Baby Names

35 Hawaiian Last Names That'll Make You Connect With Your Ohana

Say “aloha” to baby-naming inspiration.

by Laura Grainger
Originally Published: 
hawaiian last names

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 surnames, Japanese surnames, Chinese surnames, or Korean surnames. Other Hawaiian last names serve as translations of names from western languages.

Hawaiian values are rooted in taking each day at a time. They also have a deep respect for a person’s humility. It is considered a valuable trait, and unlike most cultures, it holds more worth than someone’s class or financial status. So when someone flaunts expensive clothes or their connections, it is viewed as pride. Hawaiians are so chill it’s uncommon to use your car horn. Unless you’re honking hello to a buddy on the road, it’s not a usual noise heard in the streets. Apart from being a beautiful travel destination, it’s an island filled with a unique blend of different cultures. It is also a culture that appreciates its legends. Storytellers are important because they help keep those stories alive, chart history, beliefs, and facts, which are passed down to future generations.

So if you’re interested in Hawaiian culture, 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.

If you’re interested in the last names and meanings of other countries, check out our package on last names from around the world. See how many you recognize: Indian, Irish, French, Russian, Spanish, Mexican, Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, and African last names, among others.

Common Hawaiian Last Names

1. Palakiko

Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the English name Francis.

2. Kekoa

Meaning: Refers to a Koa tree or “the warrior.”

3. ʻAkamu

Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name Adam.

4. Kahale

Meaning: “The house.”

5. Iona

Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name Jonah.

6. Māhoe

Meaning: “Twin.”

7. Kalawaiʻa

Meaning: “The fisherman.”

8. Mahiʻai

Meaning: “Farmer.”

9. Kameāloha

Meaning: “The beloved one.”

10. Nakamura

Meaning: A Japanese surname meaning “middle village.”

11. Kelekolio

Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the English name Gregory.

12. ʻŌpūnui

Meaning: “Big-bellied.”

13. Keliʻi

Meaning: “The chief.”

14. Akana

Meaning: A Japanese given name from the Kanjis that means “bright” or “play the music.”

15. Kahananui

Meaning: “The great work.”

16. Mahelona

Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name Mahlon.

17. Kaʻuhane

Meaning: “The soul or spirit.”

18. Wong

Meaning: A Cantonese surname meaning “king.”

19. Kapule

Meaning: “The prayer or magic.”

20. ʻAukai

Meaning: “Seafarer.”

21. Kahue

Meaning: “The gourd.”

22. Akina

Meaning: A Japanese given name from the Kanjis that means “bright,” “autumn,” “greens,” “name,” and “south.”

23. Lee

Meaning: The Korean variation of the Chinese surname Li, meaning “plum” or “plum tree.”

24. Iosua

Meaning: The Hawaiian version of the biblical name “Joshua.”

25. Kāne

Meaning: “The god of creation.”

26. Kealoha

Meaning: “The love.”

27. Kama

Meaning: “Child.”

28. Alana

Meaning: “Awakening.”

29. Kalama

Meaning: “The torch.”

30. Kalua

Meaning: “Second one” or “companion.”

31. Kamaka

Meaning: “The eye,” “bud,” or “child.”

32. Keahi

Meaning: “The fire.”

33. Kalani

Meaning: “The heavens” or “sky.”

34. Keawe

Meaning: “The twisted string.”

35. Kalili

Meaning: An endemic Hawaiian violet.

Hawaiian Sayings

When you think of beautiful places, Hawaii is usually one of the first places that come to mind. It’s an island filled with fascinating charm and even better phrases about love and life. If you’re in search of some wisdom, look no further! These Hawaiian phrases are the perfect guide.

  • These ono grinds are broke da mout. “This food is so delicious it broke my mouth.”
  • E Hoomau Maua Kealoha. “May our love last forever.”
  • Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No. “I give my love to you, you give your love to me.”
  • `A`ohe loa i ka hana a ke aloha. “Distance is ignored by love.”
  • Ua ola loko i ke aloha. “Love gives life within.”
  • Aloha kaua. “May there be love between us.”
  • Ua ola no i ka pane a ke aloha. “There is life in a kindly reply.”

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