Last names provide a great connection to our family’s past. When it comes to Hawaii, natives initially didn’t have last names. Western colonization required everyone to have one following their first name. As a result, many given names of both Hawaiian and Japanese origin were converted to a family surname. Some Hawaiians have English, Japanese, Chinese or Korean surnames. Other Hawaiian last names serve as translations of names from western languages.
Say aloha to our list of 25 Hawaiian last names (along with their meanings and origins). As beautiful as the islands themselves, these names showcase Hawaii’s diverse culture. Take a look and see if you recognize any.
Origin/Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the English ‘Francis’ or the Spanish/Portuguese ‘Francisco.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The warrior.’ Could also refer to a Koa tree.
Origin/Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name ‘Adam.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The house.’
Origin/Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name ‘Jonah.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The fisherman.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The beloved one.’
Origin/Meaning: A Japanese surname meaning ‘middle village.’
Origin/Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the English ‘Gregory.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The chief.’
Origin/Meaning: A Japanese given name from the Kanjis that mean ‘bright’ and ‘play the music.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The great work.’
Origin/Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name ‘Mahlon.’
Origin/Meaning: The soul or spirit.
Origin/Meaning: A Cantonese surname meaning ‘king.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The prayer or magic.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The gourd.’
Origin/Meaning: A Japanese given name from the Kanjis that mean ‘bright,’ ‘autumn,’ ‘greens,’ ‘name’ and ‘south.’
Origin/Meaning: The Korean variation of the Chinese surname Li, meaning ‘plum’ or ‘plum tree.’
Origin/Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name ‘Joshua.’
Origin/Meaning: ‘The fire.’