a princess of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, and a member of the Kalākaua dynasty.

87. Kawānanakoa - means ‘fearless spirit’. David Kawānanakoa was a member of the royal family of Kawānanakoa and prince of the Hawaiian kingdom.  

88. Ke‘elikōlani - means ‘leaf bud of heaven’. Ruth Ke‘elikōlani was a member of House Kamehameha, the dynasty that founded the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

89. Kekūanaōʻa - means ‘the standing projection’. Mataio Kekūanaōʻa was a respected politician and also served as a governor of the island of Oʻahu. 

90. Keohokālole - meaning ‘the straight hair of her father’s locks of hair’. Analea Keohokālole was a female chief and ruler of Hawaiʻi. 

91. Kūnuiākea - meaning ‘Kū, the Supreme One’. It was the surname of Kamehameha I, the first ruler of the Hawaiian kingdom.  

92. Leleiohoku - meaning ‘fled in the time of Hoku’. William Leleiohoku II was a prince of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

93. Lunalio - meaning ‘lost somewhere very high’, is the surname of William Lunalio, the sixth sovereign ruler of the Hawaiian kingdom. 

94. ʻOpio - means ‘youth’. George ʻOpio was a military leader and Royal Governor of Maui. 

95. Peʻa - means ‘bat’ (the mammal) or ‘cross-shaped’. Kalani Peʻa is a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter of Hawaiian descent. 

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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